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Monthly Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Sales Update (May 2013)

I know, it’s almost mid-June, but better late than never! Big stories of the month involve Ford and Nissan, but you can get into the details below in this repost from EV Obsession:

First of all, apologies for the long delay on this one! Unfortunately, I was unable to work for about a week (very not fun stuff), and this was hence delayed. But it’s ready now! Following the table, I’ll add my personal notes/reflections regarding May’s electric and hybrid vehicle sales numbers, as well as regarding electric and hybrid vehicle sales numbers for the year to date (compared to last year).

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Sales Numbers May 2013

Click To Enlarge. Created by EV Obsession and available for use under a CC-BY-NC-ND license.


The first thing that stands out to me is that Ford has seen a massive surge in hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) growth in 2013. Basically, that’s due to the relative youth of the Ford C-Max Hybrid, Ford C-Max Energi PHEV, Ford Fusion Hybrid, and the Ford Fusion Energi PHEV. Of course, it’s also important that these vehicles be competitive with leaders in their niche, which they are.

With over 400% positive change YTD compared to 2012 and over 500% positive change May 2013 over May 2012, I think Ford is doing pretty darn well… at least as far as any major auto companies go.

Ford Fusion Energi Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Credit: Ford

Ford Fusion Energi Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Credit: Ford

Overall Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Sales

It’s also quite uplifting that overall sales of conventional hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are up by a strong degree, and that sales of 100% electric vehicles (led by the Leaf) are up by a great degree.

Nissan Leaf. Image Credit: Nissan

Nissan Leaf. Image Credit: Nissan

Nissan Leaf

Naturally, the Leaf’s sales have been amazing since manufacturing was moved to the US and the price of the vehicle dropped several thousand dollars to a very affordable $28,800 before incentives. Aside from perhaps the Tesla Model S (which doesn’t release sales numbers), it is now the best selling 100% electric of plugin hybrid electric vehicle on the market. With sales up about 319% in May 2013 compared to May 2012, this could well be the EV or hybrid sales story of the month. Kudos to Nissan!

Inside the Nissan Leaf. Image Credit: Nissan

Inside the Nissan Leaf. Image Credit: Nissan

Chevy Volt

It’s noticeable that the Volt is down a bit for the year (down from 9146 to 7544, compared to January–May 2012) and especially in the month of May (down from 1903 to 1781, compared to May 2012). However, I think that this is primarily a testament to the strong competition on the market (i.e. from Ford and from the Nissan Leaf — I know some people contend the Leaf and Volt don’t compete, but I think they very much do). We’ll see what GM does about that.

In any case, the Volt is still the best-selling PHEV on the market, even in the month of May.

Chevy Volt. Credit: GM

Chevy Volt. Credit: GM


Despite being an early hybrid electric vehicle leader with the Honda Insight and other hybrids, it’s clear that Honda hasn’t innovated enough to compete much with today’s hybrid, PHEV, and 100% electric offerings. The Honda Fit EV and Honda Accord PHEV are the lowest-selling vehicles in their respective categories. (Note that these vehicles are not yet broadly available, but the point remains.)

Honda Fit EV. Credit: Honda

Honda Fit EV. Credit: Honda


Similarly, while Toyota has dominated the hybrid scene for years, and its various Prius models are still doing quite well, it has not been a leader in the PHEV and 100% EV space. However, it is offering the Toyota RAV4 EV now, and hopefully sales of that vehicle will pick up. And the Toyota Prius PHEV (678 sales) did at least come in second behind the Volt (1607) in PHEV sales last month, ahead of the above-mentioned Ford C-Max Energi PHEV (450), Ford Fusion Energi PHEV (416), and Honda Accord PHEV (58).

Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Credit: Toyota

Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Credit: Toyota



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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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