This headline is not a trick, and the Prius Plug-in’s sales this month are not unusual. Among electrified vehicles the 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in is the stealth sales champion. Although the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf usually trade the sales lead, and the Volt is usually third or second, the Prius Plug-in is always in the top 4 of the most widely sold electrified vehicles in the US market. In April 2012 the Prius Plug-in was the number one selling electrified vehicle in the US. This April, Toyota sold 1,741 of the Prius Plug-ins, placing it a close second behind the Leaf, which tallied 2,088 units. Inside EVs estimates that Tesla sold only 1,100 Model S sedans in the US in April, and Chevy says it sold 1,548 Volts, which makes it number three this month.
Like the Volt, the Prius Plug-in is not a fully electric vehicle. Rather, it is a hybrid vehicle that can run on electric power for extended periods and at high speeds. Toyota doesn’t try to pretend otherwise. It markets this car as the “the hybrid you love, now with a plug.” It can very happily motor along at 50 MPG on gasoline if plugging in is a hassle, like on vacations. Buyers don’t mind that the Prius isn’t “only” electric. They consistently buy this vehicle, which can run solely on electric power, to drive work or school and back, but without the scary range limitations fully electric cars are burdened with.
The 2014 Prius Plug-in doesn’t just outsell all but a couple electrified cars in the US market, it also outsells a boatload of popular and widely discussed mainstream models. For example, it outsold the similarly priced Mercedes CLA sports sedan this month by a solid 10%. The Prius Plug-in also outsells the popular Scion FR-S sports car, and every model marketed by Scion for that matter. Over on the big, expensive vehicle side, the Prius Plug-in outsold the entire Cadillac Escalade line in April. We could keep going, but you get the point.
Nissan LEAF dominates plug-in sales for 2014 so far