Finally In Production THIS Month - The 2016 Chevrolet Volt
Ford is currently the only major plug-in automaker building cars that isn't currently working through a generational switchover, product upgrade, demand/production crisis - or on an extended assembly hiatus.
Ford Was One Of Few EV Makers To NOT Have Production/Sales Issues In July
Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Ford lead the pack for the first time since February with almost 1,700 plug-ins sold in July of 2015,
None of Ford's plug-in vehicles hit new highs, but they all turned in decent performances, with the Fusion Energi being the best of the trio of electrified conversions with 852 sales (C-Max Energi - 693, Focus Electric - 135).
With the exception of BMW, who set an all-time high for i8s sold in July (with 217) - and near all-time personal best for total EV sales (including the i3) at just under 1,200 units, all other major EV makers took an expected step back in July.
As for what the those other players, who have previously been "top producers", were up to this month, and also why sales at about 9,000 units for July was off almost 25% from the 11,200 sold last year - here you go:
Chevrolet Volt: production changeover to next generation car (which just officially got EPA rated at 53 miles), is happening now in Hamtramck, Michigan, first deliveries expected in late September
Chevrolet Spark EV: 2016 editions are in transit somewhere (between South Korea and California) currently waiting on customs/shipping, the cars are expected to arrive in early September
Cadillac ELR - there hasn't been a new model since 2014, but 2016s (with improved performance at a lower price) are being built currently, we expect them to arrive in September
Nissan LEAF: Smyra, TN production was offline at the beginning of the month, and as of this week (according our sources) the new 2016 model is finally in production. The existing 2015 model sales have been languishing all summer ahead of the anticipated range bump in the 2016 edition (to ~105-110 miles). We expect the 2016s to arrive in late September.
Tesla Model S: Tesla production staff in Fremont also had a week off recently, but like every "first month of a new quarter" with the company, Tesla took the focus off US deliveries during July. Particularly distracting this month? RHD production, new 90 kWh car introduction, and of course the mysterious ramp up of the Model X.
Toyota Prius PHV: Production of the current generation of Prius PHV ended about 6 weeks ago. Unfortunately, extended delays with the new generation of 'regular' Prius hybrid have meant that new confirmed next generation Prius PHV (expected to get ~30 miles of range - up from just 11), is delayed some 15 months - so, see you in late 2016 for that. Ouch!
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
July also saw the first of the new crop of 2016 EVs hit the US market - the Mercedes S550 Plug-in, which sold 10 copies (at around $100,000 a pop).
Looking at the current state of electric vehicle production, it is easy to see that like July, August will be another significantly down month - but sales will assuredly do a 180 in late September as the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, 2016 Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model X (hopefully) arrive.
Editor's Note/Update: Audi just opened up order books on the A3 Sportback e-tron, and unexpectedly priced it very aggressively in the US - from $37,900 (details), which should also help Fall plug-in sales.
Update 2: VW has announced a new, much more inexpensive, trim level for the e-Golf that also will be arriving in September from just $29,815 (details).
Some Other Points Of Interest From July:
Still Having Trouble Matching Production To Demand, BMW Still Managed To Sell A Record Number Of i8s In July
Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:
- Ford - 1,680
- Tesla - 1,600*
- GM - 1,436
- Nissan - 1,174
- BMW – 1,152
- Toyota – 584
- BEV – ~4,600 – 51%
- PHEV – ~4,400 – 49%
- BMW i8 - 217 (143) - also an all-time high
- Porsche 918 – 40 (34)