The US auto industry had another stellar month in June, as sales rose at the fastest pace since 2006. At 11,893 units, plug-in sales saw a slight drop compared to May (12,053), but a healthy increase over last June (8,292).
The Nissan LEAF held onto its lead with monthly sales of 2,347 units, although that represents a large decrease compared to May’s all-time plug-in record of 3,117. The new 2015 LEAFs are beginning to show up on dealers’ lots, and the switchover from 2014 model year production has caused inventories to drop to low levels. Sales in Texas are starting to pick up. “Since the Texas state incentive went into effect in May, we’ve seen a big jump in LEAF sales in the Austin, Dallas and Houston markets,” Toby Perry, Nissan’s Director of EV Sales and Marketing, told InsideEVs. Also this month, Nissan announced a price for replacement LEAF batteries.
The story of the month is the Ford Fusion Energi, which sold an amazing 1,939 units, a 44% jump compared to May, which was already an all-time record. The C-Max Energi also impressed, with sales of 988, its second-best month ever. The plucky little Focus Electric continues to chug along – June sales of 197 showed a slight increase over May. And now, the bad news: Ford was forced to concede that it had overstated fuel economy figures for the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi, and will be sending out compensation checks to owners.
The Tesla Model S edged out the Volt for third place, as InsideEVs estimates that 1,800 were sold in June. CEO Elon Musk paid a visit to the UK this month to celebrate the delivery of the first right-hand-drive Model S, but the big news was the company’s decision to make its patented technology available to other automakers. Tesla expects to deliver 35,000 cars this year, and says that sales continue to be limited not by demand but by production capacity.
The Chevy Volt continued its steady but slow progress as it slid into fourth place. In June, 1,777 Volts found homes. Sales have increased every month this year, but unless something miraculous happens in the fall, this year’s sales seem likely to fall short of 2013’s. GM began production of the 2015 Volt this month, and a few of the new ones have already arrived at dealerships.
The Toyota Prius Plug-In sold 1,571 units, a steep decline from May’s record monthly sales of 2,692 (doubtless due to the bad karma the company earned by bad-mouthing battery-electric vehicles), but still impressive compared to prior months. In fact, the PPI is the second best-selling plug-in in the US on a year-to-date basis.
We all continue to have high hopes for the BMW i3, which made a strong debut in May with 336 sales, and followed up this month with 358.
The tiny smart ED continues to sell very well in Europe, and seems to be slowly catching on here in Big Car Country. It moved 278 units in June, a healthy increase from May’s 206.
The Mercedes B-Class ED is scheduled to go on sale in July. Watch for a Charged cover story on the new model soon.