Published on August 5th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Nissan Leaf Still King, Ford Fusion Energi Sales Jump 201%

August 5th, 2014 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

July was a momentous month for Mercedes and me. Mercedes saw the US birth of its first electric vehicle, the Mercedes B Class Electric, and my little girl was born. With this being a monthly electric vehicle sales update, there’s not much more to say about either one here. The Mercedes B Class Electric just saw 41 sales, but we have to wait for full sales months and potential ramping up of production to see if the car really goes anywhere (that is, if Mercedes really tries to sell it).

The big plug-in car props in July again go to Nissan, with GM and Ford getting in there a bit. Nissan led the pack yet again with 3,019 sales (62% growth over July 2013). Aside from January, when I estimated that Tesla had 15 more deliveries than the Nissan Leaf had sales, the Leaf has topped the charts every month this year. For the year to date, the Leaf has 13,667 sales, 40% more than the same period last year, and 50% (4,580 more sales) than the #2 Chevy Volt has had for the year to date.

Continuing on with the pattern for the year as a whole, the Volt was #2 in July with 2,020 sales (a 13% increase over last July), the Toyota Prius Plug-in took #3 with 1,371 sales (a 68% increase), and the Ford Fusion Energi took #4 with 1,226 sales (a 201% increase!). The Tesla Model S came in at #5, based on my estimate which is based off of the latest Tesla Model S production/sales report as well as Model S registration reports from Europe and an estimate for China. Unfortunately, with Tesla not providing region-specific sales numbers, even on a quarterly basis, I may have to drop the Model S from my reports in the coming months as Chinese deliveries ramp up… unless someone can pass along reliable monthly registration data for China.

No other plug-in car broke 1,000 sales in July, and the only one that came close was the Ford C-Max Energi (831). Like its Fusion sibling, the C-Max Energi did see a strong increase in sales, 92% more than July 2013.

Personally, I think the Leaf and Ford plug-in car sales trends are the best to look at to get a sense of growing electric car demand in the United States. Nissan is really working to sell its Leaf and has been ramping up production to meet demand. Ford, while it hasn’t gone and built a plug-in car from the ground up, is not trying to repress plug-in car sales from what I can tell. Mike Tinskey, Director of Vehicle Electrification & Infrastructure at Ford Motor Company, told me in December that Ford’s approach is to use a manufacturing system based on popular Ford gasoline models that allows them to easily increase production as demand grows. Demand has certainly been growing! Kudos to Ford for at least meeting demand and offering plug-in cars at a cost-competitive level.

On the whole, 100% electric vehicle sales were up 67% in July 2014 compared to July 2013 in the US, and 20% for the year to date; plug-in hybrid electric vehicle sales were up 64% in July 2014, and are up 58% for the year to date; and all plug-in vehicle sales were up 66% in July 2014, and are up 37% for the year to date.
Company/Model Jul 2014 Jul 2013 % Change YTD 2014 YTD 2013 % Change
BMW i3 363 0 1057 0
Smart ED 298 58 413.79% 1187 171 594.15%
Fiat 500e ? ? ? ?
Ford 2255 990 11930 5034
Ford C-Max Energi PHEV 831 433 91.92% 4234 2504 69.09%
Ford Focus Electric 198 150 32.00% 978 903 8.31%
Ford Fusion Energi PHEV 1226 407 201.23% 6718 1627 312.91%
GM 2336 1891 10219 10467
Cadillac ELR 188 0 465 0
Chevy Volt 2020 1788 12.98% 9087 10337 -12.09%
Chevy Spark EV 128 103 667 130
Honda 83 117 397 528
Honda Fit EV 42 63 -33.33% 213 332 -35.84%
Honda Accord PHEV 41 54 -24.07% 184 196 -6.12%
Mercedes B-Class Electric 41 0 41 0
Mitsubishi i 17 46 -63.04% 102 801 -87.27%
Nissan Leaf 3019 1864 61.96% 13667 9766 39.94%
Porsche Panamera S-E Hybrid 63 0 481 0
Tesla Motors
Tesla Model S (estimate) 1000 700 42.86% 7368 9050 -18.59%
Toyota 1439 926 9475 4879
Toyota Prius PHEV 1371 817 67.81% 8930 4432 101.49%
Toyota RAV4 EV 68 109 -37.61% 545 447 21.92%
Total 100% Electrics 5133 3093 65.96% 25784 21600 19.37%
Total PHEVs 5740 3499 64.05% 30099 19096 57.62%
TOTAL PLUG-IN SALES 10873 6592 64.94% 55883 40696 37.32%

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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.

  • Raymond Ramírez

    If Ford installed larger batteires in its Energi models, and reached at least 30 miles of EV ranghe, then they will compete better against the Volt and the Leaf. The Pip is a useless piece of Japanese junk, as it only has 6 miles!

    • That said, the two Energi models together are beating everything but the Leaf!

      And the Pip is right behind the Volt.

      I think these companies are at least doing a decent job of cheaply producing PHEVs and actually offering them to customers, and offering models connected to popular gas/hybrid models.

      Of course, to create cars that competed better with the Volt on actual quality, they’d have to do a lot more design work and probably change their streamlined manufacturing process. I wish they would, but I also understand why they aren’t yet. But hopefully the rising demand and Nissan’s success will encourage them to step on the electricity sooner rather than later!

  • NRG4All

    I find it interesting that Tesla’s YTD sales over last year are off 18+%. If they are reaching the point where most of the cream has been skimmed off the top, they had better hustle with the Model 3.

    • Matt

      Tesla numbers are estimates so -18% is still fuzzy. Others are off YTD also off
      Chevy Volt -12%
      Honda Fit EV -36%
      Honda Accord PHEV -6%
      Mitsubishi i -87%

      Are these all the models that didn’t get a big update in 2014? I guess the big picture is that PHEV (+58%) are up more than pure EV (+19%) a quick review of total car market shows it up but looks like less.

      • Yeah, the case almost across the board, as I tried to point out, is that manufacturers are not producing cars to match demand. In Tesla’s case, they are genuinely trying, but it’s hard to ramp up.

        Then there are also a bunch of compliance cars included, where the companies aren’t even trying to price them competitively, market them, or sell them beyond a few required markets.

        That’s why I’m so thankful for Nissan and Ford 😀 (And also Toyota, which seems to use the same model with its Prius Plug-in as Ford uses with its Energi models.)

        • Steve Grinwis

          Smart EV is available everywhere, and is the cheapest EV On the market. Also convertible! 😛


    • Bob_Wallace

      Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) rose after the carmaker led by Elon Musk reported second-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates and set a goal to double its pace of electric-vehicle production by the end of 2015.

      Quarterly unit sales for the youngest publicly held U.S. carmaker rose to a best-ever 7,579 as it began deliveries to China.

      There seems to be some number confusion. Bloomberg is saying 7,579 in one quarter. The chart above says 7,368 for two quarters (first half year).

    • dgaetano

      The numbers above are US sales only. Tesla has been opening up international markets. That’s how they can both sell more cars in total, and yet less in the US.

    • The challenge with Tesla is that it is shipping cars to the US, Europe, and now China; and it doesn’t tell us how many to which region. In fact, it doesn’t even break the numbers out by month. So, based on quarterly figures it provides, the best registration totals I can get for Europe, and, honestly, a wild guess for China, that’s where I get my Tesla numbers.

      As China’s deliveries ramp up in the coming months, I think I’m just going to drop Tesla (again) from the reports, as including it is just far too speculative.

      But it’s a real shame, given that Tesla is one of the biggest players. The result is a report that is still far less than adequate.

      If anyone here can pull any strings at Tesla, man, please push for some decent reporting on deliveries!

    • jeffhre

      Don’t forget the Model X and the current (new) US SUV boom.

      Though it is hard to tell with Tesla, since they do not make enough of the S to sate global demand yet. Are their delivery allocations just changing the location of the patio seats to get the fewest complaints – as I don’t think it’s quite time to call it rearranging the Titanic’s deck chairs regarding falling US demand.

      I have seen others estimate US deliveries at 1200.

  • spec9

    Plug-in sales are doing great. I think they are benefitting from ‘network effects’ people see their neighbors getting them, people see charging stations installed . . . and they ask about the EVs. The glowing reviews from the EV owners begets more customers.

    • Yeah, I think this is what will really do it. Critical component of disruptive technology.

  • Steve Grinwis

    Congrats on the little girl Zach!

    Any chance you can get Mercedes to let you review a B class? By all retorts l reports it’s a nice EV.

    • Thanks! 😀

      Hadn’t even considered it yet, but I imagine I could get my hands on one with a short trip to Berlin. On my list…

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