June Plug-In EV Sales Continue To Show Unstoppable Upward Growth

June Plug-In EV Sales Continue To Show Unstoppable Upward Growth

Mass produced plug-in electric vehicles have been on sale in the United States since December of 2010.  Since then how many times have year-over-year comps been flat or down?

Absolutely zero...and it hasn't even been close.

After a setting an all-time record high for EV sales in May with an estimated 12,053 plug-ins sold (vs 7,454 in 2013), June continued the trend of putting up big yearly wins, as the Nissan LEAF puts all other challengers to the crown of "best selling EV in America" well into their rearview mirror.

As for the month, an estimated 11,893 plug-ins were sold, jus touch shy of the record, but still up 43% from a year ago!

Heading into June the main points of interest look to be:

  • Can Nissan come close to matching the unbelievable 3,117 LEAFs sold last month(No...but they did set another record)
  • How will Toyota follow up a company-best 2,692 Prius PHV sales recorded in May? (By posting another solid month)
  • Can the Chevrolet Volt take back the number 2 spot for best selling plug-in for America?  They need to outpace the Prius PHV by at least 891 units. (Nope)
  • BMW had one of the strongest debut months for any plug-in vehicle in history last month.  With both the standard and REx (range extended) i3 being offered for the entire month of June, what kind of numbers will the German-made EV post this month?  (Up slightly)

EDITOR's NOTE: This list is published as soon as sales kicks off the morning of Tuesday July 1st, and is then updated in real time as the sales come in over the next 24 hours. So if you don't see a report on your favorite EV at time of press...just check back a little later - all the numbers are coming!

Additionally, waaaaaay down at the bottom of the story is the 2014 YTD chart as well as the complete 2013 results.

(last update:2:58 July 2nd, 2014)

2014 Chevrolet Volt

2014 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt: GM moved a respectable 1,777 Volts during the month of June...which means on a month-to-month basis sales have risen each month this year.  (full story)

Previously in May the Volt sold 1,684 copies, which was up 9% from April's 1,548 cars.

Unfortunately, GM is now faced with some really difficult 2nd half of the year comps, and June's result fell short of 2013 by 34%, when 2,698 were sold.

The Volt is one of the few plug-in cars on the market today that are showing year-over-year declines.  For 2014, 8,615 cars have been sold - which is down 13% from 2013 when GM moved 9,855 Volts.

Before 2014 model year production of the Volt ceased, GM decided to once again have the inventory of the extended range car go nuclear.  We anticipate, much like last year, an extended hiatus on volume production of 2015 Volt until sometime in the fall as GM looks to optimize production at their Hamtramck, Michigan facility.

In April we also saw GM officially re-confirm its commitment to the next generation of Volt by holding a press conference to announce a new $449 million dollar investment into 2nd gen Volt production.

The 2nd gen Chevrolet Volt will be a 2016 model and go on sale in the 2nd half of 2015.




2014 Nissan LEAF

2014 Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF: For June 2,347 LEAFs were sold, where was the kazillionth 16th consecutive monthly increase for the all-electric Nissan. (full story)

During June, shiny new 2015 model year LEAFs started to creep their way onto dealership lots by the end of June, but the disconnect/switchover from the 2014 MY production has caused LEAF inventories to drop to a precariously low level of just under 20 days supply.

“Since the Texas state incentive went into effect in May, we’ve seen a big jump in LEAF sales in the Austin, Dallas and Houston markets,” said Toby Perry, Nissan’s director of EV Sales and Marketing. “Our dealers are telling us that they saw more traffic in their stores, and they had their best LEAF sales performance in the last weekend in June.”

As for sales last month: Nissan sold more pure electric cars in May than anyone else in history, as an amazing 3,117 LEAFs were sold; good for almost a 50% increase over last month and last year.

During the month Nissan also priced a replacement battery pack (finally) for current owners looking to ‘renew’ the capacity of their older LEAFs.  $5,499 plus the cost of installation gets you shiny new battery to reset the range on your electric Nissan.

As part of this pack replacement – and standard on all new 2015 models – the new ‘lizard’ chemistry cells are included in the pack.  The new ‘lizard’ battery makes the LEAFs cells more durable in extreme temperature situations and will allow for a longer life in areas like Arizona, Texas and Southern California.

As for what other changes the 2015 MY brings; thanks to a dealer note from Canada, we can tell you not a heck of a lot. A new color choice, some changes in the standard equipment/packages.

The details on the new 2015 LEAF can be found here. Overall in 2013, Nissan sold 22,610 cars, which was a big improvement of 2012 when only 9,819 were sold. Currently, Nissan is on pace to sell about 30,000 LEAFs in 2014.




2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR: A new monthly high for the plug-in Caddy was set in June as 97 copies were sold during the month!

Despite the 'record', GM is continuing to struggle to find a market last month for the ELR. There is a story brewing here and it goes something like this:

"There is a lot of darn inventory and the car is not selling"

For May and April, 52 and 61 were sold respectively.

This "Oh hello inventory!" story has now been in play since February as massive amounts (relatively speaking) of ELRs started to arrive at the 60% of dealers that didn't "opt out" of selling the plug-in Cadillac for fear of low demand throughout the month. In March just 81 ELRs were sold.

Given historical averages on sales, GM has somewhere around 550 days worth of inventory...so, just a touch high.

Also of interest: Cadillac has also made available a premium charging station for the ELR. And for the first 1,000 customers - it's free!*



2015 BMW i3

2015 BMW i3

BMW i3: For June, BMW sold a slightly less than expected 358 units during its first full month on the market, which was up 7% from May.

Last month, BMW surprised us by setting a new record for plug-in sales in a debut month with 336 units sold!

Originally expected in April, some hold-ups with the EPA/Monroney stickers prevented the i3 from getting to customers.

Thankfully this was a short-lived...and BMW delivered both its first BMW i3 REx (to InsideEVs contributor Tom Moloughney) and first all-electric i3 delivery this month.

Also of interest, Tom immediately got that first BMW i3 REx turned into the world's first "red" i3 with a brand new vehicle wrap! (details and pictures of that adventure here).

Surprisingly, and unlike a lot of other plug-in vehicle debuts - especially one that is demand, there is already a lot of available inventory out there (750ish at time of press) to be had if your interested in picking up an i3 of your own.



2014 Tesla Model S

2014 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales… so we never know for sure what the numbers are until their quarterly updates.

As this is a list of US sales, we are now forced to shift away from tracking strictly production and deliveries for the company overall as they are now delivering throughout Europe...so no one freak out when US sales don't match total production from here on out.


Q2 of 2014 was always going to be the hardest quarter for Tesla; US reservations backlog long cleared up, much of the Europe demand caught up, Netherlands incentives off the board...and China just getting underway in May (~500 cars imported), while the company looks ahead to Model X production.

And while last month (May) was the 'hump' month for sales, June is when the bulk of cars were delivered for Tesla in the quarter before they focus up on international/RHD deliveries over the summer.  Going forward most US Model S orders placed in June will now be delivered in Q3.  Expect a non-US production/delivery focus for July and August as Tesla looks to satisfy demand in new markets.

We estimate Tesla delivered 1,800 cars in June




2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED

Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED: What the heck is the B-Class ED doing on this list you say?

Daimler sold exactly zero of these in May and they aren't expected until September Well, not so much anymore. Mercedes (refreshingly enough) is actually moving a little fast than expected and customer's ordering at the dealership level are being told that cars could start arriving in July.

The B-Class ED (US allotment) is now currently in production in Germany, and a quick check in by ourselves with the company did indeed yield a new arrival estimate of "mid-summer" now - oh, Mercedes, you are always so careful to not over promise!

The car will be available in limited states in 2014 (CA, CT, MD, OR, NJ, NY, RI and VT) — and then nationwide to the unwashed masses in early 2015. "Job 1" of B-Class ED production was completed on April 11th (full story here).

The B-Class ED starts from $41,450 ($100 more than the BMW i3) and has an all-electric range of 85 miles (with an extended range option available to give "up to" 25%-30% more travel distance)



2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: Porsche has a strong month with the Panamera, and the S-E Hybrid was no exception selling 111 copies, the 2nd best result to date.

In previous months Porsche had seemed to have found a fairly consistent selling level for the S-E Hybrid as 52 and 62 were sold in May and April respectively; although June may indicate more interest in the plug-in Porsche.

The high water maker was set in the first month of the year, with an amazing 141 sold.

Going forward, it is estimated that the plug-in may account for as much as 15%-20% of all Panamera sales - which generally amounts to about 600 per month.

The Panamera S E-Hybrid has a combined 416 hp output (333 hp electric) and can get north of 60 mph in about 5 seconds, with a top speed of 167 mph. Pricing starts at $99,000. Also of interest, the S E-Hybrid is currently available at all Porsche dealers nationwide - a rare thing these days.




2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

Chevrolet SPARK EV: Coming off a fleet-inspired record in May, Spark EV sales normalized in June with 85 copies being sold.

Previously in May, the new benchmark for sales on the tiny Chevy was set at 182.  97 were moved in April.

During April, we also learned that although the Chevy Spark EV had been cancelled for Europe, but it will be reborn in 2nd gen trim as a Opel Something-Or-Other in about 2 years. (details here)

General Motors closed 2013 with 539 Spark EVs sold over all. For 2014, that number has already been passed, with 551 sold.

However, no one should read anything into any monthly sales number when it comes to the Spark EV ... at least if they are trying to get a handle on Spark EV demand, as GM basically sets their own monthly sales number by curtailing inventory. GM could sell a lot more if they wanted to. We figure that any 3-digit number probably satisfies GM's internal projections for the car




2014 Fiat 500e

2014 Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e:  When it comes to reporting plug-in sales, we have had another Tesla on our hands here (as in they don't report sales).

Chrysler/Fiat had been giving us a bit of the stonewall treatment when it comes to reporting 500e sales. But thankfully that 'black hole of knowledge' seems to have ended, thanks to data from Baum & Associates via HybridCars (big props).

Fur June, 166 electric Fiat 500s were sold, which was just a single unit shy of May's 167 sold.

Also in the "good news if you live in Oregon" category, Fiat has announced the 500e will arrive in its second US state "this summer."

As for the car itself, the 500e's 24 kWh lithium battery has been rated by the EPA to produce 87 miles of all electric range, and MPGe efficiency in the city is pegged at 122, and 108 on the highway, for a combined 116 MPGe figure.



2012 Mitsubishi I (2014s incoming)

2012 Mitsubishi I (2014s incoming)

Mitsubishi i-MiEV: If you don's ship any inventory, its hard to sell cars.  Mitsu learned this lesson in June as only 22 i-MiEVs were sold.

The good news for last month was that NEW 2014 i-MiEVs have finally started to arrive at dealerships in the US after a 1 year hiatus!  Kinda.  In total 35 i-MiEVs were sold in May.

Although we have to note that Mitsu only shipped a 'token' about of little electric kei cars to America in May and June.

Exiting June, only about 200 2014s in total have found their way onto US dealership lots.  We'll call this the Outlander PHEV effect, as that vehicles unparalleled success has caused production and battery supply issues for the company.

While older months data really meant nothing, we will still point out that only 12 of the now 2 model year old i-MiEVs were sold to customers in April...with some steep discounts offered on the little EV of course.

Going forward, the return of the 2014 i-MiEV in the late spring from $22,995 means there is going to be a lot of i-MiEV sales to report. In 2012 588 were sold, in 2013 there was 1,046 moved; but even with only 6 months of sales left available to the new, inexpensive i-MiEV, Mitsubishi should have no issues destroying these previous marks.

The new pricepoint of $22,995 also INCLUDES standard fast charging and a host of other standard features that used to be options. The MSRP price reduction equals $6,130 less than the outgoing 2012 model. Want to know more about the new cheapest EV in America? Click here!

Our forecast for i-MiEV sales for 2014? Next to nothing from January to May , then all they can build and ship (which might be a problem according to Mitsu's Chief) thereafter.



2014 Honda Fit EV

2014 Honda Fit EV

Honda Fit EV: Continuing an uninspiring, compliance-lead trend in June, a further 38 Fit EVs were sold.

In May 33 Fit EVs were sold, which comes on the heels of April's 50 units - which was a year high! (a number that reflected pretty much every Fit EV Honda had available to sell)

Previous results (in monthly order Jan-Apr) was 30, 33 and 37 Fit EVs - not too terribly exciting.

So, the story continues to be: Inventory, where is the inventory?

Well, there isn't any, and it isn't coming as Honda is building about 40-odd units a month until the fall...when they will DISCONTINUE production of the car - that story here.  Honda has an estimated 200 Fit EVs left to sell out of inventory heading into July.

So why is the Fit EV America's most in demand car to be cancelled? Well, Honda has found the holy grail when it comes to selling a limited number of compliance vehicles. Lease them out cheap ($259/month including partial insurance with nothing down)...and give customer unlimited mileage on those leases. (all the details here)

So if you get one...count yourself lucky - although not so much if you have sub zero weather as the Fit EV has more than its share of difficulties retaining range in the extreme cold.



2014 smart ED - As Always, Black Is The Proper Choice When Selecting The Color Of An Electric Car

2014 smart ED - As Always, Black Is The Proper Choice When Selecting The Color Of An Electric Car

SMART ForTwo Electric Drive: Someone has to be smiling at Daimler's HQ this month as the smart Ed almost took out the BMW i3 for sales in June.

Somehow, an astounding 278 fully electric smarts were sold in June - that's a new record high - for the 4th month in a row!  Considering the brand as a whole only sold 673 cars, EV sales easily accounted for more than 50% of the automotive revenue for smart in June.

In May, sales of the smart ED just edged out April's result to set another all-time new record for sales with 206 units moved.

In April 203 copies were sold, which at the time set a new record...over March's record of 186 sales.

The smart EV is now technically available nationally, although there isn't inventory yet spread out across the country to make physical sales everywhere. However if you are looking for a cabrio edition of the little smart after months of being out of stock, a recent small shipment of those has them available at select locations.

The smart ED is the first plug-in for America to be offered with a "battery rental" option, which brings the cost of the Smart ED down to $19,990, but adds a $80 month battery rental payment, as well as includes a wider (and longer) battery warranty.

Check out all the specs, options and pricing here. The 2-seat Smart electric car gets 68 miles of range from a 17.6 kWh battery.



2014 Ford Fusion Energi

2014 Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi: The Fusion Energi set not only a new personal high for sales in June, but propelled Ford to once again be the top manufacturer of EVs for the month.

Ford sold an astounding 1,939 copies of the electric Fusion this month...which was 44% better than May, the previous best month on record for the Ford.

Of note in June not related to sales:  The Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi, both had their EPA ratings slashed by the company, and compensation cheques are heading out to owners.

Both Energi vehicles now have a 88 MPGe rating (down from 100 MPGe), a 38 MPG extended range efficiency (down from 43 MPG) and a 19 mile all-electric range (down from 21 miles) - full story on that here.

For 2013, the Fusion Energi was the surprise hit of the Ford family, finishing the year with just over 6,000 sold - not bad considering it was only introduced in February. he upward trend has continued throughout 2014

The Fusion Energi basically offers the same package as the C-Max Energi, but in a larger sedan package. The third plug-in to be offered from Ford has just been rated by the EPA at a combined 888 MPGe and has an electric range of 19 miles.



2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In

2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In

Toyota Prius Plug-In: Coming off the strongest month for the plug-in Prius, and despite now lacking a healthy nation inventory, Toyota still managed to sell 1,571 PHVs in June.

Of interest, the only "Prius family" nameplate to show and increase for June was of the plug-in variety.

Previously in May Toyota sold...wait for it...2,692 Prius PHVs. No misprint! That was a 282% improvement over May of 2013!  (full story on that here)

Perhaps aiding Toyota's best ever month was the rush to get the last of the HOV "green" stickers, although we have to note the same rush was present with the Chevrolet Volt, and that vehicle's sales was only up slightly in relation to the Prius PHV.

Whatever the reason, the Prius PHV just announced itself as a contender for the monthly plug-in sales races in America.

For April 1,741 were sold, which was also up 179.% from 2013 when 599 were sold.

Through May 9,300 plug-in Prii have been sold so far in 2014, 122% more than last year, when 4,214 moved off lots. The Toyota Prius PHV is now the second best selling plug-in in the US behind only the Nissan LEAF at just over 10,300.

Much like the Nissan LEAF was for almost all of 2013, the Prius PHV has been a demand vs allocation story over the past 5 months since Toyota reduced the price of the plug-in by $2,010 to $4,620. The allure of the car, now from $29,990, has essentially meant Toyota can set the amount they want to sell.




2013 Ford C-Max Energi

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi:  While the Fusion Energi posted a surprisingly high number of its own, the 988 C-Max Energis sold in June was even more significant...considering the non plug-in variant of the C-Mas only sold 1,952 copies.

In other words a third of C-Max sales came via the plug.

Of note in June not related to sales:  The Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi, both had their EPA ratings slashed by the company, and compensation cheques are heading out to owners.

Both Energi vehicles now have a 88 MPGe rating (down from 100 MPGe), a 38 MPG extended range efficiency (down from 43 MPG) and a 19 mile all-electric range (down from 21 miles) - full story on that here.

For 2013 overall, 7,154 plug-in C-Maxs were sold, good for being the 5th best selling plug-in for America.

In 2013, the high water mark for the C-Max Energi was set in October as 1,092 plug-ins sold. It would not surprise us to see the C-Max Energi live only as long as it takes to introduce a Focus Energi.





2014 Ford Focus Electric

2014 Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric: Gah! So close to breaking into the fabled 'two hundreds' for Ford, as 197 Focus EVs were sold in June.

The Focus Electric is the undisputed Oak Tree of plug-in sales as the last 18 months (and 21 of last 22) have all notched 100-and-something sales. Oh Ford Focus Electric - you make us sleepy.

Also as announced recently, the Focus got a slightly refreshed look for the 2nd half of 2014. And if you squint really hard, you might be able to spot the changes in the 2015 Focus Electric here.

And no, the battery intrusion into the trunk has not changed - that will have to wait for a full platform upgrade in about 3 years - provided the car continues to be produced alongside the rumored Focus Energi.







2014 Toyota RAV4 EV

2014 Toyota RAV4 EV

Toyota RAV4 EV: Other than to say Toyota will sell between 50 and 200 RAV4 EVs each month its hard to get a better feel for what future month's results will bring.

June was no different as 91 were sold, after moving 149 copies in May.

Previously: April saw another 69 of America's only plug-in SUV find a home - a number that was slightly down from March when Toyota notched another 'pretty good month for a compliance vehicle' month, as 73 more electric SUVs were sold.

The highest selling level for any one month for the RAV4 EV was August of 2013 when 231 sold.

Overall, Toyota did experience a resurgence in the 2nd half of 2013(~2,600), and they are now decently on their way to selling the required number of EVs to satisfy CARB compliance.  Once there, the RAV4 EV is no more.  To date, 1,743 have been sold in total.

Speaking of which (CARB compliance), the vehicle displacing the RAV4 EV, the Toyota FCV made its official debut in the US in late June...if you are into that sort of thing, check out the story on Toyota's fuel cell vehicle here.

To bump 2nd half sales Toyota has taken a page out of Honda's playbook on their compliance vehicle and is now offering the RAV4 EV lease with something the mainstream players can't - unlimited mileage leases.

How many RAV4 EVs will be sold next month, or this year? No one knows as this is one of the hardest plug-ins to put your finger on - percentage wise no vehicle fluctuates more in sales month-to-month than the Toyota SUV.



2014 Honda Accord Plug-In (via automedia)

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In (via automedia)

Honda Accord Plug-In: Just 28 more Accords with plugs were sold in June, after selling 46 plug-ins in May; which was a yearly high if you choose to look at the results through rose-colored glasses.

Previously in April,  37 units were sold - that was up from March just 18 Accord PHVs where sold.

The all-time, high water mark for sales in any one month was October of 2013 at 71 units.

So, to say Accord PHEV sales are flat in the US would be an understatement.

Practically speaking, the Accord plug-in is the anti-Fit EV, as they just can't sell these things. The classic "we will build it if you ask us to" seems to be in play here, as there is little to no dealer inventory for a customer to just walk in off the streets and drive off in a plug-in Accord.

As for pricing, the Accord PHEV doesn't come cheap, as Honda has put a sticker of $38,780 on the car, which was markedly higher than consumer expectations for the car.

We expect Honda to revisit incentives on the car in the near future - or maybe just stop offering it entirely. The Accord plug-in has a 13 mile all-electric range, and has been given a MPGe valuation of 115 MPGe, the highest rating of any plug-in extended range vehicle.



2014 will see the introduction of quite a few new plug-in models, many of them being the premium variety.

BMW i8 Coming This Summer

BMW i8 Coming This Summer

Here is a list of what is on the horizon, and when it is expected:

  • BMW i8: July 2014 - about 300 cars allotted for 2014 for fall, more in 2015
  • Kia Soul EV: Q3 2014 (details on the car can be found here)
  • Tesla Model X: December 2014 - Tesla has said they will make first delivery in 2014, but real production doesn't get started until April 2015 - so if your last name is Musk or Jurvetson, you might get one in 2014
  • VW e-Golf: Late 2014 - still some debate on whether or not the e-Golf will arrive under the wire in 2014
BELOW: Chart of 2014 results so far, as well as 2013 year end results:

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers) *Fiat 500e data estimated for Jan/Feb

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers) *Fiat 500e data estimated for Jan/Feb

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

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