June EV Sales Off 16% In US Despite Strong Showing From Tesla

Tesla Supercharger Station Fremont Factory

JUL 2 2015 BY JAY COLE 49

The Tesla Model S Was The Only Strong Performer In  June For EV Sales In The US

The Tesla Model S Was The Only Strong Performer In June For EV Sales In The US

While Tesla Model S was up to the task of competing with arguably the toughest year-over-year comps to be found in 2015, the rest of the plug-in lineup experienced a summer malaise of sorts.

Help For US Plug-In Sales Arrives Starting In September With The 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Help For US Plug-In Sales Arrives Starting In September With The 2016 Chevrolet Volt

For June, an estimated 10,365 sales plug-in vehicles were sold – about 10% lower than last month effort and 16% off the previous June (which still stands as the second best selling month on record in the US).

Running away from the field (again) was the Tesla Model S.

We estimate Tesla sold 2,800 EVs in North America last month – its best showing of the year, while separately the company stated worldwide sales in the second quarter came in higher than expected with 11,507 cars moved.

How anemic was the rest of the field?   Of the next 11 top selling plug-in vehicles in the US, not even one managed to beat its own numbers from the month prior.

Still, we have to find a silver lining or two out there somewhere.  Looking at the glass half full, we find that Nissan almost bested its 2015 high in June with 2,074 sales – off by just 30 units, and the Spark EV still managed to somehow sell 226 copies with incredibly thin inventories.

Fortunately, the low sales are not without reason.  And no, it’s not the price of gas, or a lack of consumer demand surrounding electric vehicles.

As we have been forecasting since before the year began, the summer of 2015 was never going to be pretty, as the top selling EVs go into generational changeover and we also wait on much anticipated new models to arrive.

Currently, both the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius PHV are out of production while waiting on new model changeovers, and the all-time US best seller – Nissan LEAF is waiting on a longer range option for this fall, while SUV buyers patiently wait on the Tesla Model X to arrive in September.

So, while the wider media’s outlook might turn lower on electric vehicles this Summer, we know better – and that it will be riding an all time high come the Fall.

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

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

Some Other Point Of Interest From June:

Electric Cars Dominate The Sales Landscape In The US For June

Electric Cars Dominate The Sales Landscape In The US For June

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. Tesla Motors – 2,800*
  2. Nissan – 2,074
  3. Ford – 1,546
  4. GM – 1,513
  5. BMW – 688
  6. Toyota – 464

Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In June*

  1. BEV – 6,599 – 64%
  2. PHEV – 3,766 – 36%

New 2015 Highs Set In June By Model (previous 2015 high in brackets)

  • Tesla Model S – 2,800 (2,400)
  • Kia Soul EV – 109 (108)
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV – 24 (18)

The full monthly recap by individual plug-in can be found on our Monthly Scorecard here.

*-estimated/North America

 

 

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

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49 Comments on "June EV Sales Off 16% In US Despite Strong Showing From Tesla"

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GRA
While the advent of the new Volt and some other cars will undoubtedly boost sales somewhat, the ending of Georgia’s rebate will depress them. I think it’s very questionable to conclude “So, while the wider media’s outlook might turn lower on electric vehicles this Summer, we know better – and that it will be riding an all time high come the Fall” Face it, PEV sales are stagnant, because, at least at their current prices and capabilities, it definitely is “the price of gas, or a lack of consumer demand surrounding electric vehicles.” I won’t be surprised if we don’t see a real uptick in take rates until the 2nd gen. BEVs show up. As it is, we’re stuck well below 1% in the U.S. Jay, why do you feel that it’s necessary to say “Still, we have to find a silver lining or two out there somewhere.” How about just presenting the facts without feeling the need to editorially slant them one way or another? We don’t need you to tell us if a glass is half full or half empty, just tell us that 1/2 of the glass’s volume is occupied by air and the other half by… Read more »
Brian

once local government and large fleet companies realize how much money they can save and spend it on other nonsense the sales will really jump. Until that point comes it will stay low because of the stigma of low mile and cant take on trip cars.

vdiv

Pardon, but if they haven’t realized that in the past five years why would they ever?

Lou Grinzo

I think your question assumes a higher than warranted level of intelligence and awareness on the part of governments and large fleet operators.

I think we’ll definitely see a lot more fleet sales of EVs once their range and price improve enough to overcome the ignorance and ultra-conservative nature of most organizations that run fleet.

Speculawyer

Well, the tax-credit doesn’t really help them. And with the current gas prices, it is a little hard for them to justify.

But change will come.

Patrick

“once local government and large fleet companies realize how much money they can save and spend it on other nonsense the sales will really jump”

I work in the autoshop of a small (100K) city. We are very interested in expanding or ev fleet which right now is 3 Leafs, 2 zamboni’s a converted Ranger and a IT city car. problem is most of the vehicles we buy are trucks, small vans or minivans.

What will really make the sales needle move is the availability of a van like the Ford Transit Connect or the Dodge Caravan into a EV. Nissan could sell tons of E NV-200 if they put the 2016 leaf 30kwh battery in and sold it in every dealer in north america.

Speculawyer

They make electric Zambonis now? Awesome. Get rid of that stinky propane.

Khai L.

I’m with Jay on this one. The state incentives are merely icing on the cake. The word is out that EV’s are much better driving cars than ICE’s. It’s just that with the prospect of longer range cars only a few months away, the only people buying current short-range EV’s are the ones who’s current ICE’s died and they can’t hold out for the next gen any longer. This happens all the time with new ICE models, it makes sense that it would apply to EV’s as well.

With a notable exception. EV’s aren’t old enough to draw from a crowd of repeat niche buyers. At this point, any new sales are ICE conquest sales, despite the presence of new models being available before the end of the year.

Bonaire

If offered:
2015 Volt for $27K
2016 Volt for $34K

Which is the “better deal”? For 5-7 more AER miles, lighter car, 4.5 seats and new dashboard gadgets, you can pay $7K more plus sales tax and perhaps even more if you add options that bring the price higher. Economically, a Volt 1 is still a better deal if you get a dealer to offer it – and will give you the high number of electric miles of an EREV lifestyle. But you do not get the cache of driving the latest and greatest. The choice depends on personal wants.

ziv

The 2015MY Volt is a killer deal, but I think the 2016 will have a solid 10 more miles of AER not 5 or 6. 50 vs. 40 is pretty big, especially since most of us are getting around 15% more than the EPA rating 8 months of the year. That means an average driver has been getting 46 from a 2015 which would have been rated at 40 if GM had re-tested with the new battery. And the 2016 if rated at 50 would get somewhere around 57.5 real world miles of AER.
I probably won’t get another Volt, but they are impressive little cars. I just need a roomier car.

Bonaire

One more issue is that fleet buyers like General Electric are not going the Volt route any more but offering ICE and hybrids to their employees again. At one time, GE said they were going to buy something like 25,000 plug-ins over the course of a few years. The Pentagon also said they were going to fleet-purchase Volts and Ford Energi models. Do we know how many plug in stations exist at the Pentagon and at armed services sites nationally / internationally? What is their footprint and commitment in order to accomplish more oil independence given their goal is to fight for oil rights in areas of the middle-east.

Mister G

Fighting for oil is as American as apple pie.

Lensman

Jay Cole wrote:

“So, while the wider media’s outlook might turn lower on electric vehicles this Summer, we know better — and that it will be riding an all time high come the Fall.”

So, Jay, do I read this right that you’re predicting that PEV sales in the North American market will achieve an all-time high come this Fall?

InsideEVs’ own current Monthly Plug-in Sales Scorecard says “the first 2016 Volt won’t be arriving until around September (in limited numbers — full rollout out is expected by December)”, and “The bad news is that the 2016 LEAF isn’t expected to arrive until around October.”

So I don’t understand why you think that sales will pick up that much in the Fall, which means 3rd quarter, or July-September. Until then, the only significant thing I see on the horizon is the rollout of the Tesla Model X, and given Tesla’s history, I don’t expect high volumes of that to appear this year.

So, Jay, am I missing something important here? Or is there some significant difference of opinion on this subject among the various InsideEVs writers and editors; those who contribute to the monthly Scorecard articles?

Lensman

Lensman wrote:

“…3rd quarter, or July-September. Until then, the only significant thing I see on the horizon…”

Correction: I meant until Winter, the only significant thing…

Lensman

Wow… My brain jammed. I see I can’t even correctly sort the calendar quarters into the right seasons. “Fall” would, of course, be Oct-Dec.

[Miss Emily Litella voice]: Nevermind!

Speculawyer

How is it that coming up on 5 years have gone by and we still don’t have an SUV, minivan, or CUV PHEV? That would really help sales. The Volt is great but a lot of people feel it is just too small.

Bonaire

I talked with a local Chevy sales guy about that over the phone. He was at a GM meeting about a week/week+ ago. Did indicate that there is probable work happening in this area but was the typical “can’t talk about it” scenario. Said they were shown some concept model pictures of other cars not yet known about.

TomArt

It could have, and should have, been done within a year after the Volt. The bigger vehicles are perfect – each electric mile takes a bigger bite out of fuel consumption, and they have the room and chassis to handle a larger ICE generator and a larger battery pack. Add a plug, and you’re ahead of CARB for a decade, at least.

TomArt

And for heavy-duty vehicles, GM needed not to look any farther than VIA.

Cavaron

Tesla Motors – 2,800*
Nissan – 2,074
Ford – 1,546
GM – 1,513
Toyota – 464

Huh, Toyota? I calculated BMW at the 5th spot with 688 sales (i3 and i8).

mr. M

I also think BMW is 5!

mr. M

the i3 alone sold more than the PIP…!

Dave86

Frankly, I’m amazed that EV sales are as good as they are right now. Like others have commented, the next generation of EVs will offer considerably greater – and more usable – range than current offerings. Given that, I would have expected a significant drop off in sales this year while everyone is waiting for the next generation of cars.

I have 2 ICE vehicles that are both at about 120K to 125K miles. They’ll get replaced by a 200+ (250 ideal) mile EV (AWD ideal) in 2017 or 2018.

2017 could be really good with GM’s Bolt & Volt, plus Tesla’s Model S & X. If Tesla actually does get the Model 3 to market in late 2017, then 2018 will be even better. Nissan’s 2nd generation Leaf should also make a good contribution during those years.

Lensman

Dave86 said:

“I would have expected a significant drop off in sales this year while everyone is waiting for the next generation of cars.”

I expected a very significant dropoff in sales of the Leaf and the Volt; I’m surprised sales have held up as well as they have. OTOH, as Bonaire points out in a post above, the improvement of the Volt 2.0 over the Volt 1.0 isn’t really all that much, and a cheaper end-of-model-year car is always an attractive offer. Leaf buyers, now… I admit I don’t get why anyone would by a Leaf 1.0 now, unless they think they can’t afford a Leaf 1.5 or a Leaf 2.0.

And yeah, overall, you could argue that everybody interested in buying a PEV should be waiting until 2017-8 for the nominally “200 mile” BEVs from GM, Tesla, and Nissan. But generally speaking, when someone needs a new (or at least newer) car, they can’t wait for two or three years.

Absidu

Since Ford Fusion Enegry still has it’s own relatively stable audience, i think Huindai Sonata phev is going to be a big hit cause it’s better in a lot of specs (+40% range, flat trunk etc).

jmac

European sales are up. Sales are up in China. Electric car sales are beginning to happen in small numbers in the old eastern block countries and places like Turkey and even Israel after the Better Place disaster.

Perhaps we all need to pause and breathe into a paper bag for a few moments.

Countries like Chile and Argentina are good candidates for EVs since they sit on a large percentage of the world’s Lithium salts.

If the EV movement starts to sag everywhere, all at once, then there might be some real need to be concerned.

Right now panic might be premature. We all thought the Volt was doomed when they shut the factory down for 6 weeks, a couple years ago.

Lensman

I don’t see anyone panicking. We American EV enthusiasts are a bit depressed… a reflection of the PEV market being depressed this year. 🙁

But as you say, sales are really picking up in Europe. And there is at least a hope that, unlike the surge of 2-3 years ago in North American sales, European sales growth might be sustainable.

Sales should pick up markedly, if not in the 4th quarter of this year, then in 2017-8 as the nominally “200 mile” BEVs start sales. When that happens, you’ll see us American EV enthusiasts brighten up right along with the surge in sales. 🙂

Bill

Wake up if you want to sell more cars use airinductionchargingandstoragesystem it works never stop and charge again. Can be made to go from New York to California.

Bonaire

Laws of Physics say “huh?”

Are you talking about a wind turbine generator on board a vehicle always running while moving forward? I thought Mitt Romney said you “can’t drive a car with a windmill on it” 🙂

Mark Hovis
Interesting observation on the scoreboard leader, the luxury class Model S, is the company distribution of shipments between three markets. With Tesla Motors primarily serving three markets, North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, and production sitting around 4,000 per month, this is still a bit of high volume to the US. You kinda have to discount China in that this market is yet to be penetrated. Shipments vs sales is still tricky. The long and short of it is either July, August or July/August may show low “US” numbers from the Model S in North America. Tesla can’t do all the heavy lifting for the technology, at least until the Model III arrives. So the rest of the Summer might look anemic, but the Fall will certainly see a significant correction in sales. It is tough when 20 models are competing for such a small segment of the market, but it much more desireable for the long term success to have 20 competitors opposed to half dozen or more. Smart for the LEAF to announce a small bump in battery just in line with the Volt 2.0. Though they really serve two different markets, it is still a smart move.… Read more »
Ocean Railroader

What I noticed is only three new chamo quick chargers opened up in the US with two of them being on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In the scheme of were you can travel with a electric car for under $30,000 our world did not grow that much. Also I’m starting to not count quick chargers at car dealerships as viable in that the car dealers can be very unpredictable.

Speculawyer

Unless they are available 24 hours a day without talking to any person, dealership chargers are garbage.

Cartmam

Not everyone who buys an EV cares about the environment or the price of gas as can be seen by Tesla sales. BEVs are just better cars in every way other than range and refueling time. Manufacturers need to start making BEVs that people think are cool rather than play to the environmental and “cheaper than gas” aspects. Lets be honest…most EVs are unattractive and undesirable commuter looking cars.

Speculawyer

And 90+% of the time, the refueling time is completely irrelevant since you refuel overnight while you sleep.

Yes, the EVs need to look better. But the Model S, Fiat 500e, VW eGolf, Ford Focus, and Volt are all decent. (But, IMHO, the LEAF, Spark EV, BMW i3, i-MiEV, CMAX, Smart ED, . . . etc. . . . Meh.)

Liz

I got an i3 last week. I think it’s adorable, in an ugly-but-cute way.

Great fun to drive – not elegant like a Tesla, but nimble and quick and turns on a dime.

Perfect city car.

Bonaire

Cool is good but imagine if the rather general-looking Honda CR-V was electric or at least PiHV like the Outlander or Volt style of drivetrain. Smoother operation for all the moms out there driving them, ability to plug in every night and also have range extender for effortless long-range driving. The Honda CR-V sells over 300,000 copies per year in the USA. There is no reason it wouldn’t sell at least 40,000 PiHV variants if not more. All the CR-V is missing now is a socket to make it even better. Great ride, handling, size for most buyers. (I guess this is why they are buying so many of them).

GM could do that with the Equinox or Orlando chassis but seems to refuse to. Ford could do an Escape or other model with similar capability. I just think they don’t think there is a US market for enough of them to make it worth the effort.

James

How do we get this go blocked and all his posts deleted?

Anders

Just got our second tesla model S two weeks ago and very happy. First one still running like new but with 30.000 miiles on it.

Best car ever made.

Will buy more Teslas in the near future for the rest of our family.

Liz

Is it possible to break out the i3 sales into Rex & Bev?

As it is, we can’t tell how many were pure electric and how many were serial hybrids.

jmp

…and Mits just announced closing their plant in the US. Now considering what is likely a vehicle with a strong US demand, why not move some of the Outlander PHEV production to these shores?
Yes, it will take a few years, but beats letting the competition move into that PHEV market because you are NOT THERE!