December 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card



If you thought it couldn’t get any better, we’ve only just begun.

December marks the 27th month of consecutive sales gains* for plug-in vehicles. This is a huge accomplishment, and it will only get better from here.

Numbers are now all in and we hit a record 26,107 plug-ins sold for the month of December, which is a slight gain over last year’s monthly totals of 24,785. This makes last month a new leader, closely followed by last year’s December results and this year’s 21,325 sold in September.

Sadly, we were just shy of the 200,00 mark as anticipated. Nonetheless, totals for 2017 ring in at an impressive 199,826. Just a mere handful shy of the year’s lofty goal. Still, this puts us largely ahead of 2016’s number of 158,614. Remember, this December only includes 26 selling days, compared to 27 in December of 2016.

With Tesla Model S and X sales up, along with Chevy’s Bolt and Volt sitting at a combined 5,164BMW making new strides (even better than November’s efforts), and Model 3 sales finally spiking (1,060), we almost pulled it off. The Toyota Prius Prime also sees a record month with 2,420 delivered. Not to mention a major bump in Honda Clarity PHEV/BEV sales (898 and 527, respectively for December).

Questions entering December (with answers in parentheses as they come in):

  • The Chevrolet Volt has struggled to maintain sales now that the 238-mile Bolt EV has arrived. It has seen deliveries drop year-over-year for 8 months in a row. Will strong sales in December end the streak? (Nope)
  • On the other side of the coin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is on a 9-month sales growth streak, can GM best the 2,987 sales made in November to make it 10 months in a row? (Yep)
  • Will the Tesla Model S reclaim the top spot after two consecutive off months, knocking the Bolt out of first place, with a storm of end-of-the-year sales? How about the Model X? (Yes, both the Model S and X surpassed the Bolt for December sales)
  • Will this be the month that the Toyota Prius Prime breaks the “2k barrier” for the first time? (Yes, the Prime sees a record-breaking month with 2,420 delivered)
  • In the continuing battle of “new 2018 offerings that disappointingly aren’t stocked so well”, who will manage to sell more – the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Volvo XC60 PHEV, Volvo S90 T8 PHEV or the new Mini Countryman Plug-In? (the Volvo XC60 PHEV pulled it off with 174 deliveries)
  • Will Honda manage to stock the Clarity PHEV and secure a significant sales boost? (Yes! Honda reported 898 Clarity PHEV sales).
  • How will BMW fare to end the year, after its major butt-kicking in November? (BMW kicked butt again, with 2,653 sales)

Also of note: Toyota moved 296 Mirais in December, good for a total of 1,835 for 2017.

Last update: January 4, 2018 at 12:15 PM

*Regarding “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: An 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)

Tesla Model S9001750345011251620235014252150486011201335497527,060
Chevrolet Bolt EV  116295297812921566164219712107263227812987322723,297
Tesla Model X7508002750715173022001650157531208501875330021,315
Toyota Prius Prime13661362161818191908161916451820189916261834242020,936
Chevrolet Volt16111820213218071817174515181445145313621702193720,349
Nissan LEAF  7721037147810631392150612831154105521317510211,230
Ford Fusion Energi606837100290510007077037627637417318759,632
Ford C-Max Energi4736396627209509368447056835695234368,140
BMW i3 (BEV + REx)  3823187035165065676015045386862836726,276
Fiat 500e**  7525907855414733593952902853102153855,380
BMWX5 xDrive 40e2622753972914334884633173333299298325,349
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid**12003357053551254254758755707204,597
BMW 330e1291443652604754963874093293074773634,141
BMW 530e131472393433455115968727063,772
Volkswagen e-Golf  3322933423073812323083171872032893433,534
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron3874004143012943242181298517382702,877
Hyundai Sonata PHEV1901752952802202552051851902101351952,535
Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV96831031451462021742652361742043682,196
Kia Soul EV  1171521711671291001453002552102072042,157
Ford Focus Electric  562284071251321101481311311151211131,817
Tesla Model 3  307511714533710601,764
Porsche Cayenne S-E1771211261851741951601781247338231,574
Kia Optima PHEV1061708685781301822282352131341,512
Honda Clarity BEV  341552344595271,121
Honda Clarity PHEV5898903
Mercedes C350e2105117370112212126491614817
Mercedes B250e  5356506646468158875931111744
BMW 740e18354212333528039435512067707
Mercedes S550e5551608183811243235162226666
smart ED  1522133130941237368129544
Volvo XC60 PHEV13659710082174531
BMW i8505849231822552927334480488
Mini Countryman SE PHEV10758680569672475
Mercedes GLE 550e52594736334127231484182463
Hyundai IONIQ EV  5197558436636282379432
Cadillac CT6 PHEV81620222327272935207
Volvo S90 T8 PHEV5283252117
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV9999
Chevrolet Spark EV  44310110007223
Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid21321001125018
Cadillac ELR30220721000017
Mitsubishi i-MiEV  1320000000006
2017 U.S. Sales Totals11,00512,37718,54113,36516,59617,04615,54016,51421,24214,31517,17026,107199,818
2016 U.S. Sales Totals6,2217,76313,85710,53111,46714,86313,06714,59217,22411,00713,23724,785158,614
2017 Worldwide Sales*41,37253,56194,65071,76291,417102,13092,835104,225124,197125,447148,903176,6181,227,117

* Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals
** Estimated (Based on State/Rebate Data and other reports)
Credit to for assistance on Hyundai/some BMW 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:  

The Chevrolet Volt entering December found itself continuing an unfortunate streak of eight consecutive months of year-over-year losses.

Combined September, October, and November sales have been some 2,236 sales lower than last year.

With December sales in, we can now make it nine in a row, as 1,937 were sold, some 47.5% lower than a year ago (3,691).

It has become more than obvious that the Volt’s stablemate, the Chevy Bolt EV, is stealing the Volt’s thunder. For as many months as the Volt has been down and dropping, the Bolt has been up and gaining. Keep in mind, this is definitely not a bad thing, it’s just different … and, in all honesty … better. It means less gas burned!

For 2018, 20,349 Chevy Volts have been sold, down 17.7% from the 24,739 sold in 2017.




Chevrolet Bolt EV sales

Chevrolet Bolt EV – looking to make its mark in 2017

Chevrolet Bolt EV: 

The Chevrolet Bolt EV was technically available nationwide in August, but few copies landed in those 30-odd new states during that month.

This began to change in September. More evenly spread inventory led to rapid Bolt EV sales growth, notching 2,632 sales during that month.

October brought 2,781 deliveries, but November took that number even higher, as 2,987 sales were made. Now, for December, GM moves 3,227 Chevrolet Bolts,  finishing 2017 with a 10-month streak of sales gains

Chevrolet has sold a grand total of 23,297 Bolt EVs to close out 2017.




Nissan LEAF sales

2018 Nissan LEAF gets a new look, more range!

Nissan LEAF:

The Nissan LEAF entered December as the oldest offering on the U.S. market – going on 85 months now.

And as everyone knows by now, it has been replaced by the updated 2018 Nissan LEAF, which debuted in September (full details here).

Is the new LEAF better?

Yes, in every way, including ~43 more miles range (up to 150 miles from 107) for $700 less when it arrives in the U.S. this month. Not enough?  A ~225 mile, higher performance trim level arrives later in 2018 (as a 2019 MY car).

Unfortunately, Nissan USA is apparently not as capable as Nissan Japan, which managed to launch the new LEAF as planned in October (to some very impressive results), while the U.S. (and Europe) have to wait until January. This wouldn’t be a problem if the wind-down of the first-gen 2017 model wasn’t pre-planned to be defunct by October.

The resulting gap between the ‘new’ and ‘old’ has left Nissan with almost no remaining inventory, which caused sales in October to drop to just 213 deliveries, ending an impressive 8 month run of four-digit results. In November, that number dropped further, to 175 sales. This month, Nissan delivered 102 LEAFs, to make it 11,230 for the year. This is down some 20% from last year’s 14,006 total.

See you soon 2018 Nissan LEAF!




Toyota Prius Prime sales

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 U.S. dealers lots a year ago, and sales have been brisk ever since.

After setting a new high of 1,908 in May, it was expected that with deeper inventory the Prime would be headed much higher.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and a ‘doubling’ of stock (to around 2,000 units), only resulted in 1,899 sales in September. An additional 50% gain in inventory for October (up to ~3,000) actually resulted in a lower number – 1,626 sales.

For November, inventory levels stayed fairly strong, averaging slightly more than October, which translated into better sales, but still a relatively disappointing 1,834 deliveries, given the higher expectations for the year’s end.

For December, the Prime see a record sales month, with 2,420 sold. This puts the 2017 total at 20,936, landing Toyota’s plug-in the fourth place spot overall for the year as a whole.

The Toyota Prius Prime not only features its own unique look but 25 miles of all-electric range.

How has the Toyota found a selling range of ~2,000 units a month? The plug-in Toyota is priced right – from $27,950, which after the $4,500 federal credit gives the Prime a selling price of $23,450. This price-point comes in at over $1,000 cheaper than the base hybrid Prius, which should translate into long-term sales success once the EV is well stocked.




BMW i3 sales

BMW i3

BMW i3: 

The BMW i3 entered the U.S. market with a bang in 2014, but it’s too bad that the initial fireworks display of sales back then was the peak – we just didn’t know it at the time.

For 2017, BMW i3 sales are a mixed bag.

Sales got off to a rough start, with just 182 moved in January, and 318 in February. 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. However, for several months after March, sales hovered around 500-600 units, until October when almost 700 were yet again moved.

For November…trashbags, as the company recalled all of its i3 vehicles due to a safety issue (for people who chose to NOT wear their seat belts if you can believe that) and put a ‘stop sale’ on the model for a time.  Just 283 i3 vehicles were sold during a month that is historically one of the best in terms of EV sales.

Quite frankly (and notwithstanding this recall), 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’s going to have to sharpen its pencil considerably.

In late August, BMW proved it still really didn’t understand the issue behind lackluster sales or the i3 itself, by releasing a new, slightly sportier trim level – the i3s (full details here). The car gets some new styling details, some wider tires and some extra performance (+10 kW), but what the public really wants is a longer range option and a price cut (the new i3s is ~10% more expensive in most markets).

Over the course of the last several days, the first 2018 models have been delivered. It was also reported that a larger battery (long-range) model is set to arrive in late 2018.

December i3 sales have accelerated from November’s totals considerably. The German luxury automaker delivered more than double last month’s total, at 672 to close out the year with 6,726 sold.





Tesla Model S sales

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). For this reason, we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until Tesla’s quarterly (or annual) updates add more clarity. However, we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s 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. This is surely not how it works in the real world. We simply report from the data we accumulate ourselves, including first-hand accounts available from the factory and from the community itself, and the number is what it is (see below).

Revisions/disclaimer to the accuracy of prior estimates: The 2016 Model S chart has been adjusted (via U.S. 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’re not analysts or portfolio managers and we don’t own any positions in Tesla the company.

While Tesla continues to conform to a familiar quarterly pattern of prioritizing international production early in the quarter before transitioning to domestic output, there has been somewhat of a change/reshuffling of priorities we have seen this time around.

The name of that priority is Model 3.

As we mentioned over the past three to four months, it appeared Tesla knew fairly early that volume production would not be close to guidance by the end of Q3, and quickly refocused in an attempt to make that a reality by the end of Q4 (investors need to be kept happy we suppose).

The end result is that production energies and skilled labor normally assigned to Tesla’s original EVs are being diverted from the Model S and X to getting the Model 3 back on course.

Knowing this, it seems Tesla is picking and choosing how it will skillfully hit its “100K” delivery target for 2017. This also means that sales figures for the Model S for this December are down some from last year’s number. We estimate that Tesla delivered 4,975 Model S vehicles last month, compared to last December’s 5,850. This puts year-end Model S sales totals at an estimated 27,060.




Tesla Model X sales

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X:

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

Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Oct 11th):

Tesla’s recently leaked U.S. sales data for Q3 2016 put U.S. 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. Though we don’t attest to being experts, 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.

Since we don’t want to bore you by explaining the same thing twice, have a look at the Tesla Model S recap (above) and then come back here.

All done? Good … welcome back.

Like the Model S, Model X production will also be sacrificed late in the quarter as Tesla attempts to prove itself more capable of building the Model 3. Tesla directed to some 10% less production of the Model S & X in Q4. Keep in mind, however, that all cars and regions are not created equal.

While the Tesla Model S has proven itself to be the more “in demand” offering of the two, the Model X is definitely the higher margin EV. Thus, as Tesla finds itself (unfortunately) not likely to be able to satisfy all demand for the year-end rush, it will be satisfying its demand for higher margin cars.

Nutshell: If you live in the US and ordered a top-of-the-line Model X P100D in September and also a base Model S 75D, your Model X likely went into production early in November, and it’s now sitting in your driveway, whereas that Model S (or base Model X) was still waiting for production, or just entered Tesla’s production queue with a delivery ETA just before Christmas.

For this reason, and this reason only, we estimated the Model X outsold the Model S in November with some 1,875 deliveries.

For the month of December, it looks as though the situation is back to normal, aside from the addition of ramped up Model 3 production. We estimated that Tesla delivered 3,300 Model X SUVs last month. This puts the Model X year-end sales total at an estimated 21,315.




Tesla Model 3 sales

This is the first Tesla Model 3 (#001), naturally, it arrived in black – lord of all colors. Want to buy it any other way? $1,000 premium fine for bad taste.

Tesla Model 3:

Just ~16 months after orders opened, and ~10 years since it was first announced (then known as the “Bluestar”), the first Model 3s were delivered on July 28th, 2017! One can check out the full delivery ceremony and all the newly released specs (220-310 miles range, 0-60 mph in 5.1-5.6 seconds) on our full recap here.

As with Model S & X sales, Tesla is not planning to release monthly Model 3 sales in the US at this point in time. Until then, we’ll do our best to estimate monthly results for North America using all the data at our disposal (For more info on that, check out our Model S disclaimer).

Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Nov 1st):  Q3 sales of the Model 3 was adjusted up 2 units.

Thankfully, in the early days (Q3 2017), pegging Model 3 sales in the U.S. was a pretty easy task, as the complete delivery volume for July took place live at the July 28th delivery event in Fremont, California. The first 30 cars were delivered to Tesla employees/stakeholders in the U.S., and one could almost count the individual cars as they left Tesla’s Fremont factory in August.

For September, we had Tesla’s quarterly disclosure that put deliveries at 222 cumulatively for the quarter, meaning about 117 were delivered.  Truthfully, the monthly numbers were meaningless in Q3. Instead, all eyes were on production. While the company guided to some 1,630+ to be produced, just 260 were built.

Of course, much chatter arose as to why. Tesla generically blamed “production bottlenecks.”  The company, looking to re-assure, said at the time:

We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.”

From our perspective, Tesla realized fairly early in July that the September goals would not be met. Following the future ‘S-Curve’ goal into year’s end was going to be problematic. It appears from that moment on, rather than working on”near-term” production and deliveries, Tesla has been working more proactively with the main goal of simply being able to show volume production by year’s end – something originally targeted for the end of September.

While this thought process was never officially confirmed by the company, a quasi-confirmation came with the admission that Model S and X production would be off 10% in Q4. Additionally, we are now seeing the effects of manpower being transferred into transitioning the Model 3 production from “burst” output (or start and stop if you will) to a more consistent, ordered structure.

While it’s only speculation on our part (as it has been for the past three to four months while watching the happenings around the car), we felt Tesla was desperate to provide confirmation of a “decent” sustained production level for the Model 3 by end out the year … and we were right.

To that end, progress to a certain degree was definitely made in November, as more cars than ever did actually find employee driveways (and orders also opened to the public mid-month … well at least to the first batch of locals anyway). Though Tesla only delivered an estimated 345 Model 3s in November, this number was a notable jump from prior months.

Tesla just reported delivering 1,060 Model 3s this December, for a grand total of 1,772 on the year. Additionally, Tesla dialed down the target of 5K a week, to 2.5K now, and set the 5K production level back to June (essentially a six-month delay at this point).

Adding up all Tesla vehicles delivered in the U.S. in 2017 brings us to an estimated 50,147. Global deliveries passed the 100K mark for the year as a whole (~103,000), making this Tesla’s best year yet, despite Model 3 shortfalls.





Chrysler Pacific Hybrid (plug-in) sales

Chrysler Pacific Hybrid (plug-in)

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: 

Editor’s note:  FCA does not split out sales data for the plug-in Pacifica, so we try out best to estimate that number from month-to-month until hard/verifiable data is gleaned.

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 had an on/off/on/off/quasi-on start for the Pacifica Hybrid as it relates to deliveries. Then there was QC holds, then launch delays.

Finally, the Pacifica Hybrid officially arrived on “Earth Day” April 22nd, 2017, and customers enjoyed a good three to four weeks of arriving inventory … until the wheels fell off (not literally).

By June 10th, a nationwide recall was announced, and all 1,677 Pacificas sold in the U.S. and Canada had to head back to Chrysler to get a faulty diode replaced that could cause loss of power when in operation. We won’t get into all the details from there (check out our June sales report for more info).

Thankfully, by September, the kinks appeared to have been worked out just in time to see its Windsor, Ontario assembly plant go down for the entire month of October for pre-scheduled updating of the facility to comply with U.S. regulatory/safety tooling on the Grand Caravan.

Nonetheless, customer orders and dealer stock are once again flowing and the 2018 model has arrived. For the Pacifica Hybrid, we estimate 720 deliveries in December, up 150 units from November’s estimates.




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 U.S. market about a year ago was the BMW 330e, which is the plug-in hybrid version of the company’s quintessential 3 Series offering.

While the 330e (from $44,695 including DST), physically arrived in April 2016 in a token amount, it took BMW almost a year to stock the plug-in very robustly.

Like almost all iPerformance offerings in November, the BMW 330e reached a near 2017 high during the month, selling 477 copies. December’s total hit 363 sales.

Given the still relatively limited inventory of the 330e on BMW lots so far in 2017 (about ~200 as of the time of this writing), there is a lot of upward sales potential for the car. However, as it has now been on offer for 21 months in the U.S., maybe BMW really doesn’t care to displace any more petrol 3 Series transactions.

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’s a capable offering (featuring a 2-liter inline turbo-four), which should satisfy the traditional BMW crowd and see strong sales.

The electric motor delivers 87 horsepower with a maximum of 184 pound-feet of torque. When combined with the petrol engine, the total output jumps to 248 horsepower, with a peak torque of 310 pound-feet. This all allows for a 5.9-second zero-to-60-mph sprint and a top speed of 140 mph.




Audi A3 Sportback e-tron sales

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron:

After selling ~400 copies a month in Q1 (387, 400, and 414), Audi slipped in Q2 and Q3.

The reason for the failure to stock and sell?

VW Group likes to allocate a certain number of model year plug-in vehicles to the U.S., and if they run out … oh well. This was exactly the case for the Audi over the summer and into the fall.

How bad did it get?

We could only find 17 examples of the A3 e-tron at dealers nationwide when we did an inventory in October. Leading us to say, “Hey Audi, make with the 2018s already!”

Fortunately, they seem to have heard us, as the first handful did indeed arrive in November, but that is a literal handful. Hopefully, Audi can take advantage of the strong incentive to buy in December by stocking the A3 e-tron a little better … but we aren’t getting our hopes up.

For December, sales improved significantly, to 270 deliveries, from last months puny 38. However, this is less than half of the 589 delivered in December of 2016, and down to 2,877 for the year, compared to last year’s 4,280.

The A3 e-tron has a low price inside Audi’s lineup. $38,900 gets you the Audi badge, 8.8 kWh of battery – good for 17-odd miles of real-world driving … and a 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.

Another reason for decent sales numbers on the A3 e-tron; you can’t get the “Sportback” version of the Audi in any other trim level in the U.S.




Ford Fusion Energi sales

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi:  YET  

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 crossed back into “four-digit land” in March, as 1,002 Energis were moved … joining a club of just five others at that level. The month of May showed a repeat of such numbers, but sales have stayed in the 700s ever since.

For November, that number was 731.  For the year, just over 8,700 have been moved. This makes the Fusion Energi the 7th best selling plug-in for America to date.

December sales are up a touch, with 875 sold, for 9,632 on the year.

Looking at the inventory in the past, it was easy to see why (and how) so many of the new Fusion plug-ins have been sold. The Fusion Energi often won the crown for the “most stocked” EV in the U.S., until Chevy got crazy with the Volt and Bolt EV.

With that said, Ford had been struggling to keep production on pace with demand (or rather managing inventory lower). After having almost 3,000 in stock in mid-June, that number fell below 2,000 units by the start of September, as the industry-wide summer shutdown/changeover to MY 2018 was underway. This inventory level flatlined throughout October and November.




Volkswagen e-Golf sales

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf:

Congratulations Volkswagen, you win our “jackass of the year” award.

After a rocky start with the continued dieselgate fallout, the longer range 2017 e-Golf was promised to the U.S. after production started in Germany in late 2016.

Well, guess what? For the next nine months, all VW did was have the “old & busted” 2016s clogging up dealer lots – refusing to clear them out to make way for the new hotness.

Finally, the 2016s were gone by the start of fall, and like a magical unicorn, the new/longer range 2017 edition has appeared! And yes, you heard that right, VW was so slow with the upgraded model that they are just now introducing a “2017” model as everyone else has switched to the 2018s.

Despite the lack of 2017 e-Golfs for the bulk of the year, the older model sold decently well (relatively speaking based on historical sales). VW moved about ~300 copies a month on average this year until September. With the 2016s exhausted, and only just over 100 copies of the “new” 2017s on hand, VW moved 187 e-Golfs in September, for a 2017 low.

During October, 2018 MY inventory grew to ~350 odd units, which resulted in marginally better October sales of 203 units (down 50% from a year ago), before November returned more to the norm with 289 sales (off 5% from the 305 moved in November 2016). For December, sales were up a bit, as VW moved 343 e-Golfs. Down 100 unit from the 443 sold in December 2016.

So, we can finally say that VW has ‘reset’ the e-Golf for stronger sales, and there is a shot (provided demand is still there) for the company to eclipse the “500 level” for the first time in 2017 next month … and avoid being dropped from our volume-seller recap summaries in 2018.

The 2017 plug-in VW debuted at the LA Auto Show in November (details – launch gallery/video) and now features a 35.8 kWh battery, increasing range to ~124 miles.




Ford C-Max Energi sales

Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi: 

Normally we reflect on what a plug-in model’s sales were in the past, before passing along the deliveries for this month, followed by a quick look at the months ahead.

For the C-Max Energi, there is no future, as Ford announced that the plug-in version of the C-Max would not be entering 2018 model year production (while the standard hybrid would be getting one more year).

This decision gives Ford the unfortunate distinction of being the most successful plug-in offering in the U.S. to get the ax.

On the positive side, the decision was made to make room for a new offering – or two. The Ford Escape Energi — which was out testing in the U.S. as early as this past June — and potentially a Focus Energi (if one believes Ford’s trademark application for the name heralds such an offering). We should note that the Escape Energi will not be arriving until next year, which makes the decision to cut the C-Max plug-in today a little more puzzling.

Anyway, with inventory starting to dwindle, Ford moved 569 C-Max Energis in October, near a year low (set in January), then just 523 in November.

December is down a bit at 436, for 8,140 delivered in 2017.




Fiat 500e sales

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).

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

UPDATE: After having some initial 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 upward (once) by approximately 500 units over the full 12 months.

It’s interesting to note that sales this year peaked in January (of all months) at an estimated ~752, though sales have stayed strong for most of the year.

This remained true until summer. For some odd reason that we don’t quite understand, the 500e seems to sell less in the summer. It might have something to do with FCA’s production timing, which seems to always ‘short the distance’ it needs to bridge the gap between the previous model year and the next.

Although sales hung around 300 for several months in a row and dipped down to an estimated 215 for November, the 500e ends the year with a bit of a surge.

For December, we estimate that 385 500es were sold.




BMW 530e sales

2018 BMW 530e

BMW 530e: 

Welcome to the “big time” BMW 5 Series! By “big time” we mean selling more than 500 copies and getting an individual recap on our sales scorecard.

Originally, we had expected that the BMW X5 40e would be dropping off the list this month, but the SUV surprised us with strong November sales (more on that below), keeping itself on the list for another season.

Back to the 530e.

The plug-in hybrid’s $52,400 starting price point makes it the cheapest of the 5 Series to own, and thus a strong seller. After crossing 500 sales in both September and October, an amazing 872 were moved in November – shooting the plug-in BMW up our sales chart. For December, we see 706 moved.

If BMW were able to maintain anywhere close to the sales of the past 3 months, we could find the 530e cracking the “top 10” for plug-in sales next year.




BMW X5 xDrive40e sales

x5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 xDrive40e: 

The BMW X5 plug-in had an unexpectedly strong debut in the U.S. in 2016, which only got stronger over the year.

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

Then 2017 happened, and sales disappointed. During the first 10 months, numbers ranged from the 260s to the 480s.

With just 329 sales in October, and 333 in September, we confidently predicted the X5 plug-in would be leaving our recap list in 2018 … then November happened. The month brought an all-time best 929 deliveries, which made the BMW the sixth best selling plug-in for the November! In December, sales are down a touch to 832.

While inventory is still low (~450 units), we’re happy to be able to report that the 2018s are now steadily arriving in volume. Hopefully, enough plug-in SUVs will eventually arrive that BMW can once again make a push to achieve the four-digit mark!

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

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146 Comments on "December 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

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(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Wow, I would’ve never called those numbers for the Model X.

Yes the Model X did well.

It is interesting to note that models that have been on the market for 2+ years and are still a going concern at the end of 2017 overall have not fared well, so the growth is coming from new models.

2015 2016 2017 2017 YOY
Tesla Model S 25202 28896 27060 (1836)
Tesla Model X 214 18223 21315 3092
Chevy Volt 15393 24739 20349 (4390)
Nissan Leaf 17200 14006 11230 (2776)
Fiat 500e 6194 5330 5380 50
VW e-Golf 4232 3937 3534 (403)
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron 49 4280 2877 (1403)
Hyundai Sonata PHV 160 3095 2535 (560)
Totals 68644 102506 94280 (8226)

To summarize (since the text formatting didn’t hold), this group is down over 8000 units over last year.

Volt, LEAF account for 85% of the drop and those are easy to identify. Bolt is eating Volt sales it seems and LEAF production stopped waiting for 2018s. Hard to say the Bolt is taking LEAF sales until the new LEAF is stocked.

It also looks like X might be cannibalizing the S a little, which isn’t a big surprise.

Bolt was a big new addition to the market. It added far more sales than it took from Volt. And arguably boosted Volt sales early in the year when availability was limited.

The Prime is also just finally passing the original PiP sales numbers after Toyota chose to not offer any more PiPs. That offering disappearing was a big drag on sales previously.

The other main growth for 2017 is the more widespread PHEV offerings (aka “The Gateway Drug”).

I had 2017 pegged as “The Year” for the last several years, but it really was just setting the plate for 2018.

But the $64k question is: Did an Outlander PHEV get sold in 2017?

The Volt is a tech masterpiece, except for that rear seat headroom. GM could have fixed that with a wagon version, but they didn’t.

Exactly, we bought a Clarity PHEV and it is so much roomier than the Volt. I still have my Volt too, but now we ditched the minivan for the Clarity PHEV and in 1 month I have already saved about 50 gallons of gasoline 🙂 PHEV for the win when you still need to be able to drive long distances without recharging times.

Excellent to hear! Always good news.

I think that the volt is under more pressure from the other PHEV’s entering the market than the bolt. The PHEV segment is filling out quite quickly at the moment. Next year people will have a lot more choice in the PHEV world than 8 months ago. You can now buy a PHEV in most segments, that has to put pressure on Volt sales. I am sure if you looked at the cars being traded for a new volts there would be a pretty big shift over the last 5 years from a massive mix of every segment imaginable to cars that are similar in price and size to the volt as people who traditionally have bought mini-vans, CUV’s, SUV’s, etc.. move to buy PHEV versions of those cars rather than buying the only available PHEV.

Next year is going to be fascinating when we start to get some like for like competition in some segments.

Yes, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is of particular interest because of its 1500W AC outlet as well as off-road capability and ChaDeMo charge connector.

99 Outlander PHEVs sold! I can hardly believe my eyes.

Congrats to Mitsubishi (Nissan?) for finally getting it across the Pacific.

Model 3 sales aren’t listed as of this comment – but if they are around 1,000 units then GM and Tesla will have combined for 93,000-94,000 EV sales for the year.

These two companies combined for just under 50% of all EVs sold this year. Pretty impressive!

It is clear what two companies own the US plug-in market in 2018. 😉 (Although the Prime sold very well this year also. Good for Toyota!)

*2017 not 2018

Tesla and GM are really leading this parade, as you note. I wish the Prime had more AER, but it is a legitimate PHEV and the Prius “fan club” is a huge resource that Toyota can take advantage of.
Nissan really needs a 200+ mile AER BEV and they won’t get it for months. Their Gen 1.5 Leaf will help but it is not in the same class as the 3 and the Bolt. They will have to discount like mad to get their sales figures up to mediocre.

What’s holding Toyota sales back is the New Leaf, and the Model 3. And Toyota isn’t rushing to fix this poor range.

That’s an anecdotal conclusion, not what is actually happening.

First year sales were hampered by striving to reach 3 distinct major markets all at once (North America, Europe, and Japan).

The result was extremely limited availability in many areas of the US, but the total production was still an impressive 50,000.

Initial rollout sales of 50,000… especially when it includes new tech (dual-wave glass and carbon-fiber hatch) …is certainly a noteworthy achievement.

If you look at what Jay Cole wrote above, it’s clear that it’s not mere inventory levels which are holding back sales of the Prius Prime:

“…a ‘doubling’ of stock (to around 2,000 units), only resulted in 1,899 sales in September. An additional 50% gain in inventory for October (up to ~3,000) actually resulted in a lower number – 1,626 sales.”

It’s a mystery to me. In many areas, the Prime actually has a lower price than other Prius models, plus many buyers are eligible for federal (and State) tax rebates! Why wouldn’t most Prius buyers jump at the opportunity?

Personally, I’m gratified that a PHEV with such low EV range isn’t the top-selling plug-in EV, but I can’t understand why.

Oops! Now I see this month’s Sales Scorecard article is by Steven Loveday, not Jay Cole.

Sorry, Steven! 😳

Know your audience. Mainstream buyers don’t jump on first-year offerings.

I’ve driven the Prime. It’s slow and not fun to drive. I’m guessing that turns off a lot of people, especially in the US.

@@CCIE said: “I’ve driven the Prime. It’s slow and not fun to drive.”

I test drove the Prius Prime and noticed that there is a slight (1-2/10sec ish) hesitation on acceleration… perhaps a software thing that can be improved with an OTA update?

First year sales were hampered by striving to reach 3 distinct major markets all at once (North America, Europe, and Japan).

Replace Japan with S. Korea and that sounds like the same exact problem that Hyundai is having with the Ioniq EV. Hopefully, they’ve figured the whole demand game out because when the PHEV hits the market, sales of that variant are going to be swift.

They need to fix the atrocious acceleration, in addition to the low electric range. A toddler on a tricycle could go 0-60 faster than a Prime.

So… make the same mistake as Volt, sacrifice affordability for the sake of fulfilling a want for power?

That clearly didn’t work, as we have seen declining sales for Volt.

As is stated in the article, and by many commenters, Volt sales are flagging because GM introduced a solid BEV that’s cannibalizing sales. Many people who buy EVs are moving on from PHEVs to BEVs.

Where is Toyota’s BEV?

Repeat yet another mistake?

You mean Toyota’s mistake of wasting a decade on foolcells?

The way you don’t take the situation seriously is quite telling. Belittle the successors to Volt and do your best to change focus of discussion. That’s a great confirmation of status.

The technology GM employed still shows much potential. It’s just really unfortunate the configuration they decided to implement. Volt didn’t attract high-volume sales. Now into the 8th year and the 2nd generation, that fact is all too clear.

We’re debating car manufacturers; how seriously should one really take that?

You seem to be resorting to incoherent babble. Maybe it’s starting to dawn on you that Toyota really is an enemy of PHEVs & BEVs, and that realization has caused some sort of psychological break?

If you look at only BEV, GM+Tesla took only about 75%. I say only, because the rest just don’t measure up.

So it doesn’t look that we’ll break 200k this year but it’s close! Still a ~25% growth YoY, not bad at all compared to the 2-3% of the car industry as a whole.

Let’s see if Tesla manages to get going with the model 3, that will mean a significant boost to sales. Maybe as much as 50k cars in the US? (not all sales will go to the US)

Likewise I think the new LEAF might sell quite well, probably another 25k or more. Then we’ll have a couple new models and the existing ones will sell more so my prediction for 2018 is sales of over 300k cars! Yes that is a huge growth but I think the S curve is getting a lot steeper upwards now.

There will be little to no Model 3 international delivers other than Canada in 2018. This is just based on S and X ramp previously.

If Tesla doesn’t deliver 100k Model 3s in the US in 2018, something went horribly wrong. The production target is 5k per week, so that would equal only 20 of 52 weeks production at full run rate.

If Tesla hits the 5k run rate by May and focuses on US deliveries, we should see ~150k in the US for 2018.

If Tesla can deliver just 60,000 3’s in the US and Canada, they will have basically doubled the previous record holder, the Leaf in 2014. That would be a good result.
Anything over 60k in North America is like getting biscuits with your beer.

“There will be little to no Model 3 international delivers other than Canada in 2018.”

Hmmm, I wouldn’t be so sure. Tesla is going to want to manage domestic vs. foreign sales so as to delay, as long as is reasonably possible, exceeding the 200,000 threshold for sales of cars qualifying for the U.S. federal tax rebate. Sales in foreign companies don’t count against that total, so it’s entirely possible Tesla may concentrate more on foreign sales than domestic sales, at least for Q1 and Q2 of 2018.

I expect Tesla to shift more MS and MX sales to foreign destinations than TM3s, but still that might affect the domestic vs. foreign sales ratio for the TM3.

Tesla doesn’t have the Model 3 homogilation (sp?) complete yet, AFAIK. This would add more variation to the manufacting process which they are still trying to streamline.

I strongly doubt there will be any Model 3 exports before the tax credit for US gets cut in half.

On the other hand, I agree that there will be a flood of exported X and S if it can push the clock back an extra quarter. I was thinking that would be the MO for Q1 to hit 200k in April, but who knows now. Maybe they can just produce like normal with Model 3 so far behind.

I think we will reach 200K for 2017, just watch!!!

We should now that the Clarity PHEV/BEV numbers are so high. That was the tipping point.

Actually its all about the Model 3 numbers! They have to be around 2K for december in order to reach 200K in my opinion.

Let’s hope!

At 5:18 central time, it looks like the total will be 1000-2000 short of that nice round 200,000 number. But pretty darn close!

Sad! I was hoping that we could pass it, but alas, looks like we won’t unless BMw’s PHEV stable really hits it out of the park.

Not bad but we still have a long way to go

Please is there a pure BEV total sales in the article somewhere? I have no interest in hybrids.

If you are a BEV purist then get a calculator and calculate it for yourself. It isn’t that hard. 🙂


Do your own homework, don’t give it to someone else.

I agree, but maybe IEV could start providing a CSV or XLS of the data for download.

I used to do some plotting on my own, but it is getting too tedious to retype all of the data now.

They break it into HEV, PHEV and BEV.

December isn’t out yet.

Looking at their dashboard it looks like PEVs are going to make up the bottom half of the top 10 electrified models.

Top selling electrified for 2017 was still the Prius HEV with 65,631.

They hybrid market (which will in fact have increased sales in a shrinking market) is much more diverse than before, and only 3 HEVs are selling more than 30,000 per year: Prius HEV, Fusion Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid.

If Tesla gets anywhere near its target for the Model 3 the Model 3 should be the top-selling electrified vehicle in the USA in 2018, and the Bolt, Leaf and Prius Prime should have better sales as well.

Going to be interesting.

Wow. Hadn’t noticed ioniq was selling so well in America. Doing just as well here. It must be selling what, some 50 cars in the whole world?

WOW is right! I remember seeing several comments about Hyundai seriously underestimating demand for the car, but I didn’t realize U.S. sales were that low! That’s very low even for compliance car numbers.

Well, here’s hoping that Hyundai significantly ramps up production next year. However, if the car was designed to be a compliance car, that means Hyundai aimed to minimize development costs rather than minimize unit costs, so ramping up production might actually lose them money.

~20k global sales pace per year.

No, they’re fulfilling waiting lists at a production rate of ~2k/month, about half of which stays in the domestic market.

Can we get a Karma Revero line, at least for mockery purposes? Did they sell more than the Cadillac ELR in 2017, or less?

They are not publicizing sales, unfortunately.

200k is within reach.

Looks like the Bolt is America’s best selling EV for Q4. Good work, GM!

Next year I’m sure it will be over 30K so it would take the #1 spot if it Model 3 didn’t exist..

Honda dealers don’t seem to know the difference between a BEV and a PHEV. When I perform a search in AutoTrader for the Honda Clarity with an electric motor and electric fuel type all the PHEVs show up. It looks like InsideEVs is having the same trouble with Honda.

Where is Mystery that omega betrayed by desperately seeking alpha? Notice that sales of the S skyrocketed just as I told you they would. Anyone could see that except a delusional troll who maintained that month one of a quarter was an indication of declining demand. You can either come and eat crow or create yet another handle to post with.

The troll artist formerly known as “Mystery” 😉 was given an extended time-out by the moderators here, thankfully.

Model S definitely waned, as it sold almost 1k units less YoY.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I think this year the new ’18 LEAF will be the silent runaway and we will definitely hit +200k.

Even without a TMS the LEAF will definitely take a chunk in sales.

I hope not. I don’t wait for as many Leaf these days at DCFC, probably due to low sales. If they sell more of them with free charging, we’ll be back to hopelessly clogged DCFC.

Free charging SUCKS!!!

If EVgo would double down on their charger installations, it wouldn’t be suck an issue, Especially with the Chevy Bolt now holding down Quick Chargers for an hour. Now with the 40 kWh Leaf coming in the next few months, this could quite possibly suck more than ever!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

They’re (EvGo) closing some locations and opening elsewhere but not really adding to the pool.

It’s going to get full of “no charge to charge” folks.

No Jay Cole this month. I wonder if he’s on vacation, sick, or has left InsideEvs?

I believe he’s on vacation in Florida.

Poor timing unless it was a ski trip…

I heard that EV’s were getting to mainstream for him now so he has moved on to supporting the European Diesel market. Apparently no one wants them and big electron is blocking and sabotaging them at every opportunity. Check out by JayCoal.

…hate that guy, (=

sidenote: I did just get back from Florida/vacation actually, but I’m just lying low/assisting with sales this month.

Random FYI: We don’t have the full splits yet on the 530e/740e, but can tell you that BMW sold 2,792 plug-ins for December (if anyone is trying to do 200k math), and Ford PHEVs will be down vs Nov a bit (will have the exact data points by ~noon tomorrow)

That gives BMW a slight bump for Dec over Nov, but may not be enough to get over 200K, especially if Ford is lower.

It’s going to be awfully close. If you fill the blank’s with November’s numbers right now, it comes to 200,005.

Those blanks need to match November and then add 1428 sales to make it 200,000 or more sold for 2017.

Ford with a little bump + Model 3 + BMW’s improved sales could maybe do it? Maybe?

With a little more reading of this article, I’ll say no: CMax likely to fall, i3 going nowhere and Model 3 increased but not high enough to make a big difference.

I think we’ll hit 200k for the year easily. The December sales bumps for the BMW and Ford models will probably be enough by themselves, then add in Model 3 and the miscellaneous smaller sellers like Volvo and Kia seeing their own December bumps, it should be easy to clear the hurdle.

OK, the i3 numbers were better than I was thinking.
I guess the tax credit, especially the uncertainty will have move more cars.

Will be nice to get over 200k if only because it’s the per-manufacturer credit cap.

I would love it if those 9 leftover Spark EV sales are what makes the difference and pushes the chart just above 200,000. 😉 lol

Does the Honda Clarity BEV really count if it is only a three year lease. And then the car is returned so the battery can be recycled for potentially grid storage, and the rest of the car is scrapped? The Clarity BEV is a “three and out” life cycle car. It’s not the same in adding to the total EV fleet over the long term.

Honda appears to be keeping the Fit EVs around as used leases, so I don’t see why they won’t do the same with the Clarity BEVs.

It would still be nicer if they let them escape to other states (should be no servicing problem since anywhere that can service the PHEV would be able to service the BEV, right?) but it’s not like they’re demolishing the Fit EVs

Honda is strange.
They’ve got Fit Hybrids and EV’s on sale in Japan.

As always this is the go to place on the web for “green” car sales numbers. Every month I look forward to the start of a month to see the steady upward trend. I hope we break 200K for 2017.

insideevs team, one request: will you please break up Clarity BEV and Clarity PHEV into two separate rows.

I hope ioniq PHEV will be added next month. Please do not combine with the ioniq BEV. Its disappointing to see the ioniq BEV sell in such low numbers. I guess supply is really constrained. Its well priced to sell!

“insideevs team, one request: will you please break up Clarity BEV and Clarity PHEV into two separate rows.

I hope ioniq PHEV will be added next month. Please do not combine with the ioniq BEV. Its disappointing to see the ioniq BEV sell in such low numbers. I guess supply is really constrained. Its well priced to sell!”

I think they would break them out if they could. But Honda most likely is combining them in order to make the sales numbers look more impressive. But 1,400 is pretty good for an EV-laggard like Honda so I give them props for that!

The Ioniq continues the long Hyundai/Kia tradition of disappointing US EV buyers. They produce a great product and then sell only 100-200 a month. 😛 At least it is selling a better in Europe/Asia than here

Honda reported the Clarity as one (PHEV/BEV). Otherwise, we wouldn’t have had to change our chart at the last minute to get numbers out. We will do our best to seek a breakdown, but at this point, Honda is not providing such specifics.

Steven, Suddenly the Clarity numbers in the chart are listed separately for BEV & PHEV. Did Honda finally break them out for us, or is this an estimate?

We got them separated.

Well for reference, Honda only moved ~5 PHEVs in November, so I’d estimate that they moved about the same number of BEVs in December with the balance being PHEV. Might’ve even been less BEVs, all the dealers were sold out quick once they started the $199/month lease deal.

Right now it shows 193,025 YTD. Add my estimates for December:

1500 – Tesla Model 3
1500 – Ford Fusion&CMax Energi, FFE
3000 – BMW i3/i8/xDrive40e/330e/530e/740e
400 – Kia Soul/Optima
300 – Volvo XC90/XC60/S90
300 – Porsche, Mercedes, Smart, Mini, Cadillac, etc.
7000 total

That gets us just over 200k. My Ford and BMW estimates lean toward optimistic and Tesla Model 3 is just a guess. Nothing else really moves the needle.

I had a dialogue with Jay last month about his remark that 200k was unlikely. He added a lot of good insights, unfortunately it seems that thread was deleted.

Jean-François Morissette

Yup, I wanted to revisit those nice comments by Jay Cole and couldn’t find them either..too bad.

Your numbers are realistic I think, probably a little bit optimistic. Maybe we will have some surprising Outlander PHEV and Niro PHEV to add to this total also?! And the rare Karma Revero for the full year could get us just above 200k also 🙂

Good point.
Thats true. If we include Karma Revero which should have sold at least 174 units since it went on sale in 2017-05, USA sales should have crossed 200,000 mark. A small company cannot survive without selling 174 units in 8 months. Are they (Govt) not supposed to ask the company for sales #.

Seems pretty reasonable to me, and you don’t include any VW GTE or Honda Clarity sales.

Your Model 3 estimate may be too high, but that will be compensated by the VW and Honda sales and some other out-performances beyond what you have.

There are always two different versions/ pages/ URLs with the InsideEVs Monthly Sales Scorecard; one has the comments, and the other doesn’t. I’ve always been able to find the articles with comments for previous months by Googling — for example — [ plug-in sales report card november 2017], but this time I’m drawing a blank.

It looks like the version with comments for November has been deleted, and I can’t find it even at the Internet Wayback machine. 🙁

Our reality has been edited?

Yes, you found it! Thanks.

Friday AM and 4700 to go.

Jay says BMW sold 2792. Does that include the 752 i3/i8 already in the table? If so we need 2650 from:

1500 – Ford Fusion&CMax Energi, FFE
400 – Kia Soul/Optima
300 – Volvo XC90/XC60/S90
100 – Porsche, Mini, Cadillac, Ioniq, etc.
2300 total

Just a little short, especially since my Ford estimate is optimistic. But….

If Jay’s 2792 only includes 330e/530e/740e/xDrive40e we need 1900 from Ford/Kia/etc. listed above. That should happen, unless Ford really falls flat.

…not so happy to be right on this one (as final numbers are a sliver under 200k). A surprising result from the Clarity made it real close.

On the bright side its good to see the streak get through to 27 monthly gains in a row – this was the month (if any) that could have came up short.

Going forward into 2018 its hard to imagine any upcoming months that plug-in sales won’t be significantly higher (YoY) – what with the Model 3 ramping, upgraded LEAF, Outlander PHEV (and slew of other new models).

As we mentioned before, the assumption is 2018’s final plug-in sales results likely won’t start with a 2 or 3…but a 4.

i had to screenshot that again. now i have this prediction in multiple screenshots. 🙂

Here we go:

Thanks to Domenick Yoney for the link! 🙂

What happened to the world wide numbers today.

Waiting. Will get them up soon!

Rats! No estimate of Tesla Model 3 production here yet. Estimates elsewhere on the internet are all over the map, from 2000 to (an extremely unlikely) 5000.

Well, given that the estimated TM3 production for November was only 345, I’ll be pleased if it’s as much as 2000 for December, and anything above that will be gravy.

Tesla M3 production hell continues; 1060 units sold in December.

It seems like they might going up a few levels, though. The bulk of production was at the end of December.

Double rats! Only a bit over 1000 deliveries. 🙁

And every single “analyst” whose article on the subject came up on a Google news search within the past few days was wrong; or at least, all those I looked at were wrong. The lowest estimate was 2000.

Once again we are reminded that when it comes to estimating Tesla’s deliveries or production, we can pretty much ignore every source other than InsideEVs. Nobody else even comes close.


Don’t feel sad. Feel happy. Model-3 sales has increased from 345 to 1060 which is 3 fold increase. And the last week of Dec saw production at 1,000 units/week which means Jan could see sales of 4,000 units.

And Leaf-2 is going to come to market. So lot of good times ahead.

Tesla sold 48k cars in US 2016
and 51k in 2017. That’s not good

Yeah, they need to put a third model into production.

Oh, wait… 😉

(To play Devil’s Advocate: Waiting is exactly what we’ve been doing! 😛 )

Jean-François Morissette


So finally the mythical Outlander has arrived! 99, better than 0!

So in the end, it will depend mostly on Tesla 3 and the sales from all the little players to break 200k sales for 2017.

It finally happened!

Hopefully the flood gates will open in January.

Numbers for the M3 are out! It’s 2,425 produced for Q4!

Any number on deliveries?

If we take all the remaining empty slots and add in the same numbers from November we get to 199,905! So close.

Only the Leaf is below Nov. so far, so you may be right! Only ~15 slots left to fill in.

Tesla’s Model-S (27,060) and Model-X (21,315) took the #1 & #3 spots. It’s great that a vehicle so expensive could take those high spots.

Tesla sales in 2017 is 101,312 and this is a 33% increase over 2016.

And they produced 2,410 units of Model 3 and delivered 1,550. And the December’s # stands at 1,060 and this is great. So 860 are in transit or due for delivery.

In the last few days, they hit a production rate of 1,000 / week. All great news.
Happy !!!

And the overall Dec sales is -5.2% while the 2017-YTD sales is -1.8%.

So the slack left by Leaf is taken over by Clarity. I expected this and also thought that Model 3 sales will range 700 – 900 and this 1,060 is just above my optimum expectation.

Very good. Seems Model 3 sales in 2018-01 may cross 4,000 mark easily.

Hopefully overall demand continues to grow because there’s a lot of new PHEV’s and EV’s that weren’t available last year…

Interestingly, the overall sales for the year have gone up by about the same amount as the increase in the number of models available. About 30%

This is another way of saying that on average, sales per model has not grown by much.

I suspect a wider range of models addresses the market better. Everyone can now find a car they like and can afford, but that doesn’t mean that plug-ins are growing in popularity by much.

The growth seems to be concentrated on a few models which have done better than average, but that means that some models have done worse than average.

Given that sales are heavily driven by ZEV requirements and incentives, we shouldn’t be too surprised.

However, given the rapid rate of change, it’s important to focus on what’s happening with newer models. Model 3 is production constrained, Bolt is easy for GM to move with incentives; Prime is inventory constrained; BMW PHEVs are moving OK;

Plus, Leaf 2, Outlander PHEV and IONIQ PHEV are just beginning.

2018 should see a healthy bump, and not just because of the increase in ZEV requirement.

We’ll have to wait and see I suppose. I cant see any compelling reason to see 2018 being a particularly good year.

I don’t know how many new models are planned for 2018, but I suspect sales will be linked to that as much as anything else, as has been the case in past years.

Sales of plug-ins remains at around 1%, and given that electric cars have been around since 2010 and there are now 41 models to choose from it doesn’t seem that the public is very keen on them, despite all sorts of grants and inducements to persuade them to buy one.

The public is keen on them. We can tell from the response from different markets with different incentives.

Improve relative value and sales increase.

I’m not entirely sure I understand your point, but if it is the less expensive they are or the more incentives you provide, the more you sell I can’t really disagree with it.

However, the public is buying nearly a hundred times more conventionally fueled cars with NO incentives.

I note that the Mirai sales have increased by more than twice that of plug-ins over the year, despite a very restricted availability of hydrogen filling stations.

Make what you will of that.

2018 sales growth will be 80% tied to Model 3.

OH Yeh!

Look forward to that!

2018 is looking great for growth potential of plug-in hybrid sales.

Major impediment to the plug-in hybrid market is finally subsiding: Volt. It was promoted as a EREV all throughout gen-1 development. But when rollout finally happened, Volt turned out to be a PHEV instead. Enthusiasts refused to accept that though, claiming otherwise… which created a great deal of market confusion.

A few years later when BMW rolled out i3, it became clear what Volt actually was… or more accurately, wasn’t. That confusing message to the market should have ended then; instead, we ended up getting new rhetoric from enthusiasts about what gen-2 would deliver.

That turned into an expectation disaster too. Rather than tuning down the impressive performance traits so it would attract ordinary consumers, they were increased. It was a complete disregard for the priority of reducing price to grow sales and compensate for the upcoming loss of tax-credits.

Now, we see the competition stepping in to fill the void GM is clearly shying away from. It’s odd to see such abandonment of an entire market segment, especially after such bold promises. But that’s what we have witnessed for plug-in hybrid efforts from GM.

So the plug-in market didn’t take off because GM used an “ER” prefix instead of “PH” in their press release?

Good theory.

Unfamiliar with that past or trying to escape from it?

I don’t think the branding of EREV vs PHEV is at all significant in how sales have proceeded. Sure GM could have marketed the Volt better but that particular issue of EREV vs PHEV was never a big deal to anyone much I’d say.

Rather, it’s all about the price/value equation. The Volt delivers a lot in some ways, with it’s nice all-electric range and good performance, but the limited interior passenger and storage space, lack of 5 real seats, and high price compared to the other cars available are what kept sales from ever taking off.

The Prime at least does address the price issue, but it still has the space and seating sacrifices. We still do not have an affordable no-sacrifice PHEV available that will take off in sales.

The Prime will see some solid sales because of the legions of Prius fans out there and because of low price after tax credit, but the lack of a 5th seat and the restricted cargo space will limit the number who will pick it.

That’s why we see Toyota planning Camry, Corolla, RAV4, C-HR and the new Prius V all for plug augmentation. It’s a straightforward & affordable process going from hybrid to plug-in hybrid.

While some keep making noises about plans, others are doing, and showing how ‘easy’ it is. Don’t worry, Toyota knockoffs to follow….. “in just 5 years”.

Don’t care about your rhetoric, we’re still waiting an affordable plug-in hybrid from GM… 2022 ?

Next year is when the Corolla plug-in hybrid is planned for the market in China.

Toyota’s plan to plug-in hybridize various popular models like Camry and Corolla will undoubtably lead to some decent sales, but I’m skeptical of how successful they can be with these retrofit plug-ins: there is always going to be sacrifices of space and greater expense compared to the regular versions.

Really need a clean sheet design, IMO, to minimize the compromises.

But can’t argue with Toyota’s success building and selling cars in general and hybrids in particular. Their evolutionary approach is a reasonable way to keep costs down while increasing the electrification of their cars.

We still do not have an affordable no-sacrifice PHEV available that will take off in sales.

Clarity PHEV will like to have a word with you, provided you don’t put it in “Sport” mode.

The Clarity is getting closer, but price vs performance and space is still an issue for the $34k base price PHEV compared to other cars in that price range, even if you are able to take off the $7500 federal tax credit.

“Honda says it expects to sell about 75,000 Claritys—all three models combined—over the next four years.”

That is not the kind of mass-market appeal and sales that I’m talking about.

LOL.. it’s all GM’s fault that Toyota has struggled with plug-ins. Got it.

Grasping at new straws now to avoid the truth.

The major impediment is GM not putting Voltec in an SUV. Just go look at sedan vs. SUV sales over the last 5 – 10 years.

Good observation John. I remember your writings and you are 1 of the Prius Pioneers.

Volt is a actually EREV and a wonderful product from GM’s research team.
But the higher management does not want to sell a vehicle which can run on electricity and so GM did all it can to reduce the sales of Volt. And now they are saying that Bolt took Volt’s sales which is absurd. Then how come Clarity BEV & PHV are selling side by side.

Soon we will know whether Bolt withstands the competition from Leaf and Model-3 and what GM has to say.

Jean-François Morissette

So if we had the Karma Revero numbers, maybe we would be above 200k sales!

No Ioniq PHEV has been sold yet in the US? Nor Niro PHEV?

oh come on model3 leaf n ford cmax…lil more push would have put us above 200k mark

C-Max is a cancelled model, they’re not making any more to sell. Just remaining inventory from 2017MY

I know. That is sad. i own one of those. it feels kind of a mini SUV.

Dang, so close to 200k for 2017.
*points finger at Model 3*

Uhhhh no…

Until this past spring I didn’t think more than a few dozen or few hundred Model 3s would be sold this year. But I still thought we would break 200,000 this year!

*points finger at CT6 Plug-In, Leaf, and Ioniq for shattering even the most modest expectations for this year*

Fair enough, but make sure to point the finger at Model 3 after the 2018 Sales season wraps up too.

Can we expect a 3 way competition between Bolt, Leaf and Model-3 in 2018-01 in that 30K – 35K segment.

And in plugin segment, there could be another 3 way competition between Prius Plugin, Volt and Clarity.

Game gets interesting.

Wow, what a nailbiter.

Thanks for the analysis !
.. But I still don’t understand why US blogs are so reluctant to include hydrogen cars in their tables (though you mentioned the Mirai in your article, but not in the table).
The Mirai is one of the 20 most sold vehicles in US and the Hyundai Tucson and the Clarity FCEV are also not bad.
Shouldn’t you include ALL green vehicles in the figures ?

There are more and more studies indicating a growing interest of OEM’s execs in H2, in spite of the success of BEVs. We might all wake up one day and realise Toyota was right, just like for the Prius …


I would like to suggest you to separate the rankings of plug-in hybrids and battery vehicles or, at least, color them differently in the table. For me the BEVs are more significant than PHEVs.