October 2012 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card
While September sales was an exercise in “how many plug-ins did your favorite automaker clear off their lots?” October was, “how deep was the discounting on 2013 model year EV offerings”.
And for every manufacturer not based out of California (Testa & Fisker) the answer was “pretty deep“. Chevrolet once again lead all plug-ins with almost 3,000 Volts sold in the month.
This list is populated as it is reported in real time by each manufacturer throughout the day. So if you don’t see your EV’s sales listed yet, just sit tight, it is coming.
Chevrolet Volt: In the month of October 2,961 plug-in extended range Chevys were sold. Which brings the year-to-date sales to 19,309.
GM has now set all-time highs for monthly sales three months running. Last month GM sold 2,851 plug-ins, which slightly bested August’s all time record (2,831).
For a good part of October GM’s Hamtramck assembly facility was idled as the General “tooled up” for the new Chevrolet Impala. That shutdown began the 17th of last month, and runs to October 15th.
In order to offset the loss of custom orders and new dealer inventories being produced in Michigan, GM offered a discount program on all 2012 model year Volts, and a slightly less aggressive program on 2013. Still, for the month of October, total discounts and incentives on each plug-in Chevy was estimated to be close to $6,000. GM sales pdf can be found here.
Nissan LEAF: 1,579 LEAFs were sold in October, obliterating Nissan’s previous best effort.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn promised that starting in September, sales would start to “dramatically” improve, and with a 43% gain (984 LEAFs sold), and after the past two month’s results, he was right.
The Nissan Boss’ other prediction of 20,000 EVs sold by Nissan’s fiscal year end (March 30th, 2012) is still looking more than a little shaky.
Battery production in Smyrna, TN is now online and Nissan spokesperson, Katherine Zachery has told InsideEVs that US made LEAFs (2013s) are “on track” and expected to be produced in December. Supporting that comment was a production video just released by Nissan demonstrating pre-production of eMotors in Dechard, TN.
Tesla Model S: Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales. However, consistent SEC filings, and production tweets/updates let us be fairly exact in estimating that Tesla sold about 290-300 Model S EVs in October. (Delivery math calculations below)
CEO Elon Musk tweeted (and posted a picture) over the weekend that Tesla had produced its 1,000th Model S body, which gives us a nice window into how production has been ramping up, but more importantly he said Tesla made “…more cars this month than entire rest of year.”
This statement, coupled with a SEC filing that said as of September 23 Tesla had made 255 cars in total, with an expectation to produce 45 more by month end, means that Tesla has eclipsed 600 completed Model S EVs in October. (Then later in early October, Musk said the company had completed 359 cars, and 250 had been delivered)
Subtract out previous sales and demonstrators, means Tesla probably delivered about 300 cars in October by our estimates.
Fisker Karma: Like Tesla, Fisker does not report monthly sales. Unlike Tesla however, we don’t have the advantage of constant SEC disclosures. What we do have is the Fisker PR machine putting out press releases.
In September, the company raised another 100 million dollars to fund the development of the upcoming Atlantic. And in so doing the company intimated that sales rose by about 150 units in the US since their last quasi-update the month prior. CEO Tony Posawatz had this comment yesterday on how things are progressing, “On the retail sales front, we beat our forecasts for September.”
In October, all we had from Fisker was an update that the company had now moved more than 2,000 Fisker Karma’s worldwide, unfortunately estimates already had the company at 2,000 units for September’s month end, leaving us to estimate maybe 75-100 Karmas were sold in October.
Toyota Prius Plug-In: In October 1,889 partially electric Toyotas were sold.
Beginning in September, and ramping up in October, Toyota began to more aggressively market the Plug-In Prius in North America. And both months were very successful.
Very close to October’s all-time best result result was the 1,652 Prius plug-ins sold in September, which was a virtual tie for its prior all time best figure. (April-1,654 units sold)
Ford C-Max Energi: After a little reporting confusion from Ford, it seems the company has been playing coy with us on the C-Max Energi, as no journalists test drives (or deliveries to those of us who are actually buying the plug-in car) had been given, yet Ford sold 144 C-Max Energis during the month.
During October, Ford did announce that the plug-in C-Max got $1,500 cheaper in California thanks to its inclusion in the CVRP program. The Ford also now qualifies for HOV access stickers in California.
Honda Fit EV: There is never usually much to report from Honda as the Fit EV has been built strictly as a compliance car, and this month was no different with 16 Fit EVs heading to driveways in October.
This result matches September’s result of 16 Fit EV sales, which bested August’s 9 electric cars sold and July’s 7.
Of note: When speaking to InsideEVs, a Honda representative said the company had planned to sell about 40 a month until the US allotment of 1,100 vehicles was sold…so a lease price cut maybe on its way (currently the Fit EV is only available via a $389/month lease in California and Oregon)
Ford Focus Electric: October was Ford’s best result on the Focus Electric to date, with 118 all electric Fords being sold.
Ford has been reluctant to promote the Focus Electric, saying they will only build EVs directly from customer orders, however the company blinked on that stance this month, and began discounting its 76 mile (EPA) electric car, with some dealerships matching a $199/month lease offer from Nissan and offering up to $5,000 off the MSRP.
Toyota RAV4 EV: Currently only available in California (and in limited quantities), Toyota sold 47 RAV4 EVs in its second month on the market.
In its first partial month on the market in September, the $49,800, all electric, 100 mile SUV from Toyota sold a respectable 61 copies, which was actually the strongest first month result of any all electric vehicle on the market today.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV: If we had to wager a guess on October sales before the numbers were released, we would definitely start with something in the thirties, as every month for the past four have been thirty-somthing…and sure enough, Mitsu sold 30 i-MiEVs in October.
Much like Ford with the Focus Electric, Mitsubishi reluctantly started discounting the i-Miev and offering $199 leases at some dealerships in the US late into October in response to Nissan’s new financing offers. We will have to wait until next month to see if anything comes of that.
Last month, Mitsubishi sold 36 i-Mievs, so October is a bit of a step back. Mitsubishi did take a moment this past week to blame poor worldwide sales of the little electric kei car on the economy for Europe, and a poor Japanese yen conversion for the rest of the world, artificially inflating the price.
LAST UPDATED: Thursday November 2nd, 2012 @ 4:22PM