Honto ni moushiwake arimasen deshita: The Prius PHV is not the world’s best-sold EV, far from it

Domo to Tofugu.com, where you can learn the art of bowing

Yesterday, Dailykanban had an article stating that Toyota’s plug-in Prius PHV, also known in the U.S. and Canada as the Prius Prime, sold as a Prius PHV in Japan, and as the Prius Plug-in Hybrid in Europe, racked up 176,000 units in sales globally in 2018, which would have made it the world’s top-selling “EV” as far as a list in Cleantechnica and elsewhere is concerned. That article is no more, because the information was utterly false. The article has been removed with deep apologies to all involved, and especially to Zachary Shahan of Cleantechnica.

According to a Toyota spokesperson at the company’s Tokyo HQ , the 176,000 units that were erroneously identified as 2018 Prius PHV sales in an email to Dailykanban, in fact reflect “the number of accumulated sales number of Prius PHV since 2012.”  What may have looked like a 5th column subterfuge to steal the title of the reigning Tesla Model 3, simply was a case of picking the wrong column on a company spreadsheet.

The correct number of global 2018 Prius PHV sales is approximately 47,000 said Kayo Doi of Toyota. That number definitely won’t put the Prius PHV on top of the list, but it would move it two notches up to position 7 from the position 9  that is reported in the published lists. As far as the list is concerned, Tesla’s Model 3 reigns supreme.

Global Prius PHV sales numbers for each year since 2012, rounded to the nearest 1,000, are as follows, says Toyota:

2012  27,000
2013  21,000
2014  20,000
2015    7,000
2016    3,000
2017  51,000
2018  47,000

Ms. Doi expressly asked to “clarify it was my mistake when you revise your article,” and it shall be done.