Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Tops Plug-In Sales Chart in April 2012
Without much fanfare, Toyota started selling the plug-in version of the Prius a couple of months ago. But the power of the Prius brand—plus a base of loyal customers and a small-battery approach—has put the PIP at the top of the plug-in car sales charts in April, surpassing the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt.
As we reported yesterday, Nissan LEAF sales came in at only 370 units in April. Meanwhile, the Chevy Volt fared better with sales clocking in at 1,462 units in April.
But the the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid passed them both, logging 1,654 sales in April. The entire Prius line of cars did amazingly well, more than doubling in sales from a year ago. The Prii was the third most popular passenger model in the United States in April, beat only by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
The success of Prius shows what a 10 - 15 year commitment to a technology can produce, if given time to mature. But is Toyota also showing the way to getting adoption of plug-in technology, by offering a plug-in hybrid with a smaller more affordable battery—even with more limited all-electric range—rather than a large-battery plug-in hybrid or pure electric car. Is this the secret to making plug-ins accessible to mainstream buyers? A smaller battery plug-in also means quicker recharge times, even when using standard 110v outlets rather than expensive dedicated charging equipment.
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