Final 2013 Plug-In Sales Rankings For The US Are In – Who Did Well? Who Did Not? (Infographic)

4 years ago by Jay Cole 32

2013 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla Numbers have been included in this graph. Tesla Total US Sales Based On Quarterly Disclosures (Q1 & Q2 from filings, Q3 based on shareholder letter, and Q4 based on company estimate of half of sales out of North America) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data.

2013 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla Numbers have been included in this graph. Tesla Total US Sales Based On Quarterly Disclosures (Q1 & Q2 from filings, Q3 based on shareholder letter, and Q4 based on company estimate of half of sales out of North America) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data.

The Chevrolet Volt Brought Home The Plug-In Sales Crown Again In 2013

The Chevrolet Volt Brought Home The Plug-In Sales Crown Again In 2013

Finally 2013 has wrapped up and we have obtained all the sales data for the year!

The chart (above) pretty much says it all but we will highlight some random points of interest as well.

For the 2nd straight year, the Chevrolet Volt won the prize for most plug-ins sold, narrowly edging out the Nissan LEAF (full story with past winners/more statistics can be found here).

And while no one offering from Ford came close to competing for that crown, the 3 plug-in products (C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi and Focus Electric) managed to sell about 15,000 copies combined in 2013 – meaning that Ford may compete for the #1 automaker of all things plug-in for 2014.

Greatest BEV (pure EV) Gainers in 2013:

  • Total Sales (min 10 months selling in 2012):  Nissan LEAF +12,791 (22,610 vs 9,819)
  • Sales as a Percentage: Tesla Model S +667%  (17,650* vs 2,650)
  • Best Performing Newcomer: smart ED –  923 units sold

Overall plug-in sales increased by 82% in 2013:

  • 2013 sales: 95,859  (+82%)
  • 2012 sales: 52,581  (+202%)
  • 2011 sales: 17,425

Sales Mix – Pure Electrics vs Plug-In Hybrids:

  • 2013 mix: 49% BEV – 51% PHV
  • 2012 mix: 27% BEV – 63% PHV

Also of note – the top 4 selling models in the US, accounted for 77% of all sales.

The Fusion Energi (seen here in green "Coke" trim) Was The Surprise Seller Of 2013

The Fusion Energi (seen here in green “Coke” trim) Was The Surprise Seller Of 2013

2013 also saw two plug-ins decrease in sales from one year to the next, the first such occurrence during the ‘modern era of EVs’, as the sales leader Chevrolet Volt fell short of 2012 numbers by 367 units, or 1.6% (23,094 vs 23,461) and the Toyota PHV fell 662 units or 5.2% (12,088 vs 12,750) despite only being available 10 months in 2012.

During the second half of 2013, sales increased by 35% over the first.  Looking ahead to 2014, with the addition of the BMW i3 and Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric, sales are expected to increase about 30% according to many analysts.

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32 responses to "Final 2013 Plug-In Sales Rankings For The US Are In – Who Did Well? Who Did Not? (Infographic)"

  1. Robert says:

    Hi Jay, great table. One question, can we change the bold typeface to normal, so the totals are easier to read? Cheers!

    PS: looking forward to 2014 and the effect 9 new models have on sales figures….

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yeah, we can do that. We literally just finished putting together the new sheet this afternoon…so it is a work in progress.

      (Actually it had to be shrunk a bit for formatting onto the page…In the meantime, if you click it – the font improves)

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Late night update: Point taken on the bold total typeface – now switched to something cleaner, (=

    2. Assaf says:

      Yeah, 9 more models might strain our eyes if Jay tries to fit them all in one table…

      Any suggested solutions anyone?

      Big Thanks to Jay and the insideevs team for this precious information stream!

  2. David Murray says:

    2014 will be interesting, adding the BMW i3 into the mix. I don’t expect a lot of sales on the ELR unless they lower the price.

    2015 and 2016 are going to be big game changing years as we’ll see Tesla’s 3rd generation product and new bodystyles for the Volt, Leaf, and Prius. And on the last 3 I expect to see more changes than just the bodystyle, I expect improvements all-around.

    1. Mark H says:

      Yeah, sixteen models and 96,000 sold is awesome, but still lots of growth opportunity. The market cries for a:
      Fusion sized EREV with 50 miles AER
      150-200 mile BEVs
      SUV which Mitsubishi promises
      Fleet truck which Via Motors will take a stab at.
      Possible aftermarket 60-100 lb extender until the 150-200 BEVs show up in droves

      For now, I will sit back and enjoy the 16/96,000 for awhile and expect Josh to show his 2014 prediction next month if not sooner.

      1. David Murray says:

        Indeed. I think what we’re really missing is a small SUV. And while Mitsubishi may deliver one, the small SUV market seems to be where the sales are at these days so there needs to be more than one offering. If GM, Nissan, and Toyota were to all offer a PHEV SUV of some kind, that would likely increase sales a lot. Some might argue the C-Max Energi is an SUV. It sort of is… but not really.

        1. Rich Rice says:

          Toyota has an all electric version of the RAV4. Sales on that car have been horrible and they are discontinuing the model. I bought one over the Summer and love it. Very unfortunate that others didn’t feel the same about it.

          1. David Murray says:

            I thought about the RAV4 as I was mentioning it. But I see many issues with it, most specifically is the price tag, but also the fact that it was a compliance car and sold in limited markets. Also I think for the next several years a PHEV is going to be the way to go for the SUV and pickup markets.

      2. ZivBnd says:

        Mark, I will be in the market for a larger EREV in 2016 when my Volt lease runs out, so I am one of the people you are talking about. I really need more rear seat leg room, and more AER would be sweet.

  3. Bloggin says:

    An 83% increase in plug-in sales in one year is nice. With so many new plug-in vehicles coming this year, I predict sales of 150k units for 2014.

    1. ZivBnd says:

      Bloggin, given the heretofore paucity of supply after the price drops on the part of the Volt and the Leaf, I don’t think 200,000 is out of the range of the possible results for 2014. I think January is going to be slow, but the big three will probably have a great 2014, (Volt, Leaf, Tesla S) and the supporting cast could overshadow the older stars.
      Up until now, it looks like the cost to produce each individual Volt/Leaf was at or slightly above the amount the car makers were able to get for them. It is beginning to look like they have actually begun gaining the economies of scale they have worked so long to achieve and they may actually be making money on each car sold, now.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        Personally I think we could reach anywhere from 150,000 to 170,000 it will most likely be a 50% raise over 2013. But it the biggest factor holding it down during the last few months of 2014 was car production for a few months was far lower then demand with storage of the plug in cars.

        As for when I think things will take off it will be around May or June when the i-Mev returns at a far lower price and if they are able to send over a few thousand of them over here that could add to the EV flood. Also the demand for the Nissan Leaf could grow a great deal as the 30,000 plus leafs on the road right now feed demand into themselves by being on the road. Such as right now there tons of EV myths running around now and most of the population has not seen a EV or knows that they exist. But in the strong holds of the Nissan Leaf lots of people are starting to know people who drive them and are getting a basic understanding of how they work which in turn makes them want to get one if it fits there needs. These people who go out to the dealers and buy one quickly start driving them around where they are seen by other people who have never seen one before and they start learning and understanding them.

        The only thing I really think will hold down demand in 2014 is battery production and how fast they can build them. If the 2014 Nissan Leaf where to have a $2000 to $3000 that would really grow demand. But under existing demand growth I think by June Nissan Leaf demand will be at 3000 to 4000 cars a month.

    2. Mark H says:

      I like the enthusiasm, but I am betting 2014 is a modest growth year. I’m with David Murray on big leap years in the 2015-2017 range. I am sure Josh Bryant is going to lay down the prediction gauntlet soon.

  4. Just_chris says:

    Just fantastic, 96 000 more plugin’s on the road, just fantastic.

    I really hope the rest of the world starts to catch up the US in the next few years and that we see the EU fighting back big time in 2014 both in terms of cars purchased and cars produced.

  5. scottf200 says:

    How about another comparison?

    Sales Mix –
    Pure Electrics 100 EPA miles

    2013 mix: xx% BEV100 – yy% BEV????
    2012 mix: xx% BEV100 – yy% BEV????

    1. scottf200 says:

      Something got lost there. The other mixed was BEVs that are less than 100 miles compared to BEVs that are more than 100 miles. — Shows an acceptability level.

  6. GeorgeS says:

    Along with every one else. Good presentation on the numbers!!!!!!!!!

  7. evnow says:

    My suggestion is to order the models better. Either do it by alphabetical or by sales. Also segregate BEV & PHEV for easier reading. You can also sub-total, then. Oh wait, that is what I do !

    1. GRA says:

      And while Jay’s at it, he can also divide them by price (base model MSRP), say sub $40k; $40k to <$60k; $60k +, so we aren't comparing Teslas to iMiEVs. I concur on the difficulty of reading the bold font numbers. I can do it, but they look a bit muddy and require some extra mental processing time. Other than that, nice job!

  8. Alaa says:

    Can any one fill the blanks and adjust the TOTAL Please?

    Tesla sold the following number of cars in 2013
    US 22610
    Norway 1986
    The rest of the world like the GULF etc.
    TOTAL > 24596

    It is resonable to assume that Tesla made more cars than that if we take into account the cars that are on boats to be sold and the demo cars.

    Now should we not include the Model X that they are working on? And maybe other secrets!

    I think that Tesla made well over 30k in 2013 from the Model S alone.

    Any thoughts gents?

    1. David Murray says:

      This chart has always been for USA sales.. Otherwise the Leaf would blow everything away since it sells so many in other parts of the world.

  9. Alaa says:

    Did anyone see this, that the Tesla numbers are the only ones that end with a zero in all 12 months!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Tesla sales are only monthly estimates based on available facts, tweets, production reports, customer delivery tracking, local states that give registration numbers, etc.

      At the end of each quarter, Tesla reports its finances and also (as a rule) they release total sales for the quarter and approximate international sales – at that time, if the numbers are off, they are adjusted to reflect that accurate quarterly number.

      Of interest, our estimates for the quarterly totals (not speaking to how we do the math monthly) have never been off more than 200 units and have been as close as 50 units…so we are pretty good pegging the sales in general, (=

  10. Future EV Driver says:

    Sales Mix – Pure Electrics vs Plug-In Hybrids:
    2013 mix: 49% BEV – 51% PHV
    2012 mix: 27% BEV – 63% PHV

    At this rate 2014 may look like this:
    2014 mix: 75% BEV – 25% PHV

    If the battery/range increases happen, plugin hybrids might even be less..

    1. PHEVfan says:

      I don’t see how you get to 75% BEV. that is a complete reversal of the trend. Even the newcomers (I3 and ELR) both have PHV at least as an option, so I don’t see the pendulum swinging over to more BEV’s in 2014.

  11. Veselin says:

    Great job! Thanks 🙂

  12. Ken Sherman says:

    Thanks for all the hard work. This is an invaluable resource and I sincerely appreciate the effort.
    I’m sure we all do.

    My guess? 166,000 for next year in the US and a rising percentage of these will be BEVs.


  13. Phr3d says:

    humble opinion- X will be stupid-successful, right car at right time -IF- they can deliver a loaded model for $50k, at least 10k sales on those hard concepts, probably more. Call it an SUV all you like, but it is a soccer-mom’s dream (wireless charging, please) that Every kid will be yammering about at school. That is what makes stunning sales..

  14. Martin T says:

    Still shocked EV’s are not selling higher the USA, Australia an early adopter of new technology seems to be much worse that the US.

    Are the Norwegians the only intelligent people on the plant when it comes to buying EV’s in any qty?

    Was it this bad when back then – when people went from the horse and buggy and purchased one of new horseless carriages………
    Maybe todays kids need more science and financial classes to understand the benefits of EV ownership?
    Oh wait they are into I-pads and facebook as that is clearly a higher priority 🙂

  15. James B. says:

    So how is the best new comer not the Ford Fusion Energi, they went on sale in February?
    How many CMax Energi’s sold last year compared to this year (vs. Tesla’s +667%)?
    Or if you insist on pushing Energi’s together (CMax + Fusion vs. Tesla’s +667%)?

    1. PHEVfan says:

      Best new comer category was BEV’s only, Fusion Energi is not in that category.
      C-Max increase was only ~300% vs Tesla’s 667%
      combined Energi’s (C-Max + Fusion) is only 558% increase

      see for comparison numbers