The “Little Guys” EV Sales Report: Tesla, Fisker, Coda, Honda

AUG 28 2012 BY JAY COLE 7

The one thing small automakers are loathe to do it seems, is to give sales or production updates on their plug-in cars.

However, at the end of every month, when the big players seemingly release every smidgen of news on how their EVs are being received by the market, the question always becomes “well, what about these other guys that didn’t report?”

Thankfully, (at least for us) some external market factors have flushed most of them out into the open this month:

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: Faced with investor scrutiny over cutting production estimates for this quarter, Tesla is practically giving us bi-monthly updates of how things are going since the first cars were delivered this past June.

In total, 100 cars have been produced, 74 to customers. Tesla expects to produce 400 more over the next 6 weeks, and 4,500 more in the fourth quarter for 5,000 total by year’s end.




Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma: If there is an automaker out there more secretive than Fisker, it must be located in Russia or China.

However, thanks to a recent Karma fire that started due to a defective cooling fan (and engineers who apparently didn’t think installing a fuse on that circuit was a good idea), Fisker has issued a voluntary recall on the car. All 2,400 of them. Exclusive to InsideEVs: At the beginning of the year, Fisker told investors privately they expected to produce 4,000 Karmas in 2012, and they look to be on track.


Honda Fit EV

Honda Fit EV: Honda obviously is not a small automaker, but the Fit EV (our review here) is a limited offering, as Honda will only build 1,100 of them. After delivering their first car on July 20th, Honda went on to ‘sell’ 7 more by month’s end.  (The Fit EV is only available via lease)

Exclusive to InsideEVs: We contacted Honda to ask about sales going forward, and their Mgr of Plug-In Sales, Robert Langford told us they “anticipated approximately 40 deliveries per month on average” for the rest of the year. Which would put total 2012 sales around 200.

CODA Sedan

CODA Sedan: You know you are small when your car really doesn’t have a name. If you go to CODA Automotive’s website, they simply list their 88 miles (EPA) electric sedan as just “the car.”

Here again, sales are not reported by the company, but a recall this week by the NHSTA for “side curtain airbags (that) may not have been properly installed which could cause them to not deploy as intended” (NHSTA Campaign ID: 12V409000) has pointed to 78 cars sold into the US.

You can follow the other major automaker’s EV progress in our plug-in sales scorecard, and look for a monthly report from all the big players on the first Tuesday of every new selling month.

Categories: Fisker / Karma, General, Honda, Tesla

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7 Comments on "The “Little Guys” EV Sales Report: Tesla, Fisker, Coda, Honda"

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Ahh, for those of us who are obsessed with counting, two thumbs up Jay. I guess with the passing of Jerry Nelson this month I was hearing the voice of Count von Count “onee twoo threee EVs…..” In all seriousness, this group could add up to ten percent of EVs sold in 2012. Ahh counting!

From the article: “Honda went on to sell 7 more by month’s end.” However, the fit EV is not for sale, it is lease only. A correction would make that clearer.

Indeed, will do!

Shame on Honda for not taking this seriously and being counted as a “little” guy! Arguably Toyota falls in the same category, their only plug-in vehicle currently on the market is the Prius with its 11-mile EV range. Shame on them too!

The real “little” guys are critical for offering diversity in this market. They kindle the fire underneath the “big” guys to make EVs. True believers work for them and drive their cars.

Look at the BEV numbers posted on InsideEVs monthly scorecard. Toyota and Honda are not going to jump in until the numbers increase. Honda and Toyota do not want to see monthly sales numbers in the hundreds. I am sure they are postured to move as soon a global acceptance improves. It will be interesting to see how the Ford C-Max and Fusion Energi sale in 2013. Looking forward to the first month release of all 2013EV models. Looking to see if the Leaf numbers change then or if the the first round continues to stay with the EREV over range anxiety “real or imagined”. It is a slow education process for the public to accept that an EV of any type fits their lifestyle better than what they might think. The better part of the first decade will most likely stay with the EREV.

Fine, then, make EREVs. Honda and Toyota have no excuse for “playing it safe”. They are as familiar with EVs and pioneered hybrids 15 years ago. They know how to make economical small engines, lightweight cars, etc. Instead they chose to sit on the sidelines and wait. Absolutely no leadership demonstrated. The contrast they draw with Nissan and GM says a lot about who are the innovators and leaders and who are the laggards.

Since all this hybrid technology has been basically developed by the Japanese anyway, I have never figured out why the Japanese never put a plug on it.

Heck, My 2011 Volt has the “Planetary Gear Set” transmission “imported from Japan”. 3 guesses as to which japanese car they pulled that out of.

Maybe because electricity is 20 cents / kwh in Japan, and certain to go 30% higher now.

Higher Electricity rates are the least worry for them though. Have you seen pics of Japanese Teenagers with Thyroid Lumps, and hair and teeth falling out?

If Japanese companies can ever fully recover from the Fukushima disaster, hopefully they will finally come up with a serious Plug-In offering. The Prius EV may try, but its not quite “there” yet.