Toyota is on its way to becoming a 100 % hybrid automaker in Europe at a fast pace.
In Europe, 40 % of Toyota sales in the first half of the year were hybrids. This is especially impressive considering that the popular small city car AYGO doesn’t have a hybrid variant.
While the Toyota Prius is very expensive in Europe, since it’s imported from Japan, the Yaris, Auris, C-HR and RAV4 are built in Europe and have affordable hybrid variants. These four models prove that when priced right, hybrids outsell their ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) only counterparts.
Let’s see the numbers of Toyota sales in Europe in the first semester for these four popular models.
- Yaris (incl. Yaris Hybrid): 108.658
- Yaris Hybrid: 47.544 (44 %)
- Auris TTL (incl. Auris Hybrid): 66.994
- Auris Hybrid: 43.114 (64 %)
- Toyota C-HR (incl. Hybrid): 68.729
- Toyota C-HR Hybrid: 52.368 (76 %)
- RAV4 (incl. RAV4 Hybrid): 58.111
- RAV4 Hybrid: 29.899 (51 %)
As expected the Yaris being in the most price sensible segment, is the most affected by hybrids higher price. On the other hand, the more premium Toyota C-HR doesn’t seem much affected by the hybrid variant higher price. Just as Tesla already proved, premium segments benefit the most from electrification, since these buyers are more willing to pay extra for the refinement of an electric powertrain.
Now is the right time for Toyota to push its hybrids as much as it cans, since diesel’s days are over and electric cars are becoming more popular. Unfortunately Toyota instead of presenting its hybrids as a more rational alternative to diesel, decided to attack plug-in cars, as we saw recently in the Yaris Hybrid latest commercial. I guess we can take it as a compliment that the world’s biggest automaker is afraid of electric cars. They clearly see electric cars as inevitable and are selling their hybrids as a bridge technology while they still can.
As I stated in the beginning of this article the AYGO is Toyota’s best selling car in Europe that hasn’t a hybrid variant available. Curiously this is the model rumored to become all electric in its next generation.
Toyota as any huge corporation adapts slowly to change, but it’s adapting. The best example is that Toyota is slowly replacing the nickel-metal hydride batteries by lithium-ion in the highest trims of the Prius and the upcoming 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid. When Toyota moves completely to modern lithium-ion chemistries such as NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide), it’s sign that it’s ready to embrace BEV (Battery Electric Vehicles).
Meanwhile, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid (Prime) is the best Toyota has to offer regarding low emission cars.
To be fair, it might be better to have an automaker where 40 % of its sales are hybrid, than an automaker that sells BEVs, but they only represent 2 % of its sales – just as a green marketing brainwash tactic to comfortably keep selling high polluting cars…
I’m genuinely interested to know what you think! Please comment below.