Next Generation Chevrolet Volt Saves The Day In October

Next Generation Chevrolet Volt Saves The Day In October

Sales of electric vehicles in the United States for October came in at just under 10,000 units (~9,943) - about equal to September's result, and also a year ago's sales level.

However, there was no hiding the disappointment in the lower than expected numbers. The failure of the upgraded 2016 Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model X to launch during the month, coupled with the complete disappearance of the Toyota Prius PHV solidly held the market down.

The one solid bright spot during the month was the Chevrolet Volt which sold 2,035 units - more than double September, and 41% better than a year ago.

Behind the Chevy's numbers was the arrival of the next generation, 2016 model mid-month - which despite only about 2 weeks of sales managed to still sell outsell the 2015 edition - 1,324 to 711. New inventory continues to pour out of GM's Hamtramck, Michigan facility, so we expect November's results for the Volt to only improve.

Looking ahead, the 107 mile, 2016 Nissan LEAF is now (finally) on sale, and we expect first deliveries of those car to begin mid-November, while Tesla also confirmed during its 3rd quarter earnings report that the Model X will indeed be delivered in some sort of volume before year's end; although our own research shows that the earliest date for any first deliveries would be at the very end of November at the earliest.

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

Other happenings of interest during the month was the resurgence of the Volkswagen e-Golf, despite wider 'emission' issues of the brand, selling almost 600 copies, a new record high. And also the arrival of the BMW X5 xDrive40e - which makes 4 consecutive months that the US has received a new EV offering after receiving exactly nothing in the first half of the year.

The trend of "what's new this month" in EVs will continue throughout the rest of the year, as the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron (from $37,900 - details) just landed this week for November, and the Hyundai Sonata PHV (with 27 miles of EPA AER) has been promised by the end of December.

Current PHEV Offerings In US (with EPA range, post federal credit pricing)

Current PHEV Offerings In US (with EPA range, post federal credit pricing)

Some other Points of Interest from October

Before October's Balancing Out, The BEV/PHEV Split Favored The All-Electric Vehicles (chart through Sept)

Before October's Balancing Out, The BEV/PHEV Split Favored The All-Electric Vehicles (chart through Sept)

Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. General Motors - 2,294
  2. Tesla* - 1,904
  3. Ford – 1,670
  4. Nissan - 1,238
  5. BMW - 1,135
Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In October*
  1. BEV – ~5,044 – 53%
  2. PHEV – ~4,900 – 47%
New 2015 Highs Set In October By Model (previous 2015 high in brackets)
  • Chevrolet Volt - 2,035 (1,619)
  • Volkswagen e-Golf - 596 (410), new all-time high
  • Porsche Cayenne S e-Hybrid - 125 (105), new all-time high
  • Mercedes S550 PHV – 25 (17), new all-time high
(*) estimated/Tesla North America

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