April 2014 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

7 months ago by Jay Cole 44

September's Results Won't Surpass The All-Time Best Set In August - But Still Very Strong

April 2014 Plug-In Vehicle Sales Continue To Outpace 2013 By A Considerable Margin

Expectations for April are riding extremely high, as last month plug-in sales soared to almost 9,500 units – easily beating any prior first half of the year monthly result from 2013.

We Check Out The Chevy Volt In China As GM Confirms Gen 2 This Month!

We Check Out The Chevy Volt In China As GM Confirms Gen 2 This Month!

And indeed, April showed another large gain over 2013 as at this time last year more than a few nameplates stubbed their toe attempting to extend gains.

For the month an estimated 8,605 plug-ins were sold vs 7,138 in 2013, good for a 20.5% increase. (25.3% adjusted for selling days)

Heading into April the immediate questions that look to be solved were: (answers in bold)

  • With a low comparable from April 2013 (just 1,306 units sold), can the Chevrolet Volt show a year-over-year monthly improvement for just the 2nd time in 8 months?  (yes it can)
  • Can Ford reclaim the top plug-in builder crown from Nissan that it had in February? (nope)
  • Can Nissan best last month’s 2,507 LEAFs sold, or for that matter their all-time high of 2,529 LEAFs set in December of last year? (no, but they did set another record)
  • Will the BMW i3 notch any sales before month’s end? (so close…but no)

Additionally, waaaaaay down at the bottom of the story is the 2014 YTD chart as well as the complete 2013 results.

Monthly Selling Period Note:  There was 26 selling days for the April period this year vs 25 for 2013

(last update: 8:22 pm May 2nd, 2014)

 

2014 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt:  For April 1,548 cars were sold, which bested April of 2013 by 17.5% when just 1,306 Volts were sold.

For the year, Chevrolet has now sold 5,154 plug-ins, which is down 7.1% from 2013 when 5,550 were moved.

April was mostly good news for the Chevrolet Volt.

The month saw GM officially re-confirm its commitment to the next generation of Volt by holding a press conference to announce a new $449 million dollar investment into 2nd gen Volt production.

The 2nd gen Chevrolet Volt will be a 2016 model and go on sale in the 2nd half of 2015.

Additionally, with focus away from the Cadillac ELR, inventories finally ballooned up to a more reasonable level in April with the Volt’s Hamtramck assembly line bumping out cars much faster than they could be sold for a change.

We expect a lot more Volts to also be made in May as well; but it should be noted that GM made a similar decision in 2013 to over-build the car when more than 10,000 cars were available heading into the summer months ahead of the 2 week shutdown.

 

 

 

2014 Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF: Like just about every month, Nissan set a news sales record in the US for the LEAF.  In actual fact, each of the last 14 months have been a new monthly record.

For April 2,088 LEAFs were sold, a 7.8% improvement over last year when 1,936 were moved off dealer lots.

This result comes hot on the heels of March’s impressive result as Nissan set an almost all-time monthly best for the LEAF with 2,507 sold…just 22 short of the record set previously in December. (full story can be found here).

Although it has only been a couple months with Nissan’s new capacity online in Smyrna, TN, it appears that the line is only making marginal gains at expanding inventories – although it should be noted that apparently Nissan has already started 2015 MY production, and those cars will not be showing up at dealerships until it is announced.

As for what changes the 2015 MY brings; thanks to a dealer note from Canada, we can tell you not a heck of a lot.  A new color choice, some changes in the standard equipment/packages. The  details on the new 2015 LEAF can be found here.

Overall in 2013, Nissan sold 22,610 cars, which was a big improvement of 2012 when only 9,819 were sold.  Currently, Nissan is on pace to sell about 30,000 LEAFs in 2014.

 

 

2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR: There is a story brewing here and it goes something like this:

“There is a lot of darn inventory and the car is not selling”

With almost 2,000 ELRs sitting on lots ready to be bought, just 61 were sold.  (Don’t do the “selling days math”, it is ugly)

This “Oh hello inventory!” story has now been in play since February as massive amounts (relatively speaking) of ELRs started to arrive at the 60% of dealers that didn’t “opt out” of selling the plug-in Cadillac for fear of low demand throughout the month.  In March just 81 ELRs were sold.

Thankfully, this inventory level for the ELR should only go down from here as GM has reportedly wound down full scale production of the luxury plug-in coupe. It appears that the heady $75,995 price tag is just too much to expect for the plug-in Caddy, and we suspect that big reductions will be needed in the future to move product; although we do like the look of their $699/month lease deal a lot better than the big MSRP headline number.

Also of interest: Cadillac has also made available a premium charging station for the ELR. And for the first 1,000 customers – it’s free!*

 

 

2015 BMW i3

2015 BMW i3

BMW i3:  BMW USA did find themselves with a few i3s on hand in early April, and BMW hoped to not only get an EPA rating/Mulroney sticker for the car, but get a few certified and into customer’s hands.

Talking about April sales today,  Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America said:

“April started and ended strong, which is not typical with spring break, holidays, and taxes due during the month. The increasing momentum including launch of new diesel models in the X3 and 7 Series and the first sales this month of the born-electric BMW i3 gives us considerable optimism for May and June.”

…which kind of sounds like they did.  But a quick check with BMW’s communication’s manager this afternoon for some clarification on the statement yielded the confirmation that “first sales” mention for the i3 was “forward looking” and that no sales were logged in April; but the company is looking forward to logging (and reporting to us) i3 sales this month.

 

 

 

2014 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales… so we never know for sure what the numbers are until their quarterly updates.

As this is a list of US sales, we are now forced to shift away from tracking strictly production and deliveries for the company overall as they are now delivering throughout Europe…so no one freak out when US sales don’t match total production from here on out.

Q2 of 2014 was always going to be the hardest quarter for Tesla; US reservations backlog long cleared up, much of the Europe demand caught up, Netherlands incentives off the board…and China just not quite ready to go, while the company looks ahead to Model X production.

If Tesla will ever have doubters when it comes to sales and demand, it will happen this quarter, and possibly after the company gives short-term guidance when it reports on May 7th after the bell closes.

Compared to March (the end of Q1 for the company) US deliveries were certainly down by a fair margin as the feverish priority to log sales subsidies for the time being.   Of note, Tesla certainly seems aware of the vacuum for demand that is occurring for this quarter and has shortened wait times for many regions in Europe with some customers who ordered in April reporting less than 10 weeks turnaround – just in time for the end of Q2.

For the US, we estimate Tesla sold 1,100 Model S sedans in April.

 

 

 

 

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in Porsche has certainly found a level it is comfortable at, as another 63 plug-ins were sold in April.

Previously in March, another 56 Panamera plug-ins were sold, also roughly on par with the month prior when 57 copies moved off lots.  The high water maker was set in the first month of the year, with an amazing 141 sold.

Going forward, it is estimated that the plug-in may account for 10%-15% of all Panamera sales – which generally amounts to about 500 per month.

The Panamera S E-Hybrid has a combined 416 hp output (333 hp electric) and can get north of 60 mph in about 5 seconds, with a top speed of 167 mph. Pricing starts at $99,000. Also of interest, the S E-Hybrid is currently available at all Porsche dealers nationwide – a rare thing these days.

 

 

 

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

Chevrolet SPARK EV: April was another solid outing for GM’s all-electric sub compact car (considering the Spark EV is only in limited release) as 97 were sold.

Previously in March and February GM logged a steady 108 and 71 units sold respectively.

During April, we also learned that although the Chevy Spark EV had been cancelled for Europe, but it will be reborn in 2nd gen trim as a Opel Something-Or-Other in about 2 years.  (details here)

General Motors closed 2013 with 539 Spark EVs sold over all. For 2014 they are already halfway to that number with 272 sold in total.

However, no one should read anything into any monthly sales number when it comes to the Spark EV … at least if they are trying to get a handle on Spark EV demand, as GM basically sets their own monthly sales number by curtailing inventory. GM could sell a lot more if they wanted to.

We figure that any 3-digit number probably satisfies GM’s internal projections for the car.

 

 

2014 Fiat 500e

2014 Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e: When it comes to reporting plug-in sales, we have had another Tesla on our hands here (as in they don’t report sales).

Chrysler/Fiat had beengiving us a bit of the stonewall treatment when it comes to reporting 500e sales.

Even still we did get a fairly accurate early read on the initial “early adopter” demand in during company’s first couple months of sales thanks to a fairly serious half shaft breakage issue and a “voluntary safety recall.”

Thankfully that appears to have ended, thanks to data from Baum & Associates via HybridCars (big props). For April 152 Fiat 500e EVs were sold during the month.

Also in the “good news if you live in Oregon” category, Fiat has announced the 500e will arrive in its second US state “this summer.”

As for the car itself, the 500e’s 24 kWh lithium battery has been rated by the EPA to produce 87 miles of all electric range, and MPGe efficiency in the city is pegged at 122, and 108 on the highway, for a combined 116 MPGe figure.

 

 

2012 Mitsubishi I (2014s incoming)

Mitsubishi i-MiEV: For April, 12 more of the 2 year i-MiEVs were sold to customers with some steep discounts offered on the little EV.

Previously in March a surprising 24 units were sold;which  a 800% increase over February’s 3 – we like to talk percentages when the numbers are meaningless.

In truth, these first 4 months sales results of 2014 mean nothing (like the single copy Mitsu sold previously in January), because Mitsu has nothing to sell.

So, what is the problem with sales for right now? No inventory, as in no 2013 models ever arrived at dealerships this year; only old 2012 models remain.

However the return of the 2014 i-MiEV in the late spring from $22,995 means there is going to be a lot of i-MiEV sales to report then.  We would like to take the time to note to Mitsu that they only have another month and a half before Spring is over…so make with the new i-MiEVs already.

In 2012 588 were sold, in 2013 there was 1,046 moved; but even with only 8 months of sales available to the new, inexpensive i-MiEV, Mitsubishi should have no issues destroying these previous marks.

The $22,995 also INCLUDES standard fast charging and a host of other standard features that used to be options. The MSRP price reduction equals $6,130 less than the outgoing 2012 model. Want to know more about the new cheapest EV in America? Click here! Our forecast for i-MiEV sales for 2014? Next to nothing from January to April, then all they can build (which might be a problem according to Mitsu’s Chief) thereafter.

 

 

2014 Honda Fit EV

Honda Fit EV: In April 50 Fit EVs where sold – a year high!  (a number that reflected pretty much every Fit EV Honda had available to sell)

In the month prior 37 Fit EVs were sold as the”sell what we got” trend continued.  February notched 33 units sold; while in January 30 plug-in Fits were sold.

So, the story continues to be: Inventory, where is the inventory?

Well, there isn’t any, and it isn’t coming as Honda estimated building 40-odd units a month until the fall…when they will DISCONTINUE production of the car – that story here.

So why is the Fit EV America’s most in demand car to be cancelled? Well, Honda has found the holy grail when it comes to selling a limited number of compliance vehicles. Lease them out cheap ($259/month including partial insurance with nothing down)…and give customer unlimited mileage on those leases. (all the details here)

So if you get one…count yourself lucky – although not so much if you have sub zero weather as the Fit EV has more than its share of difficulties retaining range in the extreme cold.

 

 

As Always, Black Is The Proper Choice When Selecting The Color Of An Electric Car

2014 smart ED – As Always, Black Is The Proper Choice When Selecting The Color Of An Electric Car

SMART ForTwo Electric Drive: Every month 6 plug-in cars battle it out for the top spot. Then there are 10 other cars that compete for the crown in the “B division” of which the smart ED is one.

And it seems like 2-seat electric smart is destined to stay the leader of this group as 203 more were sold in April

For March, the electric smart also took home the consolation championship as Daimler sold a personal best 186 copies in March!

The smart EV is now technically available nationally, although there isn’t inventory yet spread out across the country to make physical sales everywhere.

However if you are looking for a cabrio edition of the little smart after months of being out of stock, a recent small shipment of those has them available at select locations.

The smart ED is the first plug-in for America to be offered with a “battery rental” option, which brings the cost of the Smart ED down to $19,990, but adds a $80 month battery rental payment, as well as includes a wider (and longer) battery warranty. Check out all the specs, options and pricing here.

The 2-seat Smart electric car gets 68 miles of range from a 17.6 kWh battery.

 

 

2013 Ford Fusion Energi

2014 Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi: All of Ford’s plug-ins took a step back in April – the Fusion Energi being the most in decline with 743 sold in April

However, considering for the past 7 months or so, this plug-in Ford was continually setting the bar higher, we’ll let it off the hook.

Last month 899 Fusion Energis were sold, meaning April was off by 21%.

For 2013, the Fusion Energi was the surprise hit of the Ford family – for December the Fusion notched 791 sales, and finished the year with just over 6,000 sold – not bad considering it was only introduced in February.

More important even than 2013 results is that Ford has cut the starting MSRP of the Fusion Energi by $4,000 - down to $34,700 – meaning that in all likelihood a near doubling of 2013 sales will be achieved without too much effort.

The Fusion Energi basically offers the same package as the C-Max Energi, but in a larger sedan package. The third plug-in to be offered from Ford has just been rated by the EPA at a combined 100 MPGe (92 MPGe highway, 108 MPGs city), and has an all-electric range of 21

 

 

2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In

Toyota Prius Plug-In: In April the rush to get HOV “green” stickers was on before they were all exhausted (which they now are), and no where was it more evident than in the surging sales of the Prius PHV.

For April 1,741 were sold, that is up 179.% from 2013 when 599 were sold.  April was the company’s best result of the year so far - strong sales also made it the 2nd best plug-in seller for the month amongst its peers.

Previously in March 1,452 were sold, up 92% from last year’s 786 sold. February was also strong month for the Prius PHV as 1,041 copies were sold – which was up 50.3% over 2013.

To date, 5,037 plug-in Prii have been sold so far in 2014, 70.6% more than last year, when 2,952 moved off lots.

Much like the Nissan LEAF was for almost all of 2013, the Prius PHV has been a demand vs allocation story over the past 5 months since Toyota reduced the price of the plug-in by $2,010 to $4,620. The allure of the car, now from $29,990, has essentially meant Toyota can set the amount they want to sell.

 

 

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi: C-Max plug-in sales were off by 14% in April, as 525 of the electric Fords were sold.

Ford first extended range plug-in also struggled a bit in March compared to its peers, but still sold a respectable 610 copies.

We are unsure whether or not the C-Max Energi’s stablemate Ford Fusion Energi is taking market share from this vehicle, or whether it is just an issue of the gas version of the platform not being a strong seller that is pulling it down.

For 2013 overall, 7,154 plug-in C-Maxs were sold, good for being the 5th best selling plug-in for America. In 2013, the high water mark for the C-Max Energi was set in October as 1,092 plug-ins sold.

It would not surprise us to see the C-Max Energi live only as long as it takes to introduce a Focus Energi.

 

 

 

 

2014 Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric: Behold, the Oak Tree of plug-in sales as another 115 Focus EVs were sold in April.

Taking March into account, the last 15 months (and 18 of last 19) have all notched 100-and-something sales. Oh Ford Focus Electric – you make us sleepy.

In March 177 were sold despite reports of massive discounts by almost $6,000 up from 129 the month prior.

Also as announced recently, the Focus got a slightly refreshed look for the 2nd half of 2014.  And if you squint really hard, you might be able to spot the changes in the 2015 Focus Electric here.  And no the battery intrusion into the trunk has not changed – that will have to wait for a full platform upgrade in about 3 years – provided the car continues to be produced alongside the rumored Focus Energi.

 

 

 

2014 Toyota RAV4 EV (+1 to kdawg for the file)

2014 Toyota RAV4 EV (+1 to kdawg for the file)

Toyota RAV4 EV: April saw another 69 of America’s only plug-in SUV find a home – a number that was slightly down from March when Toyota notched another ‘pretty good month for a compliance vehicle’ month, as 73 more electric SUVs were sold.

Previous to that an impressive 101 RAV4 EV sales were notched in February showing that the all-electric SUV is finding a certain base in California despite no real backing from the mothership.

The highest selling level for any one month for the RAV4 EV was August of 2013 when 231 sold.

Overall, Toyota did experience a resurgence in the 2nd half of 2013, and they are now decently on their way to selling the required number of EVs to satisfy CARB compliance. To bump 2nd half sales Toyota has taken a page out of Honda’s playbook on their compliance vehicle and is now offering the RAV4 EV lease with something the mainstream players can’t – unlimited mileage leases.

How many RAV4 EVs will be sold next month, or this year? No one knows as this is one of the hardest plug-ins to put your finger on – percentage wise no vehicle fluctuates more in sales month-to-month than the Toyota SUV.

 

 

 

 

2014 (yes, 2014) Honda Accord Plug-In (via automedia)

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In (via automedia)

Honda Accord Plug-In: In April, a new yearly high was set for the Accord PHV with 37 units sold.

Previously in March just 18 Accord PHVs where sold, slipping from the 24 units last month – which was a little less than the 27 moved in January.

The all-time, high water mark for sales in any one month was October of 2013 at 71 units.

So, to say Accord PHEV sales are flat in the US would be an understatement.

Practically speaking, the Accord plug-in is the anti-Fit EV, as they just can’t sell these things. The classic “we will build it if you ask us to” seems to be in play here, as there is little to no dealer inventory for a customer to just walk in off the streets and drive off in a plug-in Accord.

Each month we ask ourselves the same questions: Does Honda even want to sell these? Why do they bring them to the US at all? (they sell decently in Japan) A $40,000 mid-size Honda sedan with 13 miles of electric range is just not something Americans want…and they know it, as they make available little to no inventory.

As for pricing, the Accord PHEV doesn’t come cheap, as Honda has put a sticker of $38,780 on the car, which was markedly higher than consumer expectations for the car. We expect Honda to revisit incentives on the car in the near future – or maybe just stop offering it entirely.

The Accord plug-in has a 13 mile all-electric range, and has been given a MPGe valuation of 115 MPGe, the highest rating of any plug-in extended range vehicle.

 

 

 

UP NEXT

2014 will see the introduction of quite a few new plug-in models, many of them being the premium variety.

Here is a list of what is on the horizon, and when it is expected:

2015 MB B-Class ED

2015 MB B-Class ED

  • Mercedes Benz B-Class ED: Summer 2014 (regionally) – nationally in 2015 UPDATE: first deliveries now expected in July (details + first drive video)
  • BMW i8: July 2014 - about 300 cars allotted for 2014 for fall, more in 2015
  • Kia Soul EV: Q3 2014 (details on the car can be found here)
  • Tesla Model X: December 2014 – Tesla has said they will make first delivery in 2014, but real production doesn’t get started until April 2015so if your last name is Musk or Jurvetson, you might get one in 2014
  • VW e-Golf: Late 2014 – still some debate on whether or not the e-Golf will arrive under the wire in 2014

 

BELOW: Chart of 2014 results so far, as well as 2013 year end results:

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers) *Fiat 500edate estimated for Jan/Feb.

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers) *Fiat 500edate estimated for Jan/Feb.

2013 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla Numbers have been included in this graph. Tesla Total US Sales Based On Quarterly Disclosures (Q1 & Q2 from filings, Q3 based on shareholder letter, and Q4 based on company estimate of half of sales out of North America) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data.

2013 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla Numbers have been included in this graph. Tesla Total US Sales Based On Quarterly Disclosures (Q1 & Q2 from filings, Q3 based on shareholder letter, and Q4 based on company estimate of half of sales out of North America) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data.

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44 responses to "April 2014 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    Good call on the ELR Jay.

    There was an article yesterday at GM-Volt about a big promo GM was having in Ca to sell ELR.

    The promo is sponsored by GM (not the dealerships). So GM is trying to sell the car.

    but are the dealers trying to sell ELR.??

    I somehow doubt it. The ELR is probably treated like a bastard child at the Caddy dealers just as the Volt is at Chevy dealerships.

    Just goes to show you can’t get a bunch of dyed in the wool gas heads to sell an electric car.

    Totally disgusting.

    Despite NADA,, you would thing GM could put the pressure on these dealers in some way shape or form to sell the ELR.

    1. Schmeltz says:

      For the most part I agree with your sentiment about the salesman. But then again, the ELR seems way over priced, so why work your tail off to sell it? Apparently I’m not the only one who feels that way. I think GM will either put some hefty discounts on it, or eventually just quietly put it out to pasture when the Gen 2 Volt arrives.

      1. David Murray says:

        Indeed – Of course we all made that call a while back when the price was announced. We all said it would not sell at that price. And so none of us are surprised that the sales are so low.

        1. GeorgeS says:

          So you think the crack Caddy sales staff could sell the ELR if they lowered the price??

          LOL

  2. Big Solar says:

    The Mitsubishi dealer told me this morning that the new Imievs should be here in June.

    1. Big Solar says:

      OK, he just called me and said someone at the dealership just told him that the Imievs are on their way and will be here this month.

  3. Doug B says:

    Feel like GM should be putting their efforts behind the Spark (rather than the ELR), as it is popular where its sold, but has plenty of space to expand sales. The ELR can’t compete with Tesla, but Spark can with the Leaf.

    1. David Murray says:

      Agreed – the Spark has much more potential than the ELR.

  4. mustang_sallad says:

    Your comprehensive sales numbers focused specifically on any car with a plug is why I started checking this site, now on a daily basis. Keep up the good work!

    1. mustang_sallad says:

      sales numbers + analysis, I should say!

  5. Jeff D says:

    Ford Focus Electric would sell much better if they made more effort to promote it. Price cuts don’t work if you don’t let more people know it even exists. If there was a survey that asked people to name an electric vehicle, Ford Focus Electric would be way down the list.

    1. Josh says:

      If you ran that survey, I will almost guarantee that the #1 answer would be a Toyota Prius. Not the plug in version either, most don’t know that exists either.

      1. Jeff D says:

        I would agree. Other names such as Tesla, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Volt would come up long before the Focus Electric because they are actually trying to get their names out there and inspire consumers

  6. QCO says:

    The sales chart is great, but going forward I would like to see a bold line in the middle that separates the widely available production cars from the “novelty” cars sold only on the west coast for compliance purposes.

    Electrification is happening across the country, but for people who live in Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston (and even Cincinnati based on an earlier comment) the Spark EV, no matter how good it may be, is no less a “novelty car” than the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile. They are equally unobtainable.

    Its an important point that bears repeating to highlight the lack of commitment from some manufacturers.

    1. scottf200 says:

      It is a business … look at the sales numbers is some of the states. It only makes sense in several. Bet Nissan wished they didn’t sell (vs lease even) the LEAF in Phoenix. Or other states that don’t seem to interested (at this point in time) in electrics except for some very minor minor early adopters. It is a business.

  7. TSLA says:

    smart ED is just too good

    1. krd says:

      I’m loving mine, too.

  8. kdawg says:

    The PiP had a better month. I wonder if it was CA drivers trying to get green stickers.

    1. Spec9 says:

      I suspect so. And I hope the sales for the PiP drop off a cliff. If you are going to get a plug-in, get a plug-in that can do a somewhat decent distance and speed on electric power. The Ford Energi cars are kinda weak but the PiP is downright unacceptable.

      1. Kent says:

        Imagine how PO’d I am when all the available charging stations are taken and there’s a couple pf PiP’s there. These pieces of crap blocking REAL EVs from charging and they only get a few miles. What a waste of a charging station!

      2. mustang_sallad says:

        “If you’re gonna get a hybrid vehicle, at least get a hybrid that you can plug in.”

        I would definitely step up to at least a 20 mile range PHEV myself, but I think the PIP provides an excellent gateway for folks who aren’t sure about plug-in vehicles yet. I guarantee you that 99% of all PIP buyers’ next cars will be a PHEV with a bigger battery, if not just a pure EV.

        1. Puzzlegal says:

          And those PiPs are driving demand for charging stations. Those people who think that it’s bad to have other cars using charging stations are weak on economics.

      3. Jim Hopf says:

        I share your view of the PiP. I’ve generally thought of most people as idiots, especially when I see the level of sales for a pathetic “PHEV” like the PiP, that has almost none of the benefits of electrification. Then I saw the following poll of Leaf, Volt and PiP buyers, asking them the main reason they bought their car, and it seems that the thinking was a bit more “rational” than I thought, if you could call it that:

        Volt: Fuel savings
        PiP: Carpool lane sticker
        Leaf: Environmental principle

        The results makes some degree of sense. For environmental purists (who are not necessarily mathematically inclined) the “principle” of NEVER using gas will be important. Reducing gas usage by ~80% while maintaining w/o any of the practical limitations of a pure EV? Not good enough!

        The results showed that the PiP buyers, in particular, were more “rational” than I thought. They’re in it for the carpool sticker (in CA) period, and the PiP is the (slightly) cheapest way to get it. They don’t actually give a rat’s ass about reducing gasoline usage, apparently, and I actually respect that, in a way.

        The real questions need to be directed at CA’s environmental agency (CARB) who for some inexplicable reason feel that the PiP is worthy of a carpool lane sticker, despite the fact that whenever a PiP is in said (freeway) carpool lane, it will ALWAYS be burning gasoline!!

        And of course the poll shows the Volt (PHEV) buyers to be the most rational of the bunch. They’re in it for the practical, tangible benefit, fuel savings. They understand that using gas ~20% of the time is good enough, and it’s not worth giving up all the practicality and flexibility of not having a range limit for that last little bit of gas usage. They also believe in the benefits of reducing gasoline usage enough to not buy a *phony* “PHEV” just to get a carpool lane sticker.

        1. Puzzlegal says:

          As a C-max energi owner, I think I’d pay less for fuel with the PiP than with the Volt. Not sure, (we decided against the Volt for other reasons) but if you ever go on road trips (and I do) you have to care about the fuel economy when burning gas, not just how many miles you can go without gas.

          The PiP gets terrific fuel economy on gasoline. The C-max moderately good, and the Volt is frankly mediocre. I think we would have burned less total fuel with the PiP. It also has Toyota’s reliability, which is worth a lot. If I’d been able to see out of the thing, we would have bought it, despite the soggy handling.

    2. Just_chris says:

      I hope the PIP sales continue to grow because I think they get people who would never even consider a plugin into a plugin car. I can imagine a whole heap of PIPs are sold purely because it was the only Prius the dealer had in the colour that the customer wanted.

      Plugin cars make so much sense, once people start seeing and using the technology they are unlikely to want to go back. Honestly why would you buy a product you have to go to a shop to refuel? You wouldn’t do it with your mobile or your laptop why do it with your car? We only accept it because its all we know.

  9. Jeff Songster says:

    Looks to me like the LEAF may have a larger overall total sales than the VOLT… Since the 2011 and 2012 nums arent there… Did the LEAF pass the VOLT in overall sales from the beginning yet?

    2013-2014 so far totals are LEAF 29882, Volt 28248

    1. kdawg says:

      Not yet.
      Volt 58158
      Leaf 47306

      1. kdawg says:

        Sorry,
        Volt 59706
        Leaf 49394

        So about 10K separating them, but note this is only US sales. I think worldwide Leaf has a quite a bit more.

    2. Clif says:

      Apples and Oranges…Why do they keep comparing PHEV’s with BEV’s? A Volt is NOT an electric car!!!, it uses a gas engine. You certainly are not going to exist with the Volt’s 30 mile all battery range unless you only plan to use it to go grocery shopping and that is a hefty cost for that purpose. How about they start comparing PHEV’s with PHEV’s, Extended Range vehicles with Extended Range vehicles, and BEV’s with BEV’s. For me, the BEV is the absolute must! The others still burn fossil fuels and are just pretending to be EV’s.

      1. Kent says:

        Note that, according to greencarreports.com, that the average Volt has more EV miles than the average LEAF. Anybody who owns a LEAF also burns gas, it just so happens that it’s with another vehicle, probably something that doesn’t get the Volt’s 37MPG.

        1. Al S says:

          I thought you meant natural gas, since I own a LEAF, but use a Model S for longer trips. Even before acquiring the S, I didn’t burn gas, I adjusted my driving habits.

          It’s funny that this belief that you can’t get by with a pure EV will never die. Even on the Tesla boards, some insist you need an ICE.

      2. Nate says:

        Your facts are wrong. The Volt’s EV range is 38 not 30, so you are knocking 1/5th of its range off from the start. Most people drive more miles than just to the grocery store, but still less than the 38 mile range. In my household, we fit this average category, like most people do. For folks like us, the Volt works very well:

        http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/3613

        1. Puzzlegal says:

          Heck, the C-max’s 20 mile range in enough for my husband’s commute, all our shopping, and most of our evening outings. (conveniently, there’s a charging station at MIT where we often go in the evening.) I just bought a tank of gas for it. The last time we bought gas for it was almost 2 months ago.

  10. Spec9 says:

    I can’t believe how completely tone deaf GM has been with the ELR. Just like Better Place, all you had to do was read comment sections of EV sites like this to see that it was going to be a disaster. If the EV fans tell you that your EV/EVsystem sucks then who exactly do you think is going to buy your EV/EVsystem?

    1. Stan says:

      +1

      I think the following applies to GM:
      “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

  11. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I can’t wait for the May sales number for Prius Plugin…

    LOL.

  12. vdiv says:

    Somehow it is “comfortable” that there were 63 Panamera S E-Hybrids sold in April, but the ELR selling just 61 somehow spells the end of the world.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Pretty much. Its all about OEM expectations and then the sell-thrus on those expectations to validate the product.

      No conspiracy here, just calling them as we see it. You’ll notice we also thought Chevy did a “solid” job with the Spark EV this month even though only 97 were sold – which in the grand scheme of things isn’t very many either.

      Cadillac ELR- 600 dealers opted in – 1800 cars in inventory – 61 sales – 29.5 months turn
      Porsche S-E – 189 dealers opted in – 240 cars in inventory – 63 sales – 3.8 months turn
      Spark EV – ~200? dealers opted in – 350 cars in inventory – 97 sales – 3.6 months turn

      1. Just_chris says:

        Those are probably the most interesting number I’ve seen, do you have them for all of the other plugin’s? And perhaps something that we could compare to possibly the industry average?

        I am still very much of the opinion that the market is supply constrained and that the car companies are (despite what they and others often say)

        1. Making a killing on every car they sell
        2. Trying to ramp up as fast as their supply chains will allow them.
        3. Not really all that happy with the fact that they don’t make batteries so are only willing to develop/manufacture plugin vehicles if there is a massive markup

        Like I said only opinions it’d be great to have some numbers.

    2. David Stone says:

      There is a huge difference between the two cars.

      The panamera e is the electrified version of an existing model.
      The car is sold in numbers large for its catagory and is therefore a popular car.
      The price is higher than the gas version, but a relatively small one.
      The gas version price was accepted by many.

      None of this applies to the elr.

  13. The ELR could have been a monster in sales if they priced it right ($50K).

    Wonderful looking upgraded Volt would have been perfect for Cadillac.

    I inquired about a test drive and found the dealer rep to far less than knowledgeable.

    I was told the ELR is totally different than my current Volt. I asked “how”? … and I was given a laundry list of features that my Volt already has.

    Old school dealers appear to have no clue about how to sell the car. The price point only makes it worse.

    GM should LOSE MONEY (temporarily) and build market share. They have a jump on the market in terms of product. Leverage it!

  14. Jay Donnaway says:

    GM has lost another generation of buyers. I spent three decades (80s thru 00s) listening to GM claim that their current product was much improved while badmouthing that crap they used to build. (It’s happening all over again with the current recalls.) Nevertheless, I rolled the dice in 2006 on a Saturn VUE hybrid, and loved it. Simpler design and better MPG than a Ford Escape hybrid. So what did GM do? R.I.P.

  15. Jake J says:

    I really wish you’d include subtotals for battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

  16. Ace says:

    A plug in Porsche?? Who woulda thunk… ;-)