Plug-in Car Sales Up 59% In May 2014 (US Sales Report)

Time for the latest US plug-in car sales update!

The big winner in May was the Nissan LEAF, which set a new monthly sales record for itself and crushed the competition in May sales. Its sales were up 46% compared to May 2013, rising from 2,138 to 3,117. For the year to date, the Nissan LEAF is also up 46% (rising from 5,677 to 8,301 sales). The LEAF is leading all plug-in cars in sales this year, and is even beating the entire plug-in lineups from Ford, Toyota, GM, and Honda.

However, there were other big winners in May, even bigger in some respects — the Toyota Prius Plug-in and Ford Fusion Energi. The Prius Plug-in was up 297% compared to May 2013, going from 678 to 2692 sales, and the Fusion Energi was up 223%, going from 416 to 1,342 sales.

For the year to date, the Toyota Prius Plug-in is up 98% (3,031 to 5,988), the Ford Fusion Energi is up 328% (830 to 3,553), and the Ford C-Max Energi is up 49% (1,616 to 2,415).

I think there’s no denying that Nissan’s approach to electric vehicles — creating a 100% electric car from the ground up that costs less than the average new car — is proving to be the most successful. (No surprise from me.) However, Toyota and Ford are doing a pretty good job selling plug-in hybrid versions of some of their popular models. I do wonder when these companies will decide it’s time for them to compete with the LEAF and build a 100% electric car from the ground up. As I think we all know, the longer you wait to get into a new segment, the more likely the leaders in that segment will leave you in the dust and you will never able to catch up. (Look at how things turned out for Toyota with its leadership in the conventional hybrid market.)

Tesla, of course, is still supply limited. It’s hard to know what Tesla sales would look like if it could produce as many vehicles as Americans demand. The problem is enhanced by the fact that Tesla is shipping vehicles to Europe and getting ready to ship to China.

The BMW i3 just got rolling in May. I look forward to seeing how high its sales get in the coming months. I definitely think it could make it into the top 5.

On the whole, plug-in car sales were up 59% in May, plug-in hybrid sales were up 107%, and pure-electric car sales were up 22%.

For the year to date, plug-in car sales are up 32%, plug-in hybrid sales are up 56%, and pure-electric car sales are up 12%.

That said, it’s important to note that many of Tesla’s cars are going to Europe, bringing US sales down compared to where they would be if Tesla wasn’t yet in Europe and supply limited.

Not bad, but I hope sales will pick up even more in the coming months!

Those are my main thoughts on May plug-in car sales in the US. Here are static versions of the charts above:

US EV Sales May 2014

US EV Sales May 2013

US EV Sales May 2014 YTD

US EV Sales May 2013 YTD

plug in car sales US May 2014

plug in car sales US May YTD 2014

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