Toyota Hybrid Sales Stalled, While Plug-In Prius Drops
Since Prius was introduced and sold in volume, Toyota has always been associated with hybrids.
In the US alone, Toyota and Lexus now offer 12 hybrid models.
Recently, the Japanese company announced sales of 8,000,000 hybrids worldwide, but something jammed up in Toyota machine.
Toyota was selling around 1,250,000 hybrids annually on average in 2012-2014 with peak in 2013 at 1,279,225. After 7 months of this year sales of 709,633 units again are on track for the same average – no growth.
Maybe this is just strengthening the position after the jump from 2011 to 2012 (let’s try to be optimistic), but we’d expect some kind of growth.
Toyota, in some ways ignored electric cars, treating them just as a necessary evil, while several years ago many would thought that Toyota would be the first large manufacturer to show true interest in plug-ins.
“It can be hard to get a sense of what the number 8 million might mean for the environment and for hybrid owners. For a bit of context, Toyota calculates that as of July 31, its hybrid vehicles have resulted in approximately 58 million fewer tons2 of CO2 emissions3 than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance. Toyota also estimates that its hybrid vehicles have saved approximately 22 million kiloliters of gasoline compared to the amount used by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar sizes.
The message is clear: having found homes in driveways around the world, hybrids have staying power. Since the launch of the Prius in 1997, Toyota has been gradually adding hybrid models throughout its range, from the compact Yaris Hybrid to the recently announced RAV4 Hybrid. As of this month, Toyota sells 30 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in more than 90 markets.
Over just the past year, Toyota has made several new hybrid models available, including the Esquire Hybrid (Japan only), the Lexus RC300h, and the recently launched Sienta Hybrid. Other new hybrid models are just around the corner, such as the Corolla Hybrid and Levin Hybrid (China only) and RAV4 Hybrid. This ongoing roll-out will only continue, with new hybrid models being added to Toyota’s range and sold in more markets than ever before.
Hybrid technologies, which encompass all of the component technologies necessary for the development of environment-friendly cars and which facilitate the use of different fuel combinations, are positioned by Toyota as core environmental technologies for the twenty-first century. Using these technologies, Toyota is also working on improving non-hybrid cars. Across the board, Toyota aims to enhance performance, reduce costs, and expand its product lineup―including that of non-hybrid vehicles.”
Toyota is now turning to hydrogen fuel cell cars. Mirai is in the early stage of market introduction, while Prius PHV, despite a strong start, is now disappearing as we await the new generation.
If nothing changes, sales of plug-in Prius will drop this year by half. With just 5,051 sales so far this year, Toyota is far from 2014’s volume of 19,879.
Through the end of July, Toyota sold 73,590 Prius Plug-In (nearly 1% of all hybrids sold), which still makes it one of the most popular plug-ins around the world.
There will be a next generation of plug-in Prius, with an estimated all-electric range of up to ~30 miles, but there is a huge production gap of about 18 months between the first and second gen.
The current Prius PHV ended production in June, and the new model is not expected until early 2017.