Aside from Tesla topping the US electric car sales chart (and my postulations about that), there were some other interesting stats and takeaways from March US electric car sales.
The first big one that stands out to me is that the Nissan LEAF freakin’ beat the Chevy Bolt … and not by a little bit. I don’t think any of our readers would have predicted that a year ago. Naturally, lack of production capacity or supply must be part of this. GM must have much, much higher demand for the Bolt than ~1000 cars a month. Right? …
On the flip side, it’s quite impressive to me that Nissan logged 1,478 sales of the LEAF. With the Bolt here (even if in limited supply) and the Tesla Model 3 just around the corner, Nissan must be doing something very right to still move 1,500 LEAFs a month. Is it word of mouth? Is it people who are not typically early adopters or very connected to the auto or EV world talking to LEAF drivers like my mom and deciding they want a LEAF? Is it Nissan offering great discounts to targeted markets?
The “Big 3” of plug-in hybrids — Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Prime, and Ford Fusion Energi — continue to do quite well for consumers looking for something that offers electric city driving but also gas backup for longer trips or busy days. The Ford C-Max Energi and BMW i3 hung a bit lower in March, but still a step above the rest, due to relatively wide availability, unique features, and moderate consumer interest.
For the 1st quarter of 2017, the story is more or less the same, but the Bolt is slightly above the Fusion Energi (instead of vice versa) and the C-Max Energi is slightly above the i3 (instead of vice versa).
For the market as a whole, due to much higher sales of Tesla’s two models, the arrival of the Chevy Bolt (which seems to just be adding to the total rather than stealing from the Nissan LEAF and others), the arrival of the Toyota Prius Prime (which, again, seems to basically be growing the market), and slightly better figures from several models, we saw strong EV sales growth in March and the 1st quarter as a whole.
- All plug-in car sales were up 89% in March and 74% in the 1st quarter.
- Fully electric car sales were up 134% in March and 87% in the 1st quarter.
- Plug-in hybrid car sales were up 40% in March and 58% in the 1st quarter.
- US electric car sales = 1.2% of all US car sales, a new record for the US EV market.