April 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

MAY 2 2017 BY JAY COLE 60

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

EV sales in the US continue to rise in April

Heading into this month, and for a year and a half, we have reported monthly sales gains for the US plug-in vehicle market.

And indeed, April 2017’s result makes it 19 consecutive months* of sales improvements.

With that said, there was some mild headwinds during the month, and while April didn’t show any new all-time record results, the improvement was still significant.

The Chevy Bolt EV arrived in both New York and New Jersey in March as the GM plug-in winds its way to being a nationwide offering by September

During April, an estimated 13,151 plugin sales where made – good for a solid 25% gain over the same month from 2016.

After the first 4 months of the year ~54,693 plug-ins have been sold in America, which is 43% improvement from the ~38,372 sold in a year ago.

See full model-by-model breakdown for 2017 on the graphic below.

One of the most notable sales events for April came from the Chevrolet Bolt EV…but notable in the fact that sales were mostly unchanged.

After posting a couple disappointing months of Bolt sales in both February and March (952, 978 respectively), GM came out and specifically said that issue was related to the amount of available inventory (averaging less than 14 days worth of stock in Q1).

For April, those inventories quadrupled, by mid-month, but unfortunately sales only moved up by a few hundred units, to 1,292 deliveries in the month.

Separately, the Toyota Prius Prime, still under the thumb of limited supply (less than 1,000 units on hand during April on average), set a new all-time high of 1,819 sales.  How high is the ceiling for the plug-in Prius in the US?  It is still impossible to tell, but it appears that it could easily be at least 3,000-4,000+.

Besides the Prius Prime, the BMW 740e broke out of its early sales range of 20-40 units, and crossed the 100 sold mark (123) for the first time, as some deeper inventory popped up in April.  In the “battle of the newcomers”, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (with an estimated 205 sales), easily took down the Hyundai Ioniq Electric which just slipped on to dealers lots at the very end of the month.

Questions for March (with answers in brackets as they come in):

  • Can the Chevrolet Volt retake the overall sales lead from Tesla and the Model S? (Yes, by about 150 units)
  • Who will win the battle of the “new major offerings” for April – the Chevrolet Bolt EV, or the Toyota Prius Prime?  (The Prime going away)
  • Just how many BMW i3s will be sold – 300? 700? 1,000?, as the “bipolar sales king” continues to look for its equilibrium…despite April being the car’s 3rd anniversary  (Nope on all our guesses…of course: ~500)

Also: the hydrogen fuel cell Toyota Mirai sold 106 copies in April, and 417 YTD

Last update: Monday, May 8th, 2017 – 10:14 PM

*On year of monthly sales improvements: We know someone is going to look at the chart and say, “hey, only ~11,467 sales were made in May of 2016, when 11,540 were logged in 2015!  What gives InsideEVs?”  What gives is – through an odd scheduling quirk, only 24 selling days were reported in May 2016 (versus 26 in 2015)

Below Chart: A individual run-down of each vehicle’s monthly result and some analysis behind the numbers.  (Previous year’s monthly results can be found on our fixed Scorecard page here)

2017 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** FCA/Hyundai-Kia Do Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

Individual Plug-In Model Sales Recap For Major Models:

(limited to vehicles with ~500 sales/or potential for 500 sales in a given month)

Nest Generation, 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Next Generation, 2017 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt:  

Someone forgot to tell General Motors that the first three months of a new year are awful months to try and sell electric vehicles in.

The Volt set the record for “most plug-ins sold for January” ever, moving 1,611 copies, then followed that up by selling 1,830 cars in February – a personal record, then 2,132 in March.

For April, things cooled off slightly, as the Volt failed to beat year-over-year comps for the first time in…well, ages, but only slightly.

1,807 Volts were sold in April, and although that was down 9% from a year ago, it was enough to retake the overall plug-in sales lead for the US over the Tesla Model S.  Overall, Chevrolet Volt sales are up 23.5% for 2017.


For 2016, 24,739 Volts were sold vs 15,393 last year, a gain of 61%, passing the Volt’s previous all-time record for most sales in a year from 2012, when 23,464 were sold.




Chevrolet Bolt EV - looking to make its mark in 2017

Chevrolet Bolt EV – looking to make its mark in 2017

Chevrolet Bolt EV:  

GM’s first long range offering completed its first full month on the US market in January, selling an impressive 1,162 copies in California and Oregon (the two states selected for the Bolt EV’s launch before going nationwide later this year).

Unfortunately, and despite added 3 more states of availability in February (Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia joined California and Oregon), Bolt EV sales fell to 952 moved during the month, and improved only slightly in March to 978 sales.

GM noted that inventory was fairly tight on dealer lots in March, with only around 14 days worth on hand.

With that in mid, we did note last month that with the Bolt EV’s “production having started last October and only ~3,600 sales since then, there was an issue someplace” – and that materialized in April.  Despite inventories quadrupling, sales increased…but to just 1,292 units.

Still, the ~1,300 deliveries does represent a new all-time for the 238 mile EV, besting January’s result (1,162) slightly.

The CARB-tastic, state-by-state roll-out continued in April with Washington welcoming the Bolt EV to local Chevy dealerships.   As for a nationwide roll-out, that will happen with the introduction of the 2018 MY Bolt EV – which arrives in September.



Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF:

It is no secret that the Nissan LEAF is aging, and that the US consumer is anticipating a new, 2nd generation model arrival this Fall, with the prototype spotted out testing this month in the UK.

Yet despite that, the LEAF has now seen gains in the past 8 consecutive months in a row (more on that below).

For April sales notched 4-digits again, with some 1,063 sales – good for a 35% increase from April of 2016, and inexplicably in a virtual tie with the Chevrolet Bolt EV for 2017 (4,350 vs 4,384)

How rare have sales improvements been before this current run?  September 2016 through April 2017’s gains were the first for the EV in America in 20 months (you’d have to go back to December of 2014 to other year-over-year increases).

During 2016, 14,006 LEAFs were sold, off 19% from the 17,269 moved in 2015.

We should note that the entry level price to the 30 kWh/107 mile edition of the LEAF was lowered with the 24 kWh trim level’s removal – the 30 kWh LEAF now has a starting MSRP of $30,680 + DST.




2017 Toyota Prius Prime

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime: 

After 18 months of waiting for the  first generation Prius plug-in to be replaced, the Toyota Prius Prime (details) arrived on US dealers lots on November 8th, and sales have not disappointed.

After setting a new high of 1,619 sales in March, Prius Prime sales continued to defy the almost non-existent inventory at the dealership level so far – selling 1,819 copies in April.

If you are just quiet enough and listen, you can almost hear Toyota’s dealers screaming for more inventory of the plug-in Prius.  And why is that?

For the 5th consecutive months since its introduction, The popular Toyota has yet to hit 4 figures worth of average national inventory in stock for any month yet….for April around ~900 copies were normally on hand, about 100 units higher than the month prior.

Yes, the Prius Prime is here, and it might just be your 2017 plug-in sales champion for the US.  The Toyota not only features its own unique look, but 25 miles of all-electric range.

But most importantly, the plug-in Toyota is priced right – from $27,950, which after the $4,500 federal credit is applied gives the Prime an effective price of $23,450, a price-point that is actually more than $1,000 cheaper than the base hybrid version…which should eventually translate into very strong sales once the EV is well stocked, as the standard version of the car can sell upwards of 10,000 units in a month.





2015 BMW i3

BMW i3

BMW i3:  

When it comes to plug-in vehicle sales in the US, no model was more disappointing, or more unpredictable than the BMW i3 in 2016.

As an example, the BMW i3 sold 629 copies in November, 442 copies in October, 391 copies in September, 1,479 in July, 608 in June, 814 in April and 182 in January.  Totally bipolar.

For 2017, things started rough, with just 182 sales logged in January, and 318 in February.  Fortunately, the tune changed drastically in March (which given the i3’s track record is not all that surprising), with 703 sales made, a 118% gain over March of 2016.  Now for April, any momentum has been lost – back down to 516 deliveries (off 37% from a year ago).

Quite frankly, the i3 as it stands today is likely too expensive for plug-in vehicle buyers, so if BMW wants to sell the EV in volumes like it did in the past, it is going to have to sharpen its pencil…and by a lot.

For 2016 overall,  BMW sold 7,625 i3s in 2016, compared to 11,024 a year ago – off 31%

Disappointing for future numbers, BMW continues to seem to have issues stocking the i3 (and we aren’t sure if it is intentional or not), entering May about ~900 copies were available on dealer lots to be purchased.

Truthfully, BMW’s inventory managing of its electrified fleet over the past year (now 7 strong worldwide) as been about abysmal as possible, as the company has potentially left 10s of thousands of sales behind globally thanks to an unpreparedness to produce plug-ins to demand levels.  The only question that remains is whether or not it was/is intentional.

Earlier in September we got all the US EPA specs on the new 33 kWh i3 REx (details), namely 97 miles of all electric range, backed up by 83 miles of petrol abilities – for a total of 180 miles of driving range; numbers that most US customers didn’t seem all to please with (considering the 22 kWh 2016 version had a cumulative 150 mile rating).

Fortunately, we have been able to have the opportunity to have a long term/first hand review on both trim levels.

  • BMW i3 (33 kWh) BEV – read InsideEVs’ own Michael Beinenson’s 1,000 mile report here
  • BMW i3 (33 kWH) REx – read InsideEVs’ own Tom Moloughney’s first drive comparison here





2014 Tesla Model S

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

To come to an estimated monthly, number, we don’t simply take the quarterly estimate given by Tesla and divide it by 3 and hope it all works out…it just doesn’t work like that in the real world.  We simply report from the data we accumulate ourselves, the first hand accounts available from the factory and from the community itself when available – and the number is what it is (see below)

Revisions/disclaimer to accuracy of prior estimates: The 2016 Model S chart has been adjusted (via US Q3 data leaked directly from Tesla) by 469 units in Q3, and 525 units in Q4.  The 2015 chart was adjusted (one time) by 498 units to compensate for confirmed full year numbers. The 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.


The focus for Tesla deliveries, at least when it came to the US, was definitely on the Model S in April.

And not just any trim level of the Model S, but the 60 kWh edition (the 60 Teslas are really 75 kWh battery-powered cars, but software retarded to 60 kWh), which was officially discontinued on April 17th.

For the month we noticed, perhaps not surprisingly a huge weighting to the former base offering of the car – taking priority from not only other Model S offerings, but Model X production in the first half of April.

For the month we estimate 1,125 Model S sedans were delivered, which is about 40% more than a year ago (as the first month of a new quarter is generally always the lightest for US deliveries).  

But as noted the mix was very 60 kWh trim level heavy, of the confirmed data we were able to run down on Tesla’s deliveries in the US, about 60% of the deliveries were the outgoing model.

Also, no sooner had the 60 kwh car been discontinued, that Tesla offered existing 60 owners (on the same day – April 17th) the ability to upgrade to 75 kWh for just $2,000 dollars, while at the same time slashing the price of the 75 kWh offering by $5,000; one assumes  the price reduction was to keep the price point under 70k ($69,500), and enable the delivery volume of the Model S 75 to stay on par with that of the former 60.





Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

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

Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Oct 11th):

Tesla recently leaked US sales data for Q3 2016 put US deliveries at 5,428 Our own Q3 estimate  was 5,800 for North America, which includes Canada (which ended Q3 with 389 registrations for the quarter), meaning 5,787 were actually sold – and not to brag…but that means we were only off by 13 units in Q3.

Previously in Q2 2016, Tesla reported 4,625 Model X deliveries…our estimated scorecard got within about ~55 units of the actual number (accounting for just a handful of international Model X deliveries). In Q1 we where within ~200 units.

The Tesla Model X, like many trim levels of the Model S, had to live in the shadow of the “end of production” of the popular 60 kWh version of Tesla’s sedan in April.

The result of that, and possibly other happenings at Tesla’s Fremont factory getting ready for the Model 3, was that Model X production at the end of March/beginning of April seem to have some hiccups and delays, with many would-be Model X owners lamenting the news their future all-electric SUVs might be arriving a few weeks later than normal.

By the third week of April, and with the Model S 60 kWh rush over, production of the Model X seemed to back in full swing…but that doesn’t help out this month’s delivery results.

For April, we estimate Tesla delivered 715 Model Xs in the US – the lowest result for 2017.  With that said, look for May to be much improved.

Separately, Tesla reduced the cost of upgrading the Model X 60 kWh (software limited) utility vehicles to 75 kWh.  The bump now costs owners $4,500; which interestingly is still $2,500 more than for the Model S 60-to-75 improvement.



Chrysler Pacific Plug-In Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid:

The much anticipated plug-in extended range passenger van arrived in January, albeit in stealth, stuttered… and very limited in fashion.

Due to some odd quirks with production timing and plant scheduling we have had a on/off start for the Pacifica Hybrid as it relates to deliveries.

Here is the nutshell version:

Production kicked off as expected November 28th at the company’s Windsor, Ontario plant, and it seems a truck or two of inventory/orders managed to get out before Christmas shutdown – which resulted in reports of handful of January 2016 deliveries.

Unfortunately, inventory over-stock gripped the domestic automakers in North America, and many plants where given an extended shutdown (up to 3 weeks in some cases) – this included FCA’s Windsor plant.

The result was that the re-start of limited production of the Pacifica Hybrid was pushed back several weeks, compounded by a subsequent quality control hold, and a decision by Chrysler to hold built vans until around Earth Day.

Long story short:  Some 700 odd customers who already ordered their plug-in Pacificas had to wait a bit longer than expected for Chrysler to ship them out in late April…on the positive side, they did start to ship them out, and Chrysler also gave those customers a free L2 charging station, or a $500 Visa card for their patience.

As for how many plug-in Pacifica Hybrids were sold in April, we got in touch with Chrysler HQ for the number, but knowing full well ahead of time what the response would be (given the stonewalling we fact over as sister-brand Fiat):

“The Pacifica Hybrid did go on sale in April, but we’re reporting only the total Pacifica/Pacifica Hybrid sales number. Same as we do for Fiat 500e.”

Anyway, even though it would have been nice to get the exact number, estimating the number (within a reaonable margin of error) is not terribly hard via the data on hand, and will tighten up as more reporting data comes online.

For April, we estimate 205 Pacifica Hybrids found over the last week of the month it was available.  Look for the number to be much improved next month, as many customer orders (and dealer stock) arrived right at month’s end.


2017 BMW 330e - Like All Plug-Ins Sold In The US, It Wisely Is Offered In Black

2017 BMW 330e – Like All Plug-Ins Sold In The US, It Wisely Is Offered In Black

BMW 330e:  

Arriving on the US market last Spring was the BMW 330e, which is the plug-in hybrid version of the company’s high selling 3 series offering.

And while the 330e (from $44,695 including DST), physically arrived in April 2016 in a token amount, and it has taken BMW 8 months to begin to stock the vehicle adequately.

But apparently, that process has begun!

In April, 260 plug-in BMW 3 series cars were sold, which followed a big jump in March (365), which was an all-time high for the model (previous best was 240 copies sold in December).

As noted, during March, actual depth of the 330e arrived (just a scant ~12 months after the car’s debut), and now about ~700 330es are available on dealer lots heading in May!  Perhaps now we will finally start to see the true sales volume potential of the plug-in BMW 3 series, which we have always felt was north of 500 units per month.

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.




Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron:   

Audi had defined the word “consistent” when it comes to plug-in vehicle sales in 2016, dutifully selling the low 300s each month.

That is at least until December when it broke out of its normal pattern and a very impressive 589 copies.

Now the Audi e-tron looks to not only repeat that consistency in 2017, but improve.

After selling between about ~400 copies a month in Q1 (387, 400 and 414), Audi slipped a bit in April, moving 301 copies.  Still, some 1,502 A3 e-trons have been sold over the first 4 months of the year, good for a 22% gain.

In 2016, 4,280 copies were sold…also 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.

Quirky fact not really related to EV sales, but certainly aided with the arrival of the A3 e-tron, the Audi brand has now set 76 consecutive months of record year-over-year sales in the US.

Part of the reason for strong sales for the A3 e-tron is also the (relatively) low price. $38,900 gets you the Audi badge, 8.8 kWh of battery – good for 17-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 $3,500 of the base MSRP of the A3.

Well that, and you can’t get the “sportback” version of the Audi in any other trim level in the US.  Check out our own early/pre-delivery review on the Audi A3 e-tron here.





Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi:  

The refreshed 2017 Ford Fusion Energi (details) was a fairly big hit in 2016, showing marked improvements throughout the year.

Heading into 2017, the Fusion Energi eked out a small gain in January, moving 606 copies, then got back to business in setting new personal bests.

Following February’s strong 837 sale performance, Ford crossed back into “4 digit land”, as 1,002 Energis were moved in March…joining a club of just 5 other at that level.

For April, things moderated to some degree, as Ford sold 905 Fusion Energis.

Looking at the inventory in the past, it was easy to see why (and how) so many of the new Fusion plug-ins were sold over the past few months;  the Fusion Energi has often won the crown for the “most stocked” EV in the US (before Chevy got crazy with the Volt).  With that said, Ford had been struggling to keep production on pace with demand earlier this year, but seems to now be catching its wind, as national inventories touched ~2,500 units during April.






Volkswagen e-Golf Comes To The US In November

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf:   

It had been hard to get a read on the sales demand for VW’s all-electric Golf for the most part of 2016, as as sales fluctuated quite a bit.

After setting a year’s best in August (with 454 copies sold), Volkswagen improved on that number again in September, selling 529 copies, before setting back down to 407 sales in October and lower still with 305 sold in November.  However, things rebounded again in December with 443 sold.

Heading into 2017 however, sales have normalized around the 300 level ahead of a new longer range version set to arrive imminently.

For April, 326 copies were sold, almost identical to the 346 moved in March, and previous results (332-January, 293-February)

As noted, some additional sales help is on the way, as Volkswagen is now offering an upgraded range on the original e-Golf platform.

The 2017 plug-in VW will now feature a 35.8 kWh battery, increasing range to ~124 miles and debuted at the LA Auto Show in November (details – launch gallery/video).  Production of the new e-Golf got underway earlier this year, and arrives….about now.





Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi:  

If it wasn’t for the impressive results of the Ford Fusion Energi every month, we probably would look at C-Max Energi results a lot differently.

But in December, the plug-in C-Max manged to step out of the Fusion’s shadow for the first time, and sold an all-time best 1,289 copies – 17% more than the Fusion Energi.

We wondered for a time if that could be a performance repeated by the C-Max Energi in 2017?  And while that has yet to happen, result have still be very strong for the Ford, noting 639 sales in February, and 662 in March, and now a year high in April with 749 sales.

Thanks to December’s surge, and the BMW i3’s sales malaise over the past four months, the C-Max Energi has moved past the BMW and settles in at the 6th best selling plug-in for the US in 2016.

Despite these results, we expect that the C-Max Energi will live only as long as it takes to introduce a Ford’s new “Model E” lineup in Spring of 2019 (offering both a compact car and crossover utility vehicle).




2014 Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e:  

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

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

UPDATE: After initially have some issues getting data on the plug-in Fiat, more registration and rebate data is now available. That being said, the number is estimated. Historically, the average margin of error per month has been about ~40 units in those moments when some confirmed data leaks out (usually from a recall).  For 2016, the yearly estimated total was adjusted upwards (once) by approximately 500 units over the first 12 months.

For most of 2016, the Fiat 500e was a consistent performer, but over the past few month of the year things really ratcheted up – thanks to deals such as this one on Black Friday ($49/month with nothing down*), and the 500e remains the most popular compliance EV that many can buy.

Heading into 2017 sales continued to remain robust for the 500e given the limited amount of inventory actually on hand (~300-400 units on average), peaking in January of all months at an estimated ~752 sales.

Things have normalized somewhat for the months since January, but no one sells a compliance BEV like FCA, and we reckon another 441 500es found homes in April.




BMW X5 xDrive40e

x5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 xDrive40e: 

The BMW X5 plug-in had an unexpectedly strong debut in the US in 2016…and only get stronger over the year.

In fact the electrified BMW SUV has seen sales as high as 876 units in the past (August 2016).

For 2017, thanks to the “January slowdown” effect on EV sales due to the US federal credit, inventories grew decently during the month, but adversely affected sales, with 262 sold in the first month of 2017 and roughly the same in February at 275 sales.

During the second half of March, inventory of the X5 plug-in began to strengthen, and averaged close to 800 units in April. And with SUVs to be purchased, sales started to return to the model, with 397 copies moved in March, but fell back down to 291 units in April.  Why the pull back?  We honestly aren’t quite sure.

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

Categories: Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Sales, Smart, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo

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60 Comments on "April 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

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Prius Prime passed up the GM Volt this last Month. Looks as though it will stay ahead of the Volt for the remainder of 2017!

GM has to do start to rollout some better Volt incentives to keep pace with Toyota.


The Volt is designed and priced as a premium compact car. The Prime is designed and priced squarely for the mass market.

Later in the year the bigger tax credit for the Volt will play a larger role, but now the Prime is way more affordable.

Some have criticized Toyota for it’s battery pack size on the Prime not being big enough to qualify for the full $7500 federal tax credit, but the smaller pack enabled a lower retail price, and more people will be able to use the full $4500 tax credit than can use $7500.

The Prime has the easiest sales job of any plug-in: it’s as simple as saying “most affordable Prius” and boom people will buy it whether or not they care about plugging in.


Economies of scale are the real reason Prime costs less than Volt.

Volt pack is almost 10 kWh larger. That adds almost $2000 in manufacturing cost, $3500 in MSRP. But it gets them an extra $3000 in tax credit, so it’s a wash.

The real reasons for the Prime’s small pack are weight and space. The weight of the 8.8 kWh pack forced them to delete the 5th seat. A larger pack would mean an expensive structural re-design. Also, they’d sacrifice even more cargo capacity.


Yep, economies of scale are made possible by choosing the lower cost small battery approach. Weight and space savings are, as you say, important components of that approach.

Toyota designed the Prime so they can make a profit on while selling it at a competitive price _without_ the federal tax credit. Which makes it a real bargain if you can cash the full $4500 credit.

Toyota has very ambitious plans for the Prime. Six figure annual sales for sure … maybe not this year as they are supply constrained so far, but the next one after that they are going to sell a ton of these things.

The one thing that will hold it back is the 5th seat problem you mention. I’m hopeful they can tweak the suspension and structure to add that back in for the 2018 model.


What bigger tax credit?


Bigger compared to the Prime: $7500 vs $4500. The credit will come into play more toward the end of the year when people 1) have a better idea whether they will be able to use the full credit or not, and 2) can look forward to receiving the credit in a shorter time frame. Both of those aspects are amplified for the larger credit for the Volt.


Tax credits are joke for many since they are dollar for dollar against a marginal tax rate. ?if you are self employed or already have existing deductions and expenses to offset your tax liability, you will never be able to recapture any or maybe a small portion of it.


If GM would bother to advertise and sell the Bolt nation wide they might actually sell some of them…

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

But hey, you know what month it is fir GM????

Someone out there

Looks like April is going to be a very weak month overall, a lot of sales are down.


So the weak Bolt sales are not due to low inventory, good to know. Hopefully they will do better when available nationwide but I doubt it.


Nationwide availability will inevitably help, as will having deep inventory nationwide, which could take a few months.

Combine nationwide deep inventory with widespread discounting, a possible price drop for 2018, and the end-of-year rush for the tax credit and I expect very strong Bolt sales in December.

M Hovis

With the LEAF just posting cumulative 4350, did BMW just pass Nissan for 4th place?


I think BMW’s still behind by about 500.


Not to put to fine a point on it, but as regards the ev revolution and how it is cutting into the sales of the legacy auto manufacturers, they act like the ‘Black Knight,’ in this famous sketch:

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


Tim Miser

Bolt was the highest selling EV in April passing Model S, X, and Leaf.


Good point. When you put it that way the 1292 Bolt sales doesn’t sound so bad. 🙂


And that was with limited inventories and released in only a few states. I wish InsideEV would resort the list to show it in the descending order of sales.

Tim Miser

Another point is April was a downtrend month for all EVs except Bolt. Model X dropped more than 100%. Bolt was the only EV to increase sales in a down month which actually reflects huge growth.


Only one dealer in Florida has Bolt inventory and only high cost models $42k+. If they had the $38k model and a better looking car I would have considered it. However even with the tax credit and fuel savings I would have spent $4k more than the Volt over 5 years. Nissan and Tesla won’t be out for a long while and Ioniq EV won’t sell in Florida anytime soon. Nor will the plugin Outlander. So I ended up with a Volt to replace/complement my 2013 Nissan Leaf


All Bolts currently in Florida were acquired from CA dealers willing to offload extra Bolt inventory. No FL dealer can actually order a Bolt yet. Since they have to pay for shipping for these “imported” CA Bolts, no surprise with the higher prices.

FL isn’t due to have Bolts officially in the state till September.


GM sold more ELRs than Cadillac CT6 PHEVs this month. 🙂


The excuse for lower than expected Bolt EV sales being poor distribution has, I think, passed the point of merely wearing thin. This has been going on for months. Logically, there must be something else going on. Perhaps it’s a problem with production at LG Electronics’ new automotive division, which is making the EV powertrains. Or perhaps it’s that GM simply doesn’t want to sell the car. Or perhaps some of both?

If the problem really was just distribution, then GM would have fixed the problem weeks or months ago.

I find it quite odd that the most important effect on the market of the Bolt EV is to push up Volt sales!


You forgot another option: perhaps people don’t want it. The fact that the Leaf outsold the Bolt, really underscores how important price is.


“The fact that the Leaf outsold the Bolt”

1292 is less than 1063?

4385 is less than 4350?

The fact that there are people who can’t even do the basic math to see which number is larger explains why there are still people buying LEAF or coming to EV sites to BASH the Bolt…


Jesus, settle down. I’m not bashing the Bolt EV, and have been coming to this EV site daily since 2012. Patiently waiting on my fourth plug-in to arrive. I’ve had a deposit on a Bolt EV since December. Still waiting here in Ontario. Just because I want one, doesn’t mean sales haven’t been disappointing.

Oh, and there’s no math involved with reading numbers, my mistake was in ‘reading comprehension’, not ‘basic math’. Mistakes, like yours and mine, can and do happen.


The Leaf is being firesaled, the Bolt is not. No one is buying the Leaf over the Bolt because they think it’s the better car, it’s because you can pratically get it for free.


And even then, the Bolt has STILL outsold the Leaf this year.


Yes, precisely my point re: importance of pricing.


“I find it quite odd that the most important effect on the market of the Bolt EV is to push up Volt sales!”

Maybe there is limited demand for BEVs. Or people still worry about range anxiety with the Bolt when Volt doesn’t have that issue.

It appears that there is just lack of demand in general!


This is exactly the point I was trying to make above. I guess we’re both EV bashers. 🙂


I’m not actually that surprised. The Volt is basically an EV+. It’s an EV 90% of the time for people, but then when you need it it takes gas. It fills the role of the Bolt better and it also costs less. Maybe the Bolt draws people into the dealership and then you considering those factors many turn towards the Volt.

I don’t even think it’s necessarily a bad decision.


The Volt is also less expensive, and has better leases available.


Excellent point, happen to me. I use the EV about 85% of the time and when I have to do multiple or a long distance trip, I can do it without the hassles of EV charging stations or their fees.


Bolt inventory really soared this month, which would appear to show they cranked up the production line.

Once we have nationwide availability in place for a couple months we’ll see what happens. I expect the Bolt to do very well in the 4th quarter this year after the 2018 model hits nationwide and people are moving to cash in the tax credit.


April looks like a traditional “dip” month.

In the past year, there is always a dip in April, probably because of tax is due in the middle of the month with impacts the sales.

Maybe they will rush to buy more EVs in May now they realize that $7,500 would have made a difference…


Based on IEVs numbers:
Tesla is at 123,174 USA sales.
Nissan is at 107,947 total USA Sales.


And GM is at? 150K ish?


GM = 132,756


Jay, since you list the Mirai’s sales you should also list the Clarity (34 this month, and 126 YTD), which exceeds everything from the Smart on down on your list.

Jean-François Morissette

Jay, what is happening with the Mercedes C350e, it had a surprisingly good start and now…3 sales?


I’ve seen a few Bolts over the past month or so here in the Toronto area. The sales shows that the Volt is still more popular (or maybe just better availability).
March April
241 187 – Bolt
377 348 – Volt
I personally spoke with a Bolt owner and he’s been very happy with it so far. At that time he only had the Bolt for 2 weeks.

Najeeb Ullah

Why karma phv is not included in the list of new arrivals. I think it qualifies as an ev exactly BMW i3 or Chevy volt

Bob Nan


I don’t think Karma has gone on sale yet. If you think so and have the sales figure, please post it.


Jay, I have a suggestion for your site to supplement this page. I think it would be greatly beneficial for everybody if you had a single page (similar to this one) with all of the upcoming important dates regarding EVs.

You could do a single timeline that shows the likes of the Chrysler Pacifica official release date in April, followed by the initial shipments of the Ioniq that were due for April, followed by other unveiling dates, announcement dates, release dates, upgrade dates, etc.

Alternatively (and my preference) would be to do a summary of upcoming dates by manufacturer. For example, you could start with Tesla, and give July as the start of production for Model 3, followed by September announcement of the semi, and update it for any new developments as they happen. You can then do the same for all of the brands, with Audi, Nissan, BMW, etc all having important dates coming up.

With this page, we will have a one stop shop to be able to see exactly what is coming in the future by manufacturer, and you can give links to any articles previously run going into detail on any of the events listed.

I hope this helps!


I want that! I want that! I want that!

Did I already say: I WANT THAT?

Oh Jay I hope you have time to come up with that stuff!

The monthly plug in scorecard is a monthly drug.

Good night.


Thats a pretty intriguing idea, i can see it being not as popular as this page but a solid back up to it!


Norway? When will we get data from the future? Norway, waiting for you…

Bob Nan

Very nice to read that 13,151 sales, which is 25% higher compared to 2017-04.

And the Worldwide sales of 93,089 in 2017-03 is excellent and the 2nd highest of all time.

Hyundai Ioniq-Electric is a new entry which went on sale only in the last few days of last month. Please spread the word about this model because potential customers should not confuse it for Ioniq-Hybrid which is also sold alongside.

Ioniq has 125 mile range which is the highest in the sub-30K price range and also its very spacious compared to all Electric vehicles in its size. Hope the sales of Ioniq push higher in this month.

Bob Nan

So Prius Prime is pushing higher every month to capture the #1 slot last month. Hope GM will do something to push the Volt sales higher.

Is GM expanding the sales of Bolt to other states as promised. Bolt is still and important model and the 1,292 sales is somewhat encouraging compared to the previous months.

And the sales of the 4 models of Benz combined is still less than 200. This is after all the publicity given to them.

Don Zenga

Good to see the sales of 200 Pacifica-plugins. Cadillac CT6 probably started the sale only in the last week of the month and will increase this month. CT6 has much higher 31 mile range at a much lower $75K price tag compared to Benz S Series(95K for 14 mile range) and BMW 7 Series(90K for 14 mile range).

Here is the interior space of the 3 models.
CT6 – 116 cu. ft.
S Series – 121 cu. ft.
7 Series – 124 cu. ft.

If the range and recharging time is not a concern, then Model-S 75 KWh is a better bet which has 125.3 cu. ft including its Frunk space.


Jay – when will you add the Model 3 to your “arrives” list?!?

Don Zenga

BMW 530e (plugin) starts at a price that is just $200 more than the non plugin sibling.

And 2 plugin trims are available. 530e iPerformance & 530e xDrive iPerformance.

This sort of pricing makes this plugin trims a Big Buy. Lets see how the sales turn out. A lot depends on how much the company supplies to the dealers and how much the dealers sell.



Jay, question re the Tesla first quarter. Adding up S and X sales I get 10,400. Tesla said 25,000 in the first quarter on last week’s earnings call. I don’t understand the difference. Thanks, Steve

Bob Nan

Karma Revero is sold right now. Even though it’s very expensive, it’s the only car for that company and they may sell at least 50 units. Please include it and let’s hope the company does reveal the sales #.

And it can also be listed in the Arrives section for May so that prospective buyers who see it may really buy it.