Skip to main content

Toyota's Non-Prius Hybrid Sales Continue To Surge While Affordable Battery-Electric Vehicle Deliveries Drop Lower

Toyota's sales of its many hybrid models continue to grow. Meanwhile, affordable battery-electric vehicle sales continue to decline.


Toyota's hybrid vehicle sales were up by over 30% this month, and are up also trending up across the board. With one exception - the Prius. Overall, Toyota's hybrid sales are about even this first half of 2019 compared to the first half of 2018. Add in the Lexus models and the combined brands are ahead for the year. This despite the RAV4 Hybrid being out of production for a few months during a generation change.

Top Selling Green Vehicles
The sales surge is being led by the RAV4 Hybrid. With just under 30,000 units sold in 2019, the RAV4 is America's top-selling affordable green vehicle. It is just a bit ahead of the Prius, which, despite reduced sales, is still America's top-selling affordable green car. These two green market leaders are outpacing vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt by about three to one in deliveries.

BEV Sales Trending Down
Battery electric vehicles like the Bolt and Leaf are declining in sales or posting up in significant numbers. The formula just doesn't work. There is no way for automakers to source or built lithium-ion batteries affordably. The Bolt and Leaf are both down compare to last year and way of their previous high sales points. Great EVs like the Kia Niro BEV, and Hyundai Ioniq BEV, and the Honda Clarity BEV are selling at rates of under 100 units per month. They are models in name only for the most part.

Toyota Hybrids
Not including the Prius Prime PHEV and Mirai FCEV, Toyota has six hybrids for sale. The Prius has declined in popularity but still manages to average about 5,000 unit sales per month. The top-selling affordable electric cars sell at about a third of that rate. The RAV4 Hybrid is the top-selling green crossover on Earth with no real rivals in terms of sales. Toyota sold 9,013 in June. The new Toyota Corolla Hybrid is selling well. Although it is still in its production ramp, Toyota sold over 1,600 in June. Toyota sold about 2,400 Camry Hybrids in June and also 603 Avalon Hybrids. Toyota's Highlander Hybrid earned 1,646 sales.

Peak Battery
The reason that hybrids continue to sell well are many. Zero range concerns, affordability, availability, reliability, and no required home charger are all factors. The reasons that affordable battery-electric cars have failed in the market place is simple. America has reached peak battery and no automaker can offer a viable EV under $55K without losing money, despite massive taxpayer subsidies. Read more on Peak Battery here.

John Goreham tweets at @johngoreham. Please send him news tips and follow us at @TorqueNewsAuto.


TheWay (not verified)    July 8, 2019 - 12:43PM

What kind of nonsense is this? BEV sales hit record high. The BEVs doing poorly are the crappy ones, the market as a whole is up.

PS Clarity BEV is junk, the PHEV is decent but the BEV has terrible range. The platform was not made for an EV, it is a compliance car.

John Goreham    July 8, 2019 - 2:35PM

In reply to by TheWay (not verified)

Really? Which BEVs hit a record high? The Model 3 didn't set a U.S. sales record. Its prior high was over 25,000 in a month. Under $22K this past month. The Model X and Model S are nowhere near their past run rate. The Bolt and Leaf are both well off their record highs. Which ones are setting records? Inside EVs has a great chart showing all of the U.S. sales by month for all models. You can also see every EV model's sales all the way back to 2010.

Derp (not verified)    August 24, 2019 - 7:56PM

In reply to by John Goreham

Seems like the number one actually green car in America remains the model 3. Shame Toyota doesn’t make an electric RAV4. Would sell like crazy. Oh well, seems like ford will do it for them and make a green vehicle. I remember when Toyota used to innovate. Oh how the mighty have fallen.