U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales By Size Class (2011-2015)

JUL 12 2016 BY MARK KANE 11

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X to laverage electric SUV sales

The most recent report from DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy gives us interesting look at the plug-in electric car sales in the U.S., by nine different size classes.

The data comes from 2011-2015, so they don’t include the now growing SUV class; mostly thanks to Tesla Model X – which in the first six months of 2016 has sold nearly 7,000 copies.

“There were a total of about 114,000 PEV sold in 2015 with 60% of those midsize or large cars, such as the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S. Compact and subcompact vehicles accounted for about one-third of plug-in vehicle sales while all other size classes combined had sales of just 7%. As the number of PEV models in the market has increased from four* to twenty-nine, sales of PEVs have increased more than six-fold from 2011 to 2015.”

The Nissan LEAF and Toyota Prius PHEV weighed heavily on the growth of Midsize class in first few years, as well as on the decrease in 2015, when both were struggling (the market has been eager to see a new version of Nissan LEAF, while Toyota stopped production of the Prius Plug-In to prepare for new generation Prius Prime – arriving late this year).

PEV Models by Size Class

Vehicle Size ClassMake/Model
Two-seaterSmart ED
MinicompactFiat 500E
SubcompactMitsubishi iMiEV
BMW Active E
Chevrolet Spark
Cadillac ELR
BMW i3
BMW i8
CompactChevrolet Volt
Ford Focus
VW e-Golf
Audi A3 Plug In
MidsizeNissan Leaf
Prius PHEV
Ford C-Max Energi
Honda Accord
Ford Fusion Energi
Mercedes B-Class
Hyundai Sonata Plug In
LargeTesla Model S
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Mercedes S550 Plug
Small WagonHonda Fit EV
Kia Soul EV
Small SUVToyota RAV4 EV
Standard SUVPorsche Cayenne S E-hybrid
Volvo-XC90 Plug In
Tesla Model X
BMW X5

Fact #931 Dataset

Supporting Information

PEV Sales by Size Class, 2011-2015

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates.

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates.

source: energy.gov

Categories: Sales

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11 Comments on "U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales By Size Class (2011-2015)"

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Would you mind reformatting the size class graphic? You’re using (or the author is using) centered vertical spacing, so it’s nearly impossible to see which classes the cars are in.

The link in the article is to the energy.gov spreadsheet.
It’s clear on the spreadsheet
http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/06/f32/fotw%23931_web_0.xlsx

I wonder where the Chevrolet Bolt would fit on the size list. I’m assuming it would fit in somewhere near the Kia Soul EV as a Small SUV.

Small Wagon?

I think there are problems with that size list. The list shows the Chevrolet Volt as being smaller than the Ford Focus EV but I thought the Volt was about the same size as the Ford Fusion, which is much larger than the Focus. How are the cars placed in these size categories? Are sizes based on weight, exterior dimensions or interior dimensions?

I am pretty sure it is interior volume, and the Volt is just short of mid-size. It has not changed since it was released.

The criteria is likely “interior volume” NOT exterior dimensions, at least that is how cars are usually categorized

Model S in midesize
Panamera in large class
but they have 2 inches difference

again,… The criteria is likely “interior passenger / cargo volume” NOT exterior dimensions, at least that is how cars are usually categorized.

Someone should do a weighted chart that shows the percentage of sales by size class as weighted by the number of plug-in models sold in that size class.

Hmmm, the data is amiss if the i-MiEV is counted as a minicompact, as over 1200 vehicles were sold in 2011-12, where there are zeroes on the Argonne chart. They should’ve checked InsideEVs sales reports first!