Sales of Plug-in Hybrids Eclipse Pure EVs in November

By · December 05, 2012

Toyota Prius Plug-In

The Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid has once again topped the plug-in vehicle segment. It led the pack back in April, so November 2012 marks the second time the Prius Plug-In was the number one seller. Meanwhile, the Ford C-Max Energi, in its first full month on the market, leapt into fourth place in sales in the plug-in vehicle category.

For November, Prius Plug-In sales check at a healthy 1,766 units, bringing the plug-in Prius' year-to-date US sales total to 11,389. Sales of the plug-in version of the Prius accounted for a healthy 10.7 percent of sales of the Prius family, which includes the Prius liftback, Prius V wagon, and Prius C compact (all conventional hybrids).

Ford C-Max Energi

It's still too early to establish a long-term trend for the Ford C-Max Energi, but it's so far proving to be a strong player in the plug-in segment. With 1,259 units sold in November—and still not available nationwide—it appears that Ford will have a strong presence in the plug-in market, especially considering that it will soon begin selling the plug-in version of the Ford Fusion.

When you add up sales of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Chevy Volt, and the Ford C-Max Energi—and you consider that the Nissan LEAF is the only pure EV model with similar sales volumes—the dominance of grid-enable cars that also use gasoline becomes clear. The early trend indicates that American consumers are more receptive to plug-in hybrids, with their ability to use gasoline to offer driving range equal to or greater than gas cars, rather than pure electric cars that commonly have a range of about 80 to 100 miles.

Sales numbers for the other battery electric cars on the market were low in November. Last month, Ford sold 179 units of the Focus Electric; Mitsubishi moved 42 units of the i subcompact EV; Toyota sold 32 RAV4 EVs; and Honda, which is only leasing its EV, delivered 26 units of the all-electric version of the Fit.


· · 3 years ago

I don't want to overstate the importance of Marketing, but none of those pure electrics have been marketed around here at all. I'm sure more people would purchase them if they only knew about them.

· · 3 years ago

The right answer is plug-in hybrid right, but the right balance between electric and engine has not yet been achieved. We are still stuck with behemoth engines and to small EV ranges. We need more EV and less engine. 75 miles EV and 600 cc engine would make for mostly electric and still an extended range. We really have to quit the expensive dual possibility configuration, to enter into the cheaper EV vehicle with an Auxiliary Power Unit engine configuration. That is the formula that will make the true breakthrough of electric driving.

· The Car Family (not verified) · 3 years ago

The PIP easily gets the best real world gas mileage. We test them all for our reviews and it really isn't close when it comes to room and mileage. Handling and braking are not its forte. Ford and Honda do not allow us to test. Perhaps they aren't interested in reviews from a family viewpoint. As for the best combination, one thing to consider is that utility is a vital concern with buyers. Gas mileage and reliability are important, but ease of entry, cargo space, and rear visibility are equally important.

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