The Nissan LEAF took the show in August, with a record-breaking sales month. However, that was almost expected based on its performance in previous months. I think the biggest positive surprise this month was the big jump in sales of the BMW i3.
BMW i3 sales in August were approximately triple what they were in each of the previous 3 months. BMW has talked about increasing production of the i3 in order to meet stronger than expected demand. Perhaps this jump is a result of that increased production.
Also, recall that the i3 is being sold around Europe in decent numbers. So, US deliveries really may not have been matching demand.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that demand is finally picking up after the i3’s introductory months. Many buyers might be coming in via word of mouth or may have been waiting to read a number of owner reviews before jumping in.
I’m eager to see how sales pan out in the coming months.
Aside from the BMW i3 jump and the Nissan LEAF’s record month, here’s the summary of August and YTD EV sales that I published earlier today:
Overall, 100%-electric car sales were up 57% in August, and are up 25% for the year to date. Plug-in hybrid electric car sales were down 8% in August compared to August 2013, but they are up 41% for the year to date. All plug-in car sales were up 17% in August, and are up 33% for the year to date.
The Chevy Volt had its best sales month of the year in August. Though, that was still down 25% compared to August 2013, and Volt sales are down 15% for the year to date. Those sales seem to be getting eaten up by Ford’s Energi Plug-in hybrids (the Fusion Energi is up 257% for the year to date, and the C-Max Energi is up 69%). The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, also somewhat of a competitor to the Volt, is also up a lot this year, 57%.
The BMW i3, in its 4th month of sales, seems to have finally hit its stride. It had just over 1,000 sales in its first three months combined, and then hit 1,025 in the month of August alone. Let’s hope that keeps going. (I wonder if the increase is due to greater supply as production has ramped up.)
Here’s a full table of August plug-in car sales (click on it for a clearer view):