Sales Of Fuel-Efficient Hybrids And Plug-In Electrics Soared In Q1

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2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Toyota Prius V

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We already know that April was a great month for Toyota Prius hybrid sales, but it turns out that the first quarter of the year produced stellar sales numbers for hybrids in general, as well as plug-in electric cars.

More than 100,000 hybrids and plug-in cars--113,457--were sold in January, February, and March combined, against roughly 79,000 in the same period of 2011.

The vast bulk of those sales--106,207--were hybrids, of course. 

The hybrid sales included not only much higher sales of the Toyota Prius, now a lineup of three models plus a plug-in, but also Buicks and Chevrolets fitted with the General Motors eAssist mild-hybrid system.

All varieties of plug-in cars accounted for 7,250, according to data compiled by industry trade journal Automotive News.

Plug-in sales totaled about 17,000 units for all of 2011, the bulk of them either the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle or the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car.

For 2012, the strong new plug-in entrant is the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, whose April sales beat those of both the Volt and the Leaf.

Analysts expect perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 plug-in cars to be sold in the U.S. during calendar 2012, against perhaps 400,000-plus conventional hybrids.

As always, the bulk of the hybrid sales will come from Toyota.


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Comments (7)
  1. Do you happen to know the percent of sales that hybrid and plug-ins account for? Curious if hybrids are gaining ground or just rising with the sale of all vehicles.

  2. Hybrids sales are still a drop in the bucket of total vehicle sales, accounting for just 2.4 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States -- down from 2.9 percent in 2008.

    Read more:

  3. @John: In April, hybrids were 3.4% of total U.S. sales:

  4. Thanks for that added information. If that keeps up, they are gaining ground against ICE.

  5. It makes sense when gas is $4. plus. The Prius C in particular will sell like hotcakes. It's less that $20k and gets 50+ MPG and has the Toyota DNA built in. We have a WINNA!

    Check out my car videos at my YouTube channel:

  6. It is interesting to see that PIP beat out the Volt in April (and if that will continue). I bet that if Chevy didn't shut down the factory, it would have easily beaten the Prius Plugin. I have been waiting for my Volt for over 6 weeks now...

  7. Xialong, I don't think the factory shutdown really affected sales much last week because of the time involved to transport the cars, but who really knows. I waited months, declined the first time due to dealer gouging, then finally got one in late March.

    I hope you enjoy yours as much as I'm enjoying mine. Inventory in the Detroit area isn't great even now, but it's much better than a few months ago...

    Big congratulations to Toyota for the PIP. Even if I think the electric-only range is abysmal, a success is still a success and it's still resulting in better mileage and lower emissions.

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