All-Time U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales

MAY 18 2015 BY MARK KANE 13

Robust Sales for the Chevrolet Volt Expected for June

Chevrolet Volt

A full 53 months has passed since theNissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt faintly appeared on the market in December 2010.

In total,l some 324,000 plug-in cars were bought or leased by US consumers in the past 53 months.

After a few years of fast growth from low base, in the last 12 months growth has become slower. Sales peaked in December 2014 at some 13,000 units.

Only two times have sales in a month been lower than the year before by a few percent. In April 2015 the market expanded by just 2%.

As you can see below, the number of EVs on the roads is increasing at a relatively constant pace, but maybe this pace will accelerate with new models, lower prices and longer ranges.

U.S. Plug-In Car Fleet

U.S. Plug-In Car Fleet

Plug-in car market share (in total vehicle market) during the last two years is between 0.5% to 1.0% with peak at 0.88% in September 2014.

On average, 0.74% (one per 135) of cars sold in 2014 were plug-ins, while in the first four months of this year the figure is 0.60% (one per 164).

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales

Nissan LEAF

Lots Of LEAFs By 2035, We Suspect

If you would like to know which models sold in the highest volumes, here we present a pie chart.

Nissan LEAF exceeds Chevrolet Volt, but Volt soon will get reinforcements in the form of the 2016 Volt, while Nissan hasn’t unveiled its improved model yet.

In third place is Tesla Model S, which in 2015 is so far the best selling EV in the US. Fourth is Toyota Prius PHEV – currently struggling on the market and awaiting new version.

Two Fords crossed 20,000 milestones in April.

Six of the most popular models cover 86% of the market. Two of them hold almost 48%.

All the numbers come from the InsideEVs’ sales scorecard.

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales

Categories: Sales


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13 Comments on "All-Time U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales"

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“but maybe this pace will accelerate with new models, lower prices and longer ranges.”
Yes, and familiarity w/them, and more charging infrastructure.

Some plug-in SUVs will help, as I think there is a large pent up demand.

“On average, 0.74% (one per 135) of cars sold in 2014 were plug-ins, while in the first four months of this year the figure is 0.60% (one per 164).”

This statement is lacking context on the numbers of PEVs and non-PEVs sold in each time period and that annual sales cycle patterns don’t align. Both groups had increased YOY sales. The first quarter of the year is always lowest for the year, while Q4 is highest.

Much of the details are lost when all PEVs are lumped together. It would be very interesting to see data broken out for both BEVs and PHEVs. The market and sales trends for these two segments has similarities and many differences.

RE: “Toyota Prius PHEV – currently struggling on the market” … because production of last years model was stopped, and no production on a future model has been started.

It was struggling even before they killed it. Of course it did do much better than the i-MiEV and lots of the compliance cars. But for Toyota, it was probably a bit of embarrassment for the powerful Prius brand.

You may want to review those older posts regarding sales reports here @ InsideEVs.

PIP NEVER had to struggle in terms of sales, as per InsideEVs. Toyota had limited its US allocation for many, many, MANY months. Prior to that action, it was selling better than the Volts for several months, behind only of the LEAF.

Toyota simply doesn’t want to sell EVs, and by limiting sales, it allows people like you to say the exact thing – Toyota struggles to sell the PIP.

Hm, the first graph seems to indicate that sales growth has slowed down significantly. Probably related to the drop in gas prices that started last year?

Gas prices plus people waiting for the gen II volt, the tesla model X, and the outlander phev.

There is an interesting repeating pattern in monthly sales on the line charts… Dec is a good month (tax reasons) then Jan sucks, Feb is a little better, March is a peak and April drops again. Repeats every year from Dec 2011 to today.

Sales are stagnating, as the early adopters who would buy ‘affordable’ PEVs and were willing to put up with their limitations already have them, and everyone else is waiting for Gen 2.0. Couple that with the end of Georgia’s rebates in June, plus Green stickers running out in California, and I expect we’ll see quite a drop-off in July.

Whether PHEV sales will ever recover in California remains to be seen, but Toyota’s decision to limit and then end PiP production just before the stickers ran out looks to me like a very smart move, especially with the Mirai appearing soon. Over and above the (at least initially) limited market for an FCHV, it’s so ugly it will need all the help it can get. FCVs will be the only long range EVs that aren’t Teslas and qualify for White HOV stickers for at least a year, if not more.

We will only see in “hindsight” whether toyota is being smart, or stupid with the fcv push. IMHO it has already over promised on the mirai, and is back pedaling as fast as it can to say it will really be ready in a decade or two and not now. It will take toyota 3 years to lease 5700 of the beasts world wide.

I don’t see anything brilliant about the delay of the next gen prius phv. Toyota is now firmly in 5th place in the US plug-in/fcv market, and bmw may soon push it to sixth place.


Can we compare this to EU numbers in same time period.

It seam that currently USA have lower momentum.

Comparision of EVs in each category and gas/oil prices would be nice too.

“As you can see below, the number of EVs on the roads is increasing at a relatively constant pace…”

I rather doubt that chart actually shows the number of cars currently licensed for operation on public roads. I rather suspect it only shows the number of cars sold, without any counterweight of data for cars wrecked, sold to a junk yard, stolen and broken up for parts, abandoned, or otherwise no longer being used.

Nice to see so many US manufacturers topping the list. How far the Europeans are behind…