Chevy, Nissan and Tesla are swapping paint at the head of the pack, as a couple of feisty little contenders get ready to enter the race. Plug-in automobiles posted their second best month of US sales so far this year, with almost 8,000 vehicles changing hands.
The 2013 Chevrolet Volt retook the lead and then some, selling 2,698 units in June, its best month of the year, and an increase of about 12% compared to the first half of last year. GM continues to hand out generous incentives on the 2013s, but has yet to announce details of the 2014 model.
Though it dropped into second place, the Nissan LEAF also had a great month. It sold 2,225 units, a small increase over May, a hair short of its best month ever, and an enormous increase over 2012.
US sales of the Tesla Model S (as estimated by InsideEVs) dropped to 950 in June, not because buyers have lost interest, but because the company has cleared its backlog of US reservations and is now producing cars for European deliveries. Most analysts expect Tesla to exceed its projection of 4,500 units in the second quarter.
Toyota’s Prius Plug-In just managed to hold on to fourth place, with 584 units, an all-time monthly low and a decline in the year-to-date total compared to 2012. Not good.
Meanwhile, the PPI’s self-declared nemesis, the Ford C-MAX Energi, basically held steady, selling 455 units in June, as did the Ford Fusion Energi, with 390 units.
The Focus Electric remains unsure where it stands in its parents’ affections – Ford began producing it in Germany this month, but still can’t resist making belittling comments about it. The all-electric hatchback sold 177 units in June, a tiny increase over May.
Speaking of compliance cars, the big story of the month is the Honda Fit EV. It moved 208 units in June, more than in the previous 11 months put together. A new, more generous lease deal with no mileage cap seems to have been the spark.
And speaking of sparks, the Chevrolet Spark EV was launched in June, but it was only on sale for a couple of weeks, and only in California, so the monthly figure of 27 units probably doesn’t mean much. This tiny four-door is available for lease at $199/month, and we expect it to be a contender.
In fact, we predict brisk sales for the “cute little EV” segment in general. There’ll be three of these little guys tooling around the nation’s streets soon, and it will be interesting to watch them battle it out.
The smart fortwo Electric Drive sold 60 units in its second month on the US market. A Smart spokesman told InsideEVs that he expected sales to stay around that level sold until the ED goes nationwide in October.
The Fiat 500e will be one to watch when it goes on sale next month – Fiat’s CEO may have no love for this car, but it seems that others do – it’s already almost sold out for 2013.