Electric Car Sales Update — Nissan Leaf Clearly Claims The Crown

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

Electric car sales numbers are in for the US! I’ve created a few charts below to share the big picture for January 2014 versus January 2013. However, I’m changing one huge thing this year with these monthly electric car sales updates — I’m dropping the conventional hybrids. Frankly, I just don’t care about them, since they don’t have any of the benefits of 100% electric and even plug-in hybrid electric cars. Hopefully you also don’t care about them and these updates will be more useful to you as a result.

January 2014 didn’t see spectacular growth over January 2013, but it still saw growth. 100% electric cars saw about 19% more sales in 2014 while plug-in hybrid electric cars saw about 25% more sales.

The net effect was about 22% electrified car sales growth — 5590 sales versus 4577 sales. Of course, that is building on a January 2013 versus January 2012 sales increase of about 248% (211% growth for 100% electrics and 290% growth for plug-in electrics). January 2014 electrified car sales are up about 325%.

But, anyway, on to the specific models:

As you can see, the Nissan Leaf has taken over the #1 spot, starting 2014 with a solid lead over its “arch rival” in EV sales — the Chevy Volt. The Tesla Model S might come in at #2, but since Tesla doesn’t release monthly sales figures, that 1,000 sales figure is just a rough estimate — one which I will update (though, not precisely) when 1st quarter sales figures come out in May.

Toyota’s Prius Plug-in continues to sell fairly well, surely eating into Chevy Volt sales a bit, which were at 1,140 in January 2013.

And Ford’s two PHEVs also continue to do well. I generally like to think of them as one model, since they are both offered by Ford and are both PHEVs. If you counted their sales together, Ford’s 1,024 Energi sales actually would have come in #2 in January. Aside from Honda and Daimler (which shouldn’t count), Ford also had the strongest sales growth in January 2014 compared to January 2013.

Similarly, if you look at electrified vehicle sales by brand, this is how the top 3 stack up:

Honda, Mitsubishi, Fiat, and Daimler sales are hardly worth noting. However, Mitsubishi i sales might pick up a lot once it’s big $6,130 price drop kicks in.

Aside from the Leaf’s solid rise to the top, not too much has changed this month. Ford’s continued EV sales growth and GM’s sales dip would be the other most interesting stories, in my humble opinion.

January EV Sales

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Zachary Shahan

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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9 thoughts on “Electric Car Sales Update — Nissan Leaf Clearly Claims The Crown

  • Why the low-ball estimate for the Tesla Model S? They have ramped up production significantly in the last year so I’d be very surprised if their sales have gone down.

    • The article is about American sales.

    • Because they’re shipping to Europe now and they are still supply limited. That battery supply issue is supposed to be cleared up in Q2. I’ve seen estimates as low as 800.

  • I’m a total novice when it comes to EV. Question…why don’t manufacturers sacrifice interior space and install the largest battery (I mean, gargantuan) they possibly can, since mileage is presumably the major concern for consumers? Seems like a no-brainer so what am I missing here? Isn’t that what Tesla essentially did and is reaping the rewards?

    • They’re trying to keep the price down. Batteries are expensive. They could also increase range by making the car lighter. This could be done easily by replacing a lot of the steel with composites, but again, it would be expensive. Hopefully, the costs will come down eventually and they’ll do both.

    • It’s battery cost. Adding a lot more batteries (like Tesla has done) would mean a much more expensive car (like the Tesla).

      Battery prices are coming down rapidly and we’re likely to see more batteries installed in future models. The Volt got a somewhat larger battery this year. (I’m not sure whether that was increased efficiency per kg or more kg.)

  • What seems to be the problem with the Mitsubishi i EV? Only one car sold during the month of january? And the Ford Focus EV is practically not selling. They have to cut the price at least $5,000 in order to be competitive with the `Nissan Leaf. Honda is a lousy EV seller. Fiat probably doesnt have any plans to sell EV’s this year.

    • Mitsubishi i has announced a big $6,130 price drop, but it doesn’t seem to be in place yet.

      Ford doesn’t seem to broadly offer the Focus Electric, and perhaps more importantly, it’s quite a bit more expensive than competing 100% EVs. However, a $6000 price cut is reportedly coming.

      Honda: similar story to Ford, but perhaps even worse.

      Fiat… yeah…

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