Toyota hybrids outselling Tesla electric cars nearly two to one

It was a record year for Tesla electric-car sales, but the global car-buying public still couldn’t get enough of Toyota hybrids. And the gap is widening, not narrowing.

More than 3.5 million Toyota and Lexus hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold globally last year – or about a third of total deliveries – and outsold Tesla electric vehicles almost two to one.

And the gap is widening – despite Tesla posting record sales – as hybrid Toyota and Lexus sales grew by 953,000 vehicles last year, compared to an increase of 495,000 for Tesla.

It came in a record-breaking year for the Toyota group, which saw it report 11.2 million vehicles as sold across all of its brands globally – or 10.3 million when only the Toyota and Lexus brands are counted, and the car giant’s Daihatsu small-car and Hino truck divisions are excluded.

Sales of Toyota and Lexus ‘electrified’ vehicles in calendar-year 2023 tallied 3.68 million – comprised of 3.42 million conventional hybrids, 27,000 mild-hybrids, 125,000 plug-in hybrids, 3900 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and 104,000 battery-electric vehicles.

It is up from 2.73 million electrified vehicles in 2022 – including 2.6 million regular hybrids and 90,000 plug-in hybrids.

In contrast, Tesla reported 1.81 million global deliveries in 2023 – up from 1.31 million the year prior.

While Tesla sales were up 37.7 per cent last year – compared to 32.5 per cent for Toyota and Lexus hybrids – the increase in vehicle sales is greater for Toyota, up 953,000 deliveries, compared to 495,000 for Tesla.

About 390,000 of the 3.68 million electrified Toyota group sales sold were Lexus vehicles.

The Toyota group appears to remain the world’s top-seller of hybrid vehicles, accounting for 35 per cent of global Toyota and Lexus sales.

It also looks to remain the top seller of electrified vehicles of all kinds. Chinese car giant BYD – which overtook Tesla in electric-car sales in the final three months of 2023 – reported 3.01 million hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles as sold last year.

The Tesla Model Y is believed to have overtaken the Toyota Corolla and RAV4 to become the world’s best-selling new car in 2023, according to preliminary figures.

Data collated by industry analytics firm Jato Dynamics reports 1.23 million deliveries for the Tesla Model Y – compared to 1.07 million RAV4s, and 1.01 million Corollas.

Toyota group electrified sales – vs Tesla

Vehicle type 2022 2023
Hybrid 2,603,019 3,420,004
Mild-hybrid 4520 26,859
Plug-in hybrid 90,346 124,755
Hydrogen fuel-cell 3924 3921
Battery-electric 24,466 104,018
Total (Toyota group) 2,726,275 3,679,557
Tesla electric sales 1,313,851 1,808,581
MORE:Search Used Toyota Cars for Sale
MORE:Search Used Toyota Cars for Sale
Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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