The wait for the longer-range 2016 Nissan LEAF and 2016 Chevy Volt continues to stunt plug-in car sales growth in the US. Just about every car within the price vicinity (and especially the historically leading LEAF & Volt) saw September 2015 sales drop compared to September 2014. On the other hand, higher-priced BMW i3, Mercedes B-Class, BMW i8, and Tesla Model S models saw sales up big-time.
Based on my estimate for the Tesla Model S, it was the #1 electric car in terms of sales in September, taking 22% of the market (and the same for January through September). The BMW i3 jumped to #2, with 19% of the market (compared to 10% for January through September).
The Nissan LEAF, despite struggling as it goes into the final stretch before the better 2016 LEAF hits homes, still held onto #3. It landed 14% of the market, compared to 18% for Jan–Sept. That’s down considerably from the whopping 32% it held in Sept 2014, but it’s impressive that the LEAF can stay on the podium even in the toughest of months. (Or, it’s sad how weak the competition is.)
The Volt also held a fairly high spot at #4 despite its sales being cannibalized by the wait for the 2016/2017 Volt. It held 11% of the market, compared to 16% last Sept. Similarly, it has 12% for the year to date, versus 16% last year. The competing Ford Energi models, as is typical, rolled in after the Volt, and then sales really trailed off as mostly compliance cars and high-priced plug-ins filled in the table.
By far, the manufacturers seeing big growth are BMW and Tesla. Taking into account the sales challenges Nissan and GM with as their 2nd-gen models almost here, that basically shows there’s not much new in the overall manufacturer EV picture.
For more, here are the charts and tables: