July 2013 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

1 year ago by Jay Cole 46

June Sales, Lead By The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF Look Make It Four Good Monthly Results In A Row

Nissan Looks To Make It 5 Month Successful Months In A Row With The New 2013 LEAF

After registering 4 consecutive months in the 7,000-8,000 units sold range, plug-in sales held steady around 7,400 units in July.   During the month both Chevrolet and Nissan did put up some lower than expected numbers .

For July and looking into August, the burning questions are:

  • how will the 2014 model year Chevrolet Volt shape up
  • when will Tesla hit their stride selling the Model S in Europe
  • the Fiat 500e is a ‘hot item,’ but will they built to demand?…or just enough to fufil compliance regulations
  • can Nissan and Chevrolet regain June glory as July lags

Below you can find the results for your own favorite plug-in vehicle, plus a look behind the numbers as well.

NOTE: This scorecard is published as soon as the first automaker reports every month, and is populated/updated throughout the day as soon as more data is available.

(last update: October 28th, 7:15 am – adjustment on Tesla numbers as per Q3 reporting showing higher domestic sales)

 

2013 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt: Chevy had a tough month, selling 910 fewer Volts in July than June.  In total 1,788 Volts were sold.

For the first 7 months of the year, 11,643 sales have been made, which is 9% better than at this point last year.

Looking ahead, if prior year’s performance is a good indicator of future results, than GM is poised to have some big numbers in their future.  In 2012 GM sold 12,795 Volts in the last 5 months of the year…that is more than 2,550 per month.

In June, 2,698 extended range EVs were sold by General Motors, which was easily the best result for 2013.

Production of the 2013 model year Volt ceased about 4 weeks ago, and while we can’t tell the status of 2014 production at GM’s Hamtramck facility (or anywhere else – as GM has decided to be the only OEM to not report such data), we did speak to Michelle Malcho at Chevrolet Communication about the price announcement on the 2014 model (after it being twice delayed previous), and she told us that:

“We will announce pricing mid to late August for the 2014 Volt.”

Perhaps an overbuild on the 2013 model year has left GM waiting a little longer than usual to introduce the new 2014 model to the line, as most industry experts are expecting a reduction in the MSRP.  GM currently still has more then 120 days inventory on 2013 Volts.

 

 

2012 Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF: For July, Nissan actually took a little bit of a step back as 1,864 LEAFs were sold.

July’s result is the lowest monthly tally since the new 2013 LEAF went on sale in March.  Up until this point sales had ranged between 1,937 and 2,236.

However, if you are comparing year over year results, July still showed a massive up 372% increase over last year. Year-to-date sales now site at 11,703, which is an improvement of 230% over 2012.

Despite some lower monthly results, nationwide inventories of the Nissan LEAF actually fell in July as well by about 300 electric cars…so there is obviously still some supply issues being felt.

Of interest:  Nissan passed the 30,000 units sold level for the United States in the first week of July.

As for the future, Nissan expects bigger and bigger things for the LEAF as more cars get shipped (and more entry level S Models which have been in very short supply). Brendan Jones, director of electric vehicle infrastructure strategy for Nissan North America, has said she expects sales to shoot past the 2,000-ish unit average in the coming months.

 

2013 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales…so we never know for 100% what the numbers are until their quarterly updates.   Tesla’s Q2 financials confirmed the first 6 months sales at a level of 10,050 units.

From here on out all Tesla sales get an asterisk until production at Tesla’s Fremont factory can facilitate worldwide demand.

As we mentioned last month (and even though this sales report card is strict US-based), we will now attempt to track sales both in North America and the RoW (rest of world) each month.

That being said, Tesla’s US order are completely caught up for the most part, and with that job accomplished just in time to start working on Europe orders, the company promptly….took a week off to start July.

Much like after Q4 2012, Tesla reportedly gave most of it workers a week off at the end of this quarter.  And when production resumed in the second week of the month, the cars being built were of the Signature 85 kWh Performance variety for Europe (think Norway/Switzerland) before getting back into split US/Euro production.

Update (Octber 28th): Tesla logged the majority of Q3 sales in September of 2013, numbers have been adjusted accordingly.

Also of interest, there seems to be some longer than expected delays getting the cars to Europe and sold.  This may be due to some transportation problems, homologation issues, or the fact that Model S sedans not heading to Norway or Switzerland are build mostly complete…then are partially disassembled (batteries, wheels, etc), only to be reassembled at their Tilburg factory to achieve a lower import duty.   (We should hear more/get some clarification on the European status during Tesla’s quarterly update)

US Sales – 1,300
Europe/Rest of World - 0

(*) Model S sales estimates are given representative of North American sales, which include Canada.

 

 

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

Chevrolet SPARK EV: With its first full month now in the books, we can report that sales of the Spark EV remain a little on the low side, with 103 sold in July.

In its first month on the market, sales of the Chevy Spark EV checked in at 27 units. (Full story here)

The Spark EV has a 82 mile range (EPA rated) and has just recently been priced by GM at a competitive $27,495, about $1,400 less than the new entry level, S Model LEAF offered by Nissan. A $199/month lease is also available from launch.

Reviews (like this one) of the little electric Chevy has widely been positive since the car has been available for testing…we guess it has something to do with the 400 lb-ft of torque on tap – nothing like having some acceleration in a affordable EV past 50 mph.

While we feel there will be sufficient demand to crush the likes of the Mitsu i-Miev and compliance cars from other Japanese rivals on a sales basis, the car has enough limitations that it will not approach sales levels seen from Nissan with the LEAF.

Still, we believe GM would be happy to see Chevy dealers move any 3-digit amount each month.  Why not more?  Well, it appears GM just isn’t importing all that many of them from South Korea as of now.  Perhaps if demand stays high they will up production for the US.

 

 

Fisker Karma

 

Fisker Karma: Like Tesla, Fisker does not report monthly sales.

Congratulations to Fisker on its 1 year anniversary of having not built a single Karma…yet not going bankrupt.

After selling about 5 cars in June from a slowly dwindling inventory, the pace reached “glacial status” with what appears to be 2 cars sold in July

The California start-up has about 52 plug-in luxury cars yet to be sold…although we are secretly hoping they just go bankrupt so we can stop reporting them.  Although getting bought out by a Chinese company would also constitute some news of interest and would suit us fine as well.

 

 

 

2013 Honda Fit EV

Honda Fit EV: With inventory levels depleted after last month’s results, Honda still managed to sell 63 Fit EVs.

Jul also marks the 1 year anniversary of the Fit EV on the US market…which means we can also give out some meaningless year-over-year numbers.  Honda was up 764% (against 7 sales in July of 2012)

Last month,  of being mocked by InsideEVs for anemic sales, Honda slashed the price of its lease cost on the Fit EV in June  (a lease is still the only way you can acquire one)

The result was that in June Honda sold 208 Fit EVs, which is 32 more than they sold in the first 11 months the car was on sale.

Gone is the $389/month payment. In its place is a $259 deal. (all the details here)

But that isn’t what has cause the Fit EV to instantly be a near-sellout in California, its the addition of a “no mileage” cap on the lease as it is estimated that 1 in 4 would-be EV owners drive more than the 12,000 miles that most current leases cap out at.

Before June, the Fit EV was truly the least exciting car to report on. There was never any new “news” on the car, and no one wanted to buy one. As an example of this, check out the first five month’s results - 8, 15, 23, 22, 15.

We imagine the other OEMs have not let the Honda Fit EV lease success in June go unnoticed, and we also imagine that some more creative lease deals in regards to the mileage allowances on other plug-in vehicles will be coming shortly.

 

 

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

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

SMART ForTwo Electric Drive: In talking to the smart representative today, we learned that for July, 58 smart EDs (Electric Drives) were sold, binging the total amount sold in the first 2.5 months up to 173.

Previously in June, the smart ED’s second month available inside the United States, 53 were sold…which was pretty much exactly in-line with expectations.

The first smart ED in the US was sold on May 15th, and was delivered in California. And despite only a few selling days in that first month, smart sold 60 copies.

Also during June, we had a chance for a little sit down with smart boss Mark Webster to talk about “all things smart ED.”

During the interview Mr. Webster said he expected the smart to stay around the 60 units per month sold (bang on the money again this month)until it goes nation-wide in October. Mark also confirmed there will be a “next generation” of smart EDs when the entire platform gets a upgrade next year.

The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive sets a couple new benchmarks in the electric vehicle segment.

A new “lowest price” EV price tag, starting at $25,000 before federal credits (the Smart qualifies for the full $7,500 btw), but also is the first full production electric vehicle in the US to come as a Cabrio. Drop top fun begins at $28,000.

The EV is also 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

2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi:  For July 407 Fusion Energis where sold which was just 9 shy of the all-time high set in May.

In the month prior, Fusion Energi sales checked in at 390 units for June.

Inventory on Ford’s mid-size EV crested 3,000 units for the first time in its history in July, and we think represents a target level achieverd for Ford.  Going forward a sales level of about 500 units per month is likely the norm.

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 miles.

Unlike the C-Max Energi, the Fusion Energi has been priced in-line (and above) the other 5 Fusion trim levels in the model lineup, so as not to ‘steal’ sales from itself. This has resulted in a starting MSRP of $39,495, which we still feel is a bit steep.

 

 

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In

Toyota Prius Plug-In:  A big welcome back to Toyota’s plug-in this month as 817 were sold.

While most of the other plug-in players were having a summertime stall, Toyota managed to improve on the previous month’s result by 40%  (June 2013 – 584 units)

Overall, Toyota has now sold 5,031 Prius plug-ins, which is ‘just a whicker’ below this time last year when they had sold 5,035.

Going forward, it is going to be near impossible to keep up with last year, as Toyota never sold less than a 1,000 cars in any of the last 5 months of 2012, with 7,715 plug-ins getting sold between August and December.  Good for an average of 1,543.

Relatively speaking, sales have been low for the Prius Plug-In with Toyota after its initial launch, with no significant issues or inventory shortages, the other plug-in competition in the marketplace seem to have eroded the electric Toyota’s base.

Last year Toyota sold 12,750 plug-in Prii in the 10 months it was available, it currently appears that number will not be matched in 2013, which would make the plug-in Prius the first EV sold in the US to lose sales year over year. Not a great distinction to have.

 

 

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi: 433 plug-in C-Max hatches were sold in July, the 5th month in a row Ford produced a number in the 400s.

However, not doing any favors to sales in July, Ford issued a recall/stop order on C-Max vehicles without a Panorama roof installed (a $1,195 option), as “affected vehicles were built with insufficient interior head impact protection at the roof/B-pillar area”

…so July could have been higher.   They year high was set in March at 494 units.

Expectations for the C-Max from Ford were certainly much higher than what has been achieved so far this year, and it appears there is simply not enough of a price savings over cross-town rival Chevy Volt, or stable-mate Fusion Energi.  We would not be surprised to see some heavier pricing incentives to be offer in the second half of the year, and/or a lower MSRP being offered on the 2014 late this year.

 

 

 

 

2013 Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric:  The expansion of the Ford plug-in dealer network to include the Fusion and C-Max Energi line has certainly been a boost to the Focus Electric.

For July, 150 Focus EVs were sold, marking 9 out of the 10 last months selling in triple digits.  The electric Ford could not manage any results in the triple digits before the arrival of the C-Max Energi expanded the dealership footprint.

Yet, determined to correct that sales rut of 100ish a month, Ford slashed 2014 model year pricing by $4,000…down to $35,200, letting their customers and the industry know they were in the business of selling electric cars for more than just their compliance value.  We expect bigger and better things (sales-wise) from Ford from here on out.

Back-pat moment of the month, comes in quoting ourselves just 31 days ago:

“Although we will note that there is a rumor (still unverified) of a price cut and/or a new entry level Focus Electric coming in the near future. We asked Ford to comment on the speculation and we got a big helping of “we don’t comment on that sort of thing.”

 

Continuing to Ruin our “All Black” Motif Of EVs, the All-new 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

 

Toyota RAV4 EV:  July was a rebound month for the RAV4 EV with Toyota selling a rather remarkable 109 units, making July the second best month for the RAV4 EV in terms of sales in 2013.

Despite some impressive credentials.  Namely, an all-electric SUV with more than 100 miles of range (officially 103 miles), and more zip than any other EV out there without a Tesla badge on it…Californians just don’t seem interested.

For June only 42 RAV4 EVs, half of May’s result, and a third of March’s 133 sold when Toyota first put $10,000 in bonus cash on the hood.

Like the question we asked last month, “what will July bring?”  We are left asking the same question of August.   Percentage-wise, no vehicle is more volatile than the Toyota sport utility vehicle.

 

 

 

 

2012 Mitsubishi i

Mitsubishi i-MiEV:  46 is the number of i-MiEVs sold in July, which is less than a handful of units over what Mitsubishi managed to sell in June.

For June Mitsubishi sold only 39 units, giving them 882 sold for the year, which is already far ahead of the 588 sold in 2012.

Despite some massive sales improvements in 2013 over 2012, make no mistake, this is a sell-off, not a resurgence; further underlined by the fact that Mitsubishi offered up to $10,000 off the MSRP on the i-MiEV in April.

It is worth noting that no 2013 model year i-MiEVs ever made it to the US, and that only about 80 of the cars now remain on dealer lots going into August.

Tired of always reporting that there was “no word” on the future existence of the i-MiEV in the US, we exclusively  got a hold of someone at Mitsubishi USA on the status of the little Japanese kei car – and while there might not be a next generation for the US, there will be another model year coming…at some point.

“We will continue to sell i-MiEVs in the U.S. and are in midst of determining the timing to introduce a new MY vehicle. We will most likely receive the upgraded features that became available in Canada for 13MY such as the two mode cable for 120V charging which will reduce the charge time from 22hrs (8AMP) to 14hrs (12AMP).“

Still, with no timeline on the next i-MiEV, we think it is a fair assumption to say that the next Mitsubishi plug-in to arrive in the US will liklely be the extended range Outlander PHEV, which we learned has shifted from an expected arrival date of January of 2014 to “during calendar year 2014” – which sounds a lot less close than it did last month.

 

 

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

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

Honda Accord Plug-In:

Each month we ask ourselves the same questions:  Does Honda want to sell these?  Why do they bring them to the US at all?  A $40,000 mid-size Honda sedan is just not something Americans want…and they no it, with little to no inventory available.

Simply put, this should have been an offering from Acura.

Still, we have to report the results.  For July, Honda sold 54 of their plug-in Accords, bringing the year to date total up to 254.

So, with the Honda Fit EV is selling decently enough (when they choose to stock them), the Accord plug-in looks to take over the crown of “most anemic” selling plug-in car in the US, with 42 sold in June.

Previous to June, Honda managed to sell only 58 units in May. Which on a technical level was an improvement over the 55 sold in April. A even 200 were sold in the first half.

Officially classed as the new year’s first ’2014′ model, the Accord PHEV doesn’t come cheap, as Honda has recently priced the sedan at a very Fusion Energi-like $38,780, markedly higher than consumer expectations for the car. We expect Honda to revisits incentive on the car in the near future.

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.

 

2014 Fiat 500e

2014 Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e:  When it comes to reporting plug-in sales, we may have another Tesla on our hands here (they don’t), or at the very least, another Ford (they make us work).

Chrysler/Fiat, which has been notoriously anti-EV is also giving us a bit of the stonewall treatment when it comes to reporting 500e sales.  We spoke to a Chrysler representative about giving us the 411 on electric Fiat sales, and he responded thusly:

“We haven’t been breaking out sales of the various Fiat 500 models. That may change down the road, but for now we’re just reporting 500 and 500L sales…”

That being said, we will continue to pound the pavement looking for the exact number, and thanks to a untimely recall/repair, we can peg sales at about 200 units in July (as 270 total customers were contacted in mid-August about the problem)

The first Fiat 500e went out to a California customer July 15th of this month, and Fiatsler’s answer to CARB compliance requirements has been well received.

Want proof of that? The company said the car has already approached a near-sold out status for 2013, thanks mostly in part to a $199 lease offer.

However, the reality (and fine print) on that deal have left most would-be 500e leases more than a little upset, as Fiat expects their own dealers to contribute back to Chrysler Financial to get the monthly price down to $199.

And with a “sold-out” car on their hands that everyone wants…they are not so keen to do that.  Reports of over $100 in mark-ups and ‘extra added options’ have somewhat sullied what would have been a flawless launch and fulfillment of CARB requirements.

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.

Fiat has also announced this month that they will be providing 12 free days* of car rentals per year to purchasers of the EV, for when longer trips are required…at least for the first three years.

If any car threatens the success of the Chevrolet Spark EV from GM, it is the Fiat 500e.

UP NEXT

First Pre-Producion ELR Gets Built Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

First Pre-Production ELR Gets Built Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

January of 2014 is expected to see the debut of the 35 mile extended range Cadillac ELR.

BMW i3 Arrives In Q2 of 2014 From $41,350

BMW i3 Arrives In Q2 of 2014 From $41,350

After the ELR, a foot race of sorts will occur between the all-new, purpose built BMW i3 (all the details on that can be found here), and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – a 25(ish) mile extended range SUV that was originally expected in January, but now is expected in the Spring of 2014.

 

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46 responses to "July 2013 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

  1. Um, why are you still tracking Fisker? Isn’t it DEAD?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I don’t wish ill of anyone, but the best day ever for reporting on EV sales would also be the day Fisker officially goes bankrupt/gets swallowed up. So tired of them on the list, (=

  2. Taser54 says:

    Cmon GM, let’s see the Spark EV sales ramp up. I predict 210 for July.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      If GM”s spark sold say 200 to 300 cars that might explain the cut into the Nissan Leaf a little bit.

      1. kdawg says:

        If GM were smart, they would look at where all the Leafs are selling are start rolling out the Spark EV’s there. Atlanta comes to mind.

        1. Taser54 says:

          It’s not going to happen until GM meets it’s CARB requirements. Also it will not happen until DC fast charge option is available.

          If sales are good, I predict rollout to other markets next summer.

  3. zilm says:

    Looks like we are getting almost worst month in year here :(
    Btw i have issues with your home page again

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Two people have said that today, try clearing you cache…should bring it back. Gonna have to talk to our IT guy

      1. zilm says:

        It helped!
        Btw do you track Tesla queue in anyway?

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Actually what happened is a poorly scheduled daily back up of the site…all fixed now. What do you mean by “queue” – we track a heck of a lot with Tesla (as best we can anyway)

          1. zilm says:

            I mean possible tracking orders, not production to predict how it’s going
            Like if they are getting only 300 orders/week it’s a bad sign, 500 – much better. There were easily obtained numbers before on tesla’s unofficial forum, but last time I tried to understand current situaition I saw there is no easy way to get such numbers: Tesla changed orders naming pattern, they have even dedicated naming for HK, US order numbers looks simply random generated etc

  4. elmoll says:

    Toyota does have a new lease deal on the RAV for July, perhaps that will help sales. I leased one.

  5. KenZ says:

    Love ya’ like a brother, and understand these are rapid-fire updates, but I’m gonna digress into my pet peeve grammar complaint:

    “Chevy had a tough month, sell 910 less Volts in July than June.”

    Aside from changing ‘sell’ to ‘selling,’ please change ‘less’ to ‘fewer.’ The less/fewer thing is soooo hard to read.

    Also under Tesla at the end: “World,” not “Word.”

    You have my permission to erase my post once fixed, since this post has nothing to do with the topic!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I own all my mistakes KenZ, heeh!

      Plug-in sales day is the only time you get to see my fly without the assistance of an editor…and sometimes it is not pretty. My apologies. It is even worse now that these reports have so many individual vehicles and we are practically writing a small novel on the fly the first of every month. (3,630+ words today)

      1. KenZ says:

        Roger… understood. Thanks for the fixes!

  6. scott moore says:

    Take out the hybrids, and you have a market of Leaf plus rounding errors.

    1. Assaf says:

      …plus a Tesla S guessing game.

      While I share the relative disappointment, we’ve all overlooked the fact that July appears to be a seasonally slow month. Check out July 12 and July 11 in this site’s scorecard…

      Keep in mind that the overall auto-market figures are always reported as year-over-year. You will read that overall auto sales increased 16%; that’s vs. July 12, not June 13. That increase is mostly driven by truck sales. Right now, plug-ins still don’t compete with trucks (with all due respect to the compliance Rav4).

      Overall US car sales increased only in single-digits vs. July 2012. How do plug-in sales compare with July 2012? We’ll know more tomorrow – but even assuming we fall somewhat short of 7,000 (quite likely), sales in July 2012 according to this site were only 3,029 units.

      So either way, we are in for an increase of at least 120%-130% year-over-year in plug-in sales this month.

      1. kdawg says:

        I track a lot of this on the “market share” tab at kdawg.com (if you want to see some charts)

  7. Huffster says:

    Speaking of the Spark EV, the author states:

    “the car has enough limitations that it will not approach sales levels seen from Nissan with the LEAF.”

    What limitations are those? The Spark EV goes farther, wirelessly links to the drivers smart phone, has cruise control, has a superior liquid cooled battery, has FAR more torque, can park in tighter spaces, and costs more than a thousand dollars less compared to the Leaf’s lowest end trim. The only limitation I would agree too, is that the SAE DC Fast charge option is not yet available for the Spark EV (only thing preventing me from buying it today).

    1. David Murray says:

      No fast charging ability (currently). Less cargo room. Less passenger seating. Looks like a $12,000 gasoline spark. Only sold in 2 states. Just for starters.

    2. Jay Cole says:

      ….its really, really small, seats 4 and has no cargo area. Nothing to do with the “EV abilities,” it has a leg up on the LEAF in almost all regards there as you noted.

      Its all about the demos. It may have a larger share inside the subcompact class, but it doesn’t get to play ball in the much, much larger mid-size area.

      That’s why GM sold 25,447 Chevy Cruzes last month and only 3,847 Sparks despite the Spark being $5,000 cheaper

    3. David says:

      Compliance car sold only in CARB states. Much smaller, seats 4 vs 5. Torque at wheel is similar to leaf. Leaf SV has cruise control, links to phone via Bluetooth or USB. Range comparisons still to be done but probably pretty close.

    4. elmoll says:

      For about $100 bucks a month more, the RAV4 EV is much more car than the Spark, the 500 and the Leaf. More range, more speed, more room.

      1. kdawg says:

        But that’s $100 more/month
        (and how does insurance compare)

      2. Vin says:

        That $299/mo for the RAV4 EV requires $3999 down at signing, per So Cal Toyota website. So that’s $100/month plus $3000 more up front than the Spark and 500e, or $2000 more up front when compared to the Leaf or 2013 Focus Electric. It’s also uses 25% more energy than the others.

        I guess it’s worth it if for those that need the added interior space on a daily basis. I don’t.

    5. evnow says:

      Leaf EPA range (100% charge) is higher than Spark. So, what do you exactly mean by “goes further” ?

      1. Taser54 says:

        Spark EV only uses 81% of the pack to achieve its EPA rating. So, if you want to cite a charging state that damages your battery, feel free. Real world, Spark EV owners appear to be easily getting more range than EPA rating.

        1. evnow says:

          See the posts below for an explanation.

  8. Huffster says:

    All good points guys.

    1. Less cargo room: Indeed the 2013 leaf, with it’s improved cargo space over the 2012 and earlier models, has greater cargo area at 24 cubic-feet with the rear seats in place, or 30 total cubes with the 60/40-split rear seats folded flat. The 2013 Chevrolet Spark EV has 86.3 cubit feet of passenger space and cargo is listed as 23.4 cubic feet with the seats down. Will work for my needs though.

    2. Less passenger seating: Agreed leaf 5 to sparks 4. Only counter I have is there are only two of us and we have no kids. Also, 5 full weight adults would really affect range I’d think.

    3. Looks like a $12,000 gasoline spark. Agreed, it will be my little ugly duckling.

    4. Range: Leaf EPA 75 vs. Spark EV EPA 82. Those 7 miles can make all the difference when you’re looking for a charging station. Nearly a full 10% more range. :)

    I did think of one other area I like the Nissan for. There is an available 7.2kWh L2 onboard charging option, the Sparks highest L2 ability is 3.3kWh.

    I guess it’s up the individual buyers needs and for me the much lower cost and superior battery tech is what ultimatly tipped my decision. Also, I do believe SAE DC FC will win in this modern Beta vs. VHS battle. Anyhow, wont matter for me in 3 to 5 years as I’m most likely going to pick up a Tesla Gen 3 (90% sure if they make it, I’ll buy it.)

    Cheers!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Its all good huffster. If everyone saw the world the same way, the world would be a boring place. The Spark EV will be the right cup of tea for some people, the LEAF for others, the Model S for others still, etc.

      /appreciate your input

    2. evnow says:

      See my comment above about EPA range. You need to understand the EPA range better – Leaf goes further.

      Comment about Beta vs VHS shows lazy analysis. Very different markets, different dynamics etc etc. You need to analyze the actual QC market – not pick an example to support the prejudice.

      1. Huffster says:

        Your statement is assuming and incorrect. The 2013 Leaf and 2014 Spark EV were both tested by the EPA the exact same way. Your assumption must stem from the older 100% battery capacity EPA testing done in 2012 and earlier Leaf models.

        Here’s my reference:

        Leaf: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33558
        Spark: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33640

        Please provide yours. Unless, you are the one who’s lazy.

        1. Ydnas7 says:

          Here the EPA datafiles
          http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/download.shtml
          for 2013 LEAF etc
          http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/epadata/13data.zip
          2nd Tab, column FG
          you can note that both the Nissan LEAF and the Toyota RAV 4 EV have their range values averaged between the long life and long range settings (ie 80% and 100% for LEAF, 90% and 100% for RAV 4 EV)
          so yes, a LEAF will have longer range than a Spark EV when both are fully charged,
          Nissan’s default setting is long distance mode (100% charge), its how Nissan expects the LEAF to be used (and leased)

          Tesla recently replaced its long life mode with a user selectable slider, (and no guidance on its recommended use). Its thought this was to avoid the fate of being averaged down in EPA range similar to how the LEAF and RAV 4 EV were.

          Personally I would prefer that both numbers were displayed but if a single number is required perhaps the EPA should put a little note on the sticker saying EPA range is an average of the long life and long range charging modes.

          1. Huffster says:

            I’m with you that if they combine modes on one car and rate another at 100% charge, then they should show both numbers.

            I don’t know how linear the leaf’s range is to battery percentage on a leaf, but if the listed data is equivalent to 90% of charge, then according to the data you provided the Leaf’s highway range (listed as 65.6) would equate to 72.88. 72.88 minus 10% = listed range. Still not as high as the Sparks 74 mile range listing. However calculating the city range the Leaf comes out ahead.

            I’d like to see someone fully charge both cars and drive together and see how far each goes. The heavier Leaf with a 24kWh vs the smaller, lighter Spark with 21.3kWh battery. Would be interesting.

      2. Roy_H says:

        Just to muddy the debate a little further, different battery chemistry have different limitations. Nissan claims that their battery does not need liquid cooling, and seem to be happy with 100% charge. This is similar to A123, who go out of their way to explain these advantages despite worse kwhr/kg, and then stating that useable kwhr/kg is better. So no, comparing at same State Of Charge is not relevant.

  9. EV says:

    the smart actually can get way more than 68 miles, a guy in canada got 103 miles on a charge and usually gets around 80-90 city driving so 68 miles is a bit of an understatement

  10. EV says:

    EPA estimates are not accurate and should be ignored

    1. Roy_H says:

      They try very hard to establish a consistency across all brands/models. It doesn’t matter if it is higher or lower than what you get, it is valid comparing one car to the next.

      1. Assaf says:

        EPA estimates are actually far better than either the manufacturer’s or the European and Japanese ones – all three of which are inflated.

        When we got our Leaf in August 2012 I was surprised to see the gap between Nissan’s promotional 100-mile range, and the EPA estimate of 73 (with 100% charge). It didn’t take long to realize the EPA were far closer to the reality.

        In fact, you can browse the owner’s forum mynissanleaf.com, and find out that very few people managed to get 100 miles on a real-life Leaf 2011/2012 trip.

        The only downside I find is no clear disclaimer of what % charge the estimate is based on. Different makers do and recommend different things to drivers. My guess is that within 2-3 model years EPA will fix that issue too.

  11. Christopher says:

    EPA numbers are average conditions driven in an EV.. sure all of us driving on our pack on 68 degree days through town, windows closed, no climate engaged are going to fry the EPA numbers.. I easily get 50+ EV miles in my 2013 Volt under those conditions.. anyone who owns and has learned proper driving technique for their EV will easily exceed EPA numbers in prime conditions.. now show me you beat the EPA numbers when its snowing, 25 degrees and your climate is set at a “normal” 72 degrees….

    1. Assaf says:

      To the editors,

      Do you need our help to get those 500e numbers from Fiat? Maybe an email campaign would move them… don’t hesitate to ask!

  12. vdiv says:

    Has Via Motors sold any VTrux to anyone? Any way to measure if they have a pulse?

    How about BYD electric buses? eNV200 vans? Leftover Azure converted Transit Connects? Maybe we need a fleet edition of this post :)

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Nothing from VIA…they still can’t give you pricing even. They are still fairly active with the responses/announcements…currenly they plan to “begin selling” late 2013/2014. Honestly, I think they are waiting for some fleet somewhere to ride in and order 500 trucks to get started.

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