World’s Most Comprehensive 2012 Global Plug-In Vehicle Sales List


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We Bask In The Joy Of Not Posting Pictures Of Domestic EV Nameplates. Here Is Reanult’s ZE (zero emission) Lineup

A couple weeks back, InsideEVs presented a “2012 Top Global Sales List” post.  We openly admit it had a few holes, as we referenced a very comprehensive list of all vehicles sold in the world, not necessary focused on plug-ins.  Some vehicles weren’t included in the list, and the overall ranking of plug-ins against conventional vehicles didn’t sit well with us.

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The Bolloré Bluecar Lets Us Use Our “French Function” Keyboard For The First Time

So, we did some digging.  Our search for a comprehensive global sales list of plug-in vehicles sold in 2012 turned up zilch.  Partial lists were out there, but most were so incomplete as to add nothing of value to our previous post.

More digging was ordered.  The result?  Not as expected.

The powers that be here at InsideEVs pushed us to create this list, but endless nights of pouring through numbers and countless press releases that contained only vague sales figures made our brains a bit fuzzy.

In the end, we prevailed, though lead man Jay Cole is still showing signs of disappointment over our ability to only approximate sales for a few vehicles (C’mon automakers.  Don’t you know the exact amount of vehicles sold?)

Enough rambling.  It’s time to present InsideEVs “World’s Most Comprehensive 2012 Global Plug-In Vehicle Sales List.”

Here’s how it’ll go.  We’ll list, in descending order, global sales of plug-in vehicles in 2012.  The first vehicle posted will be the top-selling plug-in on the global level in 2012.  That same methodology will continue on until the list hits the bottom.

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Little Known Fact: All Opel Ampera Ads Are Legally Required To Have Windmills Somewhere In The Ad Copy

We didn’t bother to include those one-off, limited vehicles that sold in volumes you could count on your fingers and we’re you see some asterisks *** means that we’ve poured through all sorts of press releases and related material, but could only come up with an estimate (if someone out there knows an exact figure, then please assist us by posting it and a source in comment below).

Perhaps shockingly and, even with our limited and approximate data for some autos, plug-in vehicle sales exceeded 137,000 units globally in 2012 and that’s not a number that can be taken lightly.

Without further adieu, here’s that ultimate 2012 global sales list of 32 plug-in vehicles (or 35 if you separate out Opel and Vauxhall Ampera):

  • Chevy Volt/ Opel-Vauxhall Ampera: Sales 31,400 Units
  • Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid: Sales 27,181 Units
  • Nissan LEAF: Sales 26,566 Units
  • Renault Twizy: Sales 9,020 Units
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Sales 7,917 Units
  • Renault Kangoo: Sales 5,674 Units
  • Chery QQ3 EV: Sales 5,305 Units
  • Citroen C-Zero: Sales 3,152 Units
  • Peugeot iOn: Sales 3,095 Units
  • Tesla Model S: Sales 2,650 Units
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV-minicab: Sales 2,487 Units
  • JAC iev (J3 EV): Sales 2,485 Units
  • Ford C-Max Energi: Sales 2,374 Units
  • BYD e6: Sales 2,096 Units
  • Bollore Bluecar: Sales 1,543 Units
  • Renault Fluence: Sales 1,407 Units
  • Fisker Karma: Sales 1,073 Units
  • Smart Fortwo Electric Drive: Sales 1,000-plus*** Units
  • Zotye TD100 EV: Sales 845 Units
  • Ford Focus Electric: Sales 685 Units
  • BAIC E150 EV: Sales 644 Units
  • SAIC Roewe E50: Sales 238 Units
  • Toyota Rav4 EV: Sales 192 Units
  • Honda Fit EV: Sales ~150*** Units
  • Zotye 5008 EV: Sales 142 Units
  • Zotye M300 EV: Sales 134 Units
  • Tesla Roadster: Sales 132 Units
  • Coda Sedan: Sales ~125*** Units
  • Changan CX30 EV: Sales 100 Units
  • Chery Riich M1 EV: Sales 90 Units
  • Renault Zoe: Sales 60 Units
  • Shanghai-GM Springo: Sales 11 Units

Footnote: It sort of needs not be mentioned that Jay Cole contributed to this post…but I’ll mention it anyways.

Updated: May 4th, 2013 (some more China data added, thanks to Kimmi)

Categories: Chevrolet, Fisker / Karma, Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel / Vauxhall, Peugeot / Citroën, Renault, Smart, Tesla, Toyota

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25 Comments on "World’s Most Comprehensive 2012 Global Plug-In Vehicle Sales List"

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We do love to count don’t we! Hey, what about China and India? Don’t they have a brand or two missing here?

Only EV in India is Reva – but that is something we would consider a NEV here. China, not sure whether they have any other non-NEV EVs.

a surprising large numbers of PIPs

Agreed. I suspect their market share will drop in 2013 due to increasing availability of much more capable competition.

Thank you very much for compiling this. I hope it gets a special place on your website either in the Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard (even though it’s not monthly, I know), or perhaps better yet in a new “Sales” category alongside the quick links to articles by manufacturer and other topics near the top of the web page.

I agree…It needs a special place to hang out…Let us see what we can come up with and then we’ll let you all know where it’ll be located.

I nominate Eric to compile this list on a bi-weekly basis.

Ok…I’m on it…But only if Jay provides a day-to-day update on plug-in vehicle sales in the US… Forget monthly sales data. Get with the times and cover it daily. All you’d have to do is call every dealer in the US daily to get the figures…Would take no time at all.

@ Gary H

Thanks for the compliments and recommendation. We took your excellent advice and created that “Sales” category alongside the quick links to articles by manufacturer and other topics near the top of the web page.

Thanks again!!!

You forgot to total the number! since it is, after all, the first time this has been possible to know. I got more than 127,159. I’ll bet that is more total plugins than any body thought were made in 2012. Wow that is a lot more than I would have guessed. Good Job. I noticed that there were no Japanese home consumption plug in cars other than the leaf mentioned, you know like all their little electric Kei cars. I had read there were a lot of them. they have a lot of charging infrastructure in Japan, it can’t all be for leafs.

Thanks Brad B…I added a low-side total figure of 127,000 into the post.

Does anyone know where I can get monthly sales in Japan for the past few months for Leaf, PIP & i-MiEV ?

I can probably hook you up evnow, at least for LEAF/i-MiEV, the PiP is a toughie because its hard to find it broken out…unless you have some serious skills in listening to Japanese.

What months do you need/for what plates?

Leaf for sure. I don’t have from August of last year.

…is that all? heeh. I’m out on the road atm, but I’ll get back to you. I don’t think the PiP numbers are doable without some extraordinary efforts (but you never know)

Alrighty, here you go:

i-MiEV Japan:

aug – 86
sep – 212
oct – 141
nov – 189
dec – 137
2012 total: 2,295

jan13 – 80
feb13 – 358
mar13 – 377

LEAF – Japan

aug – 451
sep – 890
oct – 662
nov – 1,312
dec – 870
2012 total: 11,115

jan13 – 1,137
feb13 – 1,455

…haven’t seen LEAF March as of yet, maybe another day or two. I’m sure you could find it without much trouble, because you could ‘do the math’ on the end of fiscal 2012 year totals (of which March is the last month).

I found/had written down some PiP monthly numbers in Japan from time to time, but nothing close to being able to fill in a full picture. I could get them, but I think it would just take me too much time. I’ll keep my head up for them though, and let you know if I see them.

Also, and related to this topic, I just realized we put together that list and omitted the Mitsubishi i-MiEV minicab product, which is a sexy beast…and is fairly high up on the sales list at 2,487.

/updated list

Cool. Thanks.

Where did you get them ?

Um, hard to say…all over the place. Reporting is very inconsistent (at least it is for me). Anything to do with sales I have a (very high-tech) scratch pad on my desktop, and I just jot it in there.

Very often you will see the data come out of the Automotive Dealers Association of Japan press releases…if you are looking for something, I would always start there myself.

What about the Ford Transit Connect EV?

Very cool…I am just curious, as to where the Coda number came from since they don’t publish their sale?

An educated guess based upon various press releases from Coda in the past. We’re positive it’s over 100 units, but not by too much.

Just to add to what Eric was saying, a “insider”/disgruntled employee put the number of sales at just below 100 going into December, plus whatever inventory they managed to sell of the last 5ish months, looks like max of 25-30 units that could have added to that number when looking at remaining inventory. We don’t keep a real good eye on it (not really any point anymore) but there is aprox 17 new inventory pieces left at the 4 remaining CODA dealerships to add to the total before it is lights out. —- And yes, you never get any numbers out of CODA, or straight answers. But, it is worth noting the company also claimed they made their 100th “delivery” in September. I feel you have to take everything they say with a grain of salt though, and make your own conclusions (imo) Fav CODA moment – ‘We have a 1,000 orders, plan to take 15% of the market’ – Sept 2012 (link) And we know they stopped paying supplier UQM ages before that, and never placed/paid for a production order after they put them on sale. UQM has since wrote them off completely (link) and now they have no… Read more »

Woof, there are a couple obscure names in that list. Thanks for pointing that out to us, we’ll add those in now.