IHS: Plug-In Vehicle Sales Even Stronger Than They Seem

JUL 17 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 19

In The US Alone, 95,842 Plug-In Vehicles Were Sold in 2013 - Add in Canada and Mexico and It's Over 100,000

In The US Alone, Aprox. 95,842 Plug-In Vehicles Were Sold in 2013 – Add in Canada and Mexico and It’s About 100,000 *Estimated Monthly Tesla Numbers – 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.

According to a press release put out by IHS Automotive:

“Despite falling short of previous expectations, global sales of electric vehicles actually are progressing at a much faster pace than hybrid cars did during the same stage of their deployment, paving the way for higher demand as more EV options arrive on the market this year and beyond.”

IHS arrives at that conclusion based mainly on this sales data:

“During the fourth year after its introduction in 2000, the original hybrid-Toyota’s Prius-attained cumulative sales of more than 52,000, according to IHS Automotive, part of IHS Inc.. In the fourth year after its introduction, in 2013, cumulative sales of the Nissan Leaf EV approached 100,000. For the Chevrolet Volt/Ampera plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), cumulative sales during the same period were almost 70,000.”

“Altogether, the Leaf and Volt/Ampera saw more than three times the cumulative sales total for the Prius in the fourth year after introduction…”

The numbers sure look promising as they climb year-over-year:

2012 Sales

2012 Sales (Tesla sold approximately 2,650 Model sedans in 2012 (as per Tesla financials – monthly estimate shown)

 

Entire IHS Automotive press release below

Electric Car Sales are Stronger Than They Might Seem

Southfield, Mich. (May 15, 2014)—Despite falling short of previous expectations, global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) actually are progressing at a much faster pace than hybrid cars did during the same stage of their deployment, paving the way for higher demand as more EV options arrive on the market this year and beyond.

During the fourth year after its introduction in 2000, the original hybrid—Toyota’s Prius—attained cumulative sales of more than 52,000, according to IHS Automotive, part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS). In the fourth year after its introduction, in 2013, cumulative sales of the Nissan Leaf EV approached 100,000. For the Chevrolet Volt/Ampera plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), cumulative sales during the same period were almost 70,000.

Altogether, the Leaf and Volt/Ampera saw more than three times the cumulative sales total for the Prius in the fourth year after introduction, as presented in the attached figure.

“We’re still in the early stages of the EV market,” said Ben Scott, analyst for IHS Automotive. “Most EV drivers still own their first-generation electric vehicles. Furthermore, there have been insufficient product offerings to effectively legitimize the market and show to consumers that EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) represent the way of the future. However, with EV adoption exceeding the historical precedent of hybrids, this means that the trend toward EVs is still progressing, although at a slower rate than many had expected.”

It’s true that legislation and incentives have inflated the relative sales of EVs, given that there were no such inducements available during the launch of the Toyota Prius. However, EV sales growth remains impressive compared to the Prius, which now is regarded as a successful vehicle line.

These findings are contained in the new report entitled “Grid-Connected Vehicles” from IHS Automotive.

Traffic jam on electric avenue

“The original high expectations for EV sales were driven by ambitious climate-change targets in various regions,” Scott said. “Meeting these goals would require full de-carbonization of the vehicle fleet in some countries, which could only be achieved through full electrification. However, the understanding of the time scales on exactly when full electrification will happen has changed as sales have fallen short of the optimistic outlooks.”

EVs charge up

Despite this, there have been some more positive moves in the industry both in terms of vehicles on the road and EV/PHEV availability.

Tesla’s Model S has sold remarkably well in the United States, proving that consumers will pay for a premium electric sedan. The BMW i3 went on the road at the end of 2013, occupying the small urban car segment, alongside the VW e-up! and Smart Fortwo electric drive.

The archetypal compact car, the VW Golf, will be available in a purely electric form later this year; the VW e-Golf. Also available in 2014 will be the plug-in hybrids VW Golf GTE and Audi A3 e-tron.

Ford’s C-Max Energi will be offered in Europe in 2014, cementing its place in the plug-in hybrid multipurpose vehicle (MPV) segment. This year there are more than 100 PHEVs/EVs available in production globally to consumers.

“The increasing variety of EVs and PHEVs is encouraging for the market, but there still needs to be more of these vehicles available to reach parity with internal combustion engine cars,” Scott explained.

Plug-in hybrids accelerate

While the all-electric Leaf currently outsells the PHEV Volt/Ampera, this situation will change in the future. Until recently there have not been many PHEVs available, but 2014 will be an important year as more of these vehicles enter the market.

“Motorists like the safety and freedom to travel for longer distances without being constrained by charging intervals, which is why PHEVs are a good alternative,” Scott said. “IHS Automotive predicts that by 2020, global production of PHEVs will exceed EVs by a ratio of 55:45. PHEVs could be a critical stepping stone to pure electrification of the powertrain in the years following the year 2020.”

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About IHS (www.ihs.com)

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs more than 8,000 people in 31 countries around the world.

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19 Comments on "IHS: Plug-In Vehicle Sales Even Stronger Than They Seem"

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David Murray

The article states that there were no government incentives for the Prius. That is not correct. I distinctly remember claiming around $2,000 or maybe $2,500 on our first generation Prius. I think the credits ran out long ago so people sort of forgot that they used to have them for hybrids.

Anthony Fiti

The credits ran out for most hybrids in 2007.

TomArt

Toyota’s ran out as of October 1st, 2007; Honda’s ran out as of January 1st, 2009; and Ford’s ran out as of April 1st, 2010. No other automaker reached their limit. That’s from memory, but I’m pretty sure I’m right.

I know that Ford’s is correct because I bought my Mariner hybrid in March of 2010, right before the credit ended (it was for 25% of the original credit, or $750, but still, that’s a nice chunk of cash to take off of my income taxes).

kdawg

Here’s where we are at so far (3.5 years in)

TomArt

I wonder what the sales growth rate is, normalized to the number of total vehicle sales…there are more cars sold today per year than 10 years ago…it’s still probably favorable, but I’m just curious.

Josh Bryant

Agreed.

kdawg, any chance you could throw together total hybrids vs total plug-ins as a percent of market share?

kdawg

Actually there are less cars sold today vs. 10 years ago.

Year U.S. Total Market Sales
1999 16,958,568
2000 17,410,320
2001 17,177,445
2002 16,848,180
2003 16,675,648
2004 16,913,361
2005 16,997,203
2006 16,560,989
2007 16,154,064
2008 13,245,718
2009 10,431,510
2010 11,589,844
2011 12,778,885
2012 14,492,398
2013 15,582,136
2014 YTD 8,168,888

TomArt

Well, that’s also good news. EVs won’t save us by themselves…nor any other form of personal transportation…mass transport and walking distances are probably the definitive differences going forward…

Nelson

Instead of year in your x axis you should have Yr1, Yr2, Yr3, Yr4….
I don’t think there were any Plugins sold between 1999 and 2002.

NPNS! SBF!
Volt#671

kdawg

I quickly overlaid plug-in sales over an existing hybrid sales chart, so not really my chart. I did call out the dates for plug-ins in the key.

Bonaire

2001 was a turning point and we were not really that interested in saving gas along with 9/11 and a mild recession. Also the tail end of the Fuel Cell pipe-dream (companies Ballard Power and FCELL) leading into a weak consumer year of 2002. Then the hybrids ramped up.

2012 and 2013 were quite good financially and helped spawn the plug-in sales ramp over the hybrid initial years. The red line there is sort-of flattening out and may impact the green line in another year. Time will tell but I think EV growth (due to the costs) will not be able to ramp as fast as the generally inexpensive Prius.

Bonaire

One thing also – by 2002 into 03 we had another war against an oil country going on, and Afghanistan, and as such, people were very interested in hybrids to help lower oil usage.

TomArt

“Despite falling short of previous expectations, global sales of electric vehicles actually are progressing at a much faster pace than hybrid cars did during the same stage of their deployment, paving the way for higher demand as more EV options arrive on the market this year and beyond.”

WELL, DUH!!! We knew that a long time ago – real quick on the uptake, these folks are, huh?

Lou Grinzo

It all comes down to the basic “value proposition” of the technology. A non-plug-in hybrid has the gizmo factor plus it saves you some money on fuel and reduces your environmental impact. But once you add a plug to the scenario, the potential savings are much greater, and even taking into account the often higher car price it’s still a better value. So people are figuring this out and buying them quicker.

And as for that “often higher price”, I think it’s worth pointing out that even if you can get only the US Federal $7,500 break (meaning no state-level break), a new Leaf S on VPP pricing is about $19,000. Add to the calculation fuel expense savings, and the fact that a replacement battery is much more reasonably priced than many (like me) had feared, and suddenly a Leaf is looking like quite a bargain compared to a lot of oil burners.

Micke Larsson

It should be even stronger on a global basis.

Josh Bryant

Great favicon. You were quick to the punch with that.

Micke Larsson

🙂

TomArt

Yeah, that’s awesome, dude!

Micke Larsson

🙂