US plug-in sales resumed their steady growth in June, after a slow May ended a six-month streak of consecutive monthly records. Over 15,000 EVs and PHEVs changed hands, a sharp increase from June 2015’s 10,364, according to InsideEVs.
Tesla opened up a wide lead over the other plug-in purveyors: Model S moved 3,700 units, and Model X extended its growth trend with 2,180 sales (we know, these are only InsideEVs estimates, and monthly figures mean little for Tesla, but we’re having fun with our auto racing metaphor).
The California carmaker is seldom far from the headlines – a proposed merger with Solar City and a tragic crash involving a Model S in Autopilot mode both graduated to the mainstream press this month, and both stories surely have much farther to run. Tesla’s second-quarter production figures, released over the holiday weekend, fell short of predictions, but weekly output is increasing, and the company still expects to deliver about 50,000 vehicles during the second half of 2016.
In third place this month was the Chevy Volt, which seems to have settled into a groove since introducing the new and improved 2017 Model. June sales of 1,937 showed a healthy increase over last year’s 1,225.
Ford’s Fusion Energi continues its ascent. It sold 1,700 units in June, a healthy increase from May and well over double its June 2015 sales. Its hatchback cousin, the C-MAX Energi, sold 630, a tad short of the June 2015 figure. The neglected and abandoned Focus Electric faded farther into the background, selling a measly 54.
The LEAF remains in a slump – it sold 1,096 in June, a minor increase from May, but about half the June 2015 figure. Something more than Nissan’s recent modest ad campaign will be required for this iconic EV to get back onto the lead lap.
Farther back in the pack, there’s a lot of talk but not much action. Of the 27 plug-in models available in the US from major brands, only five cracked the 1,000-unit mark this month. Most automakers don’t openly tell people not to buy their EVs (unlike Fiat, whose 500e is ironically in ninth place, with 480 sales in June, or Kia), but with limited production runs, availability only in EV-friendly regions, and no advertising, they make it pretty plain that their offerings are built for government regulators and EV journalists, not for car buyers.