February 2014 Plug-In Sales Rise 30% – Ford’s EVs Lead Charge Into Spring

MAR 5 2014 BY JAY COLE 42

Ford Shows Off Its Trio Of Plug-Ins At The 2014 Geneva Motor Show Today

Ford Shows Off Its Trio Of Plug-Ins At The 2014 Geneva Motor Show Today

Fact:  January and February aren’t kind to plug-in vehicle sales.

Statistically speaking, the two worst performing months of the year…every year…since the dawn of the “new age” of the electric vehicles in 2011 are the first two.

Ford C-Max Energi At The 2014 Geneva Motor Show

Ford C-Max Energi At The 2014 Geneva Motor Show

However, if that trend holds true this year, 2014 is going to be a great year for plug-in sales, as we just had a couple pretty decent months to kick off 2014.

After a January 2014 that saw a 19% improvement over the year prior, an estimated 7,055 EVs were sold in February 2014, good for a even better 30% improvement over February 2013’s 5,404.

***Full YTD Sales Chart Below***

Leading the charge was an unexpected player – Ford; just edging out Nissan this month (by 35 cars) for the most electrified vehicles sold.

Between the Fusion Energi, the C-Max Energi and the Focus Electric, the three plug-in stablemates sold 1,460 cars, up from just 419 a year previous…good for a 248% increase.  Last month, the Ford trio sold 1,104 plug-ins combined.

Overall for the year to date, plug-in sales are up 25.2% – meaning at this pace just over 120,000 EVs would be sold in the United States this year, up from just under 96,000 last year.

Given the arrival of the BMW i3 beginning in April, a new and much cheaper Mitsubishi i-MiEV in May, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED regionally this summer and the longer range Kia Soul EV in the fall…it’s hard to see how the growth won’t continue throughout the year.

Other statistics of interest:

The Nissan LEAF Continues To Lead As "Best Seller" Two Month In (Photo: Cutaway LEAF Demo At 2014 Geneva Motor Show)

The Nissan LEAF Continues To Lead As “Best Seller” Two Month In (Photo: Cutaway LEAF Demo At 2014 Geneva Motor Show)

Top 5 Plug-In Automakers For 2014 YTD:

  1. Nissan – 2677
  2. Ford – 2,564
  3. General Motors – 2,391
  4. Tesla (e) – 2200
  5. Toyota – 2,008


  1. PHEV – 53.2% (6,655 units)
  2. BEV – 46.8% (5,850 units)


2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla US Sales Numbers (Precise quarterly results updated during Tesla's Q1 report due mid-May) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data.

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla US Sales Numbers (Precise quarterly results updated during Tesla’s Q1 report due mid-May) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data.

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


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42 Comments on "February 2014 Plug-In Sales Rise 30% – Ford’s EVs Lead Charge Into Spring"

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Yes, the Focus electric is selling in small numbers so far but the current price cut and the fact their showing this vehicle in europe again makes my heart smile. I think it wouldnt be suprising if last years focus electric sales figures get a lot lot higher this year.


On the Focus BEV, a question for Jay:

I saw mentioned in the monthly report, that these are made to order.

Is that true? They don’t just produce an inventory of these like for a normal model?

That explains pretty much all we need to know about this car’s sales.

While I’m not Jay.. I think I can answer this. I have seen the Focus Electric at local Ford dealers here in Texas, on the lot. So I think they are making some for general sales and they are available outside of the usual “compliance car” market. Obviously Texas is not a Carb State.

Sorry, busy day today. I guess I should clarify things better in the recap. The Focus Electric is not built-out/stocked in the traditional sense (for whatever reason one wants to assigns).

If you are a certified Energi/BEV Ford dealer that agreement sets outs/guides that the dealership is to have one unit (Focus EV) on hand, and then sell from that unit – the “made to order” model system does take Ford about 6-8 weeks to turn a car around.

So given that timely, the fairly impatient nature of the customer, along with the infrequency of sales/low demand, the “floor” model is often sold and then replenished…in some cases the dealer himself opts a little extra play – overall though there is very little Focus Electrics in stock – ever.

Thanks Jay! Again, that explains a lot and substantiates the suspicion that this car is more “compliance” than “market” BEV overall.

Hey, am I imagining things – are are you doing a makeover to the site?

I think a makeover is in the works…don’t you? Check the site out from your mobile…That’s where the biggest changes are being made.

Indeed, big makeover today. Which was terrible planning thanks to Geneva.

…still working out the kinks

Cars.com shows 182 available nationwide.

I bet when they add the Focus Energi it will increase their Plug-in sales by another 30% or more, possibly allowing them to hold onto their #1 spot.

Ford has 9 vehicles left to launch for the US in 2014(excluding the 2015 Focus hatch, 2015 Focus sedan, 2015 Expedition, 2015 MKC, 2015 Mustang, 2015 Navigator, 2015 F-150), with a bulk of the being hybrid and plug-in hybrid. I was looking for the (1)Focus Energi at the Geneva Show, but realized that it will launching in the US first, like the C-MAX Energi/Hybrid and new Fusion did. With an Energi model, we are hoping for a hybrid also, especially since Ford has done much with the design to improve the aerodynamics of the Focus 5-door. We will also get to see the 2015 Focus Sedan, which should look like a baby Fusion. So expect to see info leaking about a week or so before the NY Auto Show kicking off April 18th. Also at the NY Auto Show I am expecting the unveiling of the New (2)S-MAX (3)hybrid and (4)Energi model for the US, where the camouflaged model has been seen driving around in Detroit with flaps where the charge port would be. We also expect to see the 2016 (5)New Edge where we have already seen the ICE Concept at the 2013 LA Auto Show. A Hybrid/Energi model… Read more »

So, we can expect to see some of this introduced maybe in late April when the NY show happens?

Love my Focus except for the bump in the trunk. I wonder if they are fixing that?

I don’t know Jay. I think you have the wrong order of vehicles in the chart. I think that the Ford should be listed ahead of the piP.

He’s not lumping manufacturers together. It’s sheer coincidence that all 3 Ford models are next to each other in the listing, based on that individual model’s sales numbers.

Yes, what David said…the data just happened to get spit out that way this month.

I mean how do you decide what order to put the cars in….yeh I know descending order by number of sales but do you change the order each month and base it each month on YTD numbers or do you pick and order at the first of the year and then just stick to it.

We now change the order according to sales each month. Just thought it seems a little cleaner/more interesting that way. As one would expect (being so early in the year), there was 7 positional moves from January to February.


Gotta believe this is a 120K EV year and Ford is on the move.
Already looking forward to March #s!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Pretty darn embarrassing for GM, too bad they didn’t put Voltec into more models at reasonable prices :/

Also too bad they are not trying to sell the Spark EV, even though their new CEO said she “loves” it. Loves it so much she wants to keep it?

Just wondering what other people here think the most “interesting” milestones are for cars with plugs?

Yearly sales passing the sales of the top car model? Perhaps the the top truck model (Ford F-150)?

Each billion miles on electrons? (I imagine a McDonalds-like sign bragging about another billion miles served up sans gasoline.)

250,000 annual in the USA plug-in sales is a number that I think is quite important to hit by 2020. Without hitting that, it is uncertain that EVs can make a big-enough impact in the ICE space to mean something in terms of oil usage or climate.

GM is going to have to do something beyond the Volt and slight support of CARB states with Spark EV. A truck would be very nice.

This is good news for Ford. Let’s hope this is an incentive for GM to improve their product but I fear they’ll read the signs the wrong way and ditch the Volt and continue with ELR.

GM’s product is already vastly superior to Ford’s. Ford just has an easier time selling their product for several reasons. 1) It is an easier upsale to somebody already interested in a Fusion or Cmax. It is much easier to sell an Energi model to somebody already interested in a Cmax than it would be, for example for GM to sell a Volt to a person interested in a Cruze. Especially considering the tax credit ends up making it cost about the same as the regular gas version. 2) Not stigmatized by the right-wing news media for fires, blah, blah, blah. 3) They actually have these in stock at most of their dealers. 4) Ford is probably more motivated to sell the energi cars than GM is to sell Volts and Spark EVs, because I suspect Ford is actually making a profit on them and GM probably is not. I’ve been saying it for a while. While I like The Volt much better than the energi cars, I think Ford has picked a winning strategy. Unless GM pulls a rabbit out of their hat with Volt 2.0, Ford will likely continue outselling GM on plug-in cars. The interesting thing is… Read more »

Good points. I am eagerly awaiting Volt 2.0 but if my car got wrecked today and had to buy a car right now I would go for cmax energi instead of the current Volt.

More trunk , seats 5 , regular gas, more technical features available (forward sensing, park assist , sunroof ….)

If Ford comes out with a plugin/hybrid Focus that is somewhat decent GM might just as well stop Volt production. Maybe they know more than we do and that’s why they keep inventories low ?

How many miles do you drive on a typical day?

For a lot of people the difference in money between premium and regular gas is much less than the difference in money between buying multiple gallons of extra gas due to the decreased range. I suppose if you rarely drive more than 21 miles the extra range doesn’t matter much. Typically we are between 20-35 a day so most days are all EV — which turns out to be around 3000 miles for a 8 gallon fill up. Where the Ford, most days we’d use some gas so there would be larger and more frequent fill ups.

Typically less than 21m. With weekend driving often more than 100m.

I’m very happy with my C-max energi. A friend has a Volt, and with his driving habits, the Volt makes more sense. But the Energy is the nicer car in lots of little ways. More passenger space. Or more storage space (pick one.) A less weird, and more functional dash board, with traditional buttons for climate control that either the driver or the passenger can fiddle with. A simpler interface for the radio, etc. (Both have poor GPS interface.) Tighter handling.

The park assist is sort of cool, but I rarely use it. The automatic hatch lift is surprisingly useful. I didn’t know the Volt required premium gas, but I’m happy I don’t need to do that.

If the indication from my co-worker’s purchase is anything, Ford is selling it by discounting it like CRAZY.

My co-worker got his C-Max Energi by trading his 2 yr old Prius Plugin and kept the same monthly payment for the lease AND got cash back… His Pip was base….

The Ford dealer discounted it by $6K in order to get rid of them…

The ELR outsold the Honda Accord plug-in and Fit EV combined for Feb.

That’s not saying much.

It points out that it’s unfair that the ELR should get kicked around as much as it does compared to Honda. Honda announces their completely backing out of the pure BEV market after meeting their compliance requirements, and there’s a single article about it. Cadillac puts the Voltec powertrain into a completely new high-end package, slaps an admittedly too-high price tag on it, and the blogosphere can’t complain enough, despite the fact that Cadillac is actually advertising it and at least trying to sell it. Meanwhile, the 5 passenger, no luggage, no sales Accord PHEV seems to get a free pass.

Great points. I guess I expect more from GM than Honda, and I figured they should set the bar a little higher than outselling those 2.

Do you set the same bar for Toyota which is the #1 automaker in the world?

How about its Prius Plugin which is MOSTLY there to game the CA HOV sticker or the eRAV4 which is famous for having problems?

Any bashing on Toyota lately?

Easy killer. Where did someone point out Toyota’s accomplishment of surpassing the Honda Accord plug-in and Fit EV combined?

I’m not bashing anyone but Honda in pointing out that it is not much of an accomplishment.

Also, the reason I expect more from GM (and for that matter Nissan and Tesla) than I do from either Honda or Toyota has nothing to do with the automakers size. It has more to do with respect for what they have already done, and hope that they will continue to offer us more.

Like yourself, I’m not really impressed with Toyota’s offerings. Their statements about FCV tech make me expect minimal effort toward making better plug-ins. Same thing with Honda. Being able to beat 57 cars a month is not saying much. I’m confused how it is “bashing” a company to hope they can do better.

I agree Stan. I’d also say it is not just good news for Ford but good news for plug-ins in general. Hopefully it is incentive for not just GM, but also others.

Meanwhile Germany: February 481 EV (+0.4%)

Have you got a breakdown of German sales figures for Feb?
How did Tesla do?

This just shows that “quality” of the offering doesn’t matter as much as “number of choice” offering….

The more choices we have, the higher number of the sales it would have.

If Mitsubishi offers Outlander PHEV today, it would have been the top 3 Plugin automaker in terms of sales..

If Toyota offers the plugin among all of its hybrid line, it would probably sell 2x more than the second leading plugin automaker…
But it won’t since it views EVs as nothing more than ZEV requirement and Fuel Cells cars would give Toyota more ZEV credits more efficiently….

The Ford sales don’t surprise me. I drove a Fusion a couple months ago and it is a very nice car,… if you don’t need much trunk space. If the battery packaging is better in the Focus PHEV, it will be a very appealing. Too bad Ford does essentially 0 advertising for these cars.

The Volt sales seem to indicate that the car is getting stale. I can’t believe GM didn’t realize that their most technologically advanced car wouldn’t need at least a styling and info-tainment update. It will be interesting to see what they pull from the ELR.

Ford just increased the 2014 Focus Electric cash back to $6,500. Now the nicely equipped FFE is over $300 less than the Leaf S.