May 2012 Plug-In Sales: Volt 1,680, Prius 1,086, LEAF 510, i-MiEV 85. Focus? 5-ish

JUN 1 2012 BY STAFF 14

The month has once again came to a close, which brings out the plug-in vehicle scorecard.  The list will be updated as the auto makers report.  May is traditionally an ‘uptick’ month overall for the industry.

2012 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt:  The General sold 1,680 Volts for May.   That is compared to 1,462 last month, bringing the yearly total to 7,057.  June is expected to be about inline with this  month’s result.






2012 Nissan LEAF

 Nissan LEAF:  Nissan moved 510 LEAFs in the month of May.  This is compared to a year-low in April of 370.  Total YTD sales are 2,613.  Nissan production to the US has been constrained by worldwide demand, and no significant uptick is expected until the 2013 model year is out in September.





2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In


 Toyota Prius Plug-In:  For May Toyota sold 1,086 copies of the plug-in version of its best selling hybrid.  That is down from the cars initial month of sales in April of 1,654.  Also of interest, the standard variant sold 13,053,  while the Prius C  and V sold 3,693, and 3,645 respectively.






2012 Ford Focus Electric


Ford Focus Electric:  Rollout continues to be measured at best.  We can confirm at least one retail (the very first) delivery during the month did happen just under the wire.  Details here.

Update: Ford states that “the company delivered the first Focus Electric vehicles to retail customers this month,” but did not breakdown the number, so  lets go with 5.

2012 Mitsubishi i



Mitsubishi i: President & CEO Yoichi Yokozawa touted, “Mitsubishi i sales continue to grow every month,” which sounds good, until one realizes entering last month they had only sold 210 cars since its launch last fall.  For May the little Mitsu sold 85 copies.

Categories: Chevrolet, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota


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I’m not sure this article was ready to print. Out of the four cars covered, there is hard data on one. The author made up a sales figure for another, and simply said “no data” on the other two.


HI Chris,

In this case it was intentional. We are really striving to be cutting/edge first out of the gate on news. And monthly sales are something that the truly hardcore of enthusiasts want as soon as they can.

The monthly sales post here updates throughout the day as numbers roll in. GM/Chevy always drops first, so that why you see a Volt only number at 10am, then the rest fill later. Mitsusbishi is annoying as their reporting in spotty, so we just assume they won’t be available today, hence no placeholder.

The only other option would be have seperate stories for each car, but we are not sure readers wanted to see it all broken down like that.

The social feeds, facebook, google+ will get updated when all the info is in.


This seems silly to me. In a rush to be first, you published your news article /before/ the news actually happened – and then filled in the details later? No thanks, I’ll take my news in the past tense – and possibly even after some analysis and/or perspective has been added.


Definitely did not publish before news broke, but you’re right we are are in a rush to get the news out as soon as it starts breaking. This article does not appear until the first automaker publishes, which is the Volt.

I understand you may not want up to the moment reporting, but a finished product…but many do want the news as it happens, and to check back regularly throughout the day as it breaks.

In fact it is pretty much the nowm to lead with the first car and then update throughout the day. If you check any of the other major sites (autoblog, green car congress, etc) you will find they also publish first details then expand the story throughout the day.

EDIT: grammar fixed for James


Please use correct grammar in order to look as professional as possible. “Your” in the second sentence should be “you’re”, as in you are. Thank you.


First sentence.


Geesh- there is always haters. If I wanted my news a day or a week old I will buy a newspaper. You’re knocking these guys for working hard

great work keeping us updated by the minute!!!


May Volt sales topped Corvette ( 1219 ) in the Chevy line, but not much else. 313 Caprices sold in May but those were to police departments.

At today’s prices, a Volt hybrid with price and capabilities similar to Prius and other hybrid vehicles make sense. Make the PHEV Volt the top-line model. 22,055 Prii per month vs. 1,680 Volts tell the tale. 50 mpg at $19-29k will sell in volumes that incur change.

Looks like GM is heading down the 4 mode hybrid path – unwilling to cede to HSD. 4 clutches and two planetary gears = loads of complexity. 2015 seems to be the big GM 4 mode rollout, we’ll have to wait and see if any iterations have a plug.


I think they’ll do a traverse plug-in…..



I think the Extended Range Electrics like the Volt are the way to go until charging stations break 50,000 or a Leaf type pure EV can get 120 real world mile range….


Larry Ward

I agree. First team to come out with a true 1/2 ton pickup with 4×4 and EREV in a competitive price range will win the game. We see all types of cost analysis to “justify” hybrids and EREVs, but some folks will pay megabucks for gas guzzling “status symbols”- no comparisons asked- kills me.

Jim Hopf
I couldn’t agree more. People (conservatives) ridicule cars like the Volt because the fuel savings don’t quite offset the additional cost, but then huge numbers of people (including many of those same conservatives) literally pay double the price to buy “luxury” brands for no reason/benefit at all! Any arguments that those “luxury” cars have real, tangible benefits (features) that make them even close to being worth the extra cost are pure hogwash. What it is is a triumph of marketing, nothing more. It’s clear that they’re primarily buying the hood ornament (staus symbol) and nothing more. They’re buying the cars simply BECAUSE they are expensive (I’m rich enough to buy this expensive car, and you’re not). I doubt there’s a way to eliminate this ridiculous psychology that seems to have hold over a large fraction of the population. The real question is how can we turn EVs and PHEV’s into status symbols, i.e., convince the public that these cars are what the “cool kids” are driving. The fact that they’re expensive (for now) should actually work in their favor, with respect to the status symbol psychology. Not only that, they’re expensive for a reason (unlike luxury brand gasoline cars). The… Read more »
Jesse S

What about the CODA, I realize it’s a small Southern California company but I drove one and it is a very nice all electric with the stated 120 miles range.

Jay Cole

Hi Jesse,

Coda doesn’t breakdown NA vehicle sales. But if memory serves me correctly they got about a 20 cars landed a couple weeks ago, and didn’t expect another (and larger) shipment until later in the summer.