US plug-in sales continued their steady growth last month, and even the mainstream press is now beginning to understand that rock and roll is here to stay. 13,432 EVs and PHEVs changed hands in July, an incredible increase over July 2015’s 8,951.
The Chevy Volt regained its accustomed first place, as accolades accumulate for the new and improved 2017 Model. July’s sales figure of 2,406 was the highest in almost two years. The Volt has now sold over 100,000 units in the US.
Tesla’s monthly sales tend to bob up and down from month to month, as the company shifts production among different markets. July was a down month: Model S slipped into second place with 2,150 units, and Model X delivered only 750.
As usual, the California carmaker has been regularly making headlines – SolarCity accepted Tesla’s takeover plan (shareholders must still give their approval), Elon Musk released a second Master Plan, Tesla ended its guaranteed buyback program in the US, and the 2016 second-quarter earnings report showed continued losses, but reported record production and steady progress.
The upset of the month: the BMW i3 grabbed third place as sales surged to 1,479, its second-highest monthly total ever. Even greater things are to be expected soon, as the i3 is due to get a battery upgrade from 22 kWh to 33 kWh, which will give it a range of 114 miles. The company’s X5 xDrive40e PHEV has also done well since going on sale last October – it sold 649 units in July.
Ford’s Fusion Energi continued to keep pace with the leaders. July sales of 1,341 were down from June’s near-record results, but blew away July 2015’s figure of 852. Its hatchback cousin, the C-MAX Energi, sold 755, a tad over the July 2015 figure.
The LEAF remains in something of a slump – it sold 1,063 in July, a little short of the July 2015 figure. Renault/Nissan head Carlos Ghosn surely seems to be a true believer in EVs, but the company’s flagship EV is looking elderly, as competitors are upgrading their offerings. New battery options and a next-generation LEAF are in the pipeline, and they won’t arrive any too soon.