Toyota Prius Plug-In Sales Slump To 695 Units In June, Toyota Puts Blame on Supply

JUL 3 2012 BY JAY COLE 14

2012 Toyota Plug-In Prius

The Toyota Prius Plug-In has been moving the wrong way on the sales graph since it was launched.  Down.

After coming out of the gates strong in its first full sales month (April) with 1,654 cars finding homes, the sales normalized in May with 1,086 copies…or so we thought.  Toyota did not differentiate the Plug-In Prius sales from the rest of the Prius family in their official press release, but a spokesperson on Toyota’s lengthy sales call did eventually divulge that only 695 plug-in Prius hybrids were sold for the month, down about 40% for the second month in a row.

Prius Plug-In Available In These 15 States


Prius Family Sales:

  • Standard Prius lift back: 11,514
  • Prius C: 3,657
  • Prius V: 3,284
  • Prius Plug-In: 695

Toyota did note that the Prius Plug-In was still only available in California and 14 other states in the the US, and that has effected the total amount that the company could have sold, while also remarking that supply issues to states not beginning with the letters ‘CALIFORNIA’, have seen those areas not getting a full compliment of cars.

Toyota conference call statement: “…we started in California (with the Plug-In Prrus), so we are still in the north east states in a pipeline fill situation there.  There is a little bit of flow going to the north east.   It is on sale today (in the north east) and has been for about 30 days.”

One thing we have learned here at InsideEVs following the rollout of the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt and Mitsubishi i, is that more often than not, by the time supply is rolled out to the entire United States, the original market’s demand (again, all states beginning with ‘CALIFORNIA’) has been filled, and overall sales tend to moderate, causing ambitious initial estimates for sales to come down.

Categories: Toyota


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14 Comments on "Toyota Prius Plug-In Sales Slump To 695 Units In June, Toyota Puts Blame on Supply"

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Rome wasn’t built in a day, going to take many years to build up demand, aided by bit by bit technology improvements and rising oil prices, we’ll get there in the end.

Hmm, those 14 states appear to be:
New Jersey,
New York,
Rhode Island,
New Hampshire, and

Why do I get 15 state names?

Toyota rep has bad math skills? I get 15 as well, will change to reflect. I imagine when he got tripped up as he was referencing California.

The article clearly states “California and 14 other states”. 1 (California) + 14 (others) = 15. Math still works.

Jay Cole wrote that he updated the article to CA+14.

I believe that Hawaii’s supply doesn’t come through the same group as the rest of the USA and I don’t even know if they include Hawaii’s sales in the US numbers. The original reference to 14 states could have been correct.

Maybe more buyers than not are thinking hard about the PIP’s need for 3 recharging downtimes to match the range a Volt will get with a single charge, and deciding the Volt is well worth the extra bucks to buy.

Similarly, it will be interesting to see how Tesla Model S sales shake out between the three range levels.

The PIP is a different example on how to complement an ICE with electric powered drive, in that the electric motor takes over below certain speeds. Is that difference to the way a Volt works understood by the great unwashed, or do they just look at MPGe or other such factors? Guess some understand the difference, some don’t.

I live in il where we don’t officially have the plug in prius yet. However, a dealership in naperville (west suburb of Chicago) bought three from a dealer in california and now I own one. After reading about the mpg and the cost, which I found to be considerably less than the volt or leaf, I had to have it. Now, after owning it for two weeks and putting around 500 miles on it, I love it! I think this will be a hit! Consider the fact that you can travel about 11 miles all electric at up to 62mpg with only three hours of charging!!! That’s a lot less than the charging required for other electric cars. I realize this is not an all electric car but that’s part of its beauty. After the all electric battery runs out, the car switches seamlessly to the 50 mpg hybrid engine. So, just for the record, I have driven about 480 miles with about 200 miles left to go without refueling and I am averaging 85 mpg. And that’s all on my first tank of gas.

I do not think there is a wrong choice when it comes to EVs. As long as you like what you drive & they work for your situation, it is good. All of them, from pure electric to the Karma, gets different shades of still great mileage and costs to fuel.

You charge in 3 hours just because the Plug-in-Prius’s battery is small. You get the same or better charging speed and miles in that same timeframe in the LEAF or Volt. Charging time typically does not matter because it happens overnight when people are sleeping. From comparisons the Volt charges about 10 miles/hour if you uses the 240v charger or about 5 miles/hour if you use the 120v normal garage outlet. Volt owners are commonly over 150 MPG”used” and typically get 40 MPG on straight gas. Many of then hardly use gas at all. Before a weekend trip I had gone 2000 miles on 1 gallon of gas “used”. I charge at midnight so no impact to the grid and it cost me less than $1. See 1200 Volt owner’s statsat voltstats dot net.

Hey Scott,

Just as a random thing, you don’t have to ‘dot net’ stuff, we don’t try to control the content at all/or where people go from here, so you can type something like without fear of the dreaded filter, heeh

(sidenote: I do have more than 2 links capped out just to stop bots and what not however)

I also do not live in a state where the plug in Prius is available (PA)… So I traveled to Maryland to pick mine up. I bought it in March and probably had one of the first ones on the East Coast. I absolutely live it. I average about 115 mpg when you look at the total for each month. I have over 6000 miles logged already. I installed a 240v charger at my home so that I can recharge fully in 1.5 hours or less. At work (about a 12 mile drive from home) I am allowed to plug in for the 3 hour 120v charge. I figure the 3kw charge amounts to about 33 cents to charge it up from a dead state. I neve have to worry about running out of juice since the hybrid is there to back me up.

I can’t say enough good things about this car. My other car is a standard Prius that we’ve had for a few years now. Needless to say our gasoline budget is very small lately! Bring on the $10/gal gas… I’m ready!

Sales down 40% into the 600’s. I see 3500 available on, 9 at my local dealer alone, so where is the supply problem? Leads me to believe if Toyota doesn’t do something to significantly increase the 11 mile EV range, or lower the price, this PHV version will be canceled. Nuts to think people will spend 7,000 dollars more for a car that only saves .25 gallons of gas per charge. Maybe make it only 2,000 dollars more than the regular Prius for the 11 mile EV, or up the EV range to near 40 miles like its competitor.

The four popular PHV versions for the US in 2013 look to be the Chevy Volt, Plug in Prius, Ford C-Max and Fusion Energi. The Ford C-Max Energi will go head to head with the Prius with slightly more range etc. The Fusion is going to be the larger sedan but still with a 20 mile electric range. Not only does the Volt go 40 miles, it has substantially more power making it more fun to drive. It is however the only one of the four limited to four seats. All are excellent PHVs. Only the Prius and C-Max go directly head-to-head. Of course there is also the high end Fisker Karma. The remainder of 2012 will certainly answer a lot of the supply questions.