2016 is turning into a boom year for plug in electric vehicles! According to InsideEV’s monthly sales scorecard, electrified vehicle sales are up +19% (+10,455 units) vs. sales through mid-2015 reaching almost 65,000 in sales. The month of June recorded the highest sales of any month on record breaking 15,000 in sales. InsideEVs Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard
Behind the EV resurgence are four factors:
1). Tesla. Combined sales of Model S and Model X have topped 19,000 units commanding just under 30% of the EV market. Model X reached almost 7,000 units and Model S, refreshed in April, sold just over 12,000 new vehicles through June. The 373,000 Model III advance deposits provide a nice tailwind, as does the recent price reduction on the 2016 Model S (about $5,000 less than a comparably equipped 2015: see our earlier post (New Tesla Model S 60: A good value?).
2). VOLT. The all new 2017 Chevrolet VOLT is outselling it’s Gen 1 model by 73% with sales just under 10,000 vehicles through mid-year. Plug-In hybrid buyers know that the VOLT is their best option for daily electric commutes and the range to go the distance (400 miles). Chevrolet dealers might be getting better at selling the new VOLT; or at least not ‘unselling’it to well educated PHEV buyers.
3). Ford. Ford’s Energi models (C-Max and Fusion) along with the Gen 1 Ford Focus Electric managed to grow unit sales +26%. Ford, through CEO Mark Fields, has committed to invest $4.5 Billion to electrify its product line and offer at least 13 electric models in the near future. Watch the Blue Oval.
4). New EV offerings in total helped support Plug In growth. BMW X5 Drive40e, Audi A3 E-tron, Volvo XC90, VW eGolf and Hyundai Sonata plug in all have added just under 9,000 vehicles through mid-2016. Most of these models did not exist in early 2015.
Two EV have lost significant sales base in 2016: Nissan LEAF (under 6,000 units/-41%) and BMW i3 (under 3,000 units/-36%). Nissan needs to launch the GEN 2 LEAF as soon as possible and BMW may need to adjust the value equation for its i3. At $42-50,000 the 84-110 mile EV is crossing into Tesla territory.
What can we conclude from 2016 so far: new product with longer range is driving market growth and the impact of ‘cheap’ gasoline appears to be part of the history of 2015 Plug In EV sales. Growing charging infrastructure is building confidence in EVs and is slowly chipping away at ‘range anxiety disease’. Major public utilities commitments to building out EV charging infrastructure, especially in California and in the Pacific Northwest is a harbinger of what can be expected across the US: public/private enterprise to support EV charging station build out.
Tesla inventories are reportedly a tad high and the Detroit and Asian Automakers always run ‘end of model year’ clearance sales. Now might just be your time to get into an EV metro Atlantans!