Don’t look now plug-in car fans but following its recent price cuts, Toyota sold an all-time record 2,095 Prius Plug-in Hybrids in the month of October compared to the Chevy Volt’s 2,022, and the Nissan Leaf’s 2,002.
This the PHEV did although Toyota still sells it in only 15 states, it’s eligible for a much smaller tax credit, and the Leaf and Volt have been on the market a year and a half longer and are sold in 50 states.
The Prius-with-a-plug-port is based on the stalwart Prius Liftback, now in its third generation, and Toyota’s hybrids in general have a comparatively huge following.
Toyota’s plug-in Prius has a smallish 4.4-kwh battery that gives it all-electric range of around 11-14 miles assuming sufficiently careful driving – but it achieves a Volt-crushing 50 mpg in gas operation with no range anxiety like the Leaf has.
At Toyota’s Hybrid World Tour held in Michigan in late August, the company hinted longer electric range was being considered for a 2015 redesign based on owner feedback asking for more.
Meanwhile Toyota sharpened its pencil October 9 with the goal of spurring sales, and for this first month following it appears it shook the tree loose of people hanging around thinking about it.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid first started sales in July 2012 and its best month prior to last month was exactly one year prior in October 2012 with 1,889 units sold.
It has sold one month in the 1,600s, a couple in the 1,700s, and more often it’s been several hundreds less. In September it only sold 1,152, and the over-2000 sales in October 2013 is the first time it’s broken past the higher teens.
In 2012 Toyota had said it would make the car 50-state available, but this it has chosen to not do so far.
To date it’s still only sold in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Hawaii.
We’ll see how it does in November, and whether it can sustain the new height just achieved.