US plug-in sales continue their steady ascent. In April, about 10,557 plug-ins were sold, a 16% gain over last April, and the sixth consecutive monthly record.
The Chevy Volt took first place for the month, as sales increased to 1,983 units. The new and improved 2017 Volt is now officially on sale nationwide, but Volts are still scarce in some parts of the US, according to InsideEVs. This month, the Volt reclaimed the title of best-selling US plug-in in its neck-and-neck race with the Nissan LEAF.
And second place for April goes to…the Ford Fusion Energi, which boosted sales to 1,331 units, thanks partly to robust levels of inventory around the country. Its hatchback cousin, the C-MAX Energi, sold a respectable 607. Ford’s Focus Electric continues to sell in the double digits, and it’s hard to imagine that an upcoming incremental upgrade is going to lead to a huge breakout. The company has been blowing hot and cold on the question of whether it has a second-gen 200-mile EV in the pipeline.
The Tesla Model S (which delivered an estimated 800 units) and Model X (850) saw deliveries drop in April, but monthly figures don’t mean much for Tesla, as it tends to produce cars in batches for different markets (yes, we would say that, but it’s true). A few early Model X buyers have been cursing about malfunctions, many of them having to do with – you guessed it – the Falcon Wing doors.
Tesla released its first-quarter earnings report this week, and announced an ambitious (skeptics are using very different adjectives) plan to increase annual production to as many as a million vehicles by 2020. Elon Musk called the March debut of Model 3 “the biggest consumer product launch ever.” Tesla’s quest to satisfy the unprecedented demand is likely to mean life or death for the company.
The BMW i3 is back, selling 814 units in April after several months of bafflingly low sales. BMW’s X5 xDrive40e plug-in SUV (on the cover of the current issue of Charged) is starting to rack up impressive numbers – 655 sold in April.
What’s going on with the LEAF? April was one of its slowest months since 2012, at a measly 787 units. At least it’s encouraging that Nissan has finally started doing some advertising for its EV. Hey everybody, the upgraded 2016 LEAF, with 107 miles of range, is available right now, no waiting or $1,000 deposit required. Can we get a little respect here?