Yes, Ford Energi in the title probably comes as a little bit of a surprise, but if you add Ford’s two Energi models together, they almost tie the Chevy Volt for #2 in US electric car sales in April at 17%. This, combined with the Chevy Volt’s great sales and Tesla’s continual domination of the large luxury sedan segment, repeat to me what I’ve emphasized in previous months: I think the low- to medium-range electric car market is suffering as people wait for the long-range and affordable Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, and presumably future-gen Nissans and BMWs.
Tesla’s high-end, long-range models don’t seem to be getting hit (demand has even risen since the Model 3 unveiling. Similarly, plug-in hybrid models, which seem to have a slightly different customer base of people who are fine with gas backup when outside of their normal urban or regional range, also seem to be doing alright. Part of this could also be due to the larger size of the Ford Fusion Energi — large, affordable, fully electric cars with long angle haven’t been announced — as well as the fairly long electric range and appealing specs of the Chevy Volt.
Naturally, it’s also important that GM and Ford sell these cars nationwide. Most other EVs on the market are “compliance cars” that aren’t widely available. A Ford shopper can walk into a dealership in many places in the country and potentially be “sold up” to a Fusion Energi or C-Max Energi rather than a conventional one.
Overall, EV sales in the US were up 28% from April 2016 compared to April 2015, and up 15.5% for the year to date. Nonetheless, fully electric vehicle sales (despite growth in Tesla sales) were just up 0.5% and down 5%, respectively. Total EV sales accounted for 0.8% of the country’s passenger auto sales in April 2016.
Tying things back to Tesla’s bombshell announcement last night, if you assume Tesla will reach its target of 500,000 sales in 2018, and you assume half of those will go to the US, you’d get 20,833 Tesla sales a month in 2018 from Tesla alone, approximately twice the entire US EV market right now. Naturally, 50% to the US is maybe a bit high, and you can adjust to 40% or 30% if you like, but you get the point.
Take a look at the charts and table for more detail.
Toggle between the 4 tabs at the top of the chart above to change between April 2016, April 2015, YTD 2016, and YTD 2015.