Toyota Really Wasted Its Share Of EV Tax Credits

The automaker expects to run out of tax credits for buyers of new EVs later this year.

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Photo: Toyota

Toyota, which was a pioneer in America with the hybrid Prius before later not bothering much with all-electric cars due to an unseemly obsession with fuel-cell tech, is just about through with cars that are eligible for the federal tax credit. All for a bunch of boring plug-in hybrids.

Here are Toyota’s tax-credit-available offerings, past and present, according to the feds:

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A sad, uninspiring lot we can agree, even if Bloomberg says that Toyota has sold nearly 200,000, the threshold for which afterward the federal tax credits will phase out, which is what has already happened to Tesla and GM.

Demand for Toyota’s plug-in hybrid vehicles has steadily grown, especially as gasoline prices have surged past $4 a gallon, pushing up its cumulative sales of eligible vehicles to 183,000 as of the end of 2021, according to an analysis by BloombergNEF. The company reported sales of another 8,421 plug-in hybrid and electric cars in the first quarter.


“We’re planning for it, because Tesla’s out, and General Motors is out, and we’ll be out probably in the second quarter,” Bob Carter, Toyota Motor North America’s executive vice president of sales, said in a recent interview. “When you’re out, you enter a step-down phase down, so we’re planning for that.”


Toyota, I’ll remind you, is one of the automakers that says that it wants the EV tax credit program to be expanded, just not with the union-made requirement that had been proposed, something with which Toyota is aligned with Tesla on. And, honestly, if the goal is to replace the American fleet with electric cars as fast as possible, then Toyota and Tesla are right, though it pains me to admit. But also if the goal were to replace American ICE cars with EVs as fast as possible, there would be no 200,000 cap, period.

Who’s next? Bloomberg says that Nissan is about 34,000 Leafs away from crossing the threshold, while Ford is around 43,000 EVs away, though it seems likely that Ford will get there quicker than Nissan, given all the new EVs Ford is making. And also buyers seem slightly more excited by a Mustang Mach-E than a Nissan Leaf, for some reason. At least Ford, too, will pass the threshold by making an exciting car, which is a lot more than Toyota can say.