Kurt Verlin
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Toyota’s Electric Vehicle Sales are Soaring in Canada

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Badging for the new RAV4 Prime, which is expected to make Toyota's electric vehicle sales improve even more
Photo: Toyota

2020 was not a good year for the auto industry, but there were a few highlights nonetheless. Not least of which was the performance of Toyota’s electric vehicle sales in Canada.

The automaker reports that last month it sold 3,521 electric vehicles in Canada, up 96.2 percent compared to December 2019 and representing more than a quarter of total sales.

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Over the course of the last quarter, electrified vehicles were up 42.7 percent, with the RAV4 Prime topping the sheets, followed by the new Highlander Hybrid and the Lexus UX.

Overall December sales were up 2.9 percent for Toyota Canada as well, with its Lexus division down 2.4 percent and the Toyota division up 3.7 percent. However, annual sales were down because of the COVID-19 pandemic having forced Toyota to close its plants in the spring. While the automaker had recovered by fall — even reporting increased Q3 sales in Canada — the improved performance in later months wasn’t enough to make up for the March-May shutdown.

Even so, the automaker had plenty of good news to share. The Toyota RAV4 was up 6.4 percent in December on the sale of 4,036 units, a new monthly record. Highlander SUV sales were also up 31.8 percent, and both of those vehicles — along with the Tacoma, Lexus UX, and Toyota Canada’s truck division as a whole — were up enough in Q4 to set a new record.

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plugged in
Photo: Toyota

For 2020 as a whole, Toyota enjoyed increased Highlander Hybrid and Corolla Hybrid sales, up 210.8 and 54.6 percent, respectively. And the Tacoma midsize pickup truck, with sales of 14,376 units, was up a whopping 14.7 percent to put in its best sales year ever. Considering the mitigating circumstances, that’s a very impressive feat.

That Toyota EVs sold better than last year despite the pandemic is a testament to the increasing demand for electrification. As the auto industry gets back to normal, we expect EVs to do even better in 2021 — and with the launch of the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid, Sienna hybrid minivan, and Venza hybrid SUV, so does Toyota.