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US Electric Vehicles sales report for March 2014

11 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. March heralds not only the return of spring, but the end to the “gloomy season” for electric car sales that is January and February with 9,376 plug-ins sold in March 2014.
Even still, and despite a prolonged winter for much of the United States, the first two months of 2014 have shown a considerable improvement over last year as an estimated 12,505 plug-ins have been sold thus far, a 25% improvement.

In March, some 9,376 plug-ins were sold which outpaced last years result (7,982) by 17.5%. 

EV sales March 2014

  March 2014 sales
Nissan Leaf 2,507
Chevrolet Volt 1,478
Toyota Prius PHV 1,452
Tesla Model S 1,600
Ford Fusion Energi 899
Ford C-Max Energi 610
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid 56
Ford Focus Electric 177
Smart ED 186
Chevrolet Spark EV 108
Fiat 500e 70
Toyota RAV4 EV 73
Cadillac ELR 81
Honda Fit EV 37
Honda Accord PHV 18
Mitsubishi i-MiEV 24
Total 9,376


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: This month 81 ELRs were sold.
 
As for inventory, even more ELRs showed up as GM wound down  full scale production of the luxury plug-in coupe in February.  Heading into April, about 1,100 are ready to be bought…provided you have $75,995 in cash lying around; although we like the looks of their recently announced $699/month lease deal a lot better.
 
Tesla Model S: InsideEVs estimate Tesla sold about 1,600 units in the US for March. March is the “make it or break it month” for Tesla in order to hit its goal of 6,400 total cars delivered in Q1.
 
Chevrolet SPARK EV: Considering the Spark EV is only in limited release, GM logged another decent month in March with 108 copies sold. General Motors closed 2013 with 539 Spark EVs sold over all.  For 2014 they are already halfway to that number with 272 sold in total.

In October, InsideEVs learned exclusively direct from Chevy that the company has “no plans” to make the car available outside of the 2 states where it is currently sold… so at least for now, we can call this car a compliance play
 
Honda Fit EV:  In March 37 Fit EVs were sold as the ”sell what we got” trend continued. There is no inventory, and it isn’t coming as Honda estimated building 40-odd units a month until the fall…when they will DISCONTINUE production of the car.

SMART ForTwo Electric Drive: The smart ED lead the way for the smaller regional players again in March, with 186 copies sold.
 
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 March 899 were sold.
 
Previously in February 779 were sold. In January, 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: March was a strong month for the Prius PHV as 1,452 copies were sold – which was up 92% over 2013.
 
Overall 3,297 plug-in Prius have been sold so far in 2014, 41,9% more than last year, when 2,353 moved off lots.
 
Ford C-Max Energi: Ford first extended range plug-in struggled a bit in March compared to its peers, but still sold a respectable 610 copies.
 
Previously in February Ford posted a healthy winter number with 552 C-Max Energis being sold – which was 2/3rds more than was sold in February of 2013.
 
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: In March Toyota completed another ‘pretty good month for a compliance vehicle’, as 73 more electric SUVs were sold.

Overall, Toyota did experience a resurgence in the 2nd half of 2013, and they are now decently on their way to selling the required number of EVs to satisfy CARB compliance. To bump 2nd half sales Toyota has taken a page out of Honda’s playbook on their compliance vehicle and is now offering the RAV4 EV lease with something the mainstream players can’t – unlimited mileage leases.
 


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