Published on June 8th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Toyota Prius Plug-in Sales +297%, Ford Fusion Energi Sales +223% (US EV Sales Update)

June 8th, 2014 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Time for the latest US plug-in car sales update!

The big winner in May was the Nissan LEAF, which set a new monthly sales record for itself and crushed the competition in May sales. Its sales were up 46% compared to May 2013, rising from 2,138 to 3,117. For the year to date, the Nissan LEAF is also up 46% (rising from 5,677 to 8,301 sales). The LEAF is leading all plug-in cars in sales this year, and is even beating the entire plug-in lineups from Ford, Toyota, GM, and Honda.

However, there were other big winners in May, even bigger in some respects — the Toyota Prius Plug-in and Ford Fusion Energi. The Prius Plug-in was up 297% compared to May 2013, going from 678 to 2692 sales, and the Fusion Energi was up 223%, going from 416 to 1,342 sales.

For the year to date, the Toyota Prius Plug-in is up 98% (3,031 to 5,988), the Ford Fusion Energi is up 328% (830 to 3,553), and the Ford C-Max Energi is up 49% (1,616 to 2,415).

I think there’s no denying that Nissan’s approach to electric vehicles — creating a 100% electric car from the ground up that costs less than the average new car — is proving to be the most successful. (No surprise from me.) However, Toyota and Ford are doing a pretty good job selling plug-in hybrid versions of some of their popular models. I do wonder when these companies will decide it’s time for them to compete with the LEAF and build a 100% electric car from the ground up. As I think we all know, the longer you wait to get into a new segment, the more likely the leaders in that segment will leave you in the dust and you will never able to catch up. (Look at how things turned out for Toyota with its leadership in the conventional hybrid market.)

Tesla, of course, is still supply limited. It’s hard to know what Tesla sales would look like if it could produce as many vehicles as Americans demand. The problem is enhanced by the fact that Tesla is shipping vehicles to Europe and getting ready to ship to China.

The BMW i3 just got rolling in May. I look forward to seeing how high its sales get in the coming months. I definitely think it could make it into the top 5.

On the whole, plug-in car sales were up 59% in May, plug-in hybrid sales were up 107%, and pure-electric car sales were up 22%.

For the year to date, plug-in car sales are up 32%, plug-in hybrid sales are up 56%, and pure-electric car sales are up 12%.

That said, it’s important to note that many of Tesla’s cars are going to Europe, bringing US sales down compared to where they would be if Tesla wasn’t yet in Europe and supply limited.

Not bad, but I hope sales will pick up even more in the coming months!

Those are my main thoughts on May plug-in car sales in the US. Here are static versions of the charts above:

US EV Sales May 2014

US EV Sales May 2013

US EV Sales May 2014 YTD

US EV Sales May 2013 YTD

plug in car sales US May 2014

plug in car sales US May YTD 2014

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • DL Coda Owner

    It is interesting that no Coda sales are listed, even though nearly 100 have been sold since April 2013. If you include the Honda Clarity (one sale) and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (which stopped production for a full year), then the Coda should also be included in your sales totals.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Coda is bankrupt and not selling anymore.

  • JamesWimberley

    It’ odd that the Nissan Leaf stays the best-selling electric car of any type, but its sales are stagnating. Are Nissan not expanding their dealer network?
    These data are still very noisy. The baselines are so low that comparing percentage increases is reading tea-leaves. The ranks are more useful.

    • Bob_Wallace

      This is all coming from a vague (not to be trusted) memory….

      Seems like, a year or so back, Leaf sales slowed. There were complaints about not enough product being delivered to dealers.

      Then the new model with higher mileage (?) and a better price was released.

      What could be happening is an intentional slowdown on Nissan’s part so that they don’t create too many “I should have waited a couple more months” customers.

  • jburt56

    Getting up to 1%. . .

    • Bob_Wallace

      What is the percentage of total sales for all electrics in the US? Anyone got that handy?

      • Haven’t seen anything for awhile. But now i’m tempted to do the calcs. 😀

  • Matt

    While it is good to have more demand than supply, at some point Tesla inability to ramp up to higher production level will hurt it. People will switch to a EV, and then become “attached” to that maker.

    • Offgridmanpolktn

      With none of the other manufacturers showing any plans for a battery supply or a mid priced (under forty-fifty grand) car with decent range (150 mile or more), it would seem the more sure bet that it will be Tesla that is the first able to supply for the demand

      • Bob_Wallace

        Nissan seems to be coming at the 150 mile or more range point from the other end. Rumors are that their next model will have higher mileage, even as much as 150.

        And Nissan has its own battery plants. In Tennessee, the UK and Japan. I assume the upcoming Chinese factory will also build batteries.

        “In Japan, lithium-ion batteries for Nissan LEAF are produced at the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) plant in Zama, Kanagawa Pre fecture, a joint venture launched by Nissan and NE C Corporation. Battery modules, each containing four battery cells, are assembled and then shipped to the Nissan Oppama facility, where 48 of them are assembled into the electric car’s battery pack, which is then fitted into Nissan LEAF.

        The production of Nissan LEAF and the EV batteries outside Japan is also underway. In the United States, we began production of the batteries at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, in December 2012. At full production speed, the plant will produce up to 150,000 EVs and 200,000 Li-ion battery packs per year, creating up to 1,300 new jobs.”

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