It’s a nail-biting battle for the lead in the plug-in sales race. The Nissan LEAF barely edged into the lead for November, selling 2,003 units – one more than in October. Sales of the world’s most popular pure EV have already more than doubled 2012’s figure. The 2014 LEAF is in production now and should appear at US dealerships in December.
Chevy sold 1,920 Volts in November, a slight decline from October’s figure. It now appears that 2013’s sales will barely equal 2012’s. According to InsideEVs, poor inventory control is partly to blame – or at least that’s what GM’s marketing department would have us believe. GM created a weird situation when it apparently overproduced the 2013 model, while lowering the MSRP on the 2014 model – dealers have been slashing prices on the 2013s, and the new ones are just starting to trickle in.
Tesla doesn’t report monthly sales, but InsideEVs estimates that about 1,200 Model S found homes in November. No, there’s no way to know at this point whether the bad PR about the Model S crashes and subsequent fires has affected sales one way or the other.
Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which took the lead for the first time last month, fell back into fourth place with 1,100 sales – along with the Volt, the PPI’s prospects of beating last year’s sales figure are now in doubt.
Ford’s plug-ins continue to post respectable numbers – the Fusion Energi sold 870 and the C-MAX Energi sold 941, both showing slight declines from October’s all-time records. That scrappy Cinderella, the Focus Electric, sold 130, and is on track to score a (distant) third place for the year in the pure EV category.
The misunderstood little Fiat 500e posted a large monthly gain to sell 125 units – it may yet be a contender.
All the way at the other end of the scale, Porsche’s Panamera S E-Hybrid is just beginning to appear at dealers. Prospective plug-in buyers may complain of many things (high prices, mostly), but they can no longer say they don’t have a wide range of models to choose from.