The Chevrolet Bolt EV found itself alone in 1st place (by a wide margin) for plug-in sales in the US, outpacing the next closest rival (the Toyota Prius Prime) by over 1,000 units

The Chevrolet Bolt EV found itself alone in 1st place (by a wide margin) for plug-in sales in the US, outpacing the next closest rival (the Toyota Prius Prime) by over 1,000 units

Plug-in electric vehicle sales (once again) rose in the US in October, extending the current run of consecutive month gains to 25.

And while Tesla didn't factor into the results so much (as is typically the case at the start of each fresh quarter), the Chevrolet Bolt EV did.

(or the old LEAF for that matter) this Fall has artificially understated US demand for EVs

(or the old LEAF for that matter) this Fall has artificially understated US demand for EVs

For October a total of ~14,598 plug-ins where sold, a gain of 33% over a year ago when an estimated 11,007 were delivered.

For the year to date, 2017 has now virtually equaled 2016, as some 157,039 sales have been made (as compared to 158,614 in 2016 proper).

Through the first 10 months, sales have increased by 30% against the 120,592 deliveries made at the same point in 2016.

Inside the numbers, the Chevrolet Bolt EV continued its trend of posting stronger and stronger sales each month - running its streak to 8 consecutive months in October thanks to a deepening of inventory in the more fringe US states, as it makes its nationwide release.

In so doing, the Bolt set a new personal record of 2,781 deliveries during the month, making it the best selling EV in America for the 2nd time this year (July - 1,971).  The result also moved it ahead of both the Tesla Model X and Chevrolet Volt into the #2 spot on the year's overall top selling list (see chart below).

Still, the results could have been much, much better had Nissan managed the LEAF's inventory situation more carefully.  While the new 2018 LEAF launched in Japan in October, Nissan's Smyrna (TN) and Sunderland (UK) plants were not prepared to start delivering the refreshed/150 mile EVs into the US and Europe (instead kicking off in January).   As a consequence, the original flavor LEAF ran out of inventory in late October.  With no new stock to replace it, just ~200 sales were logged in October...and it is only going to get worse to end out the year.

Had the new 2018 LEAF arrived this month (complete with its cheaper entry price and 40% more range), the US gains could have easily been ~30% higher this month (up to about 60% overall).

And while we still expect big gains in the US plug-in segment in November and December, the loss of the Nissan LEAF, and Tesla's admission during its Q3 earnings report on November 1st that its Model 3 production targets for 2017 are a complete wash-out, those EVs will bring the numbers way down from original expectations.

With that said, if you are an optimist, the arrival of the 'better-in-every-way' LEAF in January, and also the Model 3 in a statistically relevant sales volume, should kick of 2018 with a bang.

Also of note:  The Volvo S90 T8 PHEV had its first full month on the US market in November - selling 28 copies.  The Volvo is the 40th plug-in offering to sell at least 10 copies this year in the US. While the Toyota Mirai moved 203 copied, good for 1,293 YTD (vs 813 at the same point in 2016)

2017 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** FCA/Hyundai-Kia Do Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data (Thanks to HybridCars for assist on Kia data), Honda Clarity estimated for Aug/Sept

2017 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** FCA/Hyundai-Kia Do Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data (Thanks to HybridCars for assist on Kia data), Honda Clarity estimated for Aug/Sept

Other Statistical Points of Interest from October 2017

Did you buy one of the first ~33 Volvo S90 T8 plug-ins in the US? If not, you probably aren't really sure what it looks like...so here you go!

Did you buy one of the first ~33 Volvo S90 T8 plug-ins in the US? If not, you probably aren't really sure what it looks like...so here you go!

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. General Motors – 4,170
  2. Tesla* – 2,115
  3. BMW Group – 2,045
  4. Toyota – 1,626
  5. Ford – 1,425
  6. FCA* – 1,485
All-Electric Vehicle Market Share vs PHEV In October*
  1. PHEV – 8045 -55.1%
  2. BEV – 6,553– 44.9.6%
(*) estimated

New Year Highs Set In October By Model (previous 2017 high in brackets)

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV – 2,718 (2,623)
  • Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid* - 1,175 (705)
  • BMW 530e - 583 (511)
  • Kia Optima PHEV - 235 (228)
  • Tesla Model 3* - 145 (115)
  • Volvo SC60 PHEV - 100 (97)
  • Volvo S90 T8 PHEV - 28 (5)
  • Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid - 27 (27)
The full monthly recap by individual plug-in (all-time) can be found on our Monthly Scorecard here.

*On year of monthly sales improvements: We know someone is going to look at the chart and say, “hey, only ~11,467 sales were made in May of 2016, when 11,540 were logged in 2015!  What gives InsideEVs?”  What gives is – through an odd scheduling quirk, only 24 selling days were reported in May 2016 (versus 26 in 2015)