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Home » Toyota’s EV Evolution – A Slow Road to Electrification, 5,718 EVs in the US in Q423

Toyota’s EV Evolution – A Slow Road to Electrification, 5,718 EVs in the US in Q423


Toyota sold a measly 5,718 pure electric vehicles in the US during Q4 2023. Despite robust total car sales, EVs accounted for less than 1% of Toyota’s lineup. Clearly, Toyota is taking the slow road to electrification.

In Q4, Toyota hit a record 202,185 electrified vehicle (xEV) sales. xEVs include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs and fuel cell vehicles. Impressive, right? Don’t pop the champagne yet. xEVs were only 32.6% of Toyota’s total volume.

Lexus performed slightly better, with xEVs comprising 30.4% of sales. But collectively, just 2.7% of Toyota group sales were plug-in electrics. EVs increased 459% over last year, but only to 5,718 units.

The bZ4X led Toyota’s EV charge with 2,843 sales. But the hybrid RAV4 Prime, at 7,222 units, still trounces Toyota’s EV efforts. Lexus logged 2,875 sales for its brand new RZ EV crossover – decent but not extraordinary.

So why is Toyota stuck in the slow lane on EVs? The auto giant built its empire on hybrids, touting them as a bridge to full electrification. But with rivals zooming ahead, Toyota’s transition to EVs seems downright pokey.

Toyota argues that hybrids still meet many customers’ needs. True, but EVs are clearly the future. Toyota may be playing it safe, but eventually safe turns stale. Customers – and governments mandating EV sales – will stop buying “almost electric” as “fully electric” options multiply.

Toyota’s hybrid-heavy portfolio leaves it lagging in the EV race. Short term, hybrids produce profits. But long term, Toyota risks being left in the dust without a rapid shift to EVs. The clock is ticking. Will Toyota hear it, or be relegated to the history books as an automaker stuck in yesteryear? Time will tell if this EV evolution leaves Toyota behind.

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