March 2014 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

9 months ago by Jay Cole 41

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

Sales For Plug-In Electric Vehicles In The United States Soar In March

March heralds not only the return of spring, but the end to the “gloomy season” for electric car sales that is January and February.

The Darkness Of Winter Has Lifted For EV Sales!

The Darkness Of Winter Has Lifted For EV Sales!

Even still, and despite a prolonged winter for much of the United States, the first two months of 2014 have shown a considerable improvement over last year as an estimated 12,505 plug-ins have been sold thus far, a 25% improvement.

In March, some 9,172 plug-ins were sold which outpaced last years result (7,982) by 15%.

For March the immediate questions that look to be solved are:

  • Will the rush to claim the last few thousand “green stickers” in California push PHEV (like the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius PHV) sales higher? (Yes for the Prius, no for the Volt)
  • Can Ford continue to sell the most plug-in vehicles for the country? (Nope, but did finish 2nd just ahead of Chevy and Tesla)
  • How many cars can Nissan sell now that they are free of production constraints?  (Answer: 2nd best all-time)
  • Can Chevrolet shake lower year-over-year sales results on the Volt? (Kinda-it was a tie)
  • And will the Cadillac ELR improve now that GM has inventoried the car up to about a third of the Volt’s level? (Indeed up 40%)

Selling days: March’s data is stated on a raw-volume basis, unadjusted for 26 selling days in March 2014 versus 27 selling days in March 2013

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

(last update: 11:30 pm May 7th, 2014 to reconcile estimate with actual Tesla report sales)

 

2014 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt:  Although slightly delay due to “computer system issues”, GM did manage to release March sales for the Volt.

Unfortunately, GM also had some issues selling their 38-mile extended range car as just 1,478 copies were sold … exactly the same as March of 2013. (full story can be found here)

Overall GM has now sold 3,606 Volts, which is off 15% from the first 3 months of last year when they sold 4,244.

Production and delivery of the Volt remained basically unchanged for March as about 4,000 units of the car remained in stock around the country.

Previously in February, the Volt sales slide to just 1,210 Volts were sold, off 25.6% from 2013 when 1,626 left dealer lots.  Including March, GM has only improved sales in 1 of the past 7 months.

Overall last year, GM sold less extended range Chevys than 2012 (23,094 were sold in 2013 vs 23,461), the company now has to renew efforts to both produce and market the 38 mile, extended range vehicle to avoid the same fate for 2014.

 

 

2014 Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF: Nissan set an almost all-time best for the LEAF, as 2,507 were sold in March…just 22 short of the record set previously in December. (full story can be found here)

March is a tale of two stories for Nissan.

Yes they sold a lot of cars, as it is the first month that the company doesn’t find itself inventory restrained (although they are still at a relatively low 3,700-odd level), but they also find themselves up against comparables from last year when the new/lower priced model first hit the market.

Going forward, expecting Nissan to best the 2,236 units sold last year by anything like 100% (as they have done for the past few months previously) is unrealistic.  But still, just beating March 2013, when the newly priced LEAF was much in demand, by 12% is quite an accomplishment.

Overall for the year, 5,184 LEAFs have been sold, a 46% improvement of 2013 when 3,539 were moved.

Previously, 1,425 LEAFs were sold in February, which was a 118% improvement over February 2013 when 653 were sold – and none were in stock. (full story on this month’s results can be found here)

Overall in 2013, Nissan sold 22,610 cars, which is a big improvement of 2012 when only 9,819 were sold.

 

 

2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR: Last month the story was “Oh hello inventory!” as massive amounts (relatively speaking) of ELRs arrived at the 60% of dealers that didn’t “opt out” of selling the plug-in Cadillac for fear of low demand throughout the month.

This month 81 ELRs were sold.

As for inventory, even more ELRs showed up as GM wound down  full scale production of the luxury plug-in coupe in February.  Heading into April, about 1,100 are ready to be bought…provided you have $75,995 in cash lying around; although we like the looks of their recently announced $699/month lease deal a lot better.

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

 

 

2015 BMW i3

2015 BMW i3

BMW i3: For March zero i3s with or without range extender where sold.

So why is it on the list?  Because US i3s are currently (April 1st) on a boat headed to US shores and the first deliveries will happen soon.

So look for this spot to be occupied with actual sales of BMW’s all electric and REx plug-in next month.

They can’t come soon enough!

 

 

 

2014 Tesla Model S

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

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

March is the “make it or break it month” for Tesla in order to hit its goal of 6,400 total cars delivered in Q1 (OF NOTE: Tesla has a history of underselling their forecasts – so we’ll just pencil in their ‘real’ target number a little higher).

Through February, it was fairly clear that company was well under the clip needed to hit their number heading into March.  Hardly any Model S cars were sold into any country not named Norway or the United States – relatively speaking.

To that end, both of those nations saw huge production allocations (go where the demand is we suppose), as shipments in the hundreds appeared to arrive consistently in Norway during the month; while the highest volume of deliveries for the year were reported by owners in the United States – especially going into the last week of the quarter.

We estimate Tesla sold about 1,300 units in the US for March.

 

 

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: For March, another 56 Panamera plug-ins were sold, roughly on par with last months 57 copies.

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

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

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

(*- NEDC rating. EPA rating will be released in soon, we expect that number to be about 15 miles)

 

 

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

Chevrolet SPARK EV: Considering the Spark EV is only in limited release, GM logged another decent month in March with 108 copies sold.

Even in February a respectable 71 units were sold it what was  one of the worst months of the year to sell plug-ins.

Although, one of the benefits of only being available in 2 markets (with one of them being California), is that the seasonal cold snap doesn’t really affect sales quite like other national products.

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

Last month, some poor souls decided to do a “how many miles can we get” out of a Spark EV test, and spent a gruelling 6 hours, netting almost 140 miles out of the 82 EPA-rated Spark EV.

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.

In October, InsideEVs learned exclusively direct from Chevy that the company has “no plans” to make the car available outside of those 2 states… so at least for now, we can call this car a compliance play – meaning GM will ship and sell the number it deems necessary until further notice. As for international sales of the Spark EV, the exit of the Chevrolet brand in Europe means that plans to sell the all electric Chevy in 2014 have also been scrapped.

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

 

 

2014 Fiat 500e

2014 Fiat 500e

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

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

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

Thankfully that appears to have ended, via data from Baum & Associates via HybridCars (big props). For March 166 Fiat 500e EVs were sold during the month.

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

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

 

 

2012 Mitsubishi I (2014s incoming)

Mitsubishi i-MiEV: In March a surprising 24 units were sold; a 800% increase over February’s 3 – we like to talk percentages when the numbers are meaningless.

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

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

However the return of the 2014 i-MiEV in the late spring from $22,995 means there is going to be a lot of i-MiEV sales to report then.

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

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

 

 

2014 Honda Fit EV

Honda Fit EV: In March 37 Fit EVs were sold as the”sell what we got” trend continued.

Previous to March with 33 units sold; while in January 30 plug-in Fits were sold – which was pretty much every EV that Honda shipped to dealers …again.

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

This month the electric smart takes home the consolation championship as Daimler sold a personal best 186 copies in March!

The smart ED also was one of the leaders for the smaller regional players previously in February, with a “not too shabby at all 122 sales during the month.

Ditto for January, when a very respectable 97 smart EDs – that after selling amazing 167 in December.

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

However if you are looking for a cabrio edition of the little smart after months of being out of stock, a recent small shipment of those has them available at select locations. So while we expect 2014 to show much bigger numbers for the smart ED over 2013, it’s just not coming in the first quarter.

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:  For the past 7 months or so, this plug-in Ford was a sales beast, and continues to out perform expectations.  March was no exception as 899 were sold.

Previously in February 779 were sold. In January, and despite a lot of seasonal influences, the Fusion Energi continued to be the jewel in Ford’s plug-in lineup – 533 were sold.

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

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

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

 

 

2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In

Toyota Prius Plug-In: Who wants a “green sticker” before they are gone in California?

People looking for a plug-in Prius apparently, as 1,452 were sold, up 92% from last year’s 786 sold.

Previously: February was a strong month for the Prius PHV as 1,041 copies were sold – which was up 50.3% over 2013.

To date,  3,297 plug-in Prii have been sold so far in 2014, 41.9% more than last year, when 2,353 moved off lots.

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

 

 

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

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

Previously in February Ford posted a healthy winter number with 552 C-Max Energis being sold – which was 2/3rds more than was sold in February of 2013.

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.

The all-time record was set in the Energi’s first month on the market, as there was a sizeable demand backed up after the standard hybrid was released – that November (2012) 1,259 were sold.

Realistically speaking, to go much higher that current levels something needs to be about the MSRP. At $32,950 as we feel it is just too close to the Chevrolet Volt, especially after GM lower the price of its 38 mile, extended range car by $5,000 in August as well as its stablemate Fusion Energi at $34,700…the only problem for Ford (and EV fanatics) is that the C-Max hybrid is priced just below the Energi model in the lineup, so Ford is likely hesitant to close the gap between it and the plug-in Energi version.

Still, we expect to see a change in the starting asking price soon.

 

 

2014 Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric:   Holy snooze-fest…another 100+ month for the Focus Electric as 177 were sold despite reports of massive discounts by almost $6,000

Previously in February, 129 plug-in Focii were sold during the month.

Also announced recently, the Focus is going to get a refreshed look in the 2nd half of 2014. In our opinion the more “Fusion-esque” styling is a winner.

One thing is for sure, if they don’t start selling more now with this incentive, they probably never will. Truthfully, the made-to-order Focus EV is really the ‘oak tree’ of plug-in sales reporting – sure and steady; monthly results are always 100+ …you could almost set your watch to it.

Taking March into account, the last 14 months (and 17 of last 18) have all notched 100-and-something sales. Oh Ford Focus Electric – you make us sleepy.

 

 

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

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

Toyota RAV4 EV: In March Toyota completed another ‘pretty good month for a compliance vehicle’, as 73 more electric SUVs were sold.

Toyota surprised us by giving us the numbers directly a day early previously in February! (Points to you know who you are!) That’s probably because during the month Toyota notched an impressive 101 RAV4 EV sales.

Also for January, 63 plug-in SUVs from Toyota was sold…more than double the 28 sold in December – which was the electric SUV’s worst showing since January of 2013.

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In (via automedia)

Honda Accord Plug-In: For March, just 18 Accord PHVs where sold, slipping from the 24 units last month - which was a little less than the 27 moved in January.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

UP NEXT

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

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

2015 MB B-Class ED

2015 MB B-Class ED

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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41 responses to "March 2014 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

  1. David Murray says:

    Wow! The mitsubishi had a HUGE increase in sales. They sold 8 times the amount they sold last month.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Should probably be our “feature” article of the month on sales then right? lol

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        It could be that several car dealers resized that they are not going to get top dollar for their 2012 model Mitsubishi electric cars so they figured they would unload them and make room for the new ones.

      2. David Murray says:

        Yeah, and the i-Miev did so well it actually beat out the Honda Accord PHV. Honda should be ashamed.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    We will see if them dumb ass Cadillac salesmen can sell the ELR.

    My guess is no way.

    Also my guess is Volt sales will be down again since GM doesn’t want to sell any anyway.
    They need to focus on the ignition switch fiasco…..and of course selling pick ‘em up trucks.

    1. Spec9 says:

      I’m pretty sure you are wrong on that. The Green sticker shortage in California probably means a lot of people rushed to buy a Volt before all those stickers are gone. The PiP was up and I bet the Volt will be up significantly.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        I won’t be disappointed Spec.
        I have a Volt and I think it’s a nice car.
        I just get disappointed in GM.
        It’s like I gave them a vote of support by buying the Volt….and my reward is getting stabbed in the back.

        1. Spec9 says:

          Well, I was wrong. Sales were flat. Meh.

    2. Open-Mind says:

      This dealer near me has four new 2013 Volts over $10K off MSRP:

      http://www.lemanchevynow.com/VehicleSearchResults?search=new&make=Chevrolet&model=Volt

      Subtract another $11.5K of IL/FED tax incentives, then your *new* Volt costs you $18.5K. So clearly they *are* trying to sell them.

      1. Puking says:

        Open-Mind,

        2014 Chevy had a $5k reduction in MSRP to $35k. Therefore the 2013 MSRP $40k is higher by $5k. Dealer trying to play fuzzy math trick on you.

        Toyota dealer try to do the same thing to me on an 2013 Pip Advanced model. That model got a $4.6k reduction in MSRP for 2014.

        1. Open-Mind says:

          Yeah, everybody knows about the $5K price drop in 2014, but the best 2014 discount in this area is only $4K. Which is $1000 more than a 2013 that’s discounted by $10K.

          But if you click that link again, you’ll see they just today dropped the price to $12.4 K below MSRP. So that’s $3.4K cheaper than a similar 2014.

          Plus the IL tax incentive here is based on 10% of MSRP (not sales price) up to $4K. So the $5K higher 2013 MSRP can mean an extra $500 of tax incentive.

          So together, that means a 2013 is up to $4K cheaper than a 2014. After tax incentives, the final cost is $16,740 for a new 2013 Volt in IL.

  3. GeorgeS says:

    Oh and PS. Way to go Nissan.

    1. Puzzlegal says:

      Yeah, I’m impressed. I can’t imagine who buys the Leaf, since it’s such a range-limited vehicle. But obviously it meets someone’s needs.

  4. KeithR says:

    I’m interested to see how Q2 sales will be for EVs- ie. can they make the jump that hybrids did in year 4. If they can only put out 100k sales this year, that will be very disappointing.

  5. Bloggin says:

    I see the Prius plug-in lease discount did what it was supposed to do. At $20/mo less than a Prius v and just $999 down, or just $20/mo more than the base Prius, the plug-in should be a no brainer.

  6. ClarksonCote says:

    Volt sales confusion this month. In addition to my April fools post at GM-Volt.com of 4159 sales (sorry all), GM reports 1478, the same exact amount as last year (which seems odd). Yet, they also report a 7% increase in Volt sales specifically (in addition to their overall sales increase of 7%).

    Perhaps they’re adjusting for selling days? Something seems off.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Random Update to this: I talked to Randal Fox who does the GM press on this, and he said that yes overall Volt sales were flat, but the “retail” sales of the Volt were up 7%

  7. Nate says:

    Thanks Jay and insideevs for getting the news and charts out so fast. This is the place to go for this news, and always fun to read the comments.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      No problem, and thanks for the encouragement.

      I have to say, it was a lot easier (and less time consuming) to get the numbers and do real-time updates when there was only 3-4 cars to track, (=

  8. Nate says:

    (from the Volt part of the story)
    “..the company now has to renew efforts to both produce and market the 38 mile, extended range vehicle to avoid the same fate for 2014.”

    No kidding they do. Actually I’d say they have to work harder just to get the same sales numbers. The Volt has more competitors offering plug-ins in real numbers and marketing them now compared to 2011, 2012 and (in my opinion) the first half of 2013.

  9. Evil Attorney says:

    Ok, I honestly don’t think the Leaf sales numbers “feel” right to me, at least not in SoCal. On my freeway commute to/from work, I see at least 20 Volts, 5-10 Model S, but only 1-3 Leafs. Furthermore, I have talked to current Leaf owners out here that will be trading in or relinquishing their Leafs for other plugins. Do these numbers include worldwide sales or something?

    1. David Murray says:

      Keep in mind that Georgia alone probably accounts for half of all Leaf sales. So that isn’t surprising.

      1. Evil Attorney says:

        I guess that might account for some of it. Why is the Leaf so disproportional popular there? Better tax credit?

        1. Nelson says:

          Because GM opted not to sell the SparkEV there.

          NPNS! SBF!
          Volt#671

        2. David Murray says:

          Georgia residents get an additional $5,000 from the state.. making the Leaf a ridiculously good deal there.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            Leaf is doing well b/c Georgia sales alone contributes to about 1/2 to 1/3 of the total sales per month for LEAF.

            LEAF is pretty much “FREE” for 2 out of 3 years in terms of lease in Georgia.

            Volt sales are always “lagging” in the first part of the year (same as 2013 and 2012). For some reason, it will go through a “fire sale” in the summer and early fall and then catch up….

            I believe GM is NOT pushing hard on it. It is trying to keep “profit” over “sales”.

            HOV sticker shouldn’t affect Volt as much as Prius Plugin b/c people buy PIP for HOV sticker in CA since it is the “cheapest” option to buy a HOV sticker.

          2. Puzzlegal says:

            Okay, that explains some of it. I don’t see Leafs, either. I see lots of Volts, a modest number of Prii and Teslas, and I’ve even seen other C-maxs (which is what I have) but I’ve only ever seen one Leaf, and it was owned by a fanatic, who explained how he spent a day doing the drive that I did in a few hours.

  10. ModernMarvelFan says:

    April and May sales of all PHEV will show whether they can stand on their own or NOT due to lack of HOV stickers in CA.

    LEAF should continue to sell due to GA free money. However I am surprised on “how low” it is due since Nissan has been ramping up production for 3,000 monthly number… There are plenty of LEAF in SF Bay Area. It must be an allocation issue.

    LEAF is enjoying its sales number due to some of the best incentives around (GA and CA once Green HOV stickers are out).

  11. ModernMarvelFan says:

    CVRP survey said it the best,

    “•The primary motivations for vehicle purchase vary significantly between models – Leaf drivers indicated the environment as the primary motivator, Plug-in Prius owners stated HOV lane access and Volt drivers specified fuel savings.”

    https://energycenter.org/article/ca-pev-owners-report-varying-motivations-models-purchased

    If that is the case, then Prius Plugin sales should tank big time after the HOV stickers are gone…

  12. Bonaire says:

    Numbers are ok for March. I will repeat (perhaps monthly here) that the USA sales rate of growth of 2014 should be right about 2013 * 1.35 (35% growth rate). Some want 50% growth but I doubt we see that.

    1. Bonaire says:

      One reason I think we just see 35% is the lack of public charging point growth. Airports, universities, city parking garages – they just aren’t adding plug-in points at any kind of rate that helps. At my local airport, they have six J-1772 and usually they are all filled up. The other problem is that four are on the first floor and two on the roof and the roof has been fenced off lately not allowing people to use the two J-1772 on the roof. Airports should use 120V charging – there is no reason to limit the plugs to just a few L2 plugs. They could easily setup 10+ 120V or more instead of four 240V L2.

      1. Puzzlegal says:

        Every time I’ve parked by PHEV at Logan Airport I have found an open charger. I agree about the voltage — the car is likely to sit there for at least a day.

        I’d like to see more charging at shopping malls and such, but I expect that to be slow to come.

  13. Mr. M says:

    The Smart might claim the 3. best selling EV position this month. Mercedes sold a good number of cars. Now it can overtake the FF electric. Can’t wait to see…

    1. Mr. M says:

      so close… But I think next month it will be 3. best EV in US

  14. GRA says:

    I think the main takeaway from this is that among ‘affordable’ under $35k base MSRP EVs, PHEVs are just stomping BEVs. The Volt has significant nationwide competition in its price range from Ford, and the LEAF still doesn’t have any (the Smart hardly counts). I expect PiP sales to nose dive now that the green stickers are gone, but maybe iMiEV sales will increase with the 2014s.

  15. Paul says:

    Ford could have sold one more Focus, but between 4 dealerships, not one was interested selling me one instead saying the nearest Focus Electric was 300 miles away in another State. I just wanted to put one on order, but the excuse there was it would be 4 to 6 months before I could get the car. Dealerships are only interested in selling cars on the lot.

  16. EPL says:

    Regarding 500e vehicles, I believe your estimate is substantially lower than the actual sales.

    FIAT has a public page with their current inventory, which you can use to do some analysis on cars sold. To get a fully accurate estimate you would need to track cars per VIN as they arrive and are sold but for a ball-park lower-bound on the number of cars you can check the 2013s and I’ve done that a few times this year. As of January 11, there were 433 cars in California; as of today there are 18. That means FIAT sold at least 415 2013 cars in that period, without counting any 2014 they have sold at the same time.

    The 2014 current inventory shows 448 cars.

    And beats me why FIAT does not disclose the actual numbers…

    1. Jay Cole says:

      It certainly could very well be higher than what is reported, although relying on online dealer reported in-stock inventory by model year stated might not be the most accurate way to track things either. If inventory on Jan 11 was 433 cars, they would not all be 2013s at that time, there would have to be almost an equal number (if not more) of 2014s on top, just given the start of production for the 2014 MY…the MY doesn’t flip on January 1st. (well it does for Tesla, lol)

      That being said, Fiat has to report sales via the IRS at some point to stay in compliance with the federal credit program. When they do we will definitely make sure we get an accurate number for CY 2013 and CY 2014 (when that is done)…so it’ll get worked out, (=

      1. EPL says:

        The inventory can be searched online by model year. 433 was the inventory of 2013′s on Jan 11; the inventory of 2014 at that time was a different number. I did not record that number, but my recollection was that it was low, which would match the dealers trying to sell the 2013 first.

        It is possible that some 2013 were returned but it seems unlikely this early in the year.

        The online inventory page is at http://www.fiatusa.com/hostc/sni/IUX201404/results.do?radius=25&zipCode=94025 Play around with the model year and the search radius. Let me know if you see something that does not match the above interpretation.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Good news moment – the data is now available on Fiat 500e from this point on.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            Good news update to this, thanks to a recall notice it appears that January and February were about 100-150 light. Chart has been updated to reflect. +1 on the sleuthing EPL