8 Plug-Ins Set New 2013 Highs In August; Leads To 11,073 EVs Sold For Month

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 25

11,073!

11,073!

In the month of August, 8 plug-in vehicles set new highs for sales in 2013, leading to a month when total EV sales exceeded 11,000 (11,073 is our “official” figure) units for the first time ever.

Chevy Volt Leads the Plug-In Charge Past 11,000

Chevy Volt Leads the Plug-In Charge Past 11,000

Here’s a look at the elite eight that contributed to the remarkable month:

  • Chevy Volt: August Sales – 3,351*  (Previous best – 2,961 October 2012)
  • Nissan LEAF: August Sales – 2,420*  (Previous best – 2,236 March 2013)
  • Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid: August Sales – 1,791 (Previous best – 1,889 October 2012)
  • Ford C-Max Energi: August Sales – 621 (Previous best – 1,259 November 2012)
  • Ford Fusion Energi: August Sales – 600* (Previous best – 416 May 2013)
  • Toyota Rav4 EV: August Sales – 231* (Previous best – 133 March 2103)
  • Smart Fortwo Electric Drive: August Sales – 182* (Previous best – 60 May 2013)
  • Fiat 500e: August Sales – 160 (Previous best – 150 July 2013)

(* Denotes all-time high)

August’s plug-in vehicle sales are a remarkable 29% improvement over the previous top sales month for EVs (December 2012) and a full 64% over sales figures for July. 

Will that 12,000-unit mark fall to the plug-ins by year’s end?  We sure hope so…

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25 responses to "8 Plug-Ins Set New 2013 Highs In August; Leads To 11,073 EVs Sold For Month"

  1. Drucifer says:

    I think EVs have reached the tipping point as being considered as an option by the general car buying public, thanks to Tesla. Just as Chevy uses Corvette to get people interested in the brand, Tesla has gotten people interested in EVs.

    1. Josh says:

      If you go back three years and listen to interviews with Musk, getting people interested in EVs was the entire purpose of the Model S from the outset (To prove an EV can be the best car of any kind, minus price). The Roadster to a lesser degree, as its purpose was to prove EVs are not just glorified golf carts.

      All the other automakers in the space will likely benefit from Tesla’s outstanding insight and work. I have said it before, but I see all plug-in models as a brand lineup of their own, with the Model S being the obvious flagship.

    2. Spec says:

      Yeah, the most important thing Tesla has accomplished is to be the “Halo car” for the EV biz in general. They have shown that EVs are just great cars.

    3. Bonaire says:

      Chevy dealers are known to talk customers out of buying Volts. Some have opted out of the program entirely. So, it seems that Volt has a lot more room to grow from here.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    What was GM’s earliest optimistic prediction of production rate for the Volt?? This was back in 2009 or so but I think 50-60,00/year was the number. 60k/yr is 5000/mo so this months Volt sales are gettin’ there.

    1. Assaf says:

      George,

      You probably picked the wrong month to say that, because now there’s evidence that it’s a matter of time before this happens.

      You seem to forget that in between the rosy predictions of 2008-9 and today, the Big Three almost went bankrupt, and the US has been mired in a Great Recession with very slow recovery. Not exactly a conducive atmosphere for consumer experimentation with novel technology that comes with an above-average price tag.

      And yet, here we are today, with EVs capturing well over 1% of the (non-truck) passenger car market, and posting >100% year-over-year gains every single month since January. Even at the start of 2013 no one had predicted that.

      1. Assaf says:

        Sorry George, I thought you said “Volt sales are *not* getting there.” My apologies for coming on a bit too strong, I mis-identified you as one of da trollz 😉

  3. SpreadingSolar says:

    Do we have an idea of when the Spark sales will pick up? I’m assuming they are still supply limited. Any word by GM if it will be available nationwide at some point?

    1. evnow says:

      Spark is a compliance car. I don’t think GM wants to sell them in larger numbers or in other states for now.

      1. Bonaire says:

        If they are paying Wanxiang the same as A123 used to charge for batteries, or close to it, it seems like they are losing money on each Spark EV sold. A123 was know for incredibly high battery prices versus the competition.

    2. GRA says:

      At the moment, I believe Spark sales remain constrained by the inability to get a car with CCS. Now that you can at least _order_ the CCS (but not get a car fitted with it until November or December), I expect Spark sales to start picking up. Once the CCS is available on the lot is when we might see a real jump, but if that doesn’t happen before winter the usual seasonal post-Xmas sales slump may hold them down. And then there’s the competition; Spark directly competes with the 500e and Fit EV, while the LEAF’s closest competitor is the FFE, somewhat less comparable.

      If the Spark were available with both CCS and a 6kW or bigger on-board charger, I think it would be stomping the 500e and Fit EV, and even taking a significant amount of sales from the LEAF. Even with CCS, if you want to use it for out-of-town trips you have to weigh the likelihood of CCS chargers being installed someday, versus the much greater likelihood of 30 amp public EVSEs to power the 6kW+ charger on its competitors being available now.

  4. Assaf says:

    Was Smart ED available nationwide last month? If so, this is a clear message to its competitors in the subcompact EV market – it took #1 among the 5 available models despite being automotively the least-able offering.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Here’s the thing with Smart…As an automaker, its total sales are usually well below 1,000 units per month…so ED sales in August are astronomical and are truly important to Smart as a whole. Smart cares about electrics and wants/needs to sell a lot and they will (at least in terms of % of total sales)

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Assaf- smart ED goes truly national in October. That being said California is probably going to always be 2/3rds of their “plug-in” business

  5. SpreadingSolar says:

    It seems like if the current growth targets are met, we’ll have ~1M electric vehicles (cars with a plug) sold in the US by the end of 2016 or early 2017. Undoubtedly 2015 will bring out the naysayers shouting “bama said we’d have 1M in 2015 – FAIL!”. Only one year late considering economic turbulence (including oil prices) seems pretty good!

    1. Paul Scott says:

      SpreadingSolar – Correct! We’ll get there in spite of the massive subsidies (external costs) for oil. If gasoline and diesel costs at the pump anywhere near whar their true cost to society is, we’d have hit one million in plug-in sales by now. This is the main point we have to hammer home anytime someone bitches about EV subsidies. Dirty energy has never come close to paying its true cost.

  6. evnow says:

    Eric, you missed a very important milestone.

    More than 50,000 EVs sold sine Leaf’s debut 2 1/2 years back.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      What?!?! Another post to write…I’ll leave this one to Jay

      1. Jay Cole says:

        ..and by “Jay” he meant new guest writer JayZ:

        1. DrInnovaiton says:

          Cool… the new guest writer JazZ is giving us a double volt sign;-)

          Heck of a month overall with multiple records set.. Tesla is helping, but so is a growing army of owners selling by word of mouth. I’ve had 3 friends by volts in the last 2 months and many have said they would not have unless they had talked some someone with a few years of experience who was still happy. Especially with GM.. overcomming fear based on the past reputation is important.

  7. Tom says:

    Tesla didn’t make the Elite Eight? Looks like they came in fourth…

    Stockholders should look at these number before, purchasing stock.

    I’m a big fan of Tesla so, don’t get me wrong…but, they’re not the only ones making EVs….

    1. Since these are USA sales, and Tesla has been concentrating on overseas production, clearly Tesla won’t win a USA sales increase skirmish. They are at peak production in Fremont, California, regardless of the USA sales volume.

      Toyota is only up this past month of Rav4 EV sales because they FINALLY started giving consumers the $7500 federal tax credit in a lease instead of keeping it for themselves. So, $7500 fed tax credit plus another $7900 from Toyota is $15,400 off the sticker!!! In addition, they Toyota USA gives $1000 to the salesperson and $500 to him/her’s sales manager. Plus, the dealership gets a 2% “holdback”. There is also an unlimited mileage option for just a few dollars more per month. And yet, they only sold 231.

      Toyota must really want to unload these since they kept the $15,400 incentive through Sept 30, 2013 even with the “record sales”. There are 940 total sold since Sept 24, 2012 with only 1660 more to sell. If they keep this sales pace up, they will be sold out in about about 7-8 months, or about April 2014.

      Then, sales will go to zero for Toyota EVs as they move to the hydrogen car for CARB-ZEV credits of 7 per 300 mile range, “fast refueling” capable car. Heck, they could just sell the relatively small number of hydrogen cars to fleets, government, universities, electric uitilies, etc, in California only on closed end leases. Win, win for Toyota. Far less cars to be sold overall and they can keep selling hundreds of thousands of profitable oil cars in California!!!

      1. Tom says:

        I just realized why Tesla wasn’t in the Elite Eight…the cars that set a new record for this year…never mind…ha.ha.

        As for Toyota….they are taking an incremental approach….it might work for them….investors just need to keep in mind that these companies do have electric cars to offer….its just that some companies are waitng for battery prices to come down even further before “going big” on actual production and sales…

        Batteries and battery contracts will predominate the marketplace….look for most automakers to have battery contracts with multiple companies….a smaller more efficient range extender could be more valuable than an improved battery.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Almost universally, when you look at all the US “sales estimates” around the net for Tesla you see 1,600-1,700 just plugged in there because Tesla estimated 5,000 deliveries total for Q3.

          Yet there has been all these cars shipped off to Europe starting in June…as they said they would do – hence the exaggerated ZEV credit revenue drop warning for next quarter.

          Tesla is producing and selling lots of cars, they just don’t all happen to be going to the US – I know we are ok with that…it is a good thing, it expands their selling area and all that. Sure international sales drop “US numbers” but I think most are looking for Tesla to be successful long term, not just put numbers on paper in one area and ignore other markets. I’m not really sure anyone out there getting paid to write these sales estimate reports or do market analysis on Tesla are actually doing any work at all.

          Going by most reports you’d swear Tesla has (and will) deliver exactly 1,700 cars on the button in the US every month of the year, lol.

          1. Eric Loveday says:

            Wow…That’s an accurate and predictable figure…1,700 per month every month of the year. How can Tesla be so steady? lol…

            At the risk of coming off as a jerk…you seem to be implying that the 1,700 “plugged in there” “around the net” might indeed be less accurate than your monthly Model S sales figures…