Plugs are the futureToyota has been dominant in gas-electric hybrids for years, with the Prius family outselling everybody else and becoming one of the best known brands in the world. But when it comes to plug-in hybrids, it looks like things are different, though it's still early day and a clear long-term winner hasn't emerged yet.
The numbers for October are in, and Ford has overtaken Toyota with its 'Energi' plug-ins with 2,179 sales to 2,095 for Toyota and 2,022 for GM with the Volt. As you can see, the top 3 in plug-in hybrids are all very close, but what's notable is the growth rate for Ford and Toyota. The numbers for GM are a bit more all over the place, with a peak of 3,351 in August, but Ford are Toyota are seeing fewer bumps in their growth rate. This could be because the Volt has been around longe and doesn't have the same supply constraints as its competitors, I'm not sure.
What about geographic data?
Plug-in hybrid sales are beginning to gain traction in some key growth markets for Ford across the United States.
California continues to account for 38 percent of all Ford plug-in hybrid vehicle sales, but plug-ins are strengthening in the midwestern and eastern regions. New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia combine to make up 32 percent of the C-MAX Energi market. Those same cities make up 34 percent of the market for Fusion Energi. New York alone comes close to unseating San Francisco as the second most popular market for Fusion Energi.
Fusion Energi sales in October doubled in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. from the previous month.(source)
Plug-in hybrid sales for the industry are up 32 percent year-to-date. But that's just with a few models and limited supply; with more automakers throwing their hats in the ring and more supply (and sales being permitted in more states and countries), growth could be quite a bit faster.