For the second month in a row, total plug-in sales fell short of last year’s figures. Overall US sales were 10,365 in June, 10% lower than May, and 16% lower than June 2014.
The good news is that worldwide sales have shattered last year’s numbers every month so far this year. After a slow start, European sales are starting to take off, as a wider selection of EVs becomes available. Stateside buyers seem to be waiting for new and improved versions of the LEAF and Volt due out this fall. Dealers are discounting 2015 models, and used plug-ins are available at bargain prices.
The Tesla Model S is now indisputably America’s best-selling plug-in. It opened up a wide lead with an estimated 2,800 US sales in June. Tesla Motors announced 11,507 worldwide deliveries for the second quarter, besting the company’s forecast of 10,000-11,000 units. TSLA stock has been rising steadily all month, as regular tidbits of good news trickle out: the hiring of a revered battery expert; huge demand for the new line of stationary storage products; faster-than-expected progress on the Gigafactory.
LEAF sales of 2,104 were little changed from May, and actually not far short of June 2014. The 2016 LEAF, which may reach dealers in October, is expected to have a range of around 100 miles, and even more is in store. At the recent shareholders’ meeting, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn “envisioned” a LEAF with some 338 miles of range (on the lenient Japanese testing cycle, which equates to around 200 miles the way the EPA figures things). Also this month, the Nissan-Renault Alliance announced that it has sold over 250,000 electric vehicles worldwide.
The Volt also had a middling month, as 1,222 units changed hands. The last of the first-generation Volts rolled off the line in May, and Chevy dealers are offering profound discounts. The real party will start in September, when the revamped 2016 Volt, with 50+ miles of electric range, is expected to arrive in California. Meanwhile, GM revealed that it has built 55 pre-production Bolts, which are handily delivering 200 miles of range.
In fourth and fifth place are Ford’s PHEVs, the Fusion Energi (727 US sales in June) and C-MAX Energi (667). Does Ford have its own 200-mile EV in the pipeline? Who knows? At this month’s Further With Ford conference, CEO Mark Fields and Director of Vehicle Electrification Mike Tinskey steadfastly refused to say a word about EVs, despite your correspondent’s best efforts.