A familiar face took over the sales lead for the month of October - the Chevy Volt

A familiar face took over the sales lead for the month of October - the Chevy Volt

Plug-in vehicle sales in the US set a 13th consecutive monthly gain in October...but it was no 'walk in the park' win as it had been in past months, as industry leader Tesla concerned itself with foreign production and readying its Fremont production facility to equip new enhanced, fully self driving capable hardware on all its new vehicles going forward.

A self-driving Model X with new enhanced hardware was demonstrated by Tesla in October - <a href=watch" draggable="false">

A self-driving Model X with new enhanced hardware was demonstrated by Tesla in October - watch

For the month an estimated 10,832 plug-in vehicles were sold, which was up an adjusted 17.5% compared the 9,926 sold a year ago.  (*October 2016 noted 26 selling days compared to 28 in October of 2015)

During the month, EV sales in the US also passed the sum total sold in all of 2015, and now stands at some 120,517 units delivered - which is a gain of 31% compared to  the ~92,330 sold through October of last year.

As mentioned, Tesla did not lead the charge in October, but one should note the pullback is the company's  US deliveries this month was not via an "unexpected event" for the company, but rather one likely planned many months ago.

Meaning that Tesla's delivery estimate for "over 25,000" EVs delivered globally for Q4 that was made last week while reporting Q3 results, is with these October's results in mind.

Despite its polarizing looks, and mild all-electric driving abilities, the Toyota Prius Prime will likely add the most

Despite its polarizing looks, and mild all-electric driving abilities, the Toyota Prius Prime will likely add the most "new" sales to the US EV segment in 2017

However, the happenings at Tesla are significantly altering the month-to-month sales results for the US this past month, and for the next two months ahead.

While October numbers have been pushed lower, the "December rush" is clearing incoming by the Tesla.  The month also notes the arrival of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV (details), and the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (details); which means we are likely going to see the first monthly sales result north of 20,000 to end out the year.

Picking up the slack this month, and returning to the "top seller" position for the first time since July (and for the 4th time in 2016) was the Chevrolet Volt, the only model to sell more than 2,000 copies during October (2,191)

Dark horse winner for October 2016:  The Mercedes S550e, the luxury PHEV from Daimler that went on sale in July of 2015, came out of nowhere to sell 174 copies in October.  It's former high?  Just 41 copies.  Good for a tidy 424% improvement.

Unexpected 'dog' of the month:  The BMW i3 had been expected to rebound from a low September sales result, blamed on poor inventory supply of the new 33 kWh version - unfortunately 'help' never arrived in October and just 442 copies were sold (after selling almost 1,500 in a single month during the Summer).  Hopefully the new stock (along with sales) return soon.

2016 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers, NA for X – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

2016 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers, NA for X – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

Other Statistical Points of Interest from October 2016

when it arrives early next year

when it arrives early next year

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. General Motors - 2,454
  2. Ford – 2,015
  3. Tesla Motors* – 1,650
  4. Nissan 1,412
  5. BMW – 1,139
  6. VW Group – 931
Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In October*
  1. PHEV – 6,147 – 56.3%
  2. BEV – 4,685 -43.7%
New Year Highs Set In October By Model (previous 2016 high in brackets)
  • Nissan LEAF – 1,412 (1,316)
  • BMW i8 - 199 (169)
  • Mercedes S550e – 174 (41)
  • BMW 33o - 92 (81)
(*) estimated

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