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Skyrocketing Toyota Prius Sales Proves People Want Hybrids, Not EVs

Toyota on Tuesday announced sales figures for the first quarter of 2024, and the biggest news comes from sales of the Prius. The company’s iconic hybri is as popular as ever, with a year-over-year increase of 138.6 percent through the first three months of the year. That translates to 13,327 units sold versus 5,586 units in 2023. While the Prius is still far from being Toyota’s most popular vehicle, it’s a clear indication that hybrids aren’t fading away anytime soon.

By comparison, the all-electric Toyota bZ4X sales reached 1,897 units for the same period. That’s an increase of 11.7 percent, but still far below Prius levels. Its up-market Lexus RZ sibling logged 1,603 sales, meaning Toyota sold 3,500 EVs at a time when many folks believed fully electric cars would be taking off. To be fair, Toyota hasn’t taken major strides toward EV production as other brands have, and that’s reflected in lackluster reviews for both the bZ4X and RZ.

Toyota Motor North America is up 20.3 overall so far this year, driven by big gains for the Prius, RAV4, Corolla, and Corolla Cross. All of those models are available as hybrids, not to mention the stalwart Camry that, with an 18.6-percent year-over-year increase, is still doing well at 78,337 sales. The Tundra is also enjoying robust sales, up 31 percent with 36,215 sold. And it has a hybrid trim, too.

The Prius is the type of hybrid that makes EVs feel obsolete. We discovered firsthand the useful 44 miles of all-electric range in the Prius Prime and, for the first time in a Prius, the smile-inducing thrust that comes with 220 horsepower. It’s no wonder so many people are taking the dive instead of going EV only.  

It’ll be interesting to see how hybrids and EVs shake out this year when it comes to sales. Market trends suggest hybrids are still popular, and if the trends continue, Toyota could be poised to have a banner sales year.

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