World EV Sales June 2017: Toyota Prius Prime Now Best Selling Plug-In

JUL 31 2017 BY MARK KANE 100

World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars – 2017 June (data source: EV Sales Blog)

June was one of the best plug-in vehicle sales month ever!

For second time in history, more than 100,000 units (approx. 100,500) were sold, good for a growth rate of 38% – and even more significantly, an average market share of 1% was reached for the first time!

Toyota Prius Plug-In at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show

Total sales over the first six months have nearly reached 450,000 (up 41% year-over-year), which means barring some kind of EV sales-apocalypse, we should see a seven digit result before 2017 ends – also, a first.

As we expected several months ago, the Toyota Prius Plug-In (aka Prime) quickly has become the best selling plug-in car in the world, despite still being production and inventory constrained globally, with nearly 27,000 sales through June.

A very strong result in Japan, and decent numbers in the U.S. (even without counting on Europe hardly at all) were enough to best the Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model S in the first half of the year.

The Tesla Model S (25,450 #3 YTD) also shone in June, having best sales result for the month (estimated at more than ~6,150), compared to 6,038 for the Toyota.

At the same time, the Nissan LEAF (26,591 at #2 YTD) and the Tesla Model X (21,550 at #4 YTD) notched sales of 4,647 and ~4,684 respectively in June.

In the overall automaker race, Tesla extended its lead over BMW in June by delivering some 10,841 cars, but the BMW result at 8,815 was still fairly significant in its own right.

We should not that last month was the start of the long-predicted BYD comeback, as the Chinese company’s 11,198 deliveries is second to none, enabling it to climb into 3rd place.  The way we see it, there is no stopping BYD from ending the year in first, as we expect BYD to be moving about ~20,000 plug-ins monthly by December.

For 2018, the plug-in sales race will be hotly contended between incumbent BYD and Tesla, thanks to the huge Model 3 surge in deliveries which kicks off this December!

World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers – 2017 June (data source: EV Sales Blog)

Our thanks to EV Sales Blog for tallying up and estimating the individual sales by OEM.

Categories: Sales, Tesla, Toyota

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100 Comments on "World EV Sales June 2017: Toyota Prius Prime Now Best Selling Plug-In"

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Sad. People don’t test drive apparently.
The BMW i3 Blows It away, along with a better lease offer too.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

What’s the price difference between them?
Personally I don’t like either cars.

My guess is those buying the PiPrime are not looking to “Blow away” anybody and it looks like there are more of those buyers than for the I3.

Well speed is one issue, but it’s ride, with a BMW suspension, quietness, yes, acceleration, driving position, touch points with better materials, even on the Deka World version, a strong air conditioner, and of course EV driving range, and a backup REX version.

This is the highest tech, and best performing EV out there, except for Tesla.

And BMW is offering a great lease deal. They seem to really want to increase sales, and get more people under the BMW brand.

Prius buyers don’t care about ride or any of that other stuff. They just want to drive the most efficient vehicle, and they haven’t realized that a straight EV is actually more environmentally sound.

Agreed, they clearly aren’t cross-shopping or reading any reviews.

It really is just sad.

I drive the i3 and I now what the price differential is. Stop blaming other people who earn less when they are clearly opting for cleaner technology that fits within their means.

I didn’t say they should buy an i3. I said they should cross-shop and read reviews.

A Volt would be my choice, which after tax credit and average discounts would cost about the same as the PP. Plus it actually gets useful electric range and has good acceleration.

25 miles of EV capacity has translated to 200 MPG tanks for me throughout the summer.

How is that in any way not useful, especially for such adv affordable base price?

Hey the one guy who reads this site, still bought a PP after reading how sad it is, and is willing to admit to it here!

My wife averages over 1000MPG in our Gen1 Volt. But that number, as well as your 200MPG number, have no meaning beyond a single person’s use. If you only drove 10 miles per day you’d have infinite MPG.

Maybe Toyota will get serious about EVs and PHEVs one day. But, the PP is just another half-hearted attempt.

Just relax, man. Both vehicles have use cases, so don’t blindly state one is better than the other. Don’t forget, The Prius Prime had significantly better fuel economy when the juice runs out.

I wouldn’t buy a prime either, but he shouldn’t be afraid to admit that he did. XP

Sure, there are much better PHEVs out there as far as range and performance go. However, easily half the commentors on EV sites still don’t own a single EV or PHEV!

So by buying a Prime and actually plugging it in, John here is doing more to promote EVs than the average insideEVs reader has done! Not to mention the general buying public.

Maybe he works for Toyota. Or he’s in complete denial and wants someone else to validate his bad purchase decision. Can’t imagine any other reasons to advocate for the PP here.

So many companies are releasing reasonable EVs & PHEVs. It annoys me to see a company who doesn’t even like EVs getting the sales lead with a sub-par PHEV.

Take off your anti Toyota blinding glasses for a minute. You can now see that Toyota knows how to build an affordable and sustainable car that people actually want to buy.

May be Toyota does more thinking on making good environmentally friendly cars, and less on how to bilk investors with hypes and hyperboles. You will not find Toyoda fishing for new investors on twitter and instagram.

Love my 4 months old Prius Prime Premier which gets 150 MPG with our driving patterns. A car of the future with Toyota reliability.

1) If he does work for Toyota then it is nice to see Toyota employees stand by their Plug-In product and want others to buy it. I wouldn’t criticize a Tesla employee for buying a Model 3 and talking about it.

2) If he wants validation then I officially give it to him lol. John, keep telling every non plug-in driver you know that you get over 200 mpg and 30 miles of all EV range.

After a little thought, I want to apologize for attacking john1701a’s purchase choice.

I stand by my views of Toyota and the PP. But there was no reason to get worked up about it and get personal.

I understand, I have my issues with Toyota as well. But as you say, that is our issue with Toyota not John.

After 9 years of Scion ownership, I decided I wanted a plug-in. Not a single dealership near me was willing to work on a Rav4 if I shipped one from California. And not a single dealership had a Plug-In prius on the lot to even test drive.

So this has burned me personally on Toyota for a while. I will be buying GM and Tesla for the foreseeable future. But I’m glad to see them taking baby steps (FINALLY), and to see first time plug-in owners enjoying their prime.

Best selling plug-in in the world is “half-hearted attempt”? You guys are drunk from fanboyism. Get sober and watch its sales to increase further when they will overcome supply constrains and hopefully add 5th seat in the next year model.

There’s no need to take away the center-console, nor does it make business sense. A larger plug-in hybrid would be the Camry instead.

If it makes no business sense then why doesn’t every Prius come with a rear center console instead of a 3rd seat?
“Toyoshima, the chief engineer for the new Prius and the Prius Prime, told AutoblogGreen during our pre-production test drive that he’s looking forward to figuring out how to expand the rear seating area in the Prime.”

Volt owners who brag they get by for weeks on just electric power need to imagine what they could do with a pure EV with longer range. Use no gas at all.

Oh yeah, you drive 300 miles to Grandma’s house teice a year, rent for this trips and stop carting around a two engined beast the rest of the time.

You won’t be getting 25 miles in EV-only mode in the Summer or the Winter.

Perhaps smart people can’t afford an extra 15 grand just because some forum on the internet thought they didn’t do their research.

Please people…just try for once to be less dumb. You make EV people look like Pearl Jam fans.

Volt costs the same as the PP when all discounting and tax credits are taken into account.

Ever occur to you that some people also research the expected reliability of the cars they are considering, and that many will not buy a car that is expected to have much worse than average reliability like the 2017 Volt?

Yup. I’ve driven enough GM vehicles in the last 10 years to know their reliability is excellent. People still think it’s the 90s.

Even if the PP is a few percent more reliable than the Gen2 Volt on average, the Volt is so much better overall.

It was guaranteed when Toyota finally rolled out a decent Prius plug-in or Prius EV that they were going to have a captive audience. The Prius brand has a lot of strength. For a decade it was the quintessential eco-vehicle. That doesn’t go away over night.

I’m just glad Toyota has finally seen the writing on the wall and has started to come around on EVs before they hemorrhaged more of their buyers to Nissan and other EV manufacturers.

And i clearly said: LEASE.
The i3 lease blows the Prime away, especially the Advanced version. Then there’s the performance, not just the acceleration, the economy, the RANGE, the RIDE.

There’s nothing about the PRIME that’s better, if you’re leasing.

If you’re buying and holding a PRIME with just 20 miles of EV range, in this day and age??? That’s insane.

Not everyone has $1k to throw away on tires every 12k miles/year 😀

Why are you intentionally misleading about the EV range?

It is rated for 25 miles and owners routinely see real-world results in the low 30’s.

Because 20, 25, and 30 are all poor ranges for a current gen PHEV.

But it can be enough for many people. And some like the known reliability of a Toyota.

Really? Because especially the last one, there aren’t actually a lot of options that go farther on electric alone.

Who has a second gen PHEV with 30 miles or less of range, besides Toyota? If anyone else does, then their product is also sad.

Since when is EV range so much more important than MSRP? Arbitrary capacity cutoffs are sign of objectivity loss.

Reality is that these offerings must be competitive and not dependent upon tax-credits.

$27,100 for a base Prime, which includes all of the following, is the solution Toyota delivered:

– Dynamic Radar Cruise
– Pre-Collision Braking
– Lane-Departure Detect with Assist
– Automatic High-Beams
– Quad LED Headlights

What other automaker is striving to deliver so much for so little?

” owners routinely see real-world results in the low 30’s.”


Those people who hypermile into the low 30s are no different than those Gen1 Volt owners who claimed 50 miles of EV range or Gen 2 Volt owners who claim 70 miles of EV range. They are ALL IN THE MINORITY.

And you won’t be getting 25 miles of range with the AC or heat on.

The Prime blows the i3 away on price, efficiency, rear seat access, passenger space, cargo space, usable highway gasoline range, and probably reliability and affordability of repairs.

Those are a lot of important areas that the Prime dominates.

LOL. You’ve never actually been in a Prime. There is NO CARGO space. Pictures lie, go and actually test drive one and check out that duffle bag rear hatch area.

The i3 and the Volt are both clearly superior. But worldwide, the Volt has limited availability. (mostly north america and now china)

And the i3 is 20k more expensive than a prime in the US at least. So I would say for a lot of people the Prime is a compelling option.

I assume japanese sales are the reason for this high ranking. 4,000 in June, 5,000 May, and ~3,000 for feb and march… in Japan alone!

They do not have as many PHEV options as the rest of the world. And they tend to buy Japanese brands. I think i3 is sold there and the Volt is not. But I don’t think either one could ever sell in these numbers.

Prius Prime? Ugh. People are such timid creatures of habit.

It’s funny how the people who call others trolls always seem to troll in a non-Tesla article.

Takes one to know one I guess.

The mystery still persists…why is the Mitz Outlander PHEV STILL not available in the USA. (Don’t say manufacturing capacity…it has been YEARS now.)


US share 20% of global EV sales Jan-June.
(Some 90.000 of some 450.000)

If they could make enough of the Tesla S3X the sales would be the highest. Just watch as the model 3 ramps up. It will be the leader for a long time. People won’t have to buy the other choices since they will soon be able to get just what they have always wanted but were not available.
I have 2 model 3’s on order. They are Coming November 2017 for us.

In practice, the Model-3 will wind up costing almost double what a Prius Prime costs. So, I still suspect the Prime to outsell it.

$50k cars have little chance to outsell $25k cars on consistent basis.

No.. You’re kidding me. But I’ve been assured by the internet that only idiots don’t sell their kids to buy a Tesla.

I think that the model 3 will easily out sell the pip and all of the other plugin options in the near future because there is nothing else that is seriously competing with it. The bolt, Zoe 40 and the leaf 2.0 will compete with all the other family hatch back based EV’s. The pip will fight it out with the volt and the rest of the lite plugin’s from Ford and the Germans. Who is competing with the Model 3? it costs the same as a BMW 3 series and offers a lot of luxury car feel. What is there that can compete with that? It is also available globally and will ramp up pretty quickly. My feeling is this year it won’t take the best selling plugin crown but next year it will walk it.

The Prime isn’t competing directly against the Model 3, but it will compete for the sales crown simply because it’s the most affordable Prius liftback model – a franchise that has a massive built-in audience.

The only question of whether the PP outsells the Model 3 (and all other plugins) is whether Toyota makes enough of them.

More than 15 years as the go to vehicle for eco-conscious buyers has cemented its place in buyer’s minds. Toyota just was refusing to capitalize on it for asinine reasons. People will simply reflexively buy it based on the Prius’s history, and that will remain true when Toyota finally comes to its senses and releases a full EV version.

The worst thing is after dragging its feet, Toyota is also going to end up with a pricing advantage because it will still have EV rebates that have already been exhausted by the trendsetters (GM, Nissan and Tesla).

Years ago Toyota was upset about a group making Prius into PHEVs.

No. There was never any upset response. They simply pointed out how unrealistic it was. Lithium batteries back then were extremely expensive and energy density was very low.

And yet, if they had carried on beyond the HEV Prius all those years ago, they might own the EV/PHEV market now. Instead they’re playing with useless fuel cells and releasing sad PHEVs.

I think you have an unhealthy obsession with hating on this vehicle, or maybe even Toyota as a manufacturer. Time to take a step back.

I do think the PP is a joke. And, Toyota should not be rewarded for wasting time on fuel cells and sub-par PHEVs.

You’re right. They should be building and selling Prius’s that can Roll Coll right. Sarcasm…

Seriously, we get that you don’t like the PP. A ton of people do though. Not everyone wants to drive around in an overpriced clown car, especially when the PP meets their needs. When they announced the PP a lot of us thought it would sell really well because, well because it’s more what normal people want. It’s not what some EV fanatic like you may want but it’s still a good step in the right direction which is a good thing.

I think it’s time for you to get over it and move on.

Not sure which car is the “overpriced clown car.” I usually advocate for the Volt because it’s effectively the same price as the PP while having better range and acceleration.

I don’t understand how people can objectively look at the available PHEV options and chose the PP. But it’s their money. I just hope it’ll act as a gateway to a better PHEV or EV.

Volt is small, crippled by its MSRP, and heavily dependent upon tax-credits… which is what makes endorsing an issue.

Toyota steered clear of those barriers, instead, delivering a configuration very realistic for high-volume profitable sales.

The Volt isn’t small, especially the Gen 2. It’s actual selling price after tax credit is about the same as the PP. The PP also makes use of the tax credit, it just doesn’t qualify for the full amount.

The PP does have better mpg, but the point of a plugin is to run on gas as little as possible. So, it’s a trivial difference.

The only other positive it has is that Toyota has a better reliability reputation, though a lot of that is outdated. The reliability differences between GM, Ford, and Toyota are minimal these days. It’s not the 90s anymore. FCA is a different story; their reliability is as bad as ever.

Toyota rates an above average brand reliability rating from Consumer Reports. Chevy and Ford only rate an average.

And looking more specifically at the Prius’s reliability, they have scored much above average reliability every year they’ve been produced. One would hope that Toyota’s expertise building reliable hybrids would carry over to the Prime.

And looking at the Volt, it’s reliability has been trash for recent model years and is projected as much worse than average for 2017. I sure hope Chevy beats that projection because it’s a real problem if they score much worse than average again like they did for 2016.

Also Toyota builds Lexus, which is the ONLY manufacturer that rates a ‘much better than average’ reliability for its fleet. To suggest that Toyota doesn’t still build cars that are more reliable than Chevy and Ford is just wrong.

And to ignore the rock-solid reliability of the Gen-1 Volt is wrong. Chevy didn’t ship enough 2016 Volts for CR to get statistically significant results since it was a partial year car. We’ll see how the Gen-2 Volt looks long-term.

I didn’t say Toyota made unreliable cars, just that the difference between them and GM is minor these days.

Lexus isn’t the shining star it once was. Still good, but it’s not leaps and bounds ahead of everyone like it used to be.

The CR terms don’t mean much to me. How many major issues per 100 cars across the fleet of each manufacturer would mean more. Same stat for the Volt & PP would also be nice. Though, like the Gen-2 Volt, the PP hasn’t been out long enough to have meaningful stats accumulated.

Oh, and I seem to recall one or two braking/airbag/unintended accel issues in the standard Prius over the years.

He has a point. The Prime is the absolute WORST Plug-in on the market, except for the CMAX.

To pay good money to reward incompetence just seems wrong.

The sad thing is they’re probably going to end up owning it anyway. Battery and electric drive train costs are going to continue to drop, and by the time Toyota finally releases a full EV in 2019 or 2020 they’re going to still be sitting on a ton of EV credits. So their cars will be able to undercut the competition severely on price just when EVs are moving into the mainstream.

I’m starting to think Toyota actually has played this game perfectly. They already effectively had EV experience from the Prius, so they just held back and now due to the absurd tax credit structure they’re going to end up coming out ahead.

Don’t forget dangerous. They were lots more explody back then. That was the years of exploding Dell laptops which were cool way before exploding Samsungs and exploding hover boards. Anyone remember exploding Dells?

They were upset, they told them it was dangerous, it would void the warranty and they should not do it.

After following this site for years and looking at sales figures for EVs, etc., I am happy to report that one if those numbers above… is mine! A heavily discounted Leaf. Made the plunge.

Congrats on your leaf! I hear there are some awesome deals on the leaf right now.

I assume you love it? If so, you’ll never go back to gas! 😉

Love my LEAF..never going back to gas! ⛽

Gratz, Andrew


Prius, even plug in is embarassing and stupid at this point. Model 3 is cheaper, better.

They’re very different vehicles, but don’t mislead people by saying that the Model 3 is cheaper.


A lot of things need to be lined up for this claim to happen. You have to be one of the first reservations and Tesla has to start production of the base model in Nov as estimated. Tesla will hit 200,000 in US sales soon and that credit will expire.

Cheaper? The Prius Prime starts at $27,000. That’s $8,000 cheaper right off the bat. And we all know that finding a $35,000 Model-3 is going to be nearly impossible. In practice, I suspect the Model-3 to be almost double the cost of a Prius Prime.

Perhaps someday you’ll be right. Not today though.

Bravo Toyota for becoming #1. But Toyota has 2 plans in mind.
1. Be a leader in both Hybrids & Plugins
2. Tell the World that pure Electrics are not needed.

But they will sell only 1 Plugin (Prius Prime) in higher # and not go beyond that. That’s why the newly launched Camry-2018 will be available in Hybrid and no plugin.

And Tesla believes that Electric vehicles can be mainstream.
In the coming months, we will see the competition between T & T.

Claiming there won’t be any other plug-in offering from Toyota, especially with so much evidence to the contrary, is interesting.

Perhaps it’s a sign that other automakers are unable to compete in the affordable market.

I think we’ll definitely see a Rav4 Prime before the end of the decade.

They have the cuv based on Prius but only in hybrid form so far, not in NA tho. Maybe will get plug in later. Think it’s called the CH-R.

To be honest, I hope Toyota continues to stick to that dumb line. It provides an opportunity for other brands to crack the stranglehold Prius has on green buyers. If Toyota continues to drag their feet on EVs it’s more time for Nissan, GM and Tesla to snap up their buyers. If Toyota were to come out with a Prius EV it would absolutely dominate just based on brand, have no doubt about it.

100,000+ plugin sales in June is great. With YTD sales of 450,000, it looks like the 1,000,000 in 2017 is within reach as both Tesla & BYD are ramping up their sales. In fact the June sales is much higher if we include the public vehicle sales.
China’s plugin sales is counted as 44,000; but as per CAAM its 59,000. Anyway lets not give much importance to that now.

Within 3 days of Model-3 on sale, there is big news on the electric front.
MB discontinues B Series electric vehicle. This vehicle sold less than 4,000 units since it went on sale in 2013.
At a cost of $39,900 for a 87 mile range, there will be very few takers since Model 3 with far higher range and far lower cost is available on sale. More compliance cars like this could be either chopped or face price cuts.

Mitsu iMiev is another electric vehicle that has been closed in 2017.

Just FYI

Clarity Electric goes on lease tomorrow (2017-08-01) in California & Oregon.

Prius Prime is going to be pumping 10,000 per month by year end. Perhaps even 20,000 depending on Toyota’s ability to ramp it up. Looking at Japan numbers they just fed the animal there so no time for the US and Europe. They could triple the numbers here.

If your article is all about hybrids (which it clearly is) why does its headline read “World EV Sales June 2017…”?

Please stop confusing everyone by clumping EVs and hybrids (even plug-in ones) into the same group. *They are completely different* in technology, performance, cost (including running costs) and morality.

Do you, Mr Kane, have some sort of agenda here? Are you trying to bamboozle your readers into thinking that buying a hybrid is going to solve all the problems that *real* EVs could because you are in the pay of Big Oil, or something?

You do *know* hybrids have engines and burn fossil fuels, don’t you (not to mention that the vast majority of them are never plugged in!)?

I’m not knocking hybrids – they fulfil a need at the moment for some drivers, especially in parts of the world where the charging infrastructure is poor or completely absent. And they will always be a bit more efficient than an equivalent purely ICE’d vehicle.

But why talk about them as if they are the same thing as an EV?


InsideEVs cover all plug-ins. Start your own web site if you don’t like this…

What am I missing? The 2 charts don’t seem to agree. Chart 1 says Tesla sold 25450 of the Model S globally from January to June. Chart 2 says they sold 47000 plug-ins January to June. What were the other 21550 cars? If the Model X sold that many, why doesn’t it show on Chart 1? Model 3 production didn’t start until July.
Similarly for BMW. They sold 14531 i3s and 41715 plug-ins. What were the other 27184 cars? i8? 225xe? At least the 2 values for Toyota approximately agree.

Model X is right next to S on the first chart. 🙂

BMW has more plug-in options than any manufacturer. The individual models do not sell enough to make the first chart. But combined they add up. And not all models are available in all regions. I’m not sure where to find global BMW sales figures, but US BEV sales can be found on the Plug-In sales score card.

Yeah, BMW has more plug-in options available than anyone, but all the people slamming Toyota for the Prime being a supposedly weak and inferior plug-in should have a look at the numbers for most of BMW’s … weak weak weak batteries and more or less non-existent electric only range since they can barely manage highway speeds on electric-only.

Wow. They both have bad range. What’s your point? Who’s in last place, and second to last place?

I’m just embarrassed for their engineering team. This was a management car, guarenteed. No engineering team would have let this out the door.

Oops. Thanks for setting me straight!

Oh, and by the way. Did anyone ever YET prove that the PRIME will Regen the Li battery when it runs out of it’s 18 miles of real world range?

Because, NO ONE has yet.

Still desperately trying to mislead about Prime is quite telling. I see EV miles in the low 30’s routinely. That real-world range is easy to prove to. In fact, I already did with this…

We all knew this would happen…ACC and auto braking (which can even lower insurance premiums in some locations) is standard on the base…