Toyota Prius Buyers Jump Ship To Tesla Model S



The Toyota Prius has been the perennial best seller for green-minded drivers, but the Tesla Model S is stealing buyers from Japanese hybrid. So even though many Tesla buyers come from German luxury brands, the Model S is attracting most of its customers from Toyota.

As a new brand, Tesla has to pull from a pool of established buyers, and Toyota is one of the top-three best-selling car brands around the world every year. But the natural competitors from the Tesla Model S are built by brands like Mercedes and BMW, which make up 10.6% and 10.2% of Tesla sales, respectively. This has helped Tesla sales climb ahead of these old luxury marques in progressive places like California.

But former Toyota owners make up 15.5% of Tesla Model S buyers, and many of those buyers traded in cars like the Toyota Prius, a distinctly non-luxury vehicle. The lack of green luxury cars has made the Prius a default favorite for many Silicon Valley types, but the Model S (and upcoming Model X SUV) are giving buyers a more luxurious alternative…even though Tesla buyers and Prius buyers seem to have little in common.

While Model S sales don’t yet threaten the domination of the Prius, the upcoming Tesla Model E could be a potentially disruptive force. With a MSRP aimed at around $35,000, it won’t cost that much more than a fully-loaded Prius. After a decade of staying ahead of major automakers, could the Prius really be taken down by Tesla?

Source: Wired

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

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  • ninaphexed

    As a Prius owner YES.

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  • As a Prius Owner (2004 – Basic, Burgundy Model), who has driven an older EV Conversion (, I would say – even my old EV with Lead Acid Batteries, offered some handling (Acceleration) advantages – and it was build by High School Students in 1994! So it is no wonder Prius Owners with means are moving to a car with better handling, and nicer styling!

    My Electricfly – with Lithium Battery Pack, should be able to hit 145 Kph, about as good as most of the City Car EV’s of today, simply based on it then having the power to push the Motor better, as with Lead Acid, I had to slow for traffic at about 108 Kph, while only using about 15 kW power! EV’s excel in Efficiency, so that might be another reason Prius Owners (who bought for Efficiency) are moving to the Tesla!