Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard
JULY 2016 CAR SALES will be reported On Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 beginning with the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt sales at 6:30-7:30PT (9:30-10:30 AM ET). Full reporting will wrap up on Wednesday, August 3rd with Ford rounding things out in the early afternoon.
Every month InsideEVs tracks all the plug-in sales for the United States by auto maker and brand. Below, readers can find all the historical sales charts for the “current generation” of electric vehicles, as well as a synopsis of the current month’s sales happenings by specific EV below the charts..
Individual reports/recaps below of plug-in vehicles sales for the current month are available below charts.
June 2016 Plug-In Sales Recap
While every month so far in 2016 has been an improvement, June was something special as the “Tesla rush” to meet Q2 estimates was far greater than the “Tesla rush” of Q2 2015 and Ford set multi-year highs for plug-in sales.
In total, a new all-time record for plug-in sales in the US was set, with an unexpected ~15,040 sales.
And this wasn’t a slight beat either, the old “best” result was 13,845 sold in March of 2016.
Compared against a year ago’s results (10,364), sales were up 45%.
Looking ahead, these sorts of numbers will continue throughout the rest of 2016, as the combination of poor 2015 results against exciting new offerings and higher demand in 2016 guarantees big gains.
The plug-in choices in the US also expanded by one in June, as the Mercedes GLE 550e finally arrived on the US market this month (in very limited quantities), bringing the total number of available plug-ins to buy in America up to 25.
Also of interest this month:
*- the race between the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF for top selling plug-in in the US has seen the Volt take a hefty lead with the Chevy adding another 800 units over the Nissan. (98,558 vs 95,384) – which the plug-in Chevy will likely need all of to fend of a confirmed 2nd generation LEAF with a 60 kWh battery and 200+ mile range
*- the BMW i3 surprised us by returning to stronger sales levels in April and May after 3 months of, well…disastrous results. Now with a longer range i3 announced (and arriving this Fall), can BMW post decent results 3 months in a row with the “old” stock? Answer: Sorta – more than 600 units anyway
*- the refreshed, more efficient 2017 Fusion Energi arrived in late May. How would the new 21-mile AER edition fare during its first full month on the market Answer: Wicked awesome, selling 1,700 copies a multi-year high.
*- Audi A3 e-tron sales continue to be strong, setting a new year high in May (361 units), can it go higher in May? Answer: No, but it almost did.
While not specifically a plug-in electric vehicle, we note that Toyota sold (well really issued) 40 more Mirai sales in June. We say issued as 40 were sold in May, after moving 41 in both March and April – clearly the company is controlling the roll-out of its fuel cell.
Last update: Tuesday, July 5th, @10:02 AM
Individual Plug-In Model Sales Run-Down:
The Volt seems to have found its “level” with sales in the US, as 1,937 were sold.
Going back over the past 4 months, the trend is easy to spot: 1,937 – Jun, 1,901 – May, 1,983 – April, 1,865 – March.
If it was an apples-to-apples comparison, the 58% sales improvement in June would be pretty great news, however it comes against a wind-down of 1st generation sales in 2015…so we have to temper our excitement in this case.
Part of the sales issues earlier in the year could be pointed at the inventory situation. Ever since the car’s release, dealer stock has been fairly low, and not well spread out over the country.
Fortunately, by the end of June this situation appears to be correcting itself, as overall inventory crested the ~4,500 mark at month’s end – getting ever-closer to levels seen back when the Volt was the best selling plug-in for America in 2012 and 2013.
With deeper stock available in more places, we anticipate Summer sales of the Volt to increase.
Heading into June, the Volt had put a nice lead over the LEAF for the all-time US sales title (98,558 for the Volt to 95,384 LEAFs sold)
It is no secret Nissan is struggling with the LEAF in the US.
The US consumer clearly is looking ahead to 2nd generation offerings which begin to arrive this Fall, and the result is a drop-off in LEAF in June by more than 40% – down to 1,096 sales (versus 2,074 a year ago).
It was likewise the month prior in May as well, when Nissan sold 979 copies, which was off more than 50% from a year ago.
Clearly, the signal being sent from the US electric vehicle buying population is that they will wait for the introduction of the next generation model this upcoming show season. We can only hope for Nissan’s sake they can get the new LEAF out in early 2017 to avoid extended sales losses.
Nissan had its “best” result of the year in March, but the 1,246 LEAFs sold was nothing to write home about, as historically it was a disappointment.
It was thought as we headed deeper into Spring, a growing inventory of new 2016 30 kWh/107 mile LEAFs would help revive Nissan EV sales, that movement hit a ‘full stop’ in April as inventories shrank.
Now looking back on recent sales, we can see the sales drop as been both a lack of demand and an intentional pulling back of production heading into the next generation offering, as Nissan USA has basically thrown in the towel on selling today’s LEAF. 2016 inventory of 100+ mile EVs dropped about 25% further in June down to about ~1,400 units.
Nissan continues to offer better dealer incentives to move sales, but without depth to sell, and an incongruent product to demand (200 milers or bust), it doesn’t matter so much.
Cadillac managed to find and sell 94 ELRs in June, close to a year high.
Simply put, with less and less ELRs in stock to sell, GM sells ‘less and less’ of them. Previously in May 45 extended range Caddys were sold.
For the year 496 have now been moved, off 16% from 2015’s 593 ELRs sold.
As for those dwindling inventory supplies, they now won’t last long as GM discontinued ELR production at its Hamtramck, Michigan facility in February. Between dealers and GM’s pen we count maybe ~200 copies left at best before the car is gone forever. The ELR will shortly be replaced with the much larger CT6 plug-in sedan (details)
Overall for 2015, 1,024 were moved, which was off 22% from the 1,310 sold in 2014.
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 original, first generation 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.
As in the previous month the BMW i3 sold “ok”, with 608 copies moved in June, after selling 696 the month prior.
Taken in comparison to the first 3 months of the year, when just 814 were sold in all three month combined, both months were fairly decent.
But against historical numbers from 2015…or even the 814 sold in April, it was a touch underwhelming.
As for th0se previous 3 months of the year, BMW sold 182 (Jan), 248 (Feb) and 332 copied (Mar). For the year 2,880 i3s have been sold, off 45% from the 4,456 moved in 2015.
Likely taking the wind out of the i3s sales this month was BMW officially stating in May that the 2017 i3 would see a significant range bump (up to 114 miles of all-electric range) thanks to a battery upgrade from 22 kWh to 33 kWh (details).
A newly upgraded i3 is great news, but an interesting development is happening with inventory, as BMW did build a pile of 22 kWh i3s for inventory (and will continue to build out the base model in 2017 until 60 Ah battery supply has been exhausted), however that level is only at about ~1,400 for the US entering July.
If BMW has not properly allowed for “older model” stock until the 94 Ah cells (33 kWh) arrive in September/October, then we could see a return of the disastrous from earlier in 2016.
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.
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 (see below)
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.
While the first 3 weeks of May created a “lost” month essentially for volume Model S sales thanks to a focus on the Model X, a refreshed Model S and a few other issues, by month’s end things really got swinging and June had all the chaos we normal expect out of Tesla during the last month of the quarter – only worse.
Put another way, if you were a Tesla employee with some weeks holidays coming to you, June was the month to take ’em (if they would let you).
Not only was there a near record amount of deliveries, the configuration of those deliveries was ridiculous. Tesla delivered the (now discontinued) 70 kWh Model S, the new 75 kWh, the 90 kWh…and they even pushed out a few of the new entry level 60 kWh cars in the last week. On top of that, there was consumer options to “upgrade the 70 to 75” – which lead to “did I get the right badge on my car?”, “was the extra battery capacity turned on at delivery?”….and the always important, “what is up with the rear cupholder?” saga.
But delivery they did. We estimate ~3,700 Model S sedans were moved in June.
And while this scorecard focuses on the US, we have to note that in Q2, Tesla really focused on US deliveries (at the expense of international ones), to a degree that we have not seen in many quarters.
Tesla Update (July 3rd): Tesla reported Q2 sales (details), and not surprisingly (at least to us), the company noted a miss of the number due to…wait for it, a “high mix of customer-ordered vehicles still on trucks and ships at the end of the quarter” – basically international production got slightly delayed, and the tight end of the quarter timelines were missed. 9,745 Model S sales worldwide were made globally in Q2.
We imagine this is likely due to a focus on getting the Model X assembly streamlined and running properly – with the product of that assembly going to those close at hand (both for delivery ease…and for any possible repairs/recalls that might be needed), and the head-spinning trim changes that went down with the Model S.
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)
The Tesla Model X arrived last September, with a big launch party – of which you can check out the full video of (as well as newly released details/specs) here.
Then not a heck of a lot happened…until March when volume deliveries started.
For June, the month started relatively strong for deliveries, and ended much stronger. While we aren’t sure Tesla was actually hitting its 2,000 EV/week run-rate target (Model S & X) early in the month, we are fairly sure they did hit the number a couple times.
In the case of the Model X, we didn’t expect to see any 75D deliveries happening in June last month, but sure enough by the start of week 4 (~June 20th) they started to trickle out alongside the 90 kWh Model Xs. Tesla even managed to get a bunch to Canada with a sprinkling to Europe (think Denmark) and Asia.
For June, we estimate ~2,145 Model X deliveries were made – a new high.
Sales Update: Tesla recorded lower than expected worldwide sales for Q2 (details), but we have to note that all but a handful of Model X deliveries was made in North America (perhaps 85 or so). For the quarter Tesla reported 4,625 Model X deliveries…and not to brag but, our estimated scorecard got within ~55 units of the actual number. In Q1 we where within ~200 units.
Looking at actual production, the neglect of international deliveries appears to be over, because as soon as a Model X entering production was unlikely to be delivered to the US, Euro/Asia production kicked off.
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.
Since then, the XC90 plug-in has found a consistent selling range in the ‘100s’
For June, 166 were sold, after moving 110 copies in May
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 there is for the first extended range PHEV in America once it really gets its footing, as Volvo already under-estimate demand for the XC90 plug-in by a factor of 5 in 2015 for Europe.
Chevrolet SPARK EV:
The advent of a new “geared-to-income” EV rebate program in California this Spring lead to the monthly lease cost of the Chevy Spark EV to fall to….zero.
Yes, that is right, if you make under 3x the federal poverty limit (35k, or 73k for a family income for 4) – go find a dealer willing to knock off about $1,000 bucks and you get a free EV.
As one might expect under that program, Spark EV sales shot shortly thereafter. For May, a ‘near record’ 394 sales were made, 419 in April
The issue heading into June however…is that the CVRP funding as been temporarily cut-off thanks to some political posturing (details). How would people feel about paying full retail for the tiny all-electric Chevy.
For the month 359 were sold, which was not too much of a drop.
Update: We incorrectly had July sales to date of Spark EV here for a moment (which was like a dozen). Apologies for the mix-up
So just as the Spark EV hit its sweet spot (cheap for most residents, and selling for “free” to the under-underprivileged) the CVRP program has hit a road-bump. And also add to that we find that the production of the 2016 Chevy Spark EV in South Korea winds down in August – giving way to the upcoming, made-in-the-USA, 200+ mile Bolt EV.
In 2015, GM sold 2,629 Spark EVs in the US, impressive considering the improvement over 2014 numbers, when 1,145 were moved.
The latest offering to hit the US plug-in market is the new BMW 330e, the plug-in hybrid version of the company’s high selling 3 series offering.
The 330e (from $44,695 including DST), physically arrived in April in a token amount, but it will take some months yet for inventory of consequence to arrive as the model has proven exceptionally (and unexpectedly) popular in Europe.
For June, 26 plug-in 3-series cars were sold by BMW, after moving 67 in May
Ultimately, whenever BMW is able to build inventory (which is a big problem at the moment with high worldwide demand), we expect the 330e to easily be able to see 500+ units per month. For now, the ~100 units of inventory available heading into July is going to continue to hurt volume sales. We expect to not see those higher inventory numbers until the 2017 model year is introduced in the Fall.
As for the specs, the final EPA ‘real world’ range rating of just 14 all-electric miles (via a 7.6 Kwh battery – 5.7 usable) was a disappointment for some hoping for a number closer to 20, but with a 75 mph top speed in “Max eDrive”, it is a capable offering (featuring a 2 liter turbo inline 4) and should satisfy the traditional BMW crowd and be a strong seller.
The electric motor develops 87 hp with maximum peak torque of 184 lb-ft, when combined with the petrol engine, the total output jumps to 248 hp, with a peak torque of 310 lb-ft, allowing a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph.
The model also features a SAVE BATTERY mode:
If the high-voltage battery’s charge is below 50 percent, the battery is charged to 50 percent by the combustion engine. If over 50 percent of battery charge remains, the charge level is “frozen”, so that the remaining electric energy can be used for part of the upcoming journey.
Check out the new BMW 330e’s online configurator here.
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 6 months on the market, it has not not disappointed.
After setting a new all-time record in May with 361 sales, Audi managed to almost eclipse that number in June, but came up just short…still selling a very respectable 353 copies.
Overall, almost 2,000 copies have been sold…a not insignificant contribution to the US plug-in vehicle sales scene. That said, Audi is still certainly not in the “big boys” category for EV sales, but also is definitely not in the “also rans” either.
Audi has also been proving the statement “you need to stock it, to sell it”, as sales have grown stronger with inventory levels; heading into July close to 1,500 copies have now arrived on lots. Look for a big summer and 2nd half of 2016 for the plug-in Audi.
Part of the reason for strong sales for the A3 e-tron is also the (relatively) 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.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED (B250e):
Perhaps it has because the bar has been continually lowered for the B-Class ED (now actually named the B250e), but the 44 sold in May seems like a reasonable amount vs demand for city EVs these days.
Previously in May 49 were sold, April notched 56 and 66 were moved in March.
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.
Ford Fusion Energi:
Did the US consumer warm up to the refreshed, longer range 2017 Ford Fusion Energi (details) in June?
You bet they did, as Ford crushed previous results, setting a new multi-year high – selling 1,700 copies of its (now) 21 mile, extended range EV!
That was enough to keep it in front of a surging Model X for 3rd place on the plug-in ‘best sellers’ list in America.
Previously in May, a new year high for sales was set with 1,453 Fusion sold; this after logging an impressive 1,331 sales in April…so don’t think June’s result was some kind of fluke.
Looking at the inventory and it is easy to see why (and how) so many Fusion plug-ins have sold over the first few months of the year; the Fusion Energi has often won the crown for the “most stocked” EV in the US.
Entering July, while off from the year highs, a still very elevated ~3,500 plug-in Fusions were on lots to be purchased, with more than a 1,000 of them being brand new 2017s.
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.
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 late 2016 as the all-new Toyota Prius Prime hits the market (full details).
Toyota is just 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.
That said, Toyota set a 2016 high for Prius PHV sales in June!!! …at just 11 units.
Previously in May, just 4 copies were sold, which was identical to April’s result. Earlier results this year totaled 7 (in March), 6 sales (in February), and 10 in January. Overall 42 have moved in 2016, off just a scant 99% from the 2,889 sold in the first 5 months of 2015.
That being said, if the Prius Prime actually arrives in ~November as expected, the company could still likely end the year with more than 5,000 sales on the book, as the new 22 mile Prius plug-in is expected to compete for the sales crown in 2017.
In June we tracked down Toyota’s plant information and found out the Prius Prime enters retail production this September…so our new hunch is that it would be available in any depth in America until closer to Christmas.
Some industry insiders think upwards of 50,000 could be sold during its first full year on the market in 2017…provided that Toyota decides to fully stock it (but we think they will).
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.
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 with the new Prime – 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-Benz GLE 550e :
With all the fanfare of…well, absolutely nothing, the first GLE 550es quietly slipped on to Mercedes dealer lots in June.
And by few, we mean few…we counted about 50 confirmed plug-in SUVs on lots at June’s end.
We contacted Daimler on the GLE 550e’s status in the US, as well as how many the company sold in the plug-in SUV’s debut month…which turned out to be 19, and it turns out the GLE 550e is available only as a special request factory order (by your local dealer, or by customer order)…and is not a “stock program” (think Ford Focus EV for a handy reference as to what this means).
Normally the sales recap would not be the place to go over the particulars of what a plug-in can do – but 99.9% of readers probably didn’t even know it existed until about 20 seconds ago, so here goes…
Price: from $65,550
Engine: 3.0 L turbo, combined with electric motor puts out 436 hp
Acceleration: 0-60 in 5.3 seconds
All electric range: 10 miles (12 blended) – 42 MPGe
/now you know
Mercedes-Benz S 550 H:
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.
For June, 4 550 Hs were sold, a 33% improvement over May’s 3….which was 3 better than the zero sold in April.
Basically, what we are saying is that the Mercedes S550 H is not a big seller, and if you want one…you pretty much have to ask Mercedes to build and ship you one.
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.
Currently, 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.
NEW for 2017: The 550 H will be getting a new, larger battery – up to 13.3 kWh (details), which should give the massive tourer about ~20 miles of real world/EPA range. The plug-in luxury car will also be the first vehicle to offer a factory-installed wireless charging option in 2017, Mercedes notes this option will be made available on all new plug-in offerings in the future.
Hyundai Sonata PHV:
January was the first month the Sonata plug-in was even decently stocked, and Hyundai sold ~175 copies of the Sonata plug-in, indicating that it will be a strong player in the EV space for 2016.
Since then sales have been steady, we estimate some ~225 were sold in June, after moving a similar 235 in May.
(As always, Hyundai is not keen to split out a specific number themselves, so we have to go by what rebate and dealer information there is to go on).
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). During June just under ~400 showroom copies on average were available in limited states – although the car is available by customer order in all 50 states, which could push sales abnormally higher than would be expected with present inventory levels.
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.
For June, Volkswagen sold 248 all-electric Golfs, which is a bit of a pullback over recent months for the EV.
Previously in May, VW sold 269 copies of the e-Golf.
However we should note that these sales levels are not too bad considering a recently announced range upgrade for the upcoming 2017 edition – which has served to pretty much keep demand in check until that car’s arrival.
As mentioned, some sales help is on the way, as Volkswagen will have a first mover advantage of some sort upgrading the range on today’s e-Golf; the company said in May that a new longer range e-Golf will be in production by year’s end. The 2017 plug-in VW (details) will now feature a 35.8 kWh battery, increasing range to ~124 miles.
124 miles is a fairly significant number compared to today’s city EVs, but it still short of the like of the Chevrolet Bolt EV (200+ miles) which arrives in December, the new LEAF in early 2017, and the Tesla Model 3 (215+ miles) in late Summer of next year.
We expect with the release of this 2017 edition, inventories will deepen considerably in the US…along with sales.
The current 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:
If it wasn’t for the impressive results of the Ford Fusion Energi, we probably would look at C-Max Energi results a lot differently.
For June 630 were sold – a solid effort, and a new 2016 high.
With the result the plug-in C-Max holds steady as the 6th best seller for plug-ins in America; which is just ahead of the BMW i3.
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, usually selling more than a third of the net cars for the model. For June just 1,486 petrol versions were 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, or other more capable PHEV (a casualty of the standard hybrids failure to compete well with the like of the Toyota Prius). Still, that won’t be happening in 2017 as Ford has confirmed the 2017 C-Max Energi will head into production this November – hopefully with some improved specs akin to its sister Fusion Energi.
Given the Fusion Energi’s recent all-electric and MPG upgrades (see details above under the Fusion Energi recap), we expect the C-Max Energi to get a similar boost at that time.
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.
When it comes to sales, the BMW i8 (like its cousin i3) had a pretty rough start to the year. In fact it was terrible.
However, the company has found more buyers for their performance, extended range sports car each and every month in 2016.
For June, 169 were sold, a 23% increase over a year ago, and also besting the 146 sold in May. In fact, the i8 has almost fought its way back to pulling even with cumulative YTD sales compared to 2015 (620 vs 733, off ~15%), something the i3 can not boast.
Heading into July, the inventory situation continues to be strong, but less than June (perhaps in anticipation of a new model year arrive soon)…as it seems every BMW dealer really enjoys having a a couple i8s in stock (one for the showroom window, and one to drive around him/herself). About ~500 are currently available for sale.
The all-time high sales mark for the BMW i8 came in December, when an unbelievable 656 were sold…perhaps it was the expensive ‘go to’ gift of the Holiday Season for that special someone? The old record was just 217 units, so to say this Christmas 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.
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.
In June, 22 were sold – sad faces all around for the plug-n Porsche.
Previously in May, the Panamera S e-Hybrid sold just 26 copies…so the car is destined to stay low at this point.
Basically, the upcoming refresh probably can’t come soon enough – and it comes this Fall.
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 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.
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).
There has even been enough demand of late for Porsche to introduce a premium “platinum edition” of the plug-in Cayenne.
In June the strong sales trend continued, as 176 Cayanne PHEVs were sold, just slightly less than the 191 copies sold in May.
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 has only increased through the past few month, averaging close to ~400 units in both May and June.
Fiat 500e: NO DATA TO REPORT YET
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 ~40 units in those moments when some confirmed data leaks out (usually from a recall).
So far in 2016, the Fiat 500e has remained a consistent performer, although the model itself has proven somewhat unreliable…at least if you go by national recalls (and fairly serious ones at that) – the 500e recently netted its 3rd such notice in June, due to a power inverter module that can experience voltage spike, which in turn can cause the propulsion system to shutdown at speed, which Chrysler says can “increase the risk of a crash”.
Despite all that, the 500e remains the most popular compliance EV that many can buy, we estimate 480 copies were sold in June, a year high.
The all-time high-water mark was around ~1,310 sales of the 500e in March of 2015.
BMW X5 xDrive40e:
Showing that early success was no fluke (and that a plug-in hybrid can actually sell this year with a BMW badge on the front), BMW sold a very strong 583 copies of the plug-in X5 in June.
Previously results tallied 500 in May, and a new all-time record in April when 655 were sold.
This month’s result keeps the X5 plug-in solidly inside the “top 10” best sellers for the US. Last month, the BMW SUV passed the Fiat 500e for 8th best overall. Who would have guessed?
Looking at the potential for future sales, more than ~1,200 copies are now on hand heading into July – which as far was we can tell, is a new all-time high, so we expect some decent numbers going forward.
Can the X5 plug-in break into the top the “top 7” sellers in the US in 2016, passing its sister-car the i3? A couple of months ago we probably would have said that was highly unlikely, but now, who knows, sale could take off even higher from here.
Check out our first drive review of the 13 mile AER BMW x5 xDrive40e here.
SMART ForTwo ED:
Daimler had been experiencing a slight rebound in sales for its 2 seat all-electric smart car, but that ended in Juna as sales reached a near-low for 2016 with just 53 sales
Previously in May 75 were sold, representing the year’s high.
With the start of summer upon us, our expectation for the little plug-in smart is a decent sales rebound…perhaps not its to former glory, but definitely returning to the 150-200 sales per month level.
The all-time record for sales in one month was set in December of 2014 when 351 were sold. The smart Ed ended 2015 with 1,387 sold – good for the 13th on the top selling plug-ins list for America.
The smart ED 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.
Ford Focus Electric:
Do we really have to keep reporting on individual months for the Focus Electric? Every month is practically a carbon copy of the last…serious.
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 June marked the EV’s 51st 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.
In May, we though that 54 sold was “the boringest sales story ever to be told”, but we were wrong…as Ford managed to sell the exact same number in June – 54.
The model has sold between 53 and 198 sales per month in 48 of the past 49 months. With just one of those months passing the 200 level ever (August 2014 -264)
Ford has announced some time ago that a longer range, 100 mile 2017 Focus Electric would arrive later in 2016…which is good, but we still suspect won’t do much to help push sales any higher, as the entire industry BEV segment seems to be going through a product upgrade cycle.
Still, we were curious as to when these new Focus EVs actually might show up, and it appears that retail production for the US kicks off the second week of November…meaning next-to-nothing of the new product will actually be sold in 2016, and we’ll have to wait until 2017 to see if the longer range Ford EV gains more market acceptance.
Kia SOUL EV: N
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 the 100 unit mark during in its first full year on the market, Kia sold 134 copies in June – a number we probably should be celebrating, as it is close to an all-time record; but we just can’t do it, as the car’s potential is so much higher.
Previously, Kia moved 120 Soul EVs in May.
Hey Kia, maybe its time to ship a few more copies to the US?
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 the upcoming 110-mile Hyundai IONIQ Electric 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