US plug-in sales continued their steady growth in November: 13,432 EVs and PHEVs changed hands, an impressive increase over November 2015’s 10,070. If December’s sales match those of a year ago, this year’s sales will show an eye-catching 27% surge compared to 2015.
The Chevy Volt held onto its comfortable lead, as the new and improved 2017 Model becomes a common sight on the roads. The world’s most successful PHEV sold 2,531 units in November, one of its highest monthly figures ever.
Ford’s Fusion Energi surged ahead to take second place, with 1,817 sales, almost double the November 2015 figure. Its hatchback cousin, the C-MAX Energi, sold a respectable 721.
The LEAF is well out of its summer slump – November sales of 1,457 set a new record for the year, for the third month in a row. There’s no obvious reason for the sales surge – there’s been no news of the next-generation LEAF that is surely in the pipeline. On the other hand, Nissan’s elimination of the 24 kWh trim level effectively lowered the entry level price. EV buyers can now get a 30 kWh LEAF for a little over 30 grand.
Tesla’s monthly sales tend to fluctuate wildly from month to month, as the company shifts production among different markets. November was a moderate month: Model S sold 1,400 units, and Model X delivered 900, according to InsideEVs’ estimate.
It was a rough month for the company – after trading around 200 for months, TSLA stock dropped into the 180s. Conventional wisdom is that America’s new climate change denier-in-chief will make things tough on the EV industry. Tesla’s emboldened enemies have already intensified their attacks. Certainly, new subsidiary SolarCity is in for some rough sailing, but demand for Teslas has always been based more on performance than on greenery. Ironically, the new world order may work to Tesla’s advantage in the long run – if the legacy automakers succeed in getting the federal CAFE standards watered down, they are likely to scale back their modest EV efforts, leaving the field clear for the Californians.
The big news of the month was Toyota’s Prius Prime, which hit the market with the biggest first-month sales figure in plug-in history – 781 sold in November. See the new issue of Charged for a detailed look at what several reviewers have called “the best Prius yet.”