April EV Sales Power Higher In US Thanks To Unexpected Player (Update-Ford Restates Lower)

MAY 3 2015 BY JAY COLE 27

The name of the game for electric vehicle sales so far in 2015 has been diversity.

A Rush Of Ford C-Max Energi Sales Surprised The EV Industry This Month

A Rush Of Ford C-Max Energi Sales Surprised The EV Industry This Month

Never has that fact been more prevalent than in April, as the top 5 sellers for the United States in 2014 put up some fairly “meh” results during the month – off 36% (7,220 vs 5,297 a year ago), but the industry still went higher regardless.

In total, an estimated 9,094 plug-ins were sold in April, versus 8,895 a year ago.

32,443EVs have sold so far this year versus 31,566 though the first four months of 2014, a 3% gain.

No longer is the state of plug-in sales in America dependent on the success of just 2 or 3 models.  Seven different EVs have already proven the ability to sell more than 800 cars in 2015.

Most surprising this month was the Chevrolet Spark EV, whose new $1,600 lower MSRP and $139 lease deal was good for a 948% increase over last year, with an amazing 920 sales.  The old record for Spark EV sales? 182

Not to be out done, the Ford C-Max Energi, which had been floundering for years with its hybrid brother, came seemingly out of no where to post 1,237 sales – its best performance all-time, and the only plug-in not named LEAF or Model S to crack 4 digits this month.

UPDATE: Apparently the C-Max Energi stayed in “no where” for April, as Ford re-issued sales for the plug-in, saying: “Please note: This file properly bins April sales of the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi.  These two vehicle were transposed in the last report.”  Instead of 1,237 C-Max Energis sold, the actual number was 553.

The Fiat 500e also stayed very strong in April, selling an estimated 717 EVs – the second best month for the car to date.

Of course, there was a couple surprising (and not so surprising) misses during the month.

With the current generation Chevrolet Volt ending production on May 15th, and the current generation Prius PHV ending in June, those two brands were off a combined 60% (1,333 vs 3,289) as consumers look ahead to future offerings.  On the other hand, with no decent excuse for poor sales, the BMW i3 was off 55% from last month (406 vs 922).

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

Some Other Point Of Interest From April:

Fiat Makes The Top EV Makers For The Second Month In A Row With The 500e

Fiat Makes The Top EV Makers For The Second Month In A Row With The 500e

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. General Motors – 1,929
  2. Tesla  – 1,700*
  3. Nissan – 1,553
  4. Ford – 1,388
  5. Fiat – 717

Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In April*

  1. BEV – 5,741 – 63%
  2. PHEV – 3,352 – 37%

New 2015 Highs Set In April By Model (previous 2015 high in brackets) **-Record High

  • Chevrolet Spark EV – 920** (151)
  • Chevrolet Volt – 905 (693)
  • Volkswagen e-Golf – 309** (195)
  • Porsche Cayenne S e-Hybrid – 88** (72)
  • Kia Soul EV – 73 (69)
  • Misubishi i-MiEV – 16 (10)
Sales Of The BMW i3 Hit A Wall In April

Sales Of The BMW i3 Hit A Wall In April

New 2015 Lows Set In April By Model  (previous 2015 low in brackets)

  • BMW i3 – 406 (670)
  • Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid – 30 (40)
  • Honda Accord PHV – 5 (5)

Looking Ahead:  Diversity may be the basis of EV sales for far in 2015, but next to nothing will push the industry higher than it went a year ago.  In May of 2014, more than 12,300 EVs were sold thanks to Nissan selling a record 3,117 LEAFs and Toyota selling 2,692 Prius PHVs.  Neither will come close to matching those levels in May.

Looking Even Farther Ahead:  For 2015, all the sales are back end loaded with the launch of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model X and a half dozen other niche plug-in EVs set to launch.

We expect year-over-year sales to be mostly flat through August of this year, but to be up 30%  almost indefinitely starting in late September.

The full monthly recap by individual plug-in can be found on our March Score card here.


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

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27 Comments on "April EV Sales Power Higher In US Thanks To Unexpected Player (Update-Ford Restates Lower)"

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Also there is a report on the Chevy Volt Facebook group of a brand new Spark EV on the lot of a Houston, TX area chevy dealer… which raises more questions.

Imagine how great these numbers would be if we had the 200 mile Chevy Bolt, The 150 mile Nissan Leaf and the Gen 2 Volt in the picture.

There was such a big jump in Spark sales that I’m wondering if someone ran a clearance deal on leftover ’14s.

Apparently some VERY attractive leases in CA on 2015 Spark EVs. Well under $150/mo, zero down.

VW e-Golf doing well and gaining some share.

I believe diversity was an old old wooden ship that was used during the civil war era.

Last month (Mar), it was the Fiat 500e that bolted and surprised … this month (Apr) the Chevy Spark EV. Nice to see the Spark EV ahead of last year already, just 4 months into a new year. This new sales pattern is interesting. 😉

Which EV will bolt ahead for May?
(thinking Atlanta, and Georgia sales might be the trigger for May/Jun)

Never thought I’d see Spark sales ahead of Volt sales, especially since it’s not available nationwide.

imagine the sales if it was available nationwide

Its a great little EV and a low price and with impressive specs. It has not got the attention and sales it deserves.

But it is not a looker . . . it is quite the bland econobox. If it was a good looking car, it would have done much better.

Pretty lackluster considering that the industry at large grew 4.5%.

just imagine when the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV actually gets here. we will be talking huge sales increase in PHEV sales. maybe even PHEV over BEV sales again.

Europe Sales
Pl Europe Mar. 2015 % ’14Pl
1 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4.306 7.355 20 1
2 Nissan Leaf 3.300 5.056 14 2
3 Tesla Model S 2.584 3.748 11 4
4 Volkswagen e-Golf 1.104 3.155 9 9
5 Renault Zoe 1.343 3.038 8 3
6 BMW i3 902 2.026 6 5
7 Volkswagen Golf GTE 442 2.003 6 22
8 Audi A3 e-Tron 811 1.625 5 19
9 Volvo V60 Plug-In 411 1.263 4 7
10 Volkswagen e-Up! 290 789 2 6

I maintain my conspiracy theory that all the automakers are holding back on an SUV PHEV because they know it will take way thick profits on conventional SUVs.

That Mitz Outlander PHEV needs to get to the USA and break open the PHEV market. The Volt is a great car but (sadly) Americans want big beastmobiles.

Isn’t it strange that the Tesla is on the top? In my opinion there is too much competition in just one segment. There is just one very expensive SUV, two kind of midsize sedans(Volt,Fusion), two minivans, one sports car, the rest is compact or subcompact hatchbacks. Would be nice to see some Tesla competition. I imagine this year will be Kia stealing sales from Mecedes stealing from VW stealing from Fiat, which stole some market share from BMW, which stole from Chevy wich ultimately stole from Nissan. They have to generate new markets! The first one who tries a plug in pick up, has my respects.

The Model S is undoubtedly a break-out hit car. If you are in the market for a high-end luxury car, why not get the non-compromise long-range fast-accelerating free-to-charge-for-life beautifully-sleek Tesla Model S? I saw 7 of them when I went for a run yesterday. Hugely popular where I live.

Why get some Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, or Audi oil-burner instead? There’s just no reason unless you regularly drive very long distances to places without superchargers around.

I’m sure all those gas cars you mentioned outsell the Model S quite comfortably. Plus those things actually make money for their manufacturers. That said, I’m a bit surprised by the endurance of the Model S “hot car” factor.

Must be because it’s the only one. If we get a battery breakthrough like this one …


… then I think it’ll be all she wrote for Tesla.

Actually . . . no. In 2013, Tesla Model S Outsold Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Lexus LS and Porsche Panamera


Every other day there is a new battery breakthrough written up in an article. But most of them never pan out into something that becomes a commercial product. But I’m always hoping someone does it.

It seems your hatred of Tesla is clouding your view of reality.

Not even the much cheaper a6 outsells the S. At least in the USA. 5 series and e-class sell twice a much, but most of them are a lot cheaper base models. CLS a7 6 series sell less and those cars are in the same price area. Of course AUDI sells better in India, because Tesla has no stores there

Which reminds me…. Why don’t we see VIA Motors products on this list? I realize they may still be only fleet sales so far, but they are getting traction, aren’t they?

Are they actually selling anything?

The word “power” makes the headline a bit difficult to read.

Diversity will have to be the key next month, I can’t see anyone hitting 3k, so u are looking for 3 @ 2k, 4 @ 1k and a good show from the b-grade to get past last years numbers. I can’t see it happening but who knows, not impossible by any means. I who love to see a solid summer leading to an amazing end of year party.