EV Sales Indicate Current Trends

While last March may have broken records in terms of plug-in sales, April reports show steady results as well.

The two top market contenders? As usual, the electric vehicles that the data indicate are beings old in the highest volumes are the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the Nissan Leaf batter-electric hatchback.

chevy voltThe Volt was drastically redesigned for its 2016 iteration, but sold only in particular regions. Now its becoming available as a 2017 model all across the country, and its deliveries last month were 1,983. That’s 118 up from March, when it sold 1,865. The four-month total sales for the Chevy Volt number 5,940, making this period the highest selling period for the Volt ever. If the Volt can keep up this pace, the total number of Volts delivered will cross the 100,000 mark over this upcoming summer; for an electric vehicle, this is a major achievement.

The Nissan Leaf didn’t quite sell at Volt numbers, but it sold enough to make a name for itself among the successful electric vehicles of our times. The 2017 model got a range boost from its predecessor, graduating from 84-miles combined to 107 miles, the increase owing largely to the more spacious 30-kilowatt-hour battery pack available in the SL and SV models.

April sales weren’t quite as robust as those of March for the 2017 Nissan Leaf; last month’s total numbered at only 787, whereas the month before it hit 1,246. Unfortunately for the Leaf, its four-month total of 3,718 is relatively modest when compared with its best period turnout; in 2013, the Nissan Leaf hit 7,272.

The elephant in the room (Tesla) ought to be addressed, as the ambitious EV manufacturer is never far from the mind when plug-ins are discussed. Tesla Motors refuses to break out its sales of Model S and Model ¬†luxury electric cars by either month or region, so it’s impossible to compare its sales with those of its EV competitors.

bmw i3Also in the running is the BMW i3; its recent sales have diminished in light of the company’s preparation to release a longer-range 2017 version, but that doesn’t diminish the allure of an electric BMW. Ford is also sporting a pair of Energi plug-in hybrid models that will likely attract some attention and buyers.

Not to be forgotten is the Volkswagen e-Golf, which managed to grow in sales substantially during the latter half of 2015. While things looked promising in December, the model’s sales have since dropped down to significantly lower numbers, to the point that the e-Golf isn’t quite in the running anymore in terms of sheer volume. Whether this is due in part to the Volkswagen scandal is up for debate.

That said, the Audi A3 e-tron hasn’t lost much of its competitive edge amidst all the controversy. Its April sales brought its year-to-date total to 1,228, putting the model in good standing as a 2016 high roller.

Many EV automakers that don’t quite have the numbers in terms of volume have seen significant growth of plug-in sales in terms of percentages. The trend towards EVs may still be fighting an uphill battle, but it seems to be gaining momentum.

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