June 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

JUL 3 2017 BY JAY COLE 93

September's Results Won't Surpass The All-Time Best Set In August - But Still Very Strong

Plug-in vehicles sales were up in June…just in case anyone was interested

We imagine the interest in June’s plug-in electric vehicle sales report is at a year-low right now.

And not because the sales were off (they weren’t), but because possibly the most anticipated EV launch of all times goes down in July, taking the focus off this month’s results.  We of course are referencing the Tesla Model 3; of which the first 30 deliveries will happen at a launch party  on July 28th, another ~1,700 in the eight weeks to follow, and up to 20,000 to be built in December alone.  Whether or not those numbers ultimately prove true…will be for next months’ reports.

The Tesla Model 3 averts all eyes to its arrive in late July!

For June, the 2016 comps were high (~14,683)…but no match for 2017’s result.

During the month, an estimated 17,182 plug-ins were sold, good for a 16% gain over a year ago.

With June’s approximate total added in the whole, some 89,285 plug-in vehicles have been sold so far in 2017, which is up 38% from 2016, when ~64,552 were moved.  We should of course note that EV sales in the US have now risen for 21 consecutive months*.

Obviously, with the Model 3 expected to start delivering in volume by September (~1,500 units) – up to 20,000 in December, and the addition of the 2018 LEAF to the US market in December, the 2nd half result should dwarf the first six month of 2017.

Leading the way in June however was two familiar faces – Tesla with its customarily “3rd month of a quarter” rush (although not the peaks we have been used too…perhaps some distraction with the Model 3’s arrival in July?), and General Motors, as the Chevrolet Volt and Bolt EV combine to give GM the #2 EV maker spot again in June.

Toyota Prius Plug-In (aka Prime) sales in Japan – May 2017

We should also note that Toyota’s monthly numbers are averaging almost 2,000 units delivered of late – off of just one offering, the Prius Prime, which lead all plug-in sales both in April and May.

Although, our real question surrounding the Prius Prime is “how high can it go?” As we recently seen in Japan, a rush of inventory (something not yet seen in the US), lead to more than 5,000 Japanese sales in May.

Could the US see a similar result?  We will have to wait and see.

We do know that rush won’t be coming in June or July as inventory in the US was actually stretched thinner (if that is possible) to allow Toyota to roll out the car deeper internationally.  Still, the Prime sold north of 1,600 units this month.

Also of interest: the 2018 Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 Plug-In Hybrid arrived at a few dealers just days before the month ended (and refreshingly right on time).  How will the Mini plug-in sell?  Fairly well we suspect, perhaps as many as 300 copies a month in our estimation… that is, provided Mini decides to actually stock it (which is always a question when talking about a BMW-sourced plug-in for America).

Questions for June (with answers in brackets as they come in):

  • Can the Chevrolet Volt hold off the Tesla Model S from re-taking the year to date sales lead?  (nope, the Model S just edged out the Chevy, although we expect the Volt to retake the lead in July)
  • Can the Toyota Prius Prime be the best selling plug-in for Q2 in the US?  (nope…missed it by ‘that much’, losing to the Volt 5,346 units to 5,369)
  • How will the Nissan LEAF do against year ago comps now that the company has announced the next generation LEAF will debut at a special event in Tokyo on September 6th?  (pretty well)
  • Will anyone remember the Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 Plug-In Hybrid’s proper name when buying the US’ latest plug-in offering?  We hate it.  We know a handful actually arrived in June…but did any actually get sold?  (indeed, almost a dozen!)

Of interest:   The fuel cell Toyota Mirai sold 129 copies in June, good for a YTD total of 708, while the Honda Clarity FCV moved 49 copies (total of 294 YTD)

Last update: Tuesday July 4th, 2017 – 2:03 PM

*On 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: A 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)

2017 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** FCA/Hyundai-Kia Do Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data (Thanks to HybridCars for assist on Kia 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 has sold almost as many copies as any other plug-in for America through the first six months of the year (the Tesla Model S just edged it out in June)…yet, hardly anyone has noticed.

The spotlight early in the year was firmly on its stablemate – the Chevrolet Bolt EV, and now the Tesla Model 3 commands the market’s 100% attention.

Last month in June, 1,745 were moved – off 10%, a similar result to May when 1,817 were sold (also off slightly).  Looking ahead, Chevrolet will need to sell a few more copies of the Volt to keep pace with its 2016 self, as 2,406 were sold in July of 2016.

Still, if there was one story to highlight with the 2017 model year Volt, it was the inventory level the 53 mile, extended range car finished its production run with.  As the lights came down on production in Hamtramck, Michigan, the Volt crossed the 5,000 mark for the first time (at least while in its gen 2 trim), before falling back to about 4,500 entering July.

Does this mean there will be a production slowdown for the Volt, or possibly larger discounting being offered to increase sales? It’s hard to say for sure.  But we can tell you that 2018 model year production is scheduled to kick on July 10th, 2017.  The 2018 MY Volt is mostly unchanged from the 2017 edition (details).



Chevrolet Bolt EV - looking to make its mark in 2017

Chevrolet Bolt EV – looking to make its mark in 2017

Chevrolet Bolt EV:  

GM’s first long range offering completed its first full month on the US market in January, selling an impressive 1,162 copies in California and Oregon (the two states selected for the Bolt EV’s launch before going nationwide later this year).

Unfortunately, and despite added a ~dozen more states to the roll-out, the Bolt EV didn’t manage to crest much higher in the next four months.

Originally, we had been told thought tight inventory was holding back sales, but by late April inventory moved deep into 4 digits, and headed toward 5,000 units in May – the result was 1,566 sales.

For June, inventory of the Bolt EV touched close to the 6,000 unit level, and again, Bolt EV sales moved higher – up to 1,642 copies, a new 2017 high.

With the Bolt EV clearly underselling even GM’s own expectations, the company now finds itself with way too much 2017 model year stock. To solve this issue, GM surprised the market and opened up nationwide orders in June (a month early), with the first copies set to arrive next month (August).  Hopefully adding in 32 more states to the mix will help the Bolt EV set new year-highs this Fall!



Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF:  

It is no secret that the Nissan LEAF is aging, and that the US consumer is anticipating a new, 2nd generation model to debut at a special event in Tokyo on September 6th!

Stoking the anticipation during June, was some spyshots InsideEVs acquired of the inside of the next generation LEAF out testing mid-month…which then prompted Nissan to publish its own “teaser shot” of the new LEAF’s dash just ~12 hours later.  We still like ours better.

Yet despite the anticipate for a new model, entering this month the LEAF saw gains in the past 9 consecutive months in a row, including a year-high in June with 1,507 sold.

Even more interesting, the ‘old and busted’ LEAF has managed to hold its own again the new Chevy Bolt EV, as sales were near dead-even going in June.  (5,742 LEAF sales vs 5,950 Bolt EV sales)






2017 Toyota Prius Prime

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 US dealers lots on November 8th, and sales have not disappointed.

After setting a new high of 1,618 sales in March, Prius Prime sales continued to defy the almost non-existent inventory at the dealership level so far – selling 1,819 copies in April, and 1,908 in May!

The two most interesting things to take away from the Prius Prime’s arrival and sales so far in the US?  

  • Inventory…as in there isn’t any.  Never once as the Prime had 4 digits worth of stock on dealer lots yet in the US
  • Sales…for both April and May, the Prius Prime was the most popular selling plug-in for America

As to that first count, inventory hit 3-month lows for the Prime in June (averaging less than 700 units for the month), as Toyota looked to fill in inventory at home and around the world, and the result showed in the US, with “just” 1,619 sold.

Yes, the Prius Prime is here, and it might just be your 2017 plug-in sales champion for the US.  The Toyota not only features its own unique look, but 25 miles of all-electric range.

How high could sales go?  It really is hard to say, we speculated before the model’s arrive last year we felt it could touch 4,000 or 5,000 units…and given that estimate was just eclipsed in May (5,369 sales) in the Toyota’s home market in Japan, it seems like a realistic number now more than ever.

Why the high acceptance?  The plug-in Toyota is priced right – from $27,950, which after the $4,500 federal credit is applied gives the Prime an effective price of $23,450, a price-point that is actually more than $1,000 cheaper than the base hybrid version…which should eventually translate into very strong sales once the EV is well stocked, as the standard version of the car can sell upwards of 10,000 units in a month.





2015 BMW i3

BMW i3

BMW i3: 

Oh BMW i3, you break our hearts!  We had such high hopes for the i3 when it was introduced in 2014, but it has been mostly downhill ever since the launch.

Once upon a time, the blame for the low and bipolar nature of the BMW i3’s sales, was because of the introduction of a new, longer range (94 Ah/33 kWh) version.

For the first ~9 months of 2016, low sales was due to the older generation not selling well in advance of the 2017 model year’s arrival in September. Then it was reported “limited initial supply” of the i3 in the Fall to blame for the lower-than-previous results…but what is it now?

For 2017, things started rough, with just 182 sales logged in January, and 318 in February.  Fortunately, 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.  Then in April and May, any momentum was lost – back down to 516 deliveries in April and 503 in May.

Sales improved slightly in June, with 567 sold, but that number is still lower than the 608 (of the 22 kWh version) sold a year ago.

Quite frankly, 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 is going to have to sharpen its pencil…and by a lot.

For 2016 overall,  BMW sold 7,625 i3s in 2016, compared to 11,024 a year ago – off 31%





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)… so we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until Tesla’s quarterly (or annual) updates add more clarity, but we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what is 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…it just doesn’t work like that in the real world.  We simply report from the data we accumulate ourselves, the first hand accounts available from the factory and from the community itself when available – and the number is what it is (see below)

Revisions/disclaimer to accuracy of prior estimates: The 2016 Model S chart has been adjusted (via US 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 are not analysts, portfolio managers and we do not own any positions in Tesla the company.

While April seemed to be the month of the 60 kWh Model S cars being delivered (as the base model was officially discontinued on April 17th), May had to be the 75 kWh month, as the former mid-grade trim level took over. And while one might think, “hey, why shouldn’t the 75 kWh model be the most popular as it is now the least expensive Tesla”, that really isn’t the reason why we state that.

It was the apparent near absence of 100 kWh production early in the month (as we also saw in April…which at the time we thought was a reflection of getting 60 kWh cars out the door).  This lack of production meant very little high-end deliveries in the US for the company in May.

…but they came in June, according to our estimates, about 40%of the Model S sedans delivered in June were of the 100 kWh variety, about as high as we have ever seen.

With that said, we didn’t see the normal “end of quarter” rush in the US as we have had in the past.  Yes, more deliveries were made in June (we estimate that number at 2,350), but Tesla for whatever reason wasn’t pushing them out the door as aggressively as would normally be the case.

Perhaps a focus on the Model 3, or having already bagged 25,000 sales in Q1 gave the company some breathing room to deliver a few less in Q2.  Who can say for sure.  What we can say is that we saw more than few pending deliveries that were expected in June get moved to July – again, an oddity for Tesla at quarter’s end.

Internationally, the early returns/impressions are that June volumes were decently in excess of April and May’s results.






Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

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

Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Oct 11th):

Tesla recently leaked US sales data for Q3 2016 put US 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 – and not to brag…but that means 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.

After a slow April (with the focus on the wind-down on the 60 kWh battery options), the Model X seemed to push back to the forefront with Tesla at its Fremont facility in May…slightly outselling the Model S even for the month.

Like the Model S, Tesla didn’t have the same drive/”end of quarter” panic to build and deliver the Model X as we have seen in the past, although estimated deliveries still peaked for the quarter during the month.

So, could the Model X make it two in a row in June outpacing its stablemate?

Early reports seemed like that would be the case, but a late month surge by the Model S gave it the win in our estimation, but it was close nonetheless.  We peg June deliveries of the Model X at a still impressive 2,200 deliveries.

Our expectation for July looking at the orders and production ahead for the Model X, is that the sedan will once again widen the gap, as it would seem there are a fair number more Model S orders currently working their way through production at Tesla’s Fremont assembly facility today.





Chrysler Pacific Plug-In Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: 

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 have had a 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 3-4 weeks of arriving inventory…until the wheels fell off (not literally).

Heading into May, everything was looking pretty swell for the Pacifica Hybrid, new customer orders began to arrive, dealer stock started to fill out…and then it stopped, as some “on road” issues were being reported (like not being operational, warning lights, etc).  By mid-month the Pacifica Hybrid went back into the dreaded “additional quality check” hold and some of those patient customers from 2016 were forced to wait a bit longer for their 33 mile extended range van.

Some more vans did eventually rollout, but by June 10th a nationwide recall was underway, and all 1,677 Pacificas sold in the US and Canada had to head back to Chrysler to get a faulty diode replaced that could cause lost of power when in operation.

Nutshell:  The whole launch was a mess front-to-back.  Apparently at some point Chrysler decided they had enough of the 2017 retail model year Pacifica Hybrid, and suspended production for a time.  Since then, there have been reports of some Hybrid production at the plant from mid-month to complete orders paced earlier in the year and for fleets – specifically about 500 units for Waymo (details).

Whatever they did (or did not) build since the recall, it wasn’t a lot … and who wants a 2017 MY Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid at this point?  End of MY + roll-out “black eye” = pass (at least without a big pile of cash thrown on the hood).  2018 MY production of the Pacifica starts August 7th, 2017, so new model year copies should start showing up at dealers in late September.

Here is the official NHSTA recall on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifca Hybrid if interested further.

As an odd disclosure bonus, the recall gave us absolute clarity on Pacifica Hybrid sales through June 9th so far (1,368), and it appears a few have trickled out since (perhaps just a quirk of reporting).  Anyway, we put June deliveries at 355 units.



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 US market about a year ago was the BMW 330e, which is the plug-in hybrid version of the company’s high selling 3 series offering.

And while the 330e (from $44,695 including DST), physically arrived in April 2016 in a token amount, and it took BMW 9 months to begin to stock the vehicle adequately.  A process which has finally started to take hold.

In April, 260 plug-in BMW 3 series cars were sold, but the real story was in May, as the car’s potential is starting to be realized as 475 were sold.  Building on that strength, we are happy to again report that the 330e is finally hitting levels we expected the car to achieve when it first launched, as near 500 copies were sold in June (496).

On the inventory side, the 330e reached almost 900 units in stock in June, but the more recent strong demand forced that number back down exiting the month at around 650 cars.

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 is a capable offering (featuring a 2 liter turbo inline 4) and should satisfy the traditional BMW crowd and be a strong seller.

The electric motor develops 87 hp with maximum peak torque of 184 lb-ft, when combined with the petrol engine, the total output jumps to 248 hp, with a peak torque of 310 lb-ft, allowing a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and  a top speed of 140 mph.




Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron:   

After selling between about ~400 copies a month in Q1 (387, 400 and 414), Audi slipped a bit in April, moving 301 copies.

Moving into May, Audi maintained that lower level, with 294 sales of the popular plug-in; for June, sales rose, albeit slightly, to 324 copies.

For the year 2,120 A3 e-trons have sold, up 9% from the 1,942 moved through the first 6 months of 2016.

In 2016, 4,280 copies were sold…a not insignificant contribution to the US plug-in vehicle sales scene.  That said, Audi is still certainly not in the “big boys” category for EV sales, but also is definitely not in the “also rans” either.

Quirky fact not really related to EV sales, but certainly aided with the arrival of the A3 e-tron, the Audi brand has now set 78 consecutive months of record year-over-year sales in the US.

Part of the reason for strong sales for the A3 e-tron is also the (relatively) low price. $38,900 gets you the Audi badge, 8.8 kWh of battery – good for 17-odd miles of real world driving…and 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.

Well that, and you can’t get the “sportback” version of the Audi in any other trim level in the US.  Check out our own early/pre-delivery review on the Audi A3 e-tron here.





Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi:   

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 eked out a small gain in January, moving 606 copies, then got back to business in setting new personal bests.

Ford crossed back into “4 digit land” in March, as 1,002 Energis were moved in March…joining a club of just 5 other at that level.  A level which the company returned to in May…but just barely, with an even 1,000 sold.

Interestingly, and for no good reason we can find…other than lost sales to its stablemate (the C-Max Energi), the Fusion Energi pulled back some in June, selling 707 copies.  Year to date, the model crossed the 5k market last month (5,057).

Looking at the inventory in the past, it was easy to see why (and how) so many of the new Fusion plug-ins were sold over the past few months;  the Fusion Energi has often won the crown for the “most stocked” EV in the US (before Chevy got crazy with the Volt and Bolt EV).

With that said, Ford had been struggling to keep production on pace with demand earlier this year…with “had” being the key word, as inventory surged ahead in May, crossing the 3,000 mark for the first time in several months and holding there in June, which could indicate higher sales ahead for the popular Energi model.





Volkswagen e-Golf Comes To The US In November

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf:  

It had been hard to get a read on the sales demand for VW’s all-electric Golf for the most part of 2016, as as sales fluctuated quite a bit.

Heading into 2017 however, sales have normalized around the 300 level ahead of a new longer range version set to arrive imminently.

For April, 326 copies were sold, and somehow VW managed to best that in May, despite dwindling 2016 inventory, with 381 sales – a year-high. Unfortunately, May’s result just about depleted VW’s reserves ahead of the updated model, and just 232 were sold in June

As noted, some additional sales help is on the way, as Volkswagen is now offering an upgraded range on the original e-Golf platform (see our review of the new model here).  With that said, we expected to see the new 2017 model in May, and it not only failed to appear then, but also was a “no show” in June.

We are just going to go ahead and assume (until proven otherwise) that VW has no intention of bringing the 2017 e-Golf to the US at this point, and will instead just being the 2018 MY version in a couple months time.

The 2017 (or 2018 if you will) plug-in VW will now feature a 35.8 kWh battery, increasing range to ~124 miles and debuted at the LA Auto Show in November (details – launch gallery/video).  Production of the new e-Golf got underway earlier this year, and arrives….next month (again).





Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi:  


If it wasn’t for the impressive results of the Ford Fusion Energi every month, we probably would look at C-Max Energi results a lot differently.  And in June…we finally did.

Last year…for just one month, the plug-in C-Max manged to step out of the Fusion’s shadow for the first time, and sold an all-time best 1,289 copies – 17% more than the Fusion Energi.

In June, that trick was repeated, as the C-Max Energi sold an impressive 936 copies, 33% more than the Fusion Energi (707).

Will the C-Max Energi ever get its due as a top-selling plug-in model for the US?  Probably not. Especially as we just spotted the new Ford Escape Energi plug-in out testing in the US in June…a model which, along with a Focus Energi (a trademark application for which we recently uncovered), basically signifies the end of the C-Max Energi.




2014 Fiat 500e

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).

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

UPDATE: After initially have some 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 upwards (once) by approximately 500 units over the full 12 months.

For most of 2016, the Fiat 500e was a consistent performer, but over the past few months of the year things really ratcheted up.

Heading into 2017 sales continued to remain robust for the 500e given the limited amount of inventory actually on hand (~300-400 units on average), peaking in January of all months at an estimated ~752 sales.

After a very strong first 5 months of the year, we estimate sales settled down a little bit in June with ~495 deliveries during the month.  Look for 500e sales to dip a little bit over the Summer months as 2017 model year inventory things ahead of the 2018 model’s arrive this Fall (expected to be unchanged yet again).




BMW X5 xDrive40e

x5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 xDrive40e: 

The BMW X5 plug-in had an unexpectedly strong debut in the US in 2016…and only get stronger over the year.

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

2017 started out a little lackluster for the X5 plug-in, as inventories stayed frustratingly low (insert this complaint for almost all BMW plug-ins found in America), but May managed a 2017-high with 433 sales and BMW followed that strong performance up by doing “one better” in June – selling 488 X5 40es.

Check out our first drive review of the 13 mile AER BMW x5 xDrive40e here.

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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93 Comments on "June 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

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Nice one, FCA. Way to bollocks the ePacifica launch to the point that your relevance in the market is as comic relief; I don’t care how big a diode is, It can’t be an expensive part, it’s a diode and you went cheap on quality! I really had higher hopes. The first PHEV minivan should have been your sweet spot.

I’m confused as to why the BoltEV and the Volt are at near parity. I truly thought the Volt would fade rapidly and deliberately once the BoltEV came out. Maybe this is the dealer effect, or the desire to use cars for long-range driving, since the charging infrastructure for the BoltEV isn’t mature.

The Volt and Bolt EV have different body styles. So different strokes for different folks. I much prefer the Volt body style. As for the power train, again, different people have different needs. Don’t forget the Volt actually costs less too!

It doesn’t have to be diode quality problem. It could be a design error instead.

Bolt is an impressive achievement but the Volt can do everything the Bolt can do and more. Volt can go cross country, Bolt is really a “greater metro area” car.

Lets dump the “cross country” thing, nobody drives “cross country” except college kids who do it twice, moving out and moving back in.

Sort of agree; let’s replace “cross country” with things like “drive from San Francisco to LA or San Diego or the Grand Canyon or Salt Lake City, all of which are things that I and bunch of people I know do every year. The Volt handled all the short everyday stuff on electrons, and then we didn’t have to have another car to do the long stuff.

Look, I love the elegance of all electric, and it’ll win out in the end, but the Volt is still a legitimate EV almost every day.

“…let’s replace “cross country” with things like “drive from San Francisco to LA or San Diego or the Grand Canyon or Salt Lake City.”

Lets replace those with fly to LA or SD or SLC, which is what people do. I mean I might do the PDX-SLC drive ONCE when I get my EV just to say I did it but I don’t waste time or mental health now making that 800 mile drive to go skiing so I wouldn’t do it in an EV.

I’ve driven 600 miles in under a day and half in my Bolt EV. It’s a good road trip car if you plan ahead. It’s not a great one, but that can improve as infrastructure fills in.

SF to LA would be an absolute doddle in a Bolt EV. And presumably VW is going to add chargers on I-5, which will cut the time required some more.

I haven’t driven the SF to LA route, but I plan to. I’ve driven longer routes than that already though. No problems.

It took Dawn Hall 11.5 hours to take her Bolt from San Jose to Caltech, normally a 5 hours trip. Charging was a pain in the butt and cost as my 24 mpg van would have cost me for gas.


Speaking of my van, last Thanksgiving five of us went 1023 miles the first day of our trip. We did back-to-back 700 mile days on the return. Last month my daughter and her friends recently took it 700+ miles in a day twice.

A Tesla couldn’t do my Thanksgiving trip but could, with a couple extra hours, manage my daughter’s trip. Only an extreme fanatic would attempt any of these trips in a Bolt.

Incorrect; Bolt can seat people in the back comfortably with plenty of head and leg room.

If I were going to buy an EV right now while waiting on someone to produce a 300 mile, hatchback, AWD EV for $60K, I’d get the Volt. It gives me 53 miles EV which means my daily commute can be 100EV, the bulk of everyone’s miles. It can do all my local weekends all EV. It can do my extended weekends, mountains and shore with at least 50 miles EV out of 120. It’s got a great hatchback. FWD is good enough for the snow.

Since everybody seems three years out on a $60K, AWD, 300 mile range EV, a Volt for the next three years cuts my emissions by 65% and that from a current fuel efficient 32 mile average.

Volt is cheaper and more convenient for those who make regular trips of decent lengths, especially in areas without extensive DCFC installations. Not to mention it’s also available nationwide today while the Bolt still is not.

As someone who leased a new Volt in June over the Bolt, what it really came down to was the overall design. The body, the cheap hard plastic everywhere, uncomfortable seats, all gave me awful flashbacks to my wife’s previous 2004 Chevy Aveo.

I eagerly await the end of holy month of July which would be graced by entry of 30 numbers of blessed Tesla IIIs in the report card.

It looks like Tesla is getting their production for their existing cars the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X in line in that those cars did raise their production factors by a fairly large margin.

One thing I really like is seeing the multiple offerings now from a single OEM. So Tesla has 2 vehicles, about to have 3. GM has 2 good-selling vehicles on the list, BMW has several, Ford has several.

That’s the beginnings of diversification of the EV offerings. However, we still haven’t really gotten anything into the truck market and the SUV market is only barely covered with expensive luxury vehicles.

It will be interesting to see if Workhorse succeeds with their W-16 PHEV pickup, a stripped-down model primarily aimed at fleet sales. Personally I doubt it’s going to do well, as the scooter motor range extender borrowed from the BMW i3 REx is seriously under-powered for a full-sized pickup. But at least it’s a toe in the door of the PEV pickup market, even if it turns into an abject marketing failure.

Scheduled to go on sale next year.


Yeah, the 2-cylinder engine is just barely adequate for the i3 for regular driving. I suspect that same engine in a pickup would quite literally be a “limp home” option. But it’s still better than a tow truck.

Workhorse’s pickup looks interesting. However the range extender can only run while the vehicle is parked. I think it’s emissions are certified only as a gen set, not the stricter limits required for vehicle.

Also, Workhorse only plans to sell to fleets. If they are successful perhaps they will open up sales to individuals and also get certified to run the extender while driving.


Oops… Workhorse W-15, not W-16!

Mea culpa.

In the Volt vs. Prime space, if the Volt wants to continue to sell and even possibly increase sales against the backdrop of a less capable but cheaper Prime then they better drop the base MSRP down to $30,950.

After tax rebate it will then have the same starting base price as the Prime. The Prime will steal some Volt cross-shoppers and continue to draw from conventional Prius buyers.

GM is struggling to sell the Bolt coming up on the eve of the Model 3 release so the last thing they need is to continue to lose sales of the Volt to the Prime as well. Hell maybe they better drop the price to $29,500.

Chevy will probably put money on the hood of the Volt to encourage sales, but you are right phil, they really need to drop the MSRP so the less knowledgeable buyers will understand just how great a deal they can get on a Volt. At least until the credit gets cut in half, that is.
The Volt has always been a couple thousand dollars too expensive to get accepted by the vast majority of car buyers. I love my 2013 but it really didn’t make financial sense, it was just a car I wanted to drive.

Jean-François Morissette

It is good to see some competition though. In this space, the future Ioniq PHEV and the future Clarity PHEV will likely compete also. I hop GM will lower the price a little bit to be more competitive.

I have a bad feeling that the MSRP on the Volt won’t drop until the credit gets cut in half next year. Dropping the MSRP a couple months before the tax credit reduction would give them a lot of positive momentum, so GM, never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, will wait til AFTER the credit reduction to reduce MSRP.

I was in a dealer in SoCal yesterday fishing for a Volt…that msrp of $34k is an insult! Then they brag about all the discounts that total to $4400 while magically making the fed credit disappear on their leases. Best deal i could find was $8800 total for 36 months so i will pass and they don’t want to negotiate because “these cars are selling fast”….bs! These cars could sell fast indeed but not through the fricking dealers!

“..if the Volt wants to continue to sell and even possibly increase sales against the backdrop of a less capable but cheaper Prime then they better drop the base MSRP down to $30,950.”

That would require dropping the battery size and EV capability as the battery is the decider on cost differential.

I think GM is making enough money on each Volt made right now that they could reduce the MSRP to $29,990 and still make money.
TrueCar has prices for base Volts anywhere from $2000 to $4000 below MSRP right now and the best months for buying 2017 Volt’s are coming soon. And the 2018’s cost less to produce than the 2017’s.

Bingo, and it also doesn’t help the GM Volt at all that the Prime comes with active cruise control standard while it’s still an option that has to be added on the Volt. That almost certainly plays into the value proposition that many people make. Of course, there’s also the fact that the Prius is a known quantity at this point and Toyota could probably sell as many Primes as they could offload.

Also agree in regards to the Bolt, which is at a real disadvantage now that TM3 is imminent. GM needs to immediately get the MSRP down to $35k with DCFC standard and work very diligently at getting MSRP down to where the Volt is now in time for the 2018 model year. Otherwise, they’re leaving a lot of sales on the table, especially since they have basically four months worth of inventory on lots right now.

Wow, Model S sold almost the same number of units this year’s Q2 vs last year’s Q2. I thought that the X would bite away a bigger chunk of Model S sales, but I guess that didn’t happen. Nice…

Jay, may I suggest you have a section for Ioniq EV? Thanks.

Where are these mythical Ioniq EVs? I see a Mirai many days but haven’t seen an Ioniq EV yet.

Is there a category of car below compliance car? We can make up a name and put the Porsche S-E hybrids and the Ioniq EV in that slot.

I read “somewhere” that Ioniq EV is totally sold out due to high demand, and Hyundai under ordered the batteries. This is why I’d like to see a section on juicy bits about IoniqEV.

It’s not about compliance, but Hyundai totally botching the release. What did they expect with a car that has highest MPGe rating in history and sold for under $30K (under $20K post subsidy in CA)?

I’ve seen exactly one in person driving on the streets, but the Hyundai website claims that they’re in stock at a couple of dealerships around SoCal. But I’ve definitely also seen more Mirais than Ioniq EVs.

“Is there a category of car below compliance car?”

As far as the InsideEVs “Scorecard” chart goes, yes there is. It’s the category of limited production cars, of which too few are made per month to qualify for inclusion. The 2010-11 “Scorecard” charts lists a few, including the Tesla Roadster, the Fisker Karma, and the CODA (sedan).

I find it sad that the car which kicked off the modern EV revolution, the Tesla Roadster, never “earned” its own line on any InsideEVs “Scorecard” chart! 😥

FCA is finally finding ways to sell FIATs in the South Bay again. Every FIAT dealer had closed and they are now finalizing setting up Chrysler dealers as FIAT outlets instead. This might lead to more 500e sales (leases) because that is a big area for EV sales. Or then again it might not as FCA doesn’t seem interesting in making all that many anyway.

Which is a shame because it’d probably be quite popular around the country.

Mercedes C350e…210 in January and zero in June???? What is happenning there?

Bolts are not flying off the shelves? Could be trouble. Is it too much juice for a car that can’t be charged quickly on long trips and is thus relegated to “around town” driving?
Is the Volt the better choice (if you buy GM).

I wonder in which year we will finally see a drop in in oil consumption due to Hybrid and EV cars.


Bolts are doing well. And doing well in Canada and, rebadged as Amepra-E, in Europe. GM has a winner in the Bolt and the redesigned Volt.

Consumer EVs won’t cause a drop in US oil consumption for at least 10 years. They just won’t represent a large enough percentage of vehicle miles traveled.

Robotaxis could cause oil consumption to peak by 2020 or 2021. With widespread adoption US gasoline consumption could fall 50% by 2025.

I think it’s more due to the crummy front seats GM put in the Bolt.

Word-of-mouth is what is going to sell the Bolt, and a large segment of early adopters are not that pleased with the front seats. Like me, they didn’t lease or buy the Bolt.

“Crummy front seats” for some, mediocre at best for others. Chevy will have to have a workaround on the seat details for 2019, one would hope.

Jay keeps hinting at the Prius Prime sneaking up to take the EV crown for MY 2017. I wonder if there is any possibility that the Model 3 takes it instead? I often question inventory as the reason for holding sales back but not with these two EVs. For Toyota, it is a matter of whether they want to. For Tesla, it is a matter of whether they can produce the units. It is really fun to watch.

I tried to look at a prius prime the other day and the dealer said they are sold before they hit the showroom floor. The salesman was totally ignorant of the car’s details – he didn’t know it was only a 4 seater for example.

EVs are not getting much help from the sales force, at least at my toyota dealership. Thankfully they don’t need that help yet. Maybe the Bolt needs an educated sales force? Or maybe their commission doesn’t incentivize them to sell them?

They likely lose $ on each one, so each labor minute the salesman spends is adding to that.
It’s simple, “sex appeal” (a la BMW, the Ultimate driving machine, with their electric car unveil in September which will likely “1+ up” Model 3), or price (Toyota others). GM has netiher & never learns…i guess they need to build overseas in Mexico but scared off by “border wall” politics. Or compete in the realEV markets of Europe and China

The Bolt needs a lower price. GM has played the “$30k after tax credit” game, but they are going to have some serious trouble moving many more than they currently do without getting the price down a bit now that TM3 is hitting the streets very soon.

Bolt needs a $32k MRSP.

The sales champ for 2017 was the Model S, with 28,896. As I recall, that’s not too far from the prediction Jay has given for total Model 3 sales for this year. So… possibly.

The real question is the Prius Prime. It could easily move up and swamp Model 3 sales. Jay seems to think that’s going to happen, altho so far, Prime sales are underperforming in relation to his predictions.

Keep in mind that Toyota is looking at an international sales picture. With Prius Prime sales peaking in Japan in May (see link below), Toyota might well decide to concentrate on domestic sales, and not ship the Prime here in greater numbers. Also, to some extent, how many cars Toyota ships to the U.S. may depend on fluctuations in the currency exchange rate. If the U.S. dollar is strong, Toyota may well decide to ship more units of the Prime to other countries, starving the U.S. market.

Contrariwise, I think Tesla will be shipping Model 3’s only to the U.S. (and maybe a token few to Canada) for 2017 sales. So every one that Tesla makes, or at least almost every one, should show up on InsideEVs’ monthly “Scorecard”.


our electric company has notified us that Nissan is offering $10,000 off a leaf. I go to their website and the actual number is more like $11,300. So add 7500 federal rebate and now a leaf will cost between $11,000 and $17,000 fully loaded. No wonder sales are strong.

I’d get one if I needed an “errand” car for around town, but I’ve got a PiP and a model S already.

Yea – they need to clear out all of these short-range leaf’s before the second gen arrives.

So this Q2 shows “peak Model S & X” is done in US, period, Down negative YoY. Largely due to Model 3 release & shipment. Let’s not see any voodoo Tesla Q2 Intl sales numbers this quarter. All that matters is Model 3 kickoff. maybe they can fly out of the Boring tunnel “hole”.

Another headline could have been:
Tesla US Sales Continue Decline Since 3rd Qtr 2016

Quarter Model S Model X Total
2016 1 6390 2400 8790
2016 2 5700 4540 10240
2016 3 9156 5783 14939
2016 4 7650 5500 13150
2017 1 6100 4300 10400
2017 2 5095 4645 9740

Reality check: Tesla’s international sales have increased about 40-45% every year since 2012, contrary to the constant FUD and repeated Big Lies from Tesla bashers.

Since automobile sales are seasonal and usually peak in the 3rd quarter, it’s a favorite tactic of Tesla bashers to cite monthly or quarterly sales — rather than year-on-year growth — to “prove” that Tesla sales are declining.

Your numbers and reasoning are irrational. No product does 45% growth, esp intl, on a 4-5 year old revised product (yeah 1k to 2k is 100% in the beginning) Just trying to pump stock up as always. No way tesla sold 12/22k cars intl (~55%) so there is still funny math non-end customer virtual inventory going on, to create illusions for reporting purposes. Period

Your post is a good example of how a certain segment of our society has abandoned the basic principle of fact-based reasoning, in favor of assertions based on belief and wishful thinking.

We could be seeing a new Dark Ages, where fact is rejected in favor of pronouncements from on high. In Medieval times, pronouncements by the Pope and Kings were regarded as infallible. Today, for some people, the same seems to be true of Fox News, Breitbart, and the Drudge Report.

* * * * *

Here are the actual figures:

Tesla’s total annual sales:
2012: 2650
2013: 22,300
2014: 31,655 (+41.95%)
2015: 50,580 (+59.8%)
2016: 76,230 (+50.7%)

Oh, and Elon recently commented that Q1 and Q2 sales for 2017 represent a “61% to 71% annual vehicle delivery growth.”

So actually, my “about 40-45% every year since 2012” assertion was significantly understating Tesla’s actual growth rate.

Go Tesla!

Wrong, yuge bait-n-switch on yr part. You learned from DJT well to distract from the main issue (diatribe from yr perceived bully pullpit is grasping for straws desparation). You created the fake news of 45% intl growth (your words cooked up), now you are trying to claim that growth for the “stated” Tesla overall year on year “Deliveries”. Stick to the facts :
1. “peak model S&X” in US reached
(Which is reasonabale for a 4+ yr old product, and one with proven reliability issues (Tesla press release itself)).
2. As per later in these comments the proven electrek post of fuzzy biz going on in HK&China
3. No Way the claimed non-US (insideEVs) numbers (12/22k) are coming from Intl (~55%)
So Demand is not there for Model S&X to sustain any growth
Its all Up to Model 3, so thats the ultimate pressure and pretty much only Measuring stick (innovation & production quality & sales interest before Peak model 3)
Finally by which Tesla to Face the Music (and stock price is gauged on things like profitability and real market share, not just innovation & future promises).
They cant avoid Intl EV real sales and market share Forever.

It would be nice if Tesla made a profit. The loss last quarter was an appreciable portion of a billion dollars I believe.

I wonder how long it can go on selling cars at a loss?

Al — 100% because of the Model 3. Want to make a bet their numbers magically start to increase dramatically in the 4Q?

LOL, the “Mystery” troll doesn’t like hearing that Tesla is quickly setting itself up for dominance in the Mid-size and Large size compelling PEV space.

Imagine if these cars were actually marketed (advertised) in the traditional manner. My uneducated guess is that a huge increase in sales would occur to buyers not truly on board with the EV concept and purpose who would be the first to nitpick, be disappointed and for the lamest of reasons, bad-mouth the product. First adopters tend to less critical and a lot more enthusiastic. Automakers (usually) know what they’re doing.

To be fair, GM did make a real effort to promote the Volt when it was new. As I recall, they even paid for two Superbowl ads, which are the most expensive ads anywhere.

Sadly, Volt sales did not reach the level GM had anticipated, possibly at least in part because of all the politically motivated propaganda from the far right, unfairly (and bizarrely) pinning the entire cost of the GM bailout on the Volt, as though the purpose of the bailout was to fund Volt development; this despite the fact (actual fact, not “alternative fact”) that the Volt was already most of the way through development and nearing production before the bailout happened.

My top 4 reasons for Volt’s underperformance relative to expectations upon release:

1) Economic crash: worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.

2) High price for a small and not particularly high performing car.

3) Cheap gasoline came about with the economic crash, lessening the desire of consumers to target fuel economy with their car purchase

4) Volt became a political football as the right wing reactionaries tied it the hated 0bummer.

So when is the “2017” e-Golf going to actually become available? Even the VW website still lists the 2016s with 83 miles of range, but the year is quickly winding down.

Hi Jay! Why don’t you use different colors for Battery only cars vs those using gas?

You probably mean on the chart, but I want to say I find it funny they managed to find a picture of every featured vehicle in black.

I haven’t seen a black minivan in years, but there’s a picture of a Pacifica in black. Pretty funny.

I’ve never seen a black e-Golf. And while I have seen black 500e’s, most of them are orange with the white moustache out here.

“We imagine the interest in June’s plug-in electric vehicle sales report is at a year-low right now.”

It’s ~7 hours now since this article was posted, and there are 43 comments posted here… mine makes 44… not counting two from you in response, Jay.

I’d say there is plenty of interest! 🙂

I think those crummy seats in the Bolt are hurting sells big time.

GM needs to pull their heads out of their fannies and fix those seats now!

WOW is it nice to see the Model 3 on the list!!!!

Thunderbirds are Go!


I like the “Arrives” for the Tesla Model 3, in the July column. It is about the most interesting thing to happen for affordable mass market EVs in almost a decade. Thanks for all your hard work Jay, happy 4th of July to you, and the rest of the IEVs crew. The July score card should be interesting to say the least!

It’s not easy to sell an expensive car in such high volume that we expect in the last month of every quarter. Even the regular gasmobiles like Benz-S, BMW-7, Audi-A8, Lexus-LS have suffered big sales declines. And Model-S has almost kept up with previous year sales despite dropping the low end 60 KWh option and also the 90 KWh option.

Ideally Tesla should introduce a 50 D (50 KWh) option at around $60K price tag and it will have a range of 259 / 75 * 50 = 172 miles based on 259 miles in 75D. If few options are dropped and the weight is reduced, the range may extend to between 180 – 190 miles. When EV like Nissan Leaf can sell at 107 mile range, an EV with 180 mile range should definitely sell well. May be 75 (RWD) can be removed and all trims of Model-S will become AWD version. Similarly in Model X also a 50 D should be introduced with an appropriate price. What is more important is more people should buy EVs and reduce the pollution.

Nah, the S and X are luxury models. Don’t worry about trying to take them down-market to generate sales. That’s the job of the 3.

Introduced on 2016-03-31 to bag 370,000 bookings, it took less than 16 months to bring it to Production. Bravo Tesla, they have not only learnt from the past mistakes, but also figured out how to accelerate the speed from Intro to Production.

When Tesla said that it will be launched in 2017, many people presumed the 2017-12 and some critics even said middle of 2018. Goodness Tesla made it. Still I expect other automakers to sell in compliance mode.

Our next excitement is on Sep-6 when Leaf is shown with pics and specs.
Thanks to GM for advancing the launch of Bolt in all states 1 month ahead in August.

Less than a year ago, I predicted that only a token few Tesla Model 3’s would be produced at the very end of the year. I’m not the only one who posted such a prediction to InsideEVs’ comments, either.

I am very, very happy indeed to know that I will be proven very wrong about that prediction, in just a few short weeks!

Go Tesla!

Oh, the Prius Prime is shown on the chart with 1,619 sales, but the recap says 1,610 – which is it?

Happy Independence Day Folks.

Finally we have an affordable electric car with a decent size (15 ft / 4.5 m) and range (215 miles / 325 km) heading towards production (July-7).

I find it funny that the Tesla Model 3 is on the bottom of the list when by Summer’s end it will be at the top!

It’s a 15% increase on YoY basis which is decent despite a 3% decrease in overall sales and a 30% dip in Diesel vehicle sales.

BMW X5, 3Series, 5Series, Volvo XC90 set a record high. Mini Countryman went on sale only in the last week.

Many participants are there now and finally Tesla Model 3 is there in the Arrives list. Worldwide sales of 90,157 is quite high for a month like June.
I think the increase in Ioniq-EV production by 50% should help increase the sales in coming months.

Regarding the chart with sales figures:
Is “Worldwide” sales including or excluding the figures for US?
Would be wonderful with figures per country!