US Electric Vehicle Sales Update (September EV Sales) βˆ’

100% Electric Vehicles

Published on October 5th, 2014 | by Zach


US Electric Vehicle Sales Update (September EV Sales)

Above are four charts you can toggle between. You can see that Tesla Model S (and Fiat 500e) sales are absent. Unfortunately, Tesla and Fiat don’t report their month sales. With Tesla now delivering vehicles to Europe, China, and Japan, and only reporting total sales each quarter, it is really too much of a guessing game to estimate its monthly US sales.

Tesla aside, there are only 3 to 5 electric vehicles* whose sales are really worth discussing: the world-leading Nissan LEAF, the plug-in-hybrid-leading Chevy Volt, the BMW i3, and Ford’s C-Max Energi & Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids.

Not counting the i3, since it wasn’t on the market last year, the only one of those top electric vehicles that saw increased sales in September 2014 compared to September 2013 was the Nissan LEAF, which was up nearly 50%. The Volt was down 21%. The Ford Fusion Energi was down 15%. And the Ford C-Max Energi was down 11%. There are a variety of reasons sales of these vehicles could be down, but the most obvious answer is that the BMW i3 and Nissan LEAF have stolen some of their market share.

Also, more people may be getting comfortable with going all-in and buying a 100% electric vehicle. 100% EV sales (if you include all BMW i3s, despite some of them having a minuscule range extender) were up 82% in September. Plug-in hybrids were down 25%.

The Nissan LEAF has been absolutely crushing it… for 19 months in a row. The LEAF actually accounted for 63% of non-Tesla 100% electric vehicle sales in September and 36% of all non-Tesla electric vehicle sales. The BMW i3 has really come on strong, but is still far behind the Nissan LEAF, and may never catch up with the LEAF at a much more affordable price level and the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X within range for many potential i3 buyers. Those two vehicles cover a wide spectrum of vehicle prices, with the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X filling in the higher end of that spectrum.

Will plug-in hybrids bounce back in October? Overall, they are still up 31% for the year as a whole compared to the same period in 2013, just a bit less than the 39% rise in 100% electric vehicle sales.

US EV Sales 2014 - September

*Note: I use “electric vehicles” inclusively to talk about 100% electric vehicles as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. To specify them in places, I do as I just did in the previous sentence.


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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009.

Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, SCTY, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB. After years of covering solar and EVs, he simply had a lot of faith in these companies and felt like they were good companies to invest in as a portion of his retirement strategy.

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  • Kyle Field

    Surprised by the poor YOY performance of Volt sales. Glad leaf continues to increase and the i3 has made a mark. I was holding out for the eGolf…but we went to look at a normal golf and my wife didnt like how it looked…might end up in an overpriced i3 but at least she’s committed to making her/our next car an EV πŸ™‚ My calculations show that an EV will take between 6-9 or so panels to offset the mileage depending on which car we end up in and how much mileage we end up putting on/yr (based on actual per panel output from my existing 12 panel array, low mi/yr = 8000mi, high mi/yr = 12,000). I love spreadsheets πŸ™‚

    • Curious to drive the eGolf, but I liked the i3 way more than the eUp! That said, I might have gone with the eUp! of LEAF out of practicality… if i were in the market.

      Not sure what’s up with the Volt. I think it is in a league of its own. Get the impression it’s considerably better than any of the PHEVs in a number of ways, but then is much more affordable than the BMW i3, but the competition seems to be eating into its sales much more than the LEAF’s… or there’s a supply issue.

      I love spreadsheets too πŸ˜€ Can share the monthly sales ones with you if you feel like doing more with them πŸ˜€ I keep wanting to break out more %s (especially market share) and create more charts, but haven’t had time.

    • btw, thanks for commenting on the original here. Gets lonely in the comments on EV Obsession compared to CleantTechnica. πŸ˜€

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