Chevrolet EV Sales Increase In 2017 By 54% To 43,669

1 week ago by Mark Kane 31

Chevrolet plug-in electric car sales in 2017

2017 was an excellent year for Chevrolet plug-in EV sales in the U.S., thanks mostly to the Bolt EV, which captured a decent part of the market share, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Chevrolet Bolt EV sales in 2017

Let’s start with December for Chevy, which was a record in many ways.

First of all, Chevrolet sold more than 5,000 plug-ins in a single month for the very first time.

In total, 5,166 deliveries translated into a record share for plug-ins of 3.08% of total Chevrolet sales for the month.

The main force behind the record was once again the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which set its own record of 3,227 sales in December. At the same time, Chevrolet Volt sales decreased by 48% to 1,937, perhaps feeling the pressure from the like the Honda Clarity (almost 900 sales in its first month on the market), and the Toyota Prius Prime (which sold a record 2,420 units in December).

The third model in the Chevy line-up is the Spark EV, but as production wound down last year, only 23 were delivered in 2017.

Chevrolet plug-in electric car sales in 2017

During the year, Chevrolet delivered 43,669 plug-in electric cars (up 54% year-over-year):

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV: 23,297 (vs 579 in December 2016)
  • Chevrolet Volt: 20,349 (down 18% vs 24,739 in 2016)
  • Chevrolet Spark EV: 23 (vs 3,035 in 2016)

The average share of plug-ins out of all Chevrolet sales stood at 2.16% in 2017.

Chevrolet plug-in electric car sales in 2017

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31 responses to "Chevrolet EV Sales Increase In 2017 By 54% To 43,669"

  1. Leon says:

    Wish they would have kept the Spark EV, they were probably worried that would hurt Bolt sales?

    The Spark EV is a great little around town car.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      I agree it is a great little car. And I like the re-design of the gas version. If they had increased the range to above 100 miles then I think it could continue to find buyers.

      But it would always be a low volume seller just because of the vehicle type and size. Even the much cheaper gas version of the Spark has been outsold by the Bolt. And the Bolt costs nearly 3 times as much.

      There is just much lower demand for the vehicle like the Spark at the moment. So the product was probably not financially viable in the long term, especially once the 7500 rebate is depleted.

      The new GM EVs are priced and designed to be profitable but the Spark EV was not.

      1. menorman says:

        There is plenty of demand for EVs in the 120-150 mile category. Hyundai and VW are both having trouble keeping up with their entrants in that category and the Leaf is attracting plenty of orders too. GM could’ve easily kept the Spark EV alive, especially given how cheap it ends up being on the market after incentives. Perhaps even just killed the gas version of the Spark completely.

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          I agree… like I said I think it would continue to find buyers. 🙂

          I had one for 2 years and loved it. It’s not the range that is the problem if we are talking 125 or 150 mile range.

          I think sales would be limited more by its form factor/size. It is just not a popular vehicle type right now. I want Chevy to bring back the Spark EV if they can make it work! But since they didn’t do so, I assume it wasn’t worth it financially to keep the Spark EV alive. (for now)

          1. mzs.112000 says:

            They should put in a 42kWh pack with liquid cooling and embarrass Nissan with 200 miles of range, 100kW fast charging, and lasts more than 200,000 miles with 85% of original capacity.
            Next, it should have the same touch screen, software, and interfaces as the Bolt EV because the 2016 Spark EV looks like it came right out of 2009.
            If they can do this and have a base price below $30k a without incentives and sell in all 50 states, people will buy it.

      2. RV Roadie says:

        You can still buy a Mistubishi MiEV in that subcompact size. I have driven one and it is surprisingly smooth handling and quiet.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Wish they would have kept the Spark EV, they were probably worried that would hurt Bolt sales?”

      No. The Spark EV was a compliance car, which means it was sold below market value, with GM losing money on every sale.

      It’s hardly a surprise that GM canceled the model as soon as it had a BEV which it could sell more profitably: The Bolt EV. GM may not be making a large profit margin on the Bolt EV, but I’ll bet they are not losing money on most sales — despite what some rather uninformed people claim!

    3. Dav8or says:

      The Bolt could easily be sold with a smaller battery pack with less range and lower cost if enough people want that. We’ll see how the new Leaf goes. The Spark EV is pointless at this point.

  2. Mike says:

    I looked at Sonic sales for the end of the year and GM sells abouts as many Bolts as Sonics. I think this gives a good indication of how little demand there is for GM compact cars. Especially considering that I bet you can get a Sonic for well under 20,000 and a Bolt is at least twice as much.

    Now imaging if anyone, other than Tesla, made non-compact car EVs.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      You’d probably wind up with something like the 22-mile, 25MPG Outlander PHEV.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Or the Honda Clarity PHEV, EPA rated at 47 miles of electric range. Finally, a real challenger for the Volt in the PHEV segment, and finally a PHEV with decent range which isn’t as cramped as the Volt!

        Go Honda!

        1. Spider-Dan says:

          The Clarity PHEV looks like a really good offering! Let’s see if it is available in volume.

    2. Vijay says:

      In Colorado the Bolt EV LT after tax credits($7500 Fed, $5000 state) comes to $22,500 which is what i paid in Nov 2017

      1. EVShopper says:

        That’s a a great deal!

  3. john1701a says:

    What happens in Q4 when the $7,500 subsidy gets cut in half?

    Those tax-credits is what GM has been heavily dependent upon, yet sales for Volt have declined.

    1. theflew says:

      The only benefit GM or any other car maker gets from the $7500 tax credit is the ability to sell the car at a higher price. Knowing the customer will get a tax credit at the beginning of the following year.

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      “What happens in Q4 when the $7,500 subsidy gets cut in half?”

      If they plan correctly, they will not hit 200,000 until early Q3. So they should have the full credit available for Q4. All of 2019 will have at least a partial credit. Most Volt PHEV competitors don’t qualify for the full credit anyways. (Such as the Prime)

      Volt sales will drop more dramatically after 2020 when GMs new BEVs have been established, especially if rumors of a larger Volt crossover are true for 2021.

      “Those tax-credits is what GM has been heavily dependent upon, yet sales for Volt have declined.”

      2017 was a very average year for the Volt. Better than 2014(18k) and 2015(15k). Worse than 2013 (23k) and 2016 (24k).

      It sold identically to the Prius Prime for 2017. Both the Prime and Volt had over 10% Plug-In market share this past year so not bad! Although both of them could be performing much better.

      1. an_outsider says:

        Toyota Prius Prime already sold more units in USA for 2017 compared to the Chevrolet Volt. Now, the new mid-size seats 5 sedan Honda Clarity PHEV becomes available, it seem to be a new serious contender to the Volt niche.

        The Volt would need another giant step forward …

        1. Spider-Dan says:

          The Prime sold 587 more copies than the Volt on >20k sales, so I think it’s fair to categorize the sales as the same.

    3. ziv says:

      John, when the credit gets cut in half, it really won’t matter because the Bolts are already selling for less than $32k, even here on the east coast.
      GM was harvesting a larger profit up until recently by selling the Bolt at a price point that the car wouldn’t have supported without the benefit of the credit. But in the past month Truecars actual driveaway price for an LT Bolt has dropped from $33k to right around $30k. Taking a $3750 credit off of $30k leave the LT selling at a respectable $22.5k.

      And TrueCars is actually fairly reliable for new car prices in the region I live in. It isn’t perfect but it does give you a fairly good idea of what you can expect to pay if you bargain.

      1. EVShopper says:

        Cars.com shows the average price for the Bolt as about $42k.

    4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      GM released the Bolt, and also biased incentives to that instead of the Volt.

      Bolt’s worth 4 ZEV credits to Volt’s 1.3 TZEV credits so it’s way more valuable.

    5. menorman says:

      When the credit begins to make its exit, GM will lower the MSRP, which no one is paying anyway.

    6. EVShopper says:

      When the subsidy gets cut in half, expect the price to drop by $3750.

  4. ffbj says:

    It was the only segment that improved for GM.

  5. Don Zenga says:

    I hope Chevy takes the competition seriously and reduces the price of Volt.

    Ioniq-PHV is priced at < $25,000 and if available in higher volume, many will flock to it.

  6. Breezy says:

    Add 6,435 for Canada. Total 50,104 for North America.

    1. Are you counting BOTH Volt & Bolt EV Canadian Sales? And, what is your source for info so soon?

      I usually don’t hear the Canadian numbers untill mid month!

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        Canadian plug-in numbers continue to be very good for GM. Volt is #1 and Bolt is #2.

        https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1114625_plug-in-electric-car-sales-in-canada-for-2017-two-dec-debuts-before-zev-rules

  7. Josetony says:

    The 2019 version of the GM Volt should come with at least 5KW more of battery size. This could improve the electric range from around 52 miles to 65 or 70 miles per charge. Increasing the battery size will guarantee increase sale numbers for the car.

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