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US Electric Vehicles sales report for February 2014

02 April 2014

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The monthly electric vehicle (EV) sales report is provided by InsideEVs and is updated with the latest available information. After a slow month in January in which only 5,470 plug-in cars were sold in the US, 7,055 units were sold in February, up 29% over January, and 30% over February of 2013.
Historically, February is one of the lowest months of the year when it comes to plug-in vehicle sales. The winter season does no favors to consumer sentiment in the north, while nationwide there is still withdrawal being felt from how far away the claiming of the 2014 federal tax credit (up to $7,500) still is.

EV sales February 2014

  February 2014 sales
Nissan Leaf 1,452
Chevrolet Volt 1,210
Toyota Prius PHV 1,041
Tesla Model S 1,400
Ford Fusion Energi 779
Ford C-Max Energi 552
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid 57
Ford Focus Electric 129
Smart ED 122
Chevrolet Spark EV 71
Fiat 500e 50
Toyota RAV4 EV 101
Cadillac ELR 58
Honda Fit EV 33
Honda Accord PHV 24
Mitsubishi i-MiEV 3
Total 7,055


Details per carmaker

Chevrolet Volt: The Volt continued its sales slide in February as just 1,210 Volts were sold, off 25.6% from 2013 when 1,626 left dealer lots. Overall in 2013, GM sold less extended range Chevys than 2012 (23,094 were sold in 2013 vs 23,461), the company now has to renew efforts to both produce and market the 38 mile, extended range vehicle to avoid the same fate for 2014.

Nissan LEAF: 1,425 LEAFs were sold in February, which was a 118% improvement over February 2013 when 653 were sold. Previously in January, Nissan took the early sales lead for 2013 as the only automaker to sell more than 1,000 cars when they logged 1,252.
 
Overall in 2013, Nissan sold 22,610 cars, which is a big improvement of 2012 when only 9,819 were sold.
 
Cadillac ELR: ELRs arrived at the 60% of dealers that didn’t “opt out” of selling the plug-in Cadillac for fear of low demand throughout the month.
 
That translated to 58 ELRs were sold - this number is likely to rise significantly next month.
 
Heading into March, almost 1,000 units (up from about 200) are ready to be bought; and Cadillac also announced a $699/month lease deal a lot better.
 
Also of interest: Cadillac has also made available a premium charging station for the ELR. And for the first 1,000 customers – it’s free!
 
Tesla Model S: Last month, due to some holiday slowdowns and a intense focus on getting product into Europe before incentives expired, insideEVs estimated Tesla sold about 800 Model S sedans in January. InsideEVs estimate Tesla sold 1,400 of the Model S in February, a strong show to be sure.
 
Separately, Tesla announced an expectation to sell 6,400 total cars worldwide in the first quarter of 2014. 
 
Chevrolet SPARK EV: The plug-in Chevy did a respectable 71 units moved in one of the worst months of the year to sell plug-ins.

However, no one should read anything into any monthly number… at least if they are trying to get a handle on Spark EV demand, as GM basically sets their own monthly sales number by curtailing inventory. GM could sell a lot more if they wanted to.
 
Honda Fit EV: The “sell what we got” trend continued in February with 33 units sold.  Previously in January 30 plug-in Fits were sold – which was pretty much every EV that Honda shipped to dealers …again.

SMART ForTwo Electric Drive: The smart ED lead the way for the smaller regional players again in February, with a “not too shabby” 122 sales during the month.
 
The smart EV is now technically available nationally, although there isn’t inventory yet spread out across the country to make physical sales everywhere.
 
Actually there is very little inventory at all, which runs contrary to the company’s statement a few months ago that they had caught up to the 9 month backlog of demand in Europe.
 
However if you are looking for a cabrio edition of the little smart after months of being out of stock, a recent small shipment of those has them available at select locations.  So while insideEVs expect 2014 to show much bigger numbers for the smart ED over 2013, it’s not coming in the first quarter.
 
The smart ED is the first plug-in for America to be offered with a “battery rental” option, which brings the cost of the Smart ED down to $19,990, but adds a $80 month battery rental payment, as well as includes a wider (and longer) battery warranty. 

Ford Fusion Energi: This plug-in Ford is a sales beast, and continues to out perform expectation.  For February 779 were sold.
 
Last month, and despite a lot of seasonal influences, the Fusion Energi continued to be the jewel in Ford’s plug-in lineup -  533 were sold.
 
For 2013, the Fusion Energi was the surprise hit of the Ford family – for December the Fusion notched 791 sales, and finished the year with just over 6,000 sold – not bad considering it was only introduced in February.
 
More important even than 2013 results is that Ford has cut the starting MSRP of the Fusion Energi by $4,000 - down to $34,700 – meaning that in all likelihood a near doubling of 2013 sales will be achieved without too much effort.

Toyota Prius Plug-In: February was a strong month for the Prius PHV as 1,041 copies were sold – which was up 50.3% over 2013.
 
Overall 1,844 plug-in Prius have been sold so far in 2014, 17.7% more than last year, when 1,567 moved off lots.
 
Ford C-Max Energi: In February Ford posted another healthy winter number with 552 C-Max Energis being sold – which was 2/3rds more than was sold in February of 2013.  Last month 471 were sold (+39%).
 
For 2013 overall, 7,154 plug-in C-Maxs were sold, good for being the 5th best selling plug-in for America.

Toyota RAV4 EV: For February, Toyota logged an impressive 101 RAV4 EV sales.
 
Previously for January 63 plug-in SUVs from Toyota was sold…more than double the 28 sold in December – which was the electric SUV’s worst showing since January of 2013.


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