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Toyota's 2014 Prius Plug-in is the second most popular electrified vehicle in April

The Prius Plug-in quietly continues to be one of the top selling electrified cars in North America.


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.

Related Story:
Nissan LEAF dominates plug-in sales for 2014 so far


turbofroggy (not verified)    May 2, 2014 - 9:11PM

The PIP doesn't provide much value as a plug-in hybrid. Range is crap and it costs about the same as a Volt after tax credits. My guess is that a ton of people buy these in California to get green stickers. They drive them every day, never plugging them in. This will all change next month. The green stickers have run out. My guess is that PIP sales drop 90% for May.

John Goreham    May 3, 2014 - 10:08AM

What amazes me is that the Leaf with it much larger subsidies can barely outsell it. There is a lot of chat on the Prius forums about the stickers. I think you are right that it was a big motivator. It will be interesting to see if the EVs bump up indicating a switch. The BMW i3 is coming on line now, so the tea leaves are difficult to read. I drove the i3 yesterday and I think it will be very successful.

mike w (not verified)    May 3, 2014 - 5:47PM

I thought the HOV stickers in California were all but gone. Toyota has a good reputation with the Prius and any of its vehicles. That no doubt is responsible for their large sales volume. DITO for the short EV range.

Dex (not verified)    May 3, 2014 - 9:49PM

I heard that Prius was supposed to make ALL of their Prius plug in come 2014. Did that not happen?

John Goreham    May 4, 2014 - 11:38AM

In reply to by Dex (not verified)

Nope. I read all of Toyota's press releases and I never heard that promise from Toyota. Only about 5% of the quarter million or so Prius vehicles made in 2013 and 2014 were/are plug-ins. The next generation Prius is not yet revealed. Maybe it will be a plug-on only, but I would be shocked.