February 2016 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

2 years ago by Jay Cole 23

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

February Plug-In Vehicle Sales In The US Remain Robust

For the first 9 months of 2015 the plug-in vehicle sales report for the United States was littered with disappoint thanks to aging and out-going models not selling very well.  Thankfully, September saw the tides change, and record setting months have since followed.

Coming This Spring To Aid Plug-In Sales In The US - The BMW 330e (details)

Coming This Spring To Aid Plug-In Sales In The US – The BMW 330e (details)

For February, a 4th consecutive monthly record was set in America with an estimated ~7,881 plug-ins sold, an increase of 13% from a year ago.

Despite the decent improvement, BMW once again attempted to single-handedly hold down US sales with the i3, off some 800 units (down to 248) in February.  This makes two disasterous month in a row for the compact EV/PHEV.

Fortunately, the top 4 models in the US (Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF and the Ford Fusion Energi) also showed improvements over the month prior to overcome BMW’s handicapping.

Like January, relatively new entries from Tesla (Model X), BMW (X5 PHEV), Audi (A3 e-tron), Hyundai (Sonata PHV) and Volvo (XC90 T8 PHV) all added to mostly robust sales from the “power four”.

Also of interest this month:

*- GM switched over to new 2017 model year inventory of the Chevrolet Volt on February 1st, and somewhat surprisingly it only took 16 days for the first copy to show up on dealer lots.

*- Nissan managed to increase inventory of its 30 kWh LEAF in the US, but at less than 1,500 units, its still lacks sufficient depth to get a feel for how the longer range (107 miles) edition will sell this year

*- the Ford Fusion Energi managed to pass the Nissan LEAF for monthly sales for the first time in its history (only by two cars…but it still counts)

*-  In January, BMW posted the largest plug-in sales collapse for the i3/i8 that America had ever seen, falling off some 70% from January of 2015, and almost 90% for the month prior.  What was the reason?  None (other than the weather) was given.  One would think February would be a big bounce back month…yet the German automaker failed to deliver yet again.

While not a “plug-in”, we should note that Toyota sold 30 Mirais in February (56 YTD)

Last update: Wednesday, March 2nd @ 2:58 PM

Below Chart: A individual run-down of each vehicle’s monthly result and some analysis behind the numbers.  Additionally, waaaaaay down at the bottom of the story is both the 2016 YTD chart as well as the complete 2015 results.

2016 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Da

2016 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Da

Below: Individual sales reports on each plug-in brand for the US

 

Nest Generation, 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Next Generation, 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt: It was a glass half full/half empty month with the Volt as GM sold 62% more PHEVs in February than a year ago…the issue of course was that they didn’t sell a heck of a lot last year.

For February 1,126 Volts were moved, which moved Chevy within ~400 units of catching the Nissan LEAF for the title of “all-time best selling plug-in for America”.

Production of the new, slightly improved 2017 edition Volt (that is finally) available nationwide) kicked off the first week of February and GM surprised us with how quickly they got copies to dealers.

Previously in January, GM took down old sales records (at least at the consumer level for retail sales), notching 996 sales during the month (full monthly report here).

We had expect it might take until April for national inventories to fill out, but with a thousand-odd 2017 already on dealer lots by the end of February, the prospects for a March surge (and overtaking of the LEAF on the sales charts) looks like a strong possibility.

GM ended 2015 having sold 15,393 Volts in total, off some 18% from 2014.  However, we do expect the plug-in Chevy to set records in 2016 with the new 53 mile edition.

 

 

 

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF:  For February, Nissan continued its recent trend of disappointment, logging just 930 sales during the month – some 22% less than a year ago.

In the first month of the year, Nissan also logged another month to forget with just  751 were sold.

On the plus side heading into the Spring, inventories of the new 2016 edition grew a bit in February, edging up close to 3,500 copies entering March.

But perhaps more importantly that the inventory itself is what they are made up of. Less than half of the EVs are of the longer range/107 miles edition.  Still, the number is growing, and this ‘should’ translate into a rebound of sorts for the model (in March) which has been suffering from “long-in-the-tooth-itis” for the past 10 months or so.

Theoretically also helping sales going forward, Nissan broke its the near-MSRP pricing in January, offering deeper discounts and more attractive leasing options.

Overall last year, Nissan closed the year off some 43% in total, selling 17,269 LEAFs this year, versus an all-time best of 30,200 in 2014.  The only direct for sales in 2016 one would think would be up.

Separately (and ultimately more importantly) in November we got a look at Nissan’s new IDS Concept from Japan – which was basically a ‘nod and a wink’ to the new e-technology that will be found in the next generation LEAF.

The IDS Concept houses a 60 kWh NMC battery pack good for more than 200 miles (320 km) of real world/EPA driving.

 

 

2014 Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR: A decent amount of plug-in Caddilacs were sold in February, as GM moved 91 premium plug-in hybrids for the month.

Previously in January, 67 ELRs were sold, which was off 27% from a year ago.  Considering historical sales levels, this also was a decent result for car all things considered.

Overall for 2015, 1,024 were moved, which was off 22% from the 1,310 sold in 2014.

Going forward, dealer acceptance of the 2016 ELR may hinder sales as much as anything, after getting burned with a far too high MSRP on previous model year (2014) pricing.

Curiously, inventory of the ELR increased by about 50% during February, touching close to 300 units for the first time this model year, but as that is not a huge level, it still seems that the sales fate of the ELR will be range-bound (no pun intended) as it rides out this last model year.

The ELR will shortly be replaced with the much larger CT6 plug-in sedan (details)

The 2016 ELR does gain some performance over the 2014 model (0-60mph comes up in 6.4 seconds – 1.5 seconds than the older model), despite still using the 17.1 kWh battery found in the current Chevrolet Volt. The Cadillac also gets a $9,000 MSRP haircut (now starting at $65,995), which should help it move a little more product.

 

 

 

2015 BMW i3

BMW i3

BMW i3: 

We though January was the “end of the world” when it came to plug-in sales for BMW, as somehow…and we aren’t even sure how this is possible, the company sold just 182 copies, off some 72% or so.

February had to be better right?

Nope.  The sales deficit widened to 78%, as BMW sold just 248 i3s during the month, versus 1,089 a year ago.

Curiously, when explaining the entire brand’s 4.7% sales decrease in January (18,082 to 18,981), BMW CEO Ludwig Willisch said, “January suffered a bit from the strong storms that froze large parts of the country”.  

This month the company decided to just not talk about current sales or the it at all (with the brand off almost 11%), instead they looking forward to the future, “With Spring only three weeks away and the travel season on the horizon, the growing success of the 7 Series and the 2 Series also makes us confident there’s more to come”

January’s terrible result came right after one of the model’s best, selling 1,422 sales in December.  It appears the up and down seesaw we saw develop late in 2015 will continue into 2016 – only in a much larger way.

For 2015, BMW sold 11,024 i3s, which made it the 6th plug-in to have reached the 5-digit mark in 2015 (Volt, LEAF, Prius PHV, Model S, Fusion Energi). In 2014, BMW sold 6,092 i3s, good for the 7th best overall spot for plug-in sales in America…not bad considering it was only available for 7 full months in the US.

Inventory of the BMW i3 fell to a new low for the current model year, with only just over 1,000 copies available heading into March.

 

 

 

 

2014 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales (apparently because the public can’t handle the concept of regional allocations and delivery lead times)… so we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until Tesla’s quarterly (or annual) updates add more clarity, but we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening.

To come to an estimated monthly, number, we don’t simply take the quarterly estimate given by Tesla and divide it by 3 and hope it all works out…it just doesn’t work like that in the real world.

We simply report from the data we accumulate ourselves, the first hand accounts available from the factory and from the community itself when available – and the number is what it is. So far that has worked out pretty well, with no quarter being off by more than 300 units versus information Tesla has reported publicly.

Revisions/disclaimer to accuracy of prior estimates: The 2015 Model S sales chart was adjusted (one time – after the completion of the full year of estimates) by 498 units to compensate for confirmed full year numbers.  2014 sales chart was adjusted (one time – again after the end of the full year of estimates) 611 units to compensate for full year numbers.  While past success is no guarantee of future results, InsideEVs is quite proud of its sales tracking for the Model S over  the years.

That being said, we only estimate this number because Tesla does not, and to not put a number on Model S sales would be to paint an even more inaccurate overall picture of EV sales. Despite our fairly accurate track record, we are not analysts, portfolio managers and we do not own any positions in Tesla the company.

 

Despite Tesla having a market cap equal to other major automakers, the EV maker still seems to operate production and deliveries of its cars solely with quarterly results in mind.

In January, production was firmly focused on international customers (and not US consumers who where buried in cars in December for Q4/full year results).  Those international customers will be receiving their Model S sedans (for the most part) in the next four weeks.

For February, by early/mid-month, many US customers suddenly found production green-lighted on their Model S cars mid-month…especially one had ordered a now discontinued 85 kWh version (replaced by the new 90 kWh battery).  It would seem that Tesla is looking to deliver out all these ‘old’ cars by the end of next month/Q1.

Unlike the Model X, Tesla is quite adept at building the Model S, so moving from assembly to delivery is a short (and quarter end friendly) process, which made February really a tale of two months for US customers.  1st half – little production/little deliveries.  2nd half – lots of production, strong finishing ~week for deliveries.

For the month we estimate Tesla delivered 1,550 Model S sedans.

With the apparent high US production happening now, and the international Model S sedans already built and now winding their way through the system to customer overseas, it appears Tesla is going to have a last month vs full quarter split like it never has before.

 

 

 

 

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X: Like the Model S, Tesla does not itself report Model X sales, so we do our best – with all the data at our disposal to estimate monthly results for North America as best we can (For more info on that, check out our disclaimer for the Model S)

With all the fanfare one would expect from Tesla Motors and its CEO Elon Musk, the much anticipated/oft delayed Model X arrived in September, with a big launch party – of which you can check out the full video of (as well as newly released details/specs) here.

After delivering the first 6 copies of the Model X in September, and a handful in October and November, Tesla heated things up a bit in December, delivering an estimated 199 copies during the month, and exactly 208 in Q4 – ending the year with 214 sold.

If one thing could unwind Tesla’s guidance to hit 16,000 EVs delivered in Q1, it would the Model X.  Tesla never broke out how many Model X SUVs they intended to deliver in Q1, but probably whatever number that was…they aren’t on track to hit it.

Despite first official deliveries of the Model X happening in September, there is still $40,000 deposit, Signature orders out there waiting on all-electric SUVS in the US some five months later.

To be fair, most confirmed US Signature orders appear have gone out, but it is clear that certain options have triggered an almost indefinite hold on deliveries.

So much so that ‘regular’ production Model X deliveries have now leap-frogged the Sigs, starting around the second week of the month.  That being said, Tesla didn’t exactly open up the production floodgates for the ‘gen pop’ edition X, and only those optimized for existing production configurations of the P90D X seem to have been produced.

We estimate 400 Model X electric vehicles went out in February.

Looking to next month, Tesla appears to have flagged another decent batch of Model X orders to head to production, but so far the build process (and subsequent QC holds) on the SUV have been much longer than that of the Model S on average.

With the quarter goalposts in mind, and needing to put up a big deliverynumber in March, we figure Tesla will decide (if they have not already) to just go ahead and focus on ol’ reliable (the Model S), and push the first real volume deliveries of the Model X into April/May.

 

 

 

Volvo XC90 T8 PHV

Volvo XC90 T8 PHV

Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV: 

The first (and widely anticipated) plug-in offering from Volvo to be offered in the US arrived late December, and the company posted 226 sales in its first full month in January, then followed that up with a sturdy 176 units moved in February.

An impressive result.

Although we have to say, the numbers didn’t surprise us too much, after watching the model sell well in Europe last year.  It is still a good bet that many in the US will be pleasantly surprised with how well the plug-in XC90 is received.

The Volvo XC90 T8 (details) plug-in is rated at 394 hp, and gets 14 miles of estimated range (0-12 in pure all-electric mode) via a 9.2 kWh battery, and is the first to offer a standard 240v/120v dual charging cord set.  Pricing starts at $68,100 in the US.

It will be interesting to see how much demand their is for the first extended range PHEV in America, as Volvo already under-estimate demand for the XC90 plug-in by a factor of 5 in Europe.

 

 

 

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

Chevrolet Spark EV

Chevrolet SPARK EV:  

With the 2016 edition finally arriving in December, the Spark EV was once again free to sell at a more appropriate level to demand.

For February, a fairly inspiring 216 copies where sold into the hostile (for EVs) winter month.  This number represents a 82% increase over the year prior.

Previously in January 139 were moved, which was also up a good amount – 62% from a year ago.

The new 2016 inventory also continued to grow throughout February, and we head into March with more than ~300 available to be purchased (and who knows how many more are penned up by GM waiting to find a dealer-home).

Earlier last year, GM confirmed the Spark EV would live on (in first generation trim) for one more year (2016) while waiting on the Chevrolet Bolt to arrive in 2017, however the Spark EV is only build in South Korea and production is sporadic at best.

In 2015, Gm sold 2,629 Spark EVs in the US, impressive considering the improvement over 2014 numbers, when 1,145 were moved.

 

 

 

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron:

We have always felt that the A3 e-tron had a real shot to be the “dark horse” surprise seller of 2016, and in the plug-ins first couple months on the market, it has not not disappointed.

For February, 248 A3 plug-in hybrids were moved, after previously selling 327 in January, keeping the Audi solidly in the “top 10” plug-in sellers for 2016 in the US.

Originally, the plug-in Audi was scheduled to arrive as a week 43 arrival (October 19 through 26), but a certification problem with California regulators kept a growing inventory penned up until the very last week of the year.

Part of the reason for those high expectations for the A3 e-tron is the low price. $37,900 gets you the Audi badge, 8.8 kWh of battery – good for 22-odd miles of real world driving…and federal credit of $4,158, which is significant because this brings the e-tron package down to within $2,800 of the base MSRP of the A3.

Check out our own early/pre-delivery review on the Audi A3 e-tron here.

 

 

 

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi: 

Ford accomplished something with the Fusion Energi that few other models can boast – they bested the Nissan LEAF for sales during February!

In total, 932 Fusion Energis were sold, a 60% improvement over January, and a 54% gain from a year ago.

Previously in January a respectable 581 were moved into the most hostile month for plug-ins sales in the US.

Looking at the inventory and it is easy to see why (and how) so many Fusion plug-ins have sold over the past few months;  the Fusion Energi is currently the “most stocked” EV in the US at around ~4,500 copies.  The reason, a new refreshed 2017 Fusion Energi is on the way, and Ford likely overbuilt inventory for a delayed hiatus.

For 2015, 9,750 Fusion Energis were sold, which was off by about 15% from 2014, however the model is showing a lot more strength of late than it was a year ago.  The 2016 outlook for sales is pretty strong for the extended range Ford.

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 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:  

Whoosh – is the sound of Prius PHV sales as the remaining inventory circles the drain. It is all over. See you in 2017.

Toyota is lucky that the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is still officially on the market, because otherwise the Prius PHV would find itself at the very bottom of the plug-in sales charts for 2016.

For February a new low was moved – just 6 copies.  In January, just 10 were sold.  The reason?  There isn’t any left.

In 2015, just 4,191 were sold, which was off almost 70% from the 13,164 in 2014.  We would like to note this was not a reflection of US demand for the car, as we feel they would easily buy 800-1,200 copies a month, it is simply the fact production of the current car ended this past summer – and Toyota messed up making a seamless transition to the next generation model as it did for the regular hybrid.

Although a next generation Prius PHV is confirmed, delays in the ‘regular’ Prius have pushed the plug-in version’s introduction as far off as late in the second half of 2016 as a 2017 model car. This means we are in the midst of a ~14 month gap (with zero production) and there will be no newly produced cars to sell over that period.

Our prediction going forward, is there isn’t any left for all of 2016 – and every low volume plug-in will clean the Prius PHV’s ‘sales clock‘ this year until the company makes up some slight ground at year’s end – which is a shame, because the demand to move a good volume has never waned with the US public, only Toyota’s desire to sell them.

 

 

Mercedes S550 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes S550 Plug-In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz S550: 

When it comes to plug-in luxury, there is a new boss in town! Having arrived in late Summer of 2015, the Mercedes S550 presents a level of refinement previously unseen in the EV segment for the US.

After setting a new “best ever” month for the S550H with 35 copies sold in December, Mercedes still managed to sell a (relatively speaking) decent amount in January and February – with both months tallying 19 sales.

UPDATE: Despite the S550 PHV’s recent arrival in the US, the new 2016s are here!  The only issue with that for consumers might be that they are unchanged in every way but pricing.  The 2016 retails higher – at $95,650

Despite its huge footprint, and pretty heavy weight (just north of 5,000lbs), the electric motor and turbo 6 cylinder still manage to zip the Mercedes to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds, while giving the car 24 MPG in the city and 30 on the highway.

Range is rated at 12+ miles with the Prius-like “electric + gas” tag, meaning you have to drive with a certain light-footedness to get the 20 miles on just electricity. The S550 has a 8 kWh battery on board, so expect about a $4,700 federal tax credit with your purchase.

 

 

2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV ... in black

2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV (… in black)

Hyundai Sonata PHV:  

We didn’t expect to see the plug-in Sonata arrive in the US until the very last couple weeks of the year, yet there it was at a dealership we passed by in late November.

January was the first month the Sonata plug-in was even decently stocked, and Hyundai sold ~175 copies of the Sonata plug-in, indicating it will be a strong player in the EV space for 2016.

For February, sales grew slightly in the US, to an even 200 units.

The Sonata PHV should be a decent seller in the US as it offers an attractive mid-size PHEV value.  The Hyundai has been rated at 27 miles of range and pricing starts at $34,600.

The only question now is if Hyundai will inventory it like sister-company Kia with the Soul EV (as in hardly at all).  Heading in March about ~500 showroom copies were available in limited states – although the car is available by customer order in all 50 states.

With $4,919 dollar worth of federal credit also on the table thanks to the car’s 9.8 kWh battery, the effective $29,681 price-point (+dst) is acceptable; however, when factored into a lease, it makes the plug-in version of Sonata almost as inexpensive as the petrol version.

 

 

 

 

Volkswagen e-Golf Comes To The US In November

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf: For February, 198 e-Golfs were sold, which was 52% gain over 2015.

Previously, the plug-in VW sold a very strong 328 copies in January, and the EV looks to be making a statement that it will not be lumped in with the “compliance” cars in the US.

Adding to the demand in the US, the company recently introduced a new, less expensive SE trim level. The new trim level brings the base starting price of the e-Golf down to $29,815.

How high could sales go? Still fairly hard to say without a deeper inventory allocation, but sometime hitting 4 digits doesn’t seem hard to fathom today – at least when (and if) inventory levels get high enough to support that many sales.

Despite the high profile nature of “Dieselgate” and the German company’s desire to show off it’s green cred at every turn, they have yet to do it by putting e-Golfs on the lots, heading in March just around ~250 copies were available.

The e-Golf has been rated at 83 miles by the EPA and carries a 24.2 kWh LEAF-like (base) battery.

 

 

 

 

Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi:  

Both of Ford’s plug-in hybrid products had a revival of sorts in February.

For the C-Max Energi, sales were up 40% from January at 490 units, which is roughly the same as a year ago.

Overall, the ‘standard’ C-Max sales in the US have been fairly woeful since Ford launched the car…and the C-Max Energi pays the price each month for that lack of interest. During February just 880 C-Max Hybrids were sold, meaning the plug-in version made up some ~37% of all sales for the model.

Previously in January, the 350 C-Max Energis sold was about a third of the total C-Max family (987 units).

We should note that unlike its sister car the Fusion Energi, the C-Max Energi has a limited ceiling for sales as the inventory is much more tightly controlled to about 1/3 that of the Fusion.  Heading into March, about ~1,500 were in stock – still a respectable amount.

For 2015, 7,591 C-Max Energis have been sold, which lagged 2014 when Ford sold 8,433.  In 2013, the high water mark for the C-Max Energi was set in October as 1,092 plug-ins sold. It still would not surprise us to see the C-Max Energi live only as long as it takes to introduce a Focus Energi.

 

 

 

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED

Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED

Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED (or B250e now if you will): 

The Mercedes B-Class, now officially known as the B250e for 2016, continued to be sold in February…which is about as positive as we can be for the model, as just 37 were sold.

Another way to put it would be, February was the worst selling month for the newly named all-electric car since it went on sales in July of 2014

The B-Class has a bit of a rough go since its entry to the US.  The original model year run (2014) was extremely short, the 2015 edition came late and without much fanfare or inventory, and the 2016 edition was hit early with a stop sale  (which has now been resolved) order last Fall.

It appears now that Mercedes has decided to make the B-Class a limited offering in the US until a new, longer range model arrives in the future (more on that below), as national inventories struggle to stay above the 3 -digit level.

Last Fall we also heard news (via a normally very reliable source) that Mercedes was about to get serious with the B-Class ED, giving it an estimated 300 mile (NEDC) ~225 mile EPA range upgrade in next generation trim, while also removing the Tesla drivetrain/components to bring costs down. It seems as though the B-Class ED may be one of the “ones to watch” heading into the 2nd generation wars in a couple year’s time.

 

 

BMW i8 Finally Arrives In US In August!

BMW i8

BMW i8:

After selling an almost unfathomable 656 i8s in December, sales plummeted a zillion-percent (technical term) to just 32 in January, and we thought that number was certiain to normalize in February.

And it kinda did…with 54 i8s sold.  A number tha is still off more than 50% from a year ago.

How did this happen?  Was it the new calendar year?  The bad weather?  Did BMW salespeople refuse to let potential i8 buyers in the showroom? Who can tell…lets just hope the situation rectifies itself next month.

As for that December figure of 656, that was a new record.

The old record was just 217 units, so to say this result was unexpected would be a massive understatement.

For 2015, BMW sold 2,265 i8s.  A more than respectable amount, given the 6-figure price-point.

Despite the extremely low January and February sales results, one can’t put the blame on inventory issues as the model has been well-stocked over the past few months. Heading into March about ~800 copies are available to be purchased – pretty close to a new all-time high.

 

 

 

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: 

The Panamera S e-Hybrid seems not able to recover from the arrival of sister SUV, the Cayenne S e-Hybrid.

For February, the Panamera S e-Hybrid rebounded slightly selling 33 copies, 6 more than in January.

Basically, the upcoming refresh probably can’t come soon enough.

The high mark for sales on the Panamera was set in the very first month it went on sale, with an amazing 141 sold in January of 2014. The advent of the Cayenne plug-in means that this level will never be seen again.

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.

 

 

 

 

2015 Porsche Cayenne S e-Hrybrid

Porsche Cayenne S e-Hybrid

Porsche Cayenne S e-Hybrid:  

While the Panamera S e-Hybrid struggles to prove viability, the Cayenne plug-in continues to put more butts in the seats.

Amazingly, the Porsche has only strengthened sales since December (traditionally the easiest month to sell a vehicle with a plug).

In January 145 were sold (after moving 137 in December), but somehow Porsche managed to sell 172 in February – a new all-time record…truthfully, we are unsure how such a thing could have happened.  But it did.

And while the e-drivetrain/abilities of the Cayenne and Panamara are very similar, Porsche customers have spoken – they want the Cayenne, as sales of the plug-in SUV outnumber the sedan usually by a ratio of about 5-to-1.  Even Porsche seems to have noticed, as inventory of the plug-in SUV approached 400 units for the first time in the US heading into March.

 

 

 

2014 Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e:  

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

Chrysler/Fiat has been giving us a bit of the stonewall treatment when it comes to reporting 500e sales.

UPDATE: After initially have some issues getting data on the plug-in Fiat, more registration and rebate data is now available.  That being said, the number is estimated.  Historically, the average margin of error per month has been about ~50 units in those moments when some confirmed data leaks out (usually from a recall).

After a fairly strong start in the Fall, sales fell as the end of the year approached, despite a growing inventory situation, which was a bit odd.  That trend has somewhat continued into 2016 (versus a year ago)

For February, we estimate 210 all-electric Fiats were sold.

The all-time high-water mark was an estimated 1,310 estimated sales of the 500e in March.

 

 

 

 

BMW X5 xDrive40e

x5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 xDrive40e:  

Showing that the demand in December was no fluke, BMW managed to sell another 345 copies of the X5 plug-in for February – a pretty great accomplishment given the hurdles of selling EVs in the first months of a new year.

Earlier proving that everyone loves an SUV (at least in America), the BMW X5 xDRIVE40e (which we will now just call the X5 plug-in…because its easier) sold a massive 607 copies in December in just its second full month on the market.

Looking at the potential for future sales, more than ~1,200 copies are now on hand heading into March – a new all-time high, so we expect some decent numbers going forward.

Can the X5 plug-in break into the top the “top” sellers in the US in 2016?  A couple of months ago we probably would have said that was highly unlikely, but ~10,000 sales in 2016 doesn’t seem so foreign today.

Check out our first drive review of the 13 mile AER BMW x5 xDrive40e here.

 

 

 

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

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

SMART ForTwo ED: 

Despite having a model lineup that is half-convertible, smart had a sales resurgence in the last two month of 2015.

Unfortunately, that did not continue into 2016, as the 2 seat EV slumped to 54 sales in February (after 48 were sold in January)

In December and November smart sold 179 and 178 copies (respectively).  December’s result was also the best for 2015, although far short of the all-time record set in December of 2014 when 351 were sold.

The smart Ed ends 2015 with 1,387 sold – good for the 13th on the top selling plug-ins list for America.

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.

 

 

Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric:  

/yawn

Another month, another nap for those interesting in following the sales progress of Ford’s first all-electric offering.

The Ford Focus is one of the longest available electric cars on the US market – and February marked the EV’s 47th month to log sales in America, yet it never strays more than ~100 units from selling 150 copies per month.

Seriously – never more than 100.  It seems almost impossible…yet there it is…the Focus Electric, selling 100ish cars month in and month out.

For February, and given the month is one of the weakest of the year for EV sales, the Focus EV was at the low end of its eternal selling range, moving 81 copies.

What can we tell you about the malaise Ford finds itself in with the Focus Electric? The model has sold between 53 and 198 sales per month in 44 of the past 45 months.  With just one of those months passing the 200 level ever (August 2014 -264)

The model has sold between 53 and 198 sales per month in 44 of the past 45 months.  With just one of those months passing the 200 level ever (August 2014 -264)

 

 

 

 

2015 Kia Soul EV Went On Sale In Mid-October

Kia Soul EV

Kia SOUL EV:  

Kia seems to be emulating the Focus Electric with the plug-in Soul EV…and that is not a good thing.

Never straying far from 100 units in its first full year on the market, Kia moved 60 Soul EVs in February, after selling 81 in January.

The 2015 high was set in October,  but we have to temper our excitement for the achievement as that was only 109 units, and quite frankly, it should be doing much, much better.

Hey Kia, maybe its time to ship a few more copies to the US?

But we wouldn’t get our hopes up – production of the Soul EV is extremely tight with demands, and the car is sought out everywhere in the world it is sold (perhaps with the exception of Germany – where it is excessively exported to customers in other regions who want it – after picking up valuable EU emission credits)

A note on the Kia numbers: Kia has decided to not split out data on the Soul EV from the regular petrol version, despite several attempts by ourselves to convince them it would be a good idea to do that. As Kia is one of the OEMs we don’t have a strong relationship with, we defer to our friends at HybridCars.com to provide the sales info.

The cute-ute from Hyundai/Kia has a more than decent 93 miles of range (with more 103 miles of range in the city), and a price tag of $33,700 (full details, specs and picture can be found here). We expect the advent of the Kia Optima plug-in and an unnamed Hyundai all-electric sedan to be introduced over the next 12 months or so to signal the end of the Soul EV by 2017.

 

OTHERS: Plug-in vehicles that have ended sales/production are included in our chart under this heading.  They include (but are not limited to) the Honda Fit EV, Toyota RAV4 EV, Honda Accord PHV, Porsche 918 Spyder

 

 

BELOW: Chart of 2016 results so far, as well as 2015 year end results:

2016 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Da

2016 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Da

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Dat

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – Tesla Full Year Model S/X Numbers Confirmed Q4-2015, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

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23 responses to "February 2016 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    Still pretty lack luster. Each of the big 3 should be able to hit 2000/month.

    The lack of progress is frustrating

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Well, I think you might see that for 2 out of the 3 next month…or 6k cumulative. That count? lol

      But you are right, 6 months ago when we were heading into the Fall with both the upgraded LEAF and next gen Volt just about to arrive, I don’t think anyone at the time would have been too thrilled with the results thus far.

      So far we can point to a couple specific reasons – “Chevy axed the 2016/national production”, “Nissan wasn’t prepared to build the 30 kWh packs” and its “winter season”…but all those excuses pretty much expire in another month or two. Hopefully, as you say, 2,000+ months return soon.

      1. David Murray says:

        And don’t forget cheap gas.

      2. Philip d says:

        Would have been nice to outperform the 7,000 from February 2014.

        1. Battery Bro says:

          I think it’s important to note historic trends are cyclic and ups and downs are the norm.

          Sometimes the data does not hit the predictions but the underlying trend pushes forward.

          As another user mentioned, lower gas prices are one driver of many in a complicated system which causes smaller (monthly) fluctuations in a 10+ year trend.

    2. Bonaire says:

      I called last year well. I said in early 2015 would be flat or up to 5% growth of 2014 full year.

      This year I am calling for 7% marketwide growth of the US plug in market over 2015. This may not beat 2014.

  2. PJ says:

    I’m disappointed with the model X. I was hoping for at least 500,but it sold only 30 more then last month. Hopefully it starts to pick up soon.

    1. PVH says:

      As usual with Tesla I am quite confident March will be a big month for sales. I wouldn’t be surprised to see sales of Model X triple for that month.

      1. PJ says:

        Yea I’m kinda expecting the same but I’m worried that they have some supply issue with a critical part.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          That’s what concerns me, too. I suppose it’s possible that most MX production has been sent overseas, but I think it’s more likely that they still haven’t solved all of the problems they had about certain parts not being acceptable and having to wait on the supplier (or a replacement supplier) sending new parts.

  3. SparkEV says:

    SparkEV sold more than Fiat 500e for the very first time. What happened, did Fiat cut production?

  4. Jean-François says:

    Seeing poor BMW results, not so sure anymore that the sales will be up against last year…And meanwhile, pickup sales are through the roof…I am pretty sure climate change is not something we will solve.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Such pessimism! Once Mr. Fusion comes on line, no more green house gas worries. I suspect it’s about 5 years away (as it has been for many decades).

    2. franky_b says:

      I have a feeling they are keeping inventory low to prepare for the 2017 model with higher range, which they should start producing mid-year.

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    And some EV supporters still insist that gas price doesn’t matter…

    Even the new Volt aren’t selling as much despite how good it is…

    I hope 2016 isn’t one of those consecutive yoy drop in EV sales…

    Maybe Bolt might save the day if there are enough volume.

    Anyone with any brain would know that announcement of Bolt combined with “reservation” of Model 3 are putting a huge dent in typical PEV sales combined with an already difficult market with ultra low gas price…

  6. ct200h says:

    The current I3 is going to be weak. BMW should cut production. restart the line and build 17’s with the larger packs. Get it over with.
    Pointless to build the current version.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Disappointing to see such low deliveries of the Tesla Model X. I thought from what Tesla spokesmen said recently that the floodgates of production would have opened by now. Clearly there are still some issues holding up the ramp-up in production. 🙁

  8. ydnas7 says:

    Nissan and BMW are both globally available, fair dinkum about EVs, but
    development of 200mile siblings (LEAF 2/IDS) and GM publicity of Bolt, and revised battery i3 seem to result in Nissan balancing supply with demand and BMW just hurting.

    Not an issue for compliance vehicles though, they just gotta sell anyway, cash on hood

    Osborne effect in action

  9. PHEVfan says:

    Jay – a couple of edit fixes needed:
    Ford Fusion says 932 in the chart, but 930 in the text.
    Porsche Panamera says the high water mark was in Jan at 141. What year was that? the charts for 2015 and 2016 do not have 141 anywhere.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Thanks PHEVfan,

      I was probably thinking ahead to the LEAF at 930…the chart/932 is the accurate result. (updated text to proper numbers).

      The Panamera S e-Hybrid all-time high was set in January of 2014, in its first month on sales – will update that too to make a little more clear, (=

      /thanks

  10. Snowman says:

    So at the toyota board meeting; in 2016 YTD fuel cell car sales are 350% higher than plugin hybrids.

    1. PHEVfan says:

      and growing! LOL. What a success!

  11. Excoriator says:

    I’m disappointed hydrogen cars are not included. To my mind they are far more of an electric car than a petrol hybrid, which ARE included!

    Hopefully sales figures will continue to be reported, if not formally included in the scorecard.