Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Tops Plug-In Sales Chart in April 2012

By · May 02, 2012

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

With a whopping 1,654 units sold in April, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid topped the sales chart in the plug-in vehicle segment.

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.


· · 6 years ago

Good for Toyota! The more plugs the better I say. It's great to see consumers view the PiP as the conservative approach at this point. Step 1, get a plug on every car. Step 2, get the ICE smaller and more efficient for those plug in cars. Step 3, get the ICE out of the plug in cars!

· · 6 years ago

@indyflick, I hadn't thought about it that way, the electric range and power of the PIP being so tiny as to be almost useless. But perhaps the PIP is the "gateway drug" and people will get used to the idea of plugging in a car at home, while the technology and range of new models improves.

· Max Reid (not verified) · 6 years ago

So 1,654 Prius Plugin + 1,462 Volts = 3,116 Plugins sold so far and thats excluding Karma which anyway may not be a big seller.

Isnt it great that in less than 2 years of introduction, the plugins are selling so well. I wish Prius C Plugin will be the next with around 25 K price tag.

With 8 K difference between Prius PIP & Volt, its easy for anyone to jump into Prius. In few months, C-Max Plugin will be launched and thay may give competition to Prius Plugin.
Until then Prius Plugin will rule.

· · 6 years ago

Kudos to Toyota again!!!

· Smithjim1961 (not verified) · 6 years ago

2012 will go down in history as the year that plug-ins really started to gain traction. I've lost count of the number of plugins that are planned to go into serial production this year. Does anyone have a definitive list?

· · 6 years ago

"Does anyone have a definitive list?"

Did you try clicking the "Cars" button at the top of this site?

· · 6 years ago

What is the pricing on the Prius Plug-in? Probably much more competitive price wise.

· · 6 years ago

@Red Leaf - It's more price competitive, but you can't compare it to a Volt. You are truly getting less (more room though).

· iletric (not verified) · 6 years ago

It's just them Los Angelenos buying it just to get their hands on that hot, white HOV sticker. This sticker used to boost Prius resale value by about 10 grand down in LA. As previous article stated, the the PIP owners may never actually plug it in. I'd like to see a statistic how many of those PIP owners invest in a 2000-dollar home charger. Expect some bleak numbers there, folks. This is one pretend plug-in.

· · 6 years ago

It's pretty clear to me that the PIP's doing comparatively well because of:
- brand recognition & satisfaction
- lower price than the Volt

I agree with indyflick and dgpcolorado that it looks like for most people, it'll be baby steps from ICE to electric. I'd also like to see a Prius C plugin, as Max Reid notes.

Of course, personally, I still prefer the Volt's longer all-electric range, and would love to see rumors that the 2014 Volt will have an even longer all-e range prove true. I just don't find 11 miles of EV range at 60 mph or lower very attractive. But smaller battery packs mean more affordable upfront costs, and right now, the upfront costs for the Volt, LEAF etc. are too high for most people.

· · 6 years ago

@theflew: "You are truly getting less (more room though)."

For many people, roominess is king. For my family of 4, a Volt is too small for our "road trip car". A PiP would fit us nicely (we're currently fitting in a 2010 Insight). At the same time, the 11 miles <60mph would get me to work and back twice. So for some, the PiP is an excellent fit.

@ilectric: "I'd like to see a statistic how many of those PIP owners invest in a 2000-dollar home charger."

One of the advantages of the PiP is that it has no need for an L2 charger. You can top it off with L1 (already installed in peoples' garages) in so little time, that L2 would not be worth installing. The more important number, as you alluded to, is how many people plug in their PiP at all. As gas prices continue to climb, I would expect that to bring extra pressure to plug in.

· Aream (not verified) · 6 years ago

I quiet like the Volt but I need the full size back seat, so the PIP is a better option although I would appreciate a Prius+ PIP even more.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.