August 2014 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

2 years ago by Jay Cole 46

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

Let By The Usual Suspects, Plug-In Sales Stay Strong In August

With three strong automakers consistently selling 2,000 or more plug-in vehicles every month (Nissan, Ford and General Motors), and two others also capable of reaching that level (Toyota, Tesla), seeing monthly sales cross the 10,000-level is becoming the norm.

Ironically, A Huge Price Cut On The Chevy Volt In The Summer Of 2013 Threatens 44 Consecutive Months Of EV Sales Gains In The US

Ironically, A Huge Price Cut On The Chevy Volt In The Summer Of 2013 Threatens 44 Consecutive Months Of EV Sales Gains In The US

Last month in July an estimated 10,833 were sold, which was an impressive result with Tesla retooling (and reallocating) US production of the Model S.

It is worth noting that a long standing sales streak was likely to come to an end this month as the industry found itself up against a huge august of 2013 comparable of 11,273 EVs sold.

That is, if was not for some unexpected results from the BMW i3, Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF…and everything from Ford – all of whom set personal bests for 2014 this year.

In total, an estimated 11,803 plug-ins were sold during August, good for a 5% increase over 2013 and the 3rd best result ever.

76,799 EVs have been sold so far in the US this year, which is a 28% improvement over the 60,012 sold at this point in 2013.

Since the start of the ‘current generation’ of plug-in vehicles in the United States, no one month has ever failed to delivered an improved result over the year prior. Ever.

After last August’s result, that now number stands at 45 consecutive months.  And it should be smooth sailing from here on out in 2014 as well as last year’s comparables look easy to best.

Heading into August the main factors in keeping the sales streak alive are:

  • Can Nissan set a 19th consecutive monthly sales record? If so, can they beat the ‘pure EV sales record’ which they set this past May of 3,117 LEAFs sold? (Big Yes as they set a new pure EV sales record)
  • The Chevrolet Volt, while down year-over-year, has improved month-over-month sales for all of 2014…can the 2,020 be topped from July? (Big time yes!)
  • The Toyota Prius is still the second best selling plug-in for America in 2014, but can it hold off the surging Volt as its lead has decreased to just 36 sales? (10,671 vs 10,635)  (Big miss this month for Toyota, volt reclaims #2 spot)
  • The BMW i8 arrived in the US in August, can it best its nearest competition’s first month of sales? The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid sold 35 copies when it bowed in October 2013  (No, but we really didn’t expect it)

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

(last update: 11:59am – Thursday,  September 4th, 2014)

 

2014 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt: For August, a new year high was set by the Volt with 2,511 sales during the month, almost 500 better than last month.

Were it not for the Nissan LEAF, the 2,511 sales would be the second highest of the year for the overall market (6th if you include Nissan).

August’s strong month also means that Chevrolet Volt sales have improved month-over-month through 2014; no small feat.

For 2014 overall, 13,146 cars have been sold – which is down 12.3% from 2013 when GM moved 14,994 Volts. Still, if GM can continue the monthly uptrend, the could be in the black fairly soon.

Before 2014 model year production of the Volt ceased, GM decided to once again have the inventory of the extended range car go nuclear (2nd year in a row) – so there is a lot of 2014 inventory still hanging around (that can be found with some decent discounts for the most part). Unexpectedly, model year 2015 production has kept up the torrid production pace and 3,500 odd of those are available heading into September.

In April we also 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.

 

 

 

2014 Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF: For the past 19 months Nissan has best the prior year’s results – but in August, they crushed it. In fact, they crushed every pure EV sales result from anytime, anywhere.

In August, a record 3,186 LEAFs were sold, up 31.7% from a year ago. (full story)

This comes on the heels of almost setting an all-time mark in July with 3,019 sales in June!

2 months ago in June 2,347 LEAFs were sold.

Overall through August, Nissan has sold 18,941 LEAFs, which is a big 34% improvement over 2013, when 14,123 were sold.

Despite the recent torrid pace of sales, the new production levels of the 2015 MY has had no trouble maintaining inventory at Nissan dealerships around the country. For the first time, in well ever…about 4,500 LEAFs are available to be picked up.

And while we would really like to still see more than 60 days worth of inventory, it is nice to see that the days of only 10-20 seem to be over.

Earlier this year, in May, Nissan sold more pure electric cars than anyone else had in history, as an amazing 3,117 LEAFs were sold.

 

 

 

2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR: Like its sister car the Chevrolet Volt, the Cadillac ELR set a new year high for sales. But unlike the Volt, the 196 ELRs also represented a new all-time best for the premium extended range plug-in!

Last month was really the first month the plug-in Caddy broke out of its sales trends by selling some 188 cars, as some aggressive promotional incentives seemed to hit their mark.

Year to date totals have now hit 744 units and the Cadillac is moving up the US sales charts.

August and July’s results also meant that some sanity came to the “days inventory” number that had been well north of 500 for the past few months. While 200 days worth of ELRs on hand is still not all that great, it is far closer to norm.

Sales should stay strong for the summer GM continues to be willing to put “cash on the hood” to ease the pain the ELR’s $75,995 pricetag.

Of note: Cadillac added a new boss in July, unfortunately for us (and those following plug-in vehicles) it comes in the form of one historically anti-EV persona – Johan de Nysschen. (story on that here)

 

 

 

2015 BMW i3

2015 BMW i3

BMW i3: Welcome to the EV business BMW!  After what can only be considered 3 floundering months of initial sales, BMW turn up the promotion in August and sold 1,025 copies!

This does actually mark the 3rd month in a row sales have have increased, previous results all numbers in the 300s. Last month (July) 363 i3s were sold.

Previously in June, BMW sold a slightly less than expected 358 units, which was still up 7% from May.

Originally expected in April, some hold-ups with the EPA/Monroney stickers prevented the i3 from getting to customers.

Thankfully this was a short-lived…and BMW delivered both its first BMW i3 REx (to InsideEVs contributor Tom Moloughney) and first all-electric i3 delivery in May.

Perhaps helping out sales is the increasing availability of the i3 at the dealership level, doubling in August to more than 2,000 units.

In July, BMW also launched a new low cost DC fast charger that uses the new CCS (COmbo) standard. BMW says it will charge the i3 80% in about 30 minutes (max power 24 kW) and costs just $6,458 to dealers and approved BMW partners.

 

 

2014 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales… so we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until their quarterly updates, but we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening.

Unlike other (like all) publications, we don’t simply take an expected number of sales for the Model S given by analysts for the quarter and then divide it by 3 to get a monthly number and hope it all works out…we actually put in a little effort into the estimated number and attempt to explain what is happening behind the scenes. (and so far, it has worked out pretty good)

As foretold by the company, Summer of 2014 can loosely be translated as “no soup for you” United States when it comes to Model S deliveries. And true to their word, for August very, very few deliveries took place in the United States as Tesla focused on Asia

Not helping August sales was Tesla shutting down its Fremont assembly facility for two weeks in late July/early August in preparation for the upcoming Model X, and to expand Model S production by 25%.

Tesla’s original stated plan was that US deliveries were expected to go on hiatus through about the 3rd week of August – with 85 kWh US deliveries returning in full force in late August.

However, reality was that the factory shutdown/restart apparently didn’t go all that well and if you were expecting a new Model S sedan from Tesla in August…well, you probably didn’t get it. Reports of a delay of 1-3 weeks seem common place.

For August, we estimate maybe (big maybe) 600 Model S sedans were delivered. Even as we write this, we feel this is too generous.

On the good news front, production on the bigger/faster/stronger assembly line in Fremont is now going nuclear with laser focus on the United States as the end of the quarter breathes down the company’s neck.

Just about every American who was looking for a new Model S from earlier this Spring/Summer has a report in their hand that it is now ‘in production’ in some form or another and they are going to get it before THIS month’s end.  September is practically guaranteed to be a blow-out month for the automaker.

Ain’t quarterly deadlines great? Must make for some really tired and stressed out workers at Tesla’s Fremont plant!

 

 

 

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED

Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED: In the B-Class ED’s first full month on the market, it continues to be a limited inventory story, as just 51 EVs were sold from a very short supply.

Last month – With only a few days left on the lots in July to sell the new B-Class electric, Mercedes managed to move 41 copies in its debut month.

Refreshingly, the B-Class ED actually showed up a little earlier than originally expected in the United States, with the official launch of the car happening on July 15th.

That being said, and unlike the BMW i3 launch, very little inventory product has yet arrived in the US on dealer lots (~100 units).

The car will be available in limited states in 2014 (CA, CT, MD, OR, NJ, NY, RI and VT) — and then nationwide to the unwashed masses in early 2015. “Job 1” of B-Class ED production was completed on April 11th (full story here).

The B-Class ED starts from $41,450 ($100 more than the BMW i3) and has an all-electric range “officially” of 87 miles.

However, for an extra $600, one can purchase the extended range package which allows the driver to access more of the B-Class ED’s 36 kWh battery, and allows for an expanded driving range of 104 miles. A fact that we think might sway more than a few people away from BMW’s $700 cheaper, 81 mile i3.

 

 

BMW i8 Finally Arrives In US In August!

BMW i8 Finally Arrives In US In August!

BMW i8: For the i8’s debut month in the US,  BMW sold 9 copies.

The ultra-high end plug-in from BMW arrived this month on August 16th in the United States. (Check out a nifty video of its journey from production here)

Interestingly, BMW gave away the keys to 7 cars at the launch, then auction one off for charity for $825,000 at the Concours d’Elegance.  So who got number 9?  Some member of the unwashed masses? Probably that darn Jay leno again…he was at the launch too.

It is still hard to say what the ultimate demand will be for the i8, but we can report that the BMW i8 has seen a sharp jump in US production volume.

As our own George Betak reports, “The car has reached a run rate of about 100 units per month. If this pace holds, a lot of us should start seeing this futuristic sports car on the road very soon.”

We think any results over that of what Porsche can achieve with the Panamera S E-Hybrid should be considered a success.

 

 

 

 

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: For August 68 Panamera S E-Hybrids were sold – which considering the average pricepoint of the Porsche with a plug is about $115,000, that is not too shabby…think of it like 300 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs.

Previously in July 63 plug-in Panameras were sold – which was off fairy significantly from June, as Porsche had a very strong month with the Panamera overall, and the S-E Hybrid was no exception – selling 111 copies, the 2nd best result to date.

Outside of the June’s result, it seems as though Porsche has found a fairly consistent selling level for the S-E Hybrid as 52 and 62 were sold in May and April respectively.

The high water maker was set in the first month of the year, with an amazing 141 sold.

This summer the company also announced that the Panamera S-E Hybrid’s SUV successor – the Cayenne S-E Hybrid, will be aggressively priced from $76,400, leaving us little doubt it will sell in far greater numbers than the plug-in Panamera.

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: August was a bit of a strange month for the Spark EV as all the sales were retail for a change (no fleet – which often moves the needle a little erratically). In total 80 of GM’s little EV were sold.

Last month in July, sales of the Spark EV were up about 50% to 128 units.

A fleet-inspired May set the new benchmark for sales on the tiny Chevy was set at 182 units after 97 were moved in April.

Earlier this spring, we 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.

Since then, the rumor du jour has been that the next generation of Chevrolet Sonic will actually be that car…and have a 200 mile range (full story here)

General Motors closed 2013 with 539 Spark EVs sold over all. For 2014, that number has already been well passed, with 844 sold.

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

 

 

 

Volkswagen e-Golf Comes To The US In November

Volkswagen e-Golf Comes To The US In November

Volkswagen e-Golf: The first all-electric car from VW to the United states arrives in November at selected dealerships.

When the Volkswagen e-Golf does arrive in the US, it will come only in the premium SEL trim, which brings with it a price point of $35,445 – meaning the car will very specifically compete with the top-of-the-line Nissan LEAF SL (from $ 35,020).

Full details on the e-Golf specs, pricing and photo galleries can be found here.

Range has not yet been published officially but the EPA, but with a 24.2 kWh LEAF-like battery, we expect a range of about 80 miles for the electric VW.

Also this month, InsideEVs exclusively learned details on a launch leasing program that sees the e-Golf available from $299/month on a 36 month term with $2,000 down.

 

 

 

 

 

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 been giving us a bit of the stonewall treatment when it comes to reporting 500e sales. But thankfully that ‘black hole of knowledge’ seems to have ended, thanks to data from Baum & Associates via HybridCars.com (big props).

For august 166 electric Fiat 500s wee sold, which comes on the heels of 119 in July and the same 166 for June.

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 august, 20 more i-MiEVs were sold.

Mitsu continues to learn the lesion “If you don’s ship any inventory, its hard to sell cars.”  Considering there is only about 60 copies of the new 2015 model, the result was decent; taken any other way…well, it sucked.

Mitsu learned this lesson last month as well as only 17 were sold.   Just 22 in june.

The good news for this summer is that ACTUAL NEW 2014 i-MiEVs have finally started to arrive at dealerships in the US after a 1 year hiatus!

So if you REALLY want one…you can indeed find them.

Exiting June, only about 250-odd 2014s in total have found their way onto US dealership lots. We’ll call this the Outlander PHEV effect, as that vehicles unparalleled success has caused production and battery supply issues for the company.

Going forward, the return of the 2014 i-MiEV from $22,995 means there is going to be a lot of i-MiEV sales to report..at some point…when they feel like selling them.

In 2012 588 were sold, in 2013 there was 1,046 moved.  The tall so far this year?  134.

The new pricepoint of $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 until the Fall, then all they can build and ship (which might be a problem according to Mitsu’s Chief) thereafter.

 

 

2014 Honda Fit EV

Honda Fit EV: For August 55 Fit EVs were sold.  A new yearly high!!!  Ok, it is a little hard to get excited about electric fit sales…but we tried our best.

Previously in July, 42 electric Hondas were sold, which was down 27% from 2013 when 63 were moved.

For the year 318 have now been sold.

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

Well, there isn’t any, and it isn’t coming as Honda is building about 40-odd units a month until the fall…when they will DISCONTINUE production of the car – that story here. Honda has an estimated 120 Fit EVs left to sell out of inventory heading into September.

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”.

 

 

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: The summer of the smart ED continues as 208 more EVs were sold in August.

Last month, the company set another sales record in with 298 sold – which at the time  was the 5th consecutive monthly record for the ED.  Just like summer itself, it had to end eventually right?.

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

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: Ford is having a pretty consistent summer with the plug-in Fusion with 1,222 sold in August…off by 4 unites from July’s number.

Earlier this year, Ford set a new all-time best, and sold an astounding 1,939 copies of the electric Fusion in June…which was 44% better than May, the previous best month on record for the Ford.

Of note in June not related to sales: The Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi, both had their EPA ratings slashed by the company, and compensation cheques are heading out to owners.

Both Energi vehicles now have a 88 MPGe rating (down from 100 MPGe), a 38 MPG extended range efficiency (down from 43 MPG) and a 19 mile all-electric range (down from 21 miles) – full story on that here.

For 2013, the Fusion Energi was the surprise hit of the Ford family, finishing the year with just over 6,000 sold – not bad considering it was only introduced in February. The upward trend has continued throughout 2014.

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 88 MPGe and has an electric range of 19 miles.

 

 

2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In

Toyota Prius Plug-In: While Toyota had its largest corporate sales month ever, the Prius Plug-In did not aid in that result.

For August just 818 electric Prii were sold, which was off 52% from a year ago, and Toyota’s worst result since the doldrums of January.

We do have to note, this was/is not a reflection on the demand for the car as…well, there isn’t any.  Toyota has less than 100 model year 2015s at dealerships to end out the month.

New model inventory is so tight you really can’t even go by ‘days on hand’, but by hours..like 40 or so.   In other words, someone at HQ made a big allocation error and is probably getting ready to fall on their sword at any moment.

Previously, sales of the Prius PHV were strong in July as 1,371 were sold, a 61% improvement over 2013. In June 1,571 plug-in Prius were sold.

Year-to-date, 11,489 plug-in Prii have been sold so far in 2014, 68% more than last year, when 6,822 moved off lots. The Toyota Prius PHV fell out of 2nd place this month on the EV sales charts, past by the Chevrolet Volt.

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 as a function of how many they build.

 

 

 

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi: Welcome back to 4 digits C-Max energy!

For the first time in 2014 the plug-in ford passed the one thousand mark by selling 1,050 cars in August.

This month’s result is actually the third strong month in a row for the C-Max Energi.  Previously in July, 831 C-Max Energis were sold, with 988 moved in June.

Of note in June not related to sales: The Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi, both had their EPA ratings slashed by the company, and compensation cheques are heading out to owners.

Both Energi vehicles now have a 88 MPGe rating (down from 100 MPGe), a 38 MPG extended range efficiency (down from 43 MPG) and a 19 mile all-electric range (down from 21 miles) – full story on that here.

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: STOP THE PRESSES!

For the first time…ever, with 264 units sold, Ford has crossed into the 200s for Focus Electric sales.   This after being ‘oh, so close’ in July and June with 198 and 197 sales respectively.

How predicatable had ford’s sales been before this month.

They were the undisputed Oak Tree of plug-in sales as the last 19 months (and 22 of last 23) have all notched 100-and-something sales.

Once again…that was 19 MONTHS IN A ROW in the hundreds – how is that even possible?  And how did they break out?  Can they do it again, or will we have to wait another year and a half?

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

Toyota RAV4 EV: VARIANCE – that is the only word to describe Toyota RAV4 EV sales from month to month.

And this month, the sales range was lifted even higher a year’s best all-electric Toyotas were sold.  This after just 68 SUVs made it to customer’s driveways in America the month prior.

So other than to say Toyota will sell between 50 and 250 RAV4 EVs each month its hard to get a better feel for what future month’s results will bring.

June was no different as 91 were sold, after moving 149 copies in May.

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

Overall, Toyota has experienced a resurgence of sorts over the past 12 months, and they are now decently on their way to selling the required number of EVs to satisfy CARB compliance (~2,600). Once there, the RAV4 EV is no more. To date, 2,130 have been sold in total.  Using our l33t calculator skillz, we figure there is about 470 left for Toyota to sell.

Speaking of which (CARB compliance), the vehicle displacing the RAV4 EV, the Toyota FCV made its official debut in the US in late June…if you are into that sort of thing, check out the story on Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle here.

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? 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: Honda sold 46 more of the plug-in car that no one knows about in august.

Relatively speaking for both this month and last, the Accord plug-in has had some decent results by its (pretty low) standards, as 41 were alsosold in July.

August’s 46 sales also ties the high water mark for 2014 (May also notched 46 Accords sold)

The all-time “record” 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. For the year-to-date 221 have been sold, which is off 13% from last year’s 254 result.

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.

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.

BMW i8 Coming This Summer

BMW i8 Coming This Summer

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

  • 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

 

 

 

 

 

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 – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals from Earnings Report (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers, Q2 7,579 total-approx reported International registrations, Q3 7,785 total deliveries ~ 3,900 US) *Fiat 500e data estimated for Jan/Feb

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals from Earnings Report (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers, Q2 7,579 total-approx reported International registrations, Q3 7,785 total deliveries ~ 3,900 US) *Fiat 500e data 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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46 responses to "August 2014 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

  1. Jean-François says:

    When will the Cayenne plug-in go on sale in the US? And Canada?

    1. tom911 says:

      In November I believe

  2. Bonaire says:

    Leaf doing well.

    Overall plug-in growth in 2014 on tap for 30-35% growth. After the past two years, 2015 total plug-in sales doesn’t look like it will beat 30% due to the growing sales numbers unless something happens to sway the general public. And if it does beat 30% next year, it sounds like it will be due to the plug-in “shorties” – the Energi and Prius variants which offer short range electric range and short pricing (less than some of the other larger battery models).

  3. John Higham says:

    Why doesn’t the VW e-Golf show up in your “Coming up next” list?

    Also the BMW i8 row has a cut & paste error — shows a total of 114 units sold 🙂

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Heeh, thanks John – maybe we should have left it there an hope BMW sold 114 of them? Wishful thinking…fixed.

      We have actually migrated the VW e-Golf from the “coming soon” section right into the story. Although it has no sales this month, we are expecting them to push out a few copies next month ahead of the wider release in November.

    2. Aaron says:

      The i8 is so awesome, it can sell the same number of units as the i-MiEV, without actually selling any units at all! 🙂

  4. Nate says:

    It is nice to start the morning with good news. 2nd month in a row over 3000 for the Leaf is great. Anything over 2000 for the Volt is good considering its late in the model cycle and a new model is on the horizon.

  5. Jean-François says:

    Hey Jay, I think it’s now time to put the i3 between the C-max and the smart on your chart! Wow, over a thousand units, nice to see that!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      We will…just too lazy to keep re-sorting as the numbers come in throughout the day, (=

      Once we have rustled up all the data it will get done.

  6. Lou Grinzo says:

    Bigger sales numbers are certainly great news. But I’m also grinning like crazy over something else — compare the height of the 2013 and 2014 tables, and notice the additional rows for the new models. New models spreading plug-in goodness to more corners of the motor vehicle market will only benefit us all.

    I can only wonder how much longer it will be before we see a rash of new PHEVs, like an Escape Energi from Ford, something Volt based from GM, or that Nissan Rogue variant that is supposedly going on sale in the UK next year. We’re right on the brink of the EVolution hitting escape velocity.

    1. kdawgørvår says:

      I’m in Norway this week and there a lot of weird EVs. I don’t know if any of them will make it to the US. What about all the electric motorcycles?

    2. Bonaire says:

      The problem with the height of the chart is that if sales don’t pick up further, the car makers will not make more styles or larger CUV models. More slices of the pie will equate to less pie for all. Look at the drop off of Plug in Prius in august, the termination of the Rav 4 EV program this year, the soft Tesla sales in general as they take on new countries where also, there is local competition, such as Germany, wishing for more models can be a negative feedback unless more people buy and they can lower costs of scale.

      1. Stephen says:

        You worry too much. Toyota doesn’t wan’t to sell the Rav4 and ran out of PiPs due to HOV sticker rush in CA. Tesla have also had a factory upgrade and export surge that restricted US deliveries.

  7. Peder says:

    That’s a big number for the BMW i3. Good to see!

    1. David Murray says:

      I was shocked too! I was expecting something between 300-600. That is great news! I knew the BMW i3 had more potential than 300-ish units per month.

    2. Josh says:

      Agreed. I wonder what changed. REx inventory?

      1. Jay Cole says:

        That is pretty much it, the average inventory on the lots during the month more than doubled – it had been really low (relatively speaking – still is)

        More cars available for sale = more cars sold.

        1. George Betak says:

          Not to mention better incentives. Residuals for leases and Owners Choice increased 7% during the month, and dealers with inventory on their lots were willing to deal more. My prediction the other day was that i3 sales for the month of August will approach the 1,000 vehicle barrier. This was based on the i3 Facebook group activity and production volume tracking. It was clear to me that the August sales volume had to be at least twice that of July

          1. Jay Cole says:

            I was actually thinking about your call of 1,000 units sold from earlier this month (and from your production story here) here when I saw the number.

            /good stuff

            1. George Betak says:

              Thanks, Jay! It’s nice when things align, and all pieces fall into place.

          2. Josh says:

            Great call on the i3 bump George. Let’s hope they can keep that rolling.

            1. George Betak says:

              Indeed! Thank you, Josh. Wish lease and OwC residuals would go up permanently.

  8. bro1999 says:

    Assuming Ford can sell about 2,500 units combined, and the remaining guys sell about what they’ve been selling, looks like yet another year over year increase is possible.

    1. Jean-François says:

      Yup, the only way to get a YoY increase is like you say, the Ford can sell 2500 cars, which would be a great month for them. We will know tomorrow!

      1. bro1999 says:

        Overall Fusion and C-Max sales increased 20% and 16%, respectively, compared to last month, so I would bet 2,500+ is almost a certainty.

        1. Jean-François says:

          If I had time, I would sort out a graph showing the evolution of the %of Energi sales for both models, that would be interesting.

  9. GeorgeS says:

    Boy oh boy.
    Jay has been really busy.
    We just wanted to say how much we appreciate your efforts Jay.
    Above and beyond the call of duty

    in Ontario!!

    LOL kick ass Bro. 🙂

    1. Mark H says:

      +1 George. Usually Jay knows stuff that he keeps close to his vest. I hope he is wrong on consecutive months and we eak out 45 months! Cmon Ford!!

  10. MTN Ranger says:

    Who would have thought the i3 may be 3rd or 4th place in sales this month?

  11. Ocean Railroader says:

    There is something I’ve noticed on the used EV front and that is prices have gone up by $4,0000 dollars across the board for the used ones. It has also destroyed my chances of owning a EV for the time being.

    1. JP White says:

      Yes. It’s been nice to receive KBB emails saying the value of my LEAF went up, rather than down each month 🙂

  12. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Considering the Volt 2.0 is coming, the Volt buyers are only getting the Volt 1.0 for a huge discount.

    Wonder if 2015 would be a big year for the Volt.

  13. Mike I says:

    Prius Plug-In sales must have been held down by supply. There are currently only 36 cars showing on SF Bay Area dealer lots on Cars.com today, Sept 3. There are usually one or two dealers that have that many to themselves.

    1. David Murray says:

      Indeed.. and I’m very curious as to why the supply is low. Was this on purpose by Toyota?

  14. Jean-François says:

    Jay, 15 Porsche 918 Spyder sold this month..I now think it deserves its own line in your report! It is better than the i8!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yupe, certainly didn’t expect to see 15 this month. 19 so far. (June-1, July-4)

      It is a tricky one, as we limit the list to mass produced EVs….which technically the 918 considering Porsche will build 918 of them. We do have Honda on the list, but they confirmed 1,100 to the US out of the gate (as a CARB requirement) to the US. The 918 is worldwide over an indefinite amount of time.

      We note low volume cars on our tabbed scorecard when they reach 100 units publically sold in the US – which the 918 should reach without much trouble. We just don’t put the low volume guys on the monthly as it would be really long…while some other smaller manufacturers are historically not as reliable reporting sales.

      We’ll give it another month or two, and if it looks like they can hit 100 units for this year (or the next), we’ll retroactively add the 918 in there.

      The BMW i8 is on there because we know it’s an ongoing car, and will be sold in a much higher volume in the United States as BMW is just about to pass the 300 units built mark that are destined for the US.

  15. jmac says:

    The best reporting of plug-in sales is right here on Inside EVs, with “real time” info.

    Nobody else is even close.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Thanks for the kind words jmac (…and George earlier too), sales reporting time of the month is always a fun one, (=

  16. Assaf says:

    Hey Jay, I wouldn’t consider the i3 first 3 months as ‘floundering’. Remember, its very first month was the best 1st month ever for a plug-in, despite having only BEVs available. Yes, afterwards was a plateau, but at 4 months now, the i3 still holds the ‘best cumulative 1st X months’ ever title.

    If it achieves that after 6 months, it will be worthy of note. Especially given that BMW is a niche label and i3’s price places it within the luxury segment.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      The BMW i3 for the last few months has done exactly what I expected it do by selling a few hundred cars a month. In that it was a new car that had to be made in Germany and brought in. The shocker is the 1000 EV sales from them. But at the same time this is going on they are serous about selling it in that I do see them proudly display the car in front of the dealerships in my area.

  17. David Murray says:

    Ahh.. I see the Ford numbers are in. Good news on the Focus Electric sales… but I honestly don’t know why this car isn’t selling 3x as many. Ford sold 2,536 plug-ins. Not bad. Still eagerly waiting news on the Focus Energi.. perhaps it got canned for some reason.

    1. Assaf says:

      David,

      I asked the same and Jay explained that Ford is essentially “hand-making them to order”, rather than mass-producing and sending out to dealerships. That would explain the steady trickle.

  18. Assaf says:

    Ok… all #s are finally in! Thanks for a quick turnaround Jay and all the editors!

    On a pure numbers side, at face value a bit of an underwhelming month – <5% increase year-over-year, the smallest thus far this year, and a tad less net sales than May or June despite having Labor Day.

    However, under the hood things are encouraging.

    – The i3 is positioning itself as a major player
    – Volts are selling again
    – Model S temporary dip this year is mostly due to diversion of sales towards exports; overall their production volumes continue to increase, and my guess is eventually the relative domestic:export weights will re-balance in US favor

    – If not for the PiP posting its worth month since January we would have still seen the all-time record broken, and the PiP is everyone's least favorite EV so from an "EV quality:quantity mix" perspective this is arguably the best month ever – and who knows, maybe after Tesla's Q3 report numbers will be revised upward anyway

    – Does the blip in FFE sales indicate Ford's more willing to produce and push those than before? The next couple of months will surely tell.

    1. Lou Grinzo says:

      I expect to see a lot of fluctuation as the market develops and (eventually) matures, consumers learn more about EVs (largely through neighbors, as one Nissan exec. recently called, it “cul de sac effect”), and things generally sort themselves out. The arrival of the Soul EV and the e-Golf will only help stir the pot in the US.

      The PiP situation is very weird, and I hope we find out exactly why they have virtually none at dealers. Someone did indeed screw up big time at Toyota.

      Weighting the raw data according to a quality/quantity ratio is intriguing, but it will necessarily involve some level of personal assessment. Being deeply involved with climate issues as I am, I put a high premium on EV sales vs. PHEVs. Right now, most private PHEV drivers (meaning those who spend their own money to buy/lease the car and refuel it) are pretty diligent about plugging in. But as the market broadens I expect to see at least some people relying a bit more on liquid fuel. Whether that’s a negligible effect or a major one remains to be seen.

  19. Stephen says:

    Funny article in Seattle Times today.

    “Electric-vehicle sales seem to be running out of gas
    By Charles Fleming
    Los Angeles Times
    Electric-car sales are not charging the marketplace. A new study by online automotive research company Edmunds.com suggests the segment may have run out of gas.

    Sales of electric drive vehicles are stuck at about 3.6 percent of all new-car sales for 2014, Edmunds senior analyst Jessica Caldwell said.

    That’s below the 3.7 percent market share for 2013, and it’s not likely to grow any before the end of the year.”

    Not sure where the 3.6% number comes from, but if they consulted with InsedeEVs.com they would understand the market better. The rEVolution continues.

  20. Alex says:

    GM plans to sell Spark EV in more places? It would have more potential, it’s a nice car.