November 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

DEC 1 2017 BY JAY COLE 69

Plug-in electric vehicles sales continued to assault the record books in the US in November, as deliveries rose for the 26th consecutive month, lead by the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which moved almost 3,000 copies in November, leading all plug-in offerings for the 2nd month in a row (and 3 out of the past 4).

Building on October’s 33% gain (with more than 14,000 sales), the end of the year buying rush has started to take hold…this despite the fact that the Tesla Model 3 has had some early production “bottlenecks” which have limited deliveries thus far, and the new 2018 Nissan LEAF has only managed to launch in  Japan thus far.

Yes, it’s the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV…and for the first time, Americans will be able to purchase one in December!

For November, an estimated 17,178 plug-ins were sold, good for a 30% improvement over a year ago – when ~13,237 were delivered.

Had the Model 3 and new LEAF launched as expected in Q4, that number could have been much, much higher.

Looking at the full year’s totals, some 173,941 plug-ins have been delivered, up almost a third from a year ago (vs 133,829).  Unfortunately, the magic “200k” number likely will not be reached

With that noted, next year most analysts expect the US market to finish north of 300,000 plug-ins delivered for the year…skipping the ‘200s’ altogether.

The surprise hit of November, was actually 2 offerings – both from BMW, as the BMW X5 xDrive 40e set a new all-time high with 929 sales, while the new 530e continues to outperform expectations with 872 deliveries during the month – perhaps indicating it will finish inside the “top 10” in 2018.

For the last month of the year, besides more Model 3s arriving, we get a preview of next year’s strong players as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV finally arrives (after ~7 delays over 4 years), as well as the Honda Clarity PHEV’s first full month on the US market (with 47 miles of range for $33,400).

At the same time, the Kia Niro PHEV has slipped from arriving in November, to not yet being priced in December, and now “anticipated in retailer showrooms by the end of this year”.  The Niro plug-in hybrid did show up for a US debut at the LA Auto Show however, and dropped a few specs (26 miles range).  See you in January Kia.

Questions entering October (with answers in brackets as they come in):

  • The Chevrolet Volt has struggled to maintain sales now that the 238 mile Bolt EV has arrived, and has seen deliveries drop year-over-year for 7 months in a row.  Will November end the streak?  (It will not – off 33% for the month)
  • On the other side of the coin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is on an 8-month sales growth streak, can GM best the 2,781 sales made in October to make it 9 months in a row?  (Yes indeed, notching almost 3,000 sales)
  • Will this be the month that the Toyota Prius Prime breaks the “2k barrier” for the first time?   And if not, can it pass the Chevy Volt as America’s 3rd best selling plug-in?  (Nope)
  • In the continuing battle of “new 2018 offerings that disappointingly aren’t stocked so well”, who will manage to sell more – the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Honda Clarity Electric/PHEV, Volvo XC60 PHEV, Volvo S90 T8 PHEV or the new Mini Countryman Plug-In? (The Clarity PHEV and BEV combined for some 464 sales..and thereby removing it out of the ‘not-stocked-so-well’ competition for next month)

Also of note:  Toyota moved 249 Mirais in November, good for a total of 1,542 so far in 2018.

Last update: Monday, December 4th, 2017 @ 4:09 PM

*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)

Below Chart: A individual run-down of each vehicle’s monthly result and some analysis behind the numbers.  (Previous year’s monthly results can be found on our fixed Scorecard page here)

2017 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Estimated (Based on State/Rebate Data and other reports), Credit to for assist on Hyundai/some BMW data

Individual Plug-In Model Sales Recap For Major Models:

(limited to vehicles with ~500 sales/or potential for 500 sales in a given month)

Nest Generation, 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Next Generation, 2017 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt:  

The Chevrolet Volt entering November found itself riding the unenviable streak of 7 consecutive months of year-over-year losses.

…and not by just a few units.  Over July, August, and September, sales have been some 2,043 sales lower.

Well, for November we can now make it 8 in a row, as 1,702 were sold, some 33% lower than a year ago (2,531).

What is to blame?  It is hard to not notice the Chevy Bolt EV sitting beside the Volt at GM’s dealers across the country, and its hard to not note that it also has a sales streak as long as the Volt’s…but in a good way.

Year to date, 18,412 plug-in Chevys have been sold, off 12.5% from the 21,048 sold through October of 2016.

Looking at the inventory heading into November, having well over 6,000 units on hand didn’t make a lot of sense, but a decision by GM to slow, then idle its Hamtramck assembly facility in Michigan for the remainder of the year made everything clear, as the last two months of the year almost always represent the strongest sales month on the calendar – regardless of the year-over-year trends.  Now a month later, that number has dropped by about a thousand, meaning GM will likely end the year with a more reasonable ~3k worth of stock.



Chevrolet Bolt EV - looking to make its mark in 2017

Chevrolet Bolt EV – looking to make its mark in 2017

Chevrolet Bolt EV:    

The Chevrolet Bolt EV was technically available nationwide in August, but few copies landed in those 30-odd new states during the month.

That began to change in September, and with the more evenly spread inventory, Bolt EV sales grew rapidly, notching 2,632 sales during that month.

October brought 2,781 deliveries, but November took that number even higher, as 2,987 sales were made.

Heading into the strongest selling month of the year (December), the Bolt finds itself riding a 9 month streak of sales gains, and looks to be a virtual lock to make it 10-in-a-row and 3,000+ deliveries for the month.

Last month, the Bolt EV also moved into the #2 slot for best selling plug-in offerings in the US – passing both the Tesla Model X and Chevy Volt.  (The Tesla Model S will easily outpace all comers for the top spot again this year).

Thanks to stronger recent sales, the 238 mile EV’s inventory has been thinning into the ‘sweet spot’ for GM – averaging about 4,500 units in October, then 3,800 in November.  Considering GM is doing a model year switch mid-month, it seems likely that the company won’t be able to fill all the demand in the busiest month of the year.

Still, a month of 3,000+ Bolt EV sales could materialize.





2018 Nissan LEAF gets a new look, more range!

Nissan LEAF:   

The Nissan LEAF entered November as the oldest offering on the US market – going on 84 months now.

And as everyone knows by now, it will be replaced by the updated 2018 Nissan LEAF, which debuted in September (full details here).

Is the new LEAF better?

Yes, in every way…including ~43 more miles range (up to 150 miles from 107) for $700 less when it arrives in the US in January.  Not enough?  A ~225 mile, higher performance trim level arrives later in 2018 (as a 2019 MY car).

Unfortunately, Nissan USA is apparently not as capable as Nissan Japan, which managed to launch the new LEAF as planned in October (to some very impressive results), while the US (and Europe) have to wait until January…which would be fine, if the wind-down of the older 2017 model wasn’t pre-planned to be defunct by October.

The resulting gap between the ‘new’ and ‘old’ has left Nissan without any remaining inventory…of anything, which caused sales in October to drop to just 213 deliveries, ending an impressive 8 month run of 4 digit results.  In November, that number slide further – to 175 sales.

For the year (through October, 11,128 LEAFs have been sold, a drop of 8% from 2016 when 12,107 were moved over the same time in 2016.

See you next year Nissan LEAF!



2017 Toyota Prius Prime

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime:  

After 18 months of waiting for the first generation Prius plug-in to be replaced, the Toyota Prius Prime (details) arrived on US dealers lots a year ago, and sales have been brisk ever since.

After setting a new high of  1,908 in May, it was expected that with deeper inventory the Prime would be headed much higher.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and a ‘doubling’; of stock (to around 2,000 units), only resulted in 1,899 sales in September, then another 50% gain in inventory (up to ~3,000) units in October actually resulted in a lower number – 1,626 sales.

For November, inventory levels stayed fairly strong, averaging slightly more than October, which translated into better sales, but still a relatively disappointing 1,834 deliveries, given the higher expectations for the year’s end.

The Toyota not only features its own unique look, but 25 miles of all-electric range.

How has the Toyota found a selling range of ~2,000 units a month?  The plug-in Toyota is priced right – from $27,950, which after the $4,500 federal credit is applied gives the Prime an effective price of $23,450, a price-point that is actually more than $1,000 cheaper than the base hybrid version…which should translate into long-term sales success once the EV is well stocked.




BMW i3

BMW i3:  “Trashbags”

The BMW i3 entered the US market with a bang in 2014, but it is too bad that the initial fireworks display of sales back then was the peak – we just didn’t know it at the time.

For 2017, BMW i3 sales are well…bipolar.

Things started rough, with just 182 sales logged in January, and 318 in February.   The tune changed drastically in March (which given the i3’s track record is not all that surprising), with 703 sales made, a 118% gain over March of 201 – but that had been the lone bright spot has sales had languished around 500 units, until October when almost 700 were yet again moved.

For November…trashbags, as the company recalled all of its i3s due to a safety issue (for people who chose to NOT wear their seat belts if you can believe that) and put a ‘stop sale’ on the model for a time .  Just 283 were sold – year’s worst…into one of the highest demand months for EVs.

Quite frankly (and notwithstanding this recall), the i3 as it stands today is likely too expensive for plug-in vehicle buyers, so if BMW wants to sell the EV in volumes like it did in the past, it is going to have to sharpen its pencil…and by a lot.

In late August, BMW underlined they still really didn’t understand the issue behind lackluster sales or the i3 itself, by releasing a new, slightly sportier trim level – the i3s (full details here).  The car gets some new styling details, some wider tires and some extra performance (+10 kW), but what the public really wants is a price cut (the new i3s is ~10% more in most markets), and a longer range option.






2014 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales (apparently because the public can’t handle the concept of regional allocations and delivery lead times)… so we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until Tesla’s quarterly (or annual) updates add more clarity, but we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening.

To come to an estimated monthly, number, we don’t simply take the quarterly estimate given by Tesla and divide it by 3 and hope it all works out…it just doesn’t work like that in the real world.  We simply report from the data we accumulate ourselves, the first-hand accounts available from the factory and from the community itself when available – and the number is what it is (see below)

Revisions/disclaimer to accuracy of prior estimates: The 2016 Model S chart has been adjusted (via US Q3 data leaked directly from Tesla) by 469 units in Q3, and 525 units in Q4.  The 2015 chart was adjusted (one time) by 498 units to compensate for confirmed full-year numbers. The 2014 sales chart was adjusted (one time – again after the end of the full year of estimates) 611 units to compensate for full-year numbers.  While past success is no guarantee of future results, InsideEVs is quite proud of its sales tracking for the Model S over the years.

That being said, we only estimate this number because Tesla does not, and to not put a number on Model S sales would be to paint an even more inaccurate overall picture of EV sales. Despite our fairly accurate track record, we are not analysts, portfolio managers and we do not own any positions in Tesla the company.

While Tesla continues to conform to a familiar quarterly pattern of prioritizing international production early in the quarter before transitioning to domestic output, there has been somewhat of a change/reshuffling of priorities we have seen this time around.

The name of that priority is Model 3.

As we mentioned over the past 3-4 months, it appeared Tesla knew fairly early that volume production would not be close to be proven by the end of Q3, and quickly refocused to making that a reality by the end of Q4 (investors need to be kept happy we suppose).

The end result is that production energies and skilled labor normally assigned to Tesla’s original EVs is being diverted from the Model S and X in the second half of Q4 into getting the Model 3 back on course.

Knowing this, it seems Tesla is picking and choosing how it will skillfully hit its “100k” delivery target for 2017…and it won’t be by setting new records on the Model S inside the US for Q4.  Instead, and armed earlier in the quarter (and in late Q3) with the full compliment of worker bees, Tesla will likely be setting some international sales record, while sacrificing US December production to end out the year for the Model 3.

For November, we estimate that Tesla delivered 1,335 Model S last month






Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X: Like the Model S, Tesla does not itself report Model X sales, so we do our best – with all the data at our disposal to estimate monthly results for North America as best we can (For more info on that, check out our disclaimer for the Model S)

Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Oct 11th):

Tesla recently leaked US sales data for Q3 2016 put US deliveries at 5,428 Our own Q3 estimate was 5,800 for North America, which includes Canada (which ended Q3 with 389 registrations for the quarter), meaning 5,787 were actually sold – and not to brag…but that means we were only off by 13 units in Q3.

Previously in Q2 2016, Tesla reported 4,625 Model X deliveries…our estimated scorecard got within about ~55 units of the actual number (accounting for just a handful of international Model X deliveries). In Q1 we where within ~200 units.

Because we don’t want to basically explain the same thing twice, have a look at the Tesla Model S recap for the month and then come back here.

All done?  Good…welcome back.

Like the Model S, Model X production will also be sacrificed late in the quarter as Tesla attempt to prove itself more capable of building the Model 3. Tesla directed to some 10% less production of the Model S & X in Q4…but all cars and regions are not created equal.

While the Tesla Model S has proven itself to be the more in demand offering of the two, the Model X is definitely the higher margin EV…so as Tesla finds itself (unfortunately) not likely to be able to satisfy all demand for the year-end rush, it will be satisfying its demand for higher margin cars.

Nutshell:  If you live in the US and ordered a top-of-the-line Model X P100D in September and also a base Model S 75D, your Model X likely went into production early in November, and it is now sitting in your driveway (or will be very shortly), whereas that Model S (or base Model X) is still waiting for production, or just entered Tesla’s production queue with a delivery ETA just before Christmas.

For this reason, and this reason only, we estimate the Model X outsold the Model S in November (and will likely do so again in December),  with some 1,875 deliveries.

As noted with the Model S, and looking at the amount of production in September and October headed offshore, we tend to feel that Tesla’s quarter will be powered mostly by record international deliveries.




Tesla Model 3

This is the first Tesla Model 3 (#001), naturally, it arrived in black – lord of all colors. Want to buy it any other way? $1,000 premium fine for bad taste.

Tesla Model 3:  It has arrived!

Just ~16 months after orders opened, and ~10 years since it was first announced (then known as the “Bluestar”), the first Model 3s were delivered on July 28th, 2017!  One can check out the full delivery ceremony, and all the newly released specs (220-310 miles range, 0-60 mph in 5.1-5.6 seconds) on our full recap here.

As with Model S & X sales, Tesla is not planning to release monthly Model 3 sales in the US at this point time.  Until then we do our best – with all the data at our disposal to estimate monthly results for North America as best we can (For more info on that, check out our disclaimer for the Model S).

Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Nov 1st):  Q3 sales of the Model 3 was adjusted up 2 units.

Thankfully, in the early days (Q3 2017), pegging Model 3 sales in the US was a pretty easy task, as the complete delivery volume for July took place live at the July 28th delivery event in Fremont, California, as the first 30 cars were delivered to Tesla employees/stakeholders in the US, and one could almost count the individual cars as they left Tesla’s Fremont factory in August.

For September, we had Tesla’s quarterly disclosure that put deliveries at 222 cumulatively for the quarter, meaning about 117 were delivered.  Truthfully, the monthly numbers were meaningless in Q3, all eyes were on production, and while the company guided to some 1,630+ to be produced, just 260 ultimately were built.

Much was made as to why the miss, with Tesla generically stating “production bottlenecks”.  The company, looking to re-assure said at the time:

We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term”

From our perspective, Tesla realized fairly early into July that the September goals would not be met, and by extension the future ‘S-Curve’ goal into year’s end.  It appears from that moment on, rather than working on”near-term” production and deliveries, Tesla has been working more proactively with the main goal of simply being able to show volume production by year’s end – something originally targeted for the end of September.

Something that was quasi-confirmed with the admission that Model S and X production would be off 10% in Q4. Further to that, we are now seeing the affects of manpower being transferred into transitioning the Model 3 production from “burst” output (or start and stop if you will) to a more consistent, orderedstructure.

While it is only speculation on our part (as it has been for the past 3-4 months while watching the happenings around the car), but we feel Tesla is desperate to provide confirmation of a “decent” sustained production level for the Model 3 to end out the year…even if that number only presents itself in the very last week or two.

To that end, progress of a certain degree was definitely made in November, as more cars than ever did actually find employee driveways (and orders also opened to the public mid-month … well at least to the first batch of locals anyway).  For November, we estimate Tesla delivered 345 Model 3s.




Chrysler Pacific Plug-In Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid:  

Editor’s note:  FCA does not split out sales data for the plug-in Pacifica, so we try out best to estimate that number from month-to-month until hard/verifiable data is gleaned.

The much-anticipated plug-in extended range passenger van arrived in January, albeit in stealth, stuttered… and very limited in fashion.

Due to some odd quirks with production timing and plant scheduling, we have had a on/off/on/off/quasi-on start for the Pacifica Hybrid as it relates to deliveries.  Then there was QC holds, then launch delays. Finally, the Pacifica Hybrid officially arrived on “Earth Day” April 22nd, 2017, and customers enjoyed a good 3-4 weeks of arriving inventory…until the wheels fell off (not literally).

By June 10th a nationwide recall was announced, and all 1,677 Pacificas sold in the US and Canada had to head back to Chrysler to get a faulty diode replaced that could cause loss of power when in operation.  We won’t get into all the details from there (check out our June sales report for more info).

Thankfully by September the kinks appear to have been worked out…just in time to see its Windsor, Ontario assembly plant go down for the entire month of October for pre-scheduled updating of the facility to comply with US regulatory/safety tooling on the Grand Caravan.

Nonetheless, customer orders and dealer stock are once again flowing, and Chrysler is expecting a ~50% overall surge in Pacifica sales in November and December – meaning some decent numbers for the plug-in version will be arriving for both months.  For the Pacifica Hybrid, we estimate 570 deliveries in November.



2017 BMW 330e - Like All Plug-Ins Sold In The US, It Wisely Is Offered In Black

2017 BMW 330e – Like All Plug-Ins Sold In The US, It Wisely Is Offered In Black

BMW 330e:    

Arriving on the US market about a year ago was the BMW 330e, which is the plug-in hybrid version of the company’s high selling 3 series offering.

And while the 330e (from $44,695 including DST), physically arrived in April 2016 in a token amount, it took BMW almost a year to stock the plug-in very robustly.

Like almost almost all iPerformance offerings in November, the BMW 330e reached a near 2017 high during the month, selling 477 copies.

Given the still relatively limited inventory of the 330e on BMW lots so far in 2017 (about ~400 as of time of press), there is potentially a lot of upward sales potential for the car…but as it has now been on offer for 21 months in the US, maybe BMW really doesn’t care to displace any more petrol 3-series transactions.

As for the specs, the final EPA ‘real world’ range rating of just 14 all-electric miles  (via a 7.6 kWh battery – 5.7 usable) was a disappointment for some hoping for a number closer to 20, but with a 75 mph top speed in “Max eDrive”, it is a capable offering (featuring a 2 liter turbo inline 4) and should satisfy the traditional BMW crowd and be a strong seller.

The electric motor develops 87 hp with maximum peak torque of 184 lb-ft, when combined with the petrol engine, the total output jumps to 248 hp, with a peak torque of 310 lb-ft, allowing a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph.




Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron:    

After selling between about ~400 copies a month in Q1 (387, 400 and 414), Audi slipped in Q2 and Q3.

With now just a few remaining 2017 model year copies left for sale, A3 e-tron sales slipped down to an all-time low in October with just 17 copies moved.

The reason for the failure to stock and sell?

VW Group likes to allocate a certain number of model year plug-in vehicles to the US, and if they run out…well, too bad, more ain’t coming – which was the case for the Audi over the Summer and now into the Fall.

How bad has it gotten, we could only find 17 example of the A3 e-tron at dealers nationwide when we did an inventory in October.  Leaving us to stat, “Hey Audi, make with the 2018s already!”

And they kinda heard us, as the first handful did indeed arrive in November, but that is a literal handful.  Hopefully, Audi can take advantage of the strong incentive to buy in December by stocking the A3 e-tron a little better…but we aren’t getting our hopes up.

For November, sales marginally improved to 38 deliveries.

The A3 e-tron has a low price inside Audi’s lineup. $38,900 gets you the Audi badge, 8.8 kWh of battery – good for 17-odd miles of real-world driving…and federal credit of $4,158, which is significant because this brings the e-tron package down to within $3,500 of the base MSRP of the A3.

Also a reason for decent sales numbers on the A3 e-tron…you can’t get the “sportback” version of the Audi in any other trim level in the US.





Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi:     

The refreshed 2017 Ford Fusion Energi (details) was a fairly big hit in 2016, showing marked improvements throughout the year.

Heading into 2017, the Fusion Energi crossed back into “4 digit land” in March, as 1,002 Energis were moved in March…joining a club of just 5 other at that level.

A level which the company returned to in May…but has since not revisted.

In fact, the plug-in Ford has been selling a fairly flat-line 700-ish copies every since, for November, that number was 731.  For the year, just over 8,700 have been moved…making the Fusion Energi the 7th best selling plug-in for America to date.

Looking at the inventory in the past, it was easy to see why (and how) so many of the new Fusion plug-ins have been sold;  the Fusion Energi often won the crown for the “most stocked” EV in the US … before Chevy got crazy with the Volt and Bolt EV.

With that said, Ford had been struggling to keep production on pace with demand (or rather they are managing inventory lower)…after having almost 3,000 in stock in mid-June, by the start of September that number fallen below 2,00 units, as the industry-wide Summer shutdown/changeover to MY 2018 was underway – a level the car stayed at throughout October and November.





Volkswagen e-Golf Comes To The US In November

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf:    

Congratulations Volkswagen, you win our “jackass of the year” award…and 2017 isn’t even over yet.

After a rocky start with continued dieselgate fallout, the longer range 2017 e-Golf was promised to the US after production started in Germany in late 2016.

Well, guess what?  For the next nine months, all VW did was have the “old & busted” 2016s clogging up dealer lots – refusing to clear them out to make way for the new hotness.

Finally, the 2016s were gone by the start of Fall, and like a magical unicorn, the new/longer range 2017 edition has appeared!  And yes, you heard that right, VW was so slow with the upgraded model that they are just now introducing a “2017” model as everyone else has switched to the 2018s.

Despite the lack of  these 2017 e-Golfs for the bulk of the year, the older model sold decently enough (relatively speaking to historical sales), moving about ~300 copies a month on average this year until September.  With the 2016s exhausted, and only just over 100 copies of the “new” 2017s on hand, VW moved 187 e-Golfs in Septemeber – a 2017 low.

During October, 2018 MY inventory grew to ~350 odd units, which resulted in marginally better October sales of 203 units (down 50% from a year ago), before November returned more to the norm with 289 sales, off 5% from the 305 moved in November 2016.

So, we can finally say that VW has ‘reset’ the e-Golf for stronger sales, and there is a shot (provided demand is still there) for the company to eclipse the “500 level” for the first time in 2017 next month…and avoid being dropped from our volume-seller recap summaries in 2018.

The 2017 plug-in VW nows feature a 35.8 kWh battery, increasing range to ~124 miles and debuted at the LA Auto Show in November (details – launch gallery/video).





Ford C-Max Energi

Ford C-Max Energi:    

Normally we reflect on what a plug-in model’s sales were in the past, before passing along the deliveries for this month, and a quick look at the months ahead.

For the C-Max Energi, there is no future, as Ford announced that the plug-in version of the C-Max would not be entering 2018 model year production (while the standard hybrid would be getting one more year).

This decision gives the Ford the unfortunate distinction of being the most successful plug-in offering in the US to get the ax.

On the positive side, it is to make room for a new offering – or two.  The Ford Escape Energi, which was out testing in the US as early as this past June, and potentially a Focus Energi (if one believes Ford’s trademark application for the name heralds such an offering).  We should note that the Escape Energi will not be arriving until next year, which makes the decision to cut the C-Max plug-in today a little more puzzling.

Anyway, with inventory starting to dwindle, Ford moved 569 C-Max Energis in October, near a year low (set in January), then just 523 in November.





2014 Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e:    

When it comes to reporting plug-in sales, we have another Tesla on our hands here (as in they don’t report sales).

Chrysler/Fiat has been giving us a bit of the stonewall treatment when it comes to reporting 500e sales.

UPDATE: After initially have some issues getting data on the plug-in Fiat, more registration and rebate data is now available. That being said, the number is estimated. Historically, the average margin of error per month has been about ~40 units in those moments when some confirmed data leaks out (usually from a recall).  For 2016, the yearly estimated total was adjusted upwards (once) by approximately 500 units over the full 12 months.

It is interesting to note that sales this year peaked in January (of all months) at an estimated ~752 sales, but the sales have stayed strong for most of the year.

And by most of the year, we mean up until Summer, as for some reason the 500e seems to sell less in the Summer – we aren’t quite sure why, but it might have something to do with FCA’s production timing, which seems to always ‘short the distance’ it needs to bridge the gap between the previous model year and the next.

Currently, about 250 2017s are in stock in California and Oregon,  near a year-low according to our calculations…if the 2018s don’t arrive soon, the 500e will be in danger of falling into the 2-digit range for sales very soon.

For September we estimate that 215 500es were sold.



2018 BMW 530e

BMW 530e: 

Welcome to the “big-time” BMW 5 Seriews…well, at least the big time as expressed by selling more than 500 copies and getting an individual recap on our sales scorecard.

Originally, we had expected that the BMW X5 40e would be dropping off the list this month, but the SUV surprised up with strong November sales (more on that below), keeping itself on the list for another season.

Back to the 530e.

The plug-in hybrid’s $52,400 starting price point, which makes it the cheapest of the 5 series to own, and thus – a strong seller.  After crossing 500 sales in both September and October, an amazing 872 were moved in November – shooting the plug-in BMW up our sales chart.

If BMW were able to maintain anywhere close to the sales of the past 3 months, we could find the 530e cracking the “top 10” for plug-in sales next year.




BMW X5 xDrive40e

x5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 xDrive40e: 

The BMW X5 plug-in had an unexpectedly strong debut in the US in 2016…and only get stronger over the year.

In fact the electrified BMW SUV has seen sales as high as 876 units in 2016 (August 2016).

Then 2017 happened, and sales disappointed…at least for the first 10 months, ranging from the 260s into the 480s.

With just 329 sales in October, and 333 in September, we confidently predicted the X5 plug-in would be leaving our recap list in 2018…then November happened.  During last month an all-time best 929 deliveries were made, which made the BMW the 6th best selling plug-in for the month!


And while inventory is still low (~450 units), we are happy to be able to report that the 2018s are now steadily arriving in volume.  Hopefully enough plug-in SUVs will eventually arrive that BMW can once again make a push to try and break into the 4-digit mark!

Categories: Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Sales, Smart, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo

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69 Comments on "November 2017 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

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Rather disappointing that the Model 3 production is still pretty low. But it is slowly creeping up. That’s good! Perhaps in December 1,000 will be possible.

GM and Tesla look like they will have sold an almost identical numbers of plug-ins by years end. (About 45k)

For December: S, X, Volt and Bolt sales should be great. And just like last year, GM and Tesla will account for about 50% of EV sales in the US!

Hey, it at least set a new monthly sales record! Lol

It has reached the point where it is outselling or matching the majority of EVs and PHEVs from the laggard automakers.

Within the next two months it should outsell the “slightly higher than compliance car” vehicles like the energi line, the i3 and pacifica. Then it will come for the Volt and Prime… then skyrocket past the Bolt and Model S.

Next year sales numbers will be very kind to the Model 3! 🙂

That’s about it. Once they get it all ironed out. Your 1k a week by the end of the year is doable, but not likely with the holidays.

Though maybe they will just keep on ramping it up. Hard to say, how much of an effect that will have. Certainly by January they could hit that 1k a week figure.

They sold a few hundred in November, what reason is there to think they will suddenly hit 1000 per week? I really think Tesla has been down playing the seriousness of their production line problems. Yes they will eventually ramp up, but they are way more than 3 months behind their stated schedule.

In a word… “December”

I’m skeptical. I think they’re not going to be hitting 1000/week until some time in maybe March, with the actual ramp up not being until mid-2018. I could be wrong. We’ll see.

There’s also the possibility that they get up to 1000/week and then run into other problems that prevent them from hitting higher numbers.

I am optimistic about the 3, but I think my numbers/guesstimates are pretty close to yours, Asak. December numbers may not rise that much due to holidays and a continuing reboot on the production process. But I think Tesla could be producing 1000 a week by late January and selling that many by late-February. March is the month I really hope to see the 3 start to shine. I really want to see them sell 5000+ of them in the US in March, but it might not happen until the end of the next quarter.
June will hopefully be when they kick it up a notch higher, into sales figures that we haven’t seen before. I think the S topped out last year at 5850, it would be cool to see the 3 sell more than 6000 in the US in June and a similar figure in Europe. Again, those numbers will probably happen, but they may be a quarter later.

Sadly must agree with your estimate.

Tesla is facing a very serious production engineering challenge, and until that chokepoint is somewhat overcome, smaller problems of ramping up won’t manifest themselves.

On the other hand, initial quality looks very promising to me, so there’s been some sound engineering in that deparment.

Thumbs up for the guys sweating it out on the factory floors now, creating a new system from scratch and industrial robots.

The top 5 (S, Bolt, Volt, Prime and X in order of US deliveries) continue to pull away from everyone else.
The top 5 have sold around 20k (±2k) so far, which is around 1820 a month for the year.
Here is hoping that the Leaf joins that group and that the 3 leapfrogs those monthly delivery numbers in the year to come and the current top 5 continue to grow their delivery numbers!

I see the Pacifica numbers were revised downward pretty sharply for Oct. What happened there that caused you to relook at those numbers?

While the total sales are growing nicely, there is a pattern we should not ignore:

** Nearly all models that have been on the market for 2+ years are at risk of being *DOWN* from last year **

This includes the TMS which would need 6811 deliveries in December to break even.

Exactly no matter how much cheerleading from the Musk maids, Model S is Down YoY, Model X barely up, so Peak US Model S & X reached Months Ago (lucky to flatline going fwd). Model 3 problems Severe and not going to hit even 99/week production. The whole focus for TSLA stock should be on Model 3 Real End User (non-NDA mouth-gagged employees) Deliveries, and the QUALITY of the Production Line M3 output without Profit sucking Rework.
Also this Statement prewarning Low Dec USA Model S & X sales, Does Not Mean the Claimed Tesla Non-US goes to Real End User Customers! (Put your common sense hat on – Mysterious Intl Real Demand Surge Does NOT just Vaporize from Intl buyers on a 2yr and 6yr old car, when their 16k sold in all of 2016 in China joke is a market share)

> Exactly no matter how much cheerleading from the Musk maids, Model S is Down YoY, Model X barely up, so Peak US Model S & X reached Months Ago (lucky to flatline going fwd). You obviously struggle with numbers/analysis. We’ve explained this before but I’ll give it to you one more time. The S and the X are produced on the same line. More of the model X means less of the model S without a production increase. Are you able to follow that point? OK, combined US sales thru the first 11 months of 2016 of the S and X were about 37,900 and for 2017 over the same period they were about 40,500 so even though the industry sales are down in the US Tesla unit sales continue to increase. That might be a concern if you had lower margin vehicles cannibalizing higher margin vehicle sales but in fact we have just the opposite. That whole thing though is kinda pointless in Tesla’s case. Tesla has but one factory. Similar to the S & X production allocating vehicles for the international market means fewer are available for the US market. The more relevant perspective for Tesla is… Read more »

Here’s the facts, bud. TSLA doesn’t report ANY sales by Intl country, Like Every Other car mfgr, because it needs to Smoke & Mirrors redirect/misdirection distract the poorly educated (see roadster 2.0 and semi hyperbole) to obscure that they can claim Overall Quarterly sales growth (with Zero acctability Like Done here by hard working insideEVs to track USA registrations) to raise more fitness to Stay Alive and Burn it in their TA&M cash-burning Bonfire Incineraiton machine. There is No more Growth for Model S at all In US and Model X (soon, given it’s ~$100k car). it’s all on the Model 3 rollout and how long it takes to California Wait List = 0. Period.

So. Not. True. When 65% of all EV sales are from China, and TSLA sold 16K in All Of 2016 for a joke of a market share. The US is their lifeline and It Is Flatlining, so the Model 3 better hurry to resuscitate. The intl “Potential” is there but there is not enough Chinese goodwill and respect shown by Musk (especially since th first Autopilot ever … in China). Didn’t hear abt that did you?

Wow. That’s a lot of words to say nothing other than confessing that you are easily confused. Let me explain it to you and take a bit of the mystery out of your life. Every hear of the addition Property of Equality? Does that ring a bell? No? OK, forget that then. Does this make a light come on ; if A+B=C then A=B-C No? Thats ok. You’re obviously averse to numbers and you prefer words so I’ll use words. Imagine a big pie. We’ll call this the Tesla Total World unit deliveries pie. Now imagine cutting a slice out of that pie. We’ll call that slice the Tesla US unit delivery slice. The portion of that pie that isn’t the US unit delivery slice we’ll call the Tesla international unit delivery portion. If we know how large the pie is and how large the US Unit delivery slice is then we can figure out how large the international unit delivery portion is. Fortunately Jay has done the hard part and given us an accurate measure of the US unit delivery slice and Tesla gives us the size of the whole pie in their quarterly reports! So now real world… Read more »

You live up to your name, Mr. Flatulence. You are beyond hope as your formula is totally incorrect (A,B,C). You’ve learned from the Musk school of Fuzzy Math.

Sticking to concise facts, rather than your TL;DR gibberish to make a simple point. 1. TSLA reports Quarterly numbers “claimed” as required 2. InsideEVs does an excellent job in Verifying via Registrations USA Real End User registrations (and probably would Report/Flag/or otherwise Publicize large Non-End User customer deliveries (such as aberrations to Fleet or Warehousing (situations to Investor/Partners) 3. There is Absolutely Nothing like This for Intl claimed TSLA sales (Your Assumption is Inherently Incorrect AND you are Putting Words in TSLA/Musk mouths that they did NOT say). The Remainder Has Never Been stated as Being All Internationals sales by TSLA, Ever. Period. 4. Unlike Every other car vendor who Does Report Sales by Indv Country per Quarter which can be Verified, TSLA refuses to do so, Likely Because they need that Misdirection/Assumption (that you swallowed the Koolaid On) to Project Quarterly Sales Growth, to Raise More Investors Funds (such as the Tencent China stake) to keep the Bonfire Cash incineration stoked 5. Even if the Intl numbers could be checked or verified, it is very likely that Many Of these sales would Not be to Real end User Owner drivers, but perhaps to partner/investor parties 6. Any claimed Mysterious… Read more »

So… can you actually order an Outlander PHEV now and get a delivery date?

If yes, then is it nationwide or CA-first for now?

Still see an error on the Model 3 row. Should still say 0 sold.

Pre-production vehicles sold to employees and vendors of Tesla aftermarket parts/accessories doesn’t count.

The cars are sold and are on the road. Bolt EV sales include sales to GM fleets such as Maven as well as GM employees.

Why would the Model 3 sales to employees not count?

“Seriously?” (obviously not…) said:

“Still see an error on the Model 3 row. Should still say 0 sold.”

Like a joke, only not funny.

“Pre-production vehicles sold to employees and vendors of Tesla aftermarket parts/accessories doesn’t count.”

I agree; but then, Tesla didn’t sell any of its pre-production vehicles. And the dollars which are paid to a company for a car don’t care whether they come from an employee of that company or not. Income is income, despite the ever more shrill whining of serial Tesla haters.

So again, you try to make a point, but…


If I understand this correctly, the Tesla numbers are an insideev estimation, whereas most of the others are sourced from the OEM?

If that’s the case, what is the methodology for Tesla?

They make that pretty clear in the model-by-model writeup.

The Model 3 already managed to outsell the Hyundai Ioniq by a factor of two! So who is production limited, Tesla or Hyundai?

Both are production limited. But you do understand that the world is larger than the US?

There are 2-3k Ioniq’s produced per month.

The Model 3 will hopefully outsell the Hyundai in a month or two though.

Ioniq’s worldvide delivery is around 25-30k. So who outsell what?
Estimate TM3 345 is a hughe blow and disaster for TSLA.

Only an estimated 345 Tesla Model 3 deliveries last month? Tesla continues to be very disappointing in the glacial pace of its ramp up in production. 🙁

* * * * *

I note that altho the Bolt EV is selling better than it was, it still has not quite hit that 3000-per-month mark which Jay has been estimating for several months now. But then, if you round it off, 2987 is near enough to 3000 as hardly matters, so perhaps this is just quibbling.

If the year’s domestic sales of the Bolt EV are only ~23,000 or so, will there have been enough overseas sales to bring the total up to the “over 30,000” figure claimed by an LG Chem executive?

“If the year’s domestic sales of the Bolt EV are only ~23,000 or so, will there have been enough overseas sales to bring the total up to the “over 30,000” figure claimed by an LG Chem executive?”

I think the Bolt will end the year with about 23,500 US sales (Not counting the ~500 in late December last year)

Canada through October – 1,700. Lately is averaging over 300 a month. 370 were moved in October. Assuming similar sales, Canada will end the year with about 2,250 – 2,500.

In Europe the total should be a little over 1,000. I’ll just randomly estimate it at 1,250.

South Korea – already capped it’s sales I believe at about 500.

Mexico – No hard numbers. It can’t be very many. 150 max? I’ll just guess 100.

So total:
~23,500 US
~2,400 Canada
~1,250 Europe
~500 S Korea
~100 Mexico
= ~27,750 sold for the year

Just estimates. There is a good chance that sales in Canada and US are higher in December than I am guessing.

If inventory stays consistent, GM will end the year with about 3,500 in inventory across the US. So… essentially yeah. LG’s numbers were on point.

Ampera-e could reach ~2000, if little more comes in December.

Thanks, Wade, for taking the time to write a detailed answer!

So then, still falling short of the goal of 30,000. That’s too bad. I had higher hopes for the Bolt EV, despite some well-discussed problems, mostly problems with lack of advertising and, sadly, a significant percentage of Chevy dealers who were uninterested in selling the car.

Still, as the GM fans point out, the Bolt EV is near the top of the chart for domestic plug-in EV sales, and looks like it will finish the year in the #2 spot not far behind the Model S.

Despite my disappointment that sales are less than what many of us had hoped, I am impressed that the Bolt EV is outselling the Prius Prime. I certainly find that a surprise!

… in the USA.

Don’t know the numbers in Japan (they aren’t split out by JADA’s lists) but they’ve certainly had bigger months there than in the USA.

Is it just me, or does it not seem that demand exceeds EV supply right now?

I agree with the Republican (strange as that seems!) We will not get a true idea of demand until people can visit any dealership in any city and drive away that day in the electric car of their choice.

“…does it not seem that demand exceeds EV supply right now?”

With ~455,000 paid reservations for the Tesla Model 3, and assuming that at least half of those reservations are from the USA, that pretty strongly indicates that demand for compelling, long-range PEVs is significantly higher than supply.

Looks like total U.S. PEV sales for 2017 will fall short of 200,000. It also looks like the Tesla Model 3 by itself could easily sell that many in a year in the U.S. Of course not all TM3 reservations will be converted to sales, but then new reservations continue to come in.

So some Honda Clarity PHEVs have been sold on the West Coast, I take it? Just under 500 is a big BOOM.

In the section on C-Max Energi, I don’t understand the “potentially a Fusion Energi” comment. And re-reading the Fusion Energi section wasn’t enlightening.

I find the model S number interesting. It’s very weak compared to the previous 3 quarter’s second month number (1750, 1620 and 2150). Obviously demand for the model S is fading.

Peak Model S Already Reached Months ago in US. It’s a 6-yr old pricey car. Already a success but No More Growth like the Model X. period.
Anyone Who wants One Already has One. Waiting List = 0, like iPhone 8, 8+, And X in abt 3-4 weeks.
The question for TSLA stock (or should be) Is When Does Model 3 California Waiting List = 0, when they can actually produce it, without problems (which would shrink that list (Hence Gag NDA))

For all the noise made about the ‘3’ they sure don’t sell alot.

Haven’t seen much news about the C350, but there are more of those on the Road.

Kinda like the story of the tortoise and the hare.

Bolt ev ain’t a perfect vehicle, but plenty of drivers are snapping them up.

I stil can’t see how the “S” will be the ‘sales leader’ for 2017 if the BOlt ev keeps increasing sales every month.

So now when sales start to fall away that’s a failure, by your logic.
It’s how many they sell in a year, what the demand for them is, and how many they decide to make, which is not that many.

“Sales start to fall away”..

Oh, I don’t believe that, not with so many reservations for the model ‘3’.

I’d think they’d sell any amount they could make.

Now, if things change and people start wanting their $1,000 deposit back, well, that would be a problem if it was the vast majority of them.

As long as the stock market keeps going up I’d say none of the reservationists badly need the money.

“I stil can’t see how the ‘S’ will be the ‘sales leader’ for 2017 if the BOlt ev keeps increasing sales every month.”

It’s simple math, coupled with the understanding that Model S and Model X domestic sales peak in the final month of every quarter… and that includes next month. If you are really having trouble doing the math, then it will suddenly become clear when you see December’s InsideEVs’ monthly plug-in sales chart, just a month from now. 🙂

Oh I’ll compare my math background to yours any day. What is your highest level of formal mathematics education?

“new 2018 offerings that disappointingly aren’t stocked so well”

I find it ironic that I hear a great deal of bleating about how Tesla is botching the release of the Model 3, and that the traditional automakers are all going to do so much better at releasing new models – especially EVs.

And then watching carefully as nearly all of the new 2018 models entering the market totally fumble the ball. It’s almost like manufacturing is hard or something, and experience isn’t necessarily the be-all-end-all of conquering that beast.

I might never actually manage to buy a Tesla, but I’m glad for what they’re doing – holding the established automakers’ feet to the fire. I anxiously await next year’s numbers, which honestly, will be more telling than anything.

Jay –
under description for VW e-Golf the end of the 6th paragraph says “November 2017” should say 2016. has 2 Nissan Leaf-2018 on sale without a picture. Just curious whether it has been launched.

Nice to see the 345 sales of Model-3, this is more than double that of previous month. After all it’s still 6 months ahead of the original sale start: 2018-01.

And Tesla Model-3 has overtaken BMW-i3 in sales which is a small feat.

First Model-3 sighting in Michigan, a state where they love foreign vehicles, but not the American made electric vehicle.

Another somewhat subdued happy month for trollers. Right now, Model-3 stands at #7 in sales and after all # come in, it may end up at #12. 12th in 40 is still great.

Are you changing the Goalposts as well, Stuart smiley? As stated earlier, Musk’s projections were widely a Major Fail, and borderline lies (shareholder lawsuits). Model 3 will get there sometime Next Year. All that matters is when the California model 3 Wait List is Zero (when it’s not that big a deal, and people are buying the BMW i8 convertible and other trendy vehicles). People don’t really care about electric other than it’s the trending topic. TSLA could seriously be Sandwiched by BMW/Mercedes/Lucid/European sports cars on the Exclusive high end and Honda(Clarity)/Toyota/Nissan/GM/Hyundai on the low end. Like the Essential android phone … Not that essential Now!

Tax bill eliminates fed incentive.
Good dec sales and then its over

I see the Honda Clarity FCV shifted 464 models in November. This seems an incredible jump, but if it’s correct, this means it is selling more than three quarters of the vehicles listed in the plug-in league table. The Mirai is selling more than half of plug-in models listed above.

I wonder if we are seeing the beginning of the hydrogen revolution at long last?

That’s incorrect; the table doesn’t include FCVs. Those are BEV and PHEV Clarity models. (Clarities? Claritys? Claritin?)

The PHEV Clarity is in the process of being stocked nationwide, so it should become a big seller shortly.

Thanks for the clarification Spoonman.

I thought it an enormous jump in popularity. How does one find out how many of the FCV variants were shifted?

Wow, nearly 4,000 units YoY increase is awesome and Model 3 has finished 13th overall from 21st in the prior month. December needs only 27,000 units to hit the 200,000 mark. Let’s see. Clarity-PHV will take the slack left by Leaf. Not much expected from the PHV of Ioniq/Niro.

BMW 5 series PHV carries the same price as the gasmobile version and that’s why it sold in such a high #. The X5 selling such a big # is a real surprise. Sad to see the i3 selling so low.

I looked at the figures generally, rather than comparing models.

The average sold of the 41 listed was 419 which seems quite healthy. However if you look a little more carefully, you find that this is driven by a handful of models.

22 out of 41 sold under 200.
18 out of 41 sold under 100.
15 out of 41 sold under 50.
8 out of 41 sold under 25.
5 out of 41 sold under 10.

One might conclude that enthusiasm is for certain models rather than for the idea of plug-in cars per se.

hehe, one of those Model S’ was mine…