Plug-In Electric Car Sales For July: Leaf Up, Volt Down (FINAL UPDATE)

Follow John

2013 Nissan Leaf, Nashville area test drive, April 2013

2013 Nissan Leaf, Nashville area test drive, April 2013

Enlarge Photo

Sales of plug-in electric cars continued at a relatively steady pace in July, keeping the sector on track for something near 100,000 sales by the end of the year.

While last month's half-year total wasn't quite enough to double the 2012 total of 53,000 electric cars, sales are now running at an average of more than 7,000 a month--with variations in each car from month to month.

Nissan sold 1,864 Leaf battery-electric cars--a record for July sales, though not an all-time monthly high.

That brings Leaf sales for the first seven months of 2013 to 11,703, which is more Leafs than the company sold in the U.S. during all of 2011 or 2012.

Sales of the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car, on the other hand, totaled 1,788 in July, fewer than the 1,849 sold in July of 2012.

Total Volt sales are 11,643 in the first seven months of the year, versus 10,666 at the same time last year.

Plug-in hybrids

As for plug-in hybrids, Toyota sold 817 plug-in Prius models during July, against 688 during July 2012.

But the total of 5,031 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrids sold so far during 2013 is essentially flat against the 5,035 for the same period last year.

Honda sold another 54 of its 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid, more than it's delivered in a single month since the car went on sale six months ago. The year's total is now 254.

Sales of the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid were 433, bringing the seven-month total to 2,915.

Meanwhile, the Ford Fusion Energi delivered 407 cars, for a total through July of 1,991.

Low-volume and compliance cars

Among plug-in cars selling in low volume, sales of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV for July were 46, bringing the year's total to 928.

In fact, it was outsold in July by the Smart Electric Drive, of which 58 found buyers. That bumps the total through July to 173.

In its second month on sale, still filling the delivery pipeline, General Motors sold 103 Chevrolet Spark EVs--in California and Oregon only.

And the Ford Focus Electric, the car its maker keeps insisting won't sell well? It didn't: 150 new Focus Electrics were delivered in July, for a yearly total to date of 1,050.

Toyota delivered 109 of its Tesla-powered RAV4 EVs--more than double last month's figure of 44--bringing the year's total to 517.

Honda leased 63 Fit EVs during July, bringing the year's total to 354. The company does not sell its electric conversion outright, but only offers it on a three-year lease.

Ciao, 500e!

This month will see the first sales of the Fiat 500e compliance car in California, although Fiat has not committed to breaking out its sales--so the small numbers of the well-reviewed electric car may remain unknown.

The only other carmaker that refuses to report monthly sales of its plug-in cars is Tesla.

We'll find out how many Model S electric luxury sport sedans the company sold from April through June when Tesla reports its second-quarter financial results later this month.

We will update this story throughout the day as additional sales figures come in.


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Follow Us

Comments (51)
  1. Volt's suffering from Osborne Syndrome with the 2014.. Where's the pricing info GM?

  2. I will make it 1 closer to 100,000 when I get my Leaf this month!

  3. Hope you enjoy it, Randy! Welcome to the EV club. Well, mine's a Volt, so not really an EV, but I like other drivers, I drive only on electricity if at all possible.

  4. Its ok, I forgive you for getting a PHEV. This is the Plug In Club! ;-)

  5. What about the Ford Focus electric sales?

  6. @Daniel: Ford breaks out its plug-in sales one day after the rest of the sales reports. I'll add Focus Electric sales tomorrow.

  7. How nice! Nissan is still rolling on its marketing band wagon. More poor souls receiving their defective battery powered JUNK. You prospective costumers need to check the dreary history of this product before investing $40,000.00 in it. Don't say you weren't WARNED!

  8. OOOOOOOOOO! Somebody doesn't like what I have to say. Maybe they work for Nissan!

  9. Plenty of people like the LEAF, so quit pretending that your opinion is special or offers any insight. But exactly what insight could anyone expect from someone who thinks the LEAF costs $40K?

    People don't like your comment because you come off as a jerk and your laughable comment about the price shows how ignorant and clueless you really are. And "OOOOOOO!"...? What are you, 12 years old? I don't particularly like the LEAF, or even Nissan, but I do know that I dislike you and it seems almost everyone else agrees. Congratulations.

  10. I think many people don't like your comments because so many of them are about attacking other commenters. That really is your thing isn't it?

  11. @John Steele: I might add the tones of seething anger and occasional paranoia to the list.

  12. Oh well you are obviously ignorant of the facts, If you consider the $33K+ MSRP + taxes, tile, & dock fees here in Arizona, and the city of Tucson, it comes out to just shy of 40K. You are however, entitled to your opinion, as am I. My experience with Nissan's refusal to deal with the battery degradation issue has been unsatisfactory.

  13. Shame on Nissan too btw....hope Tesla or Ford's battery won't be such a head ache...

  14. The car starts at 28 BEFORE tax breaks, and may approach 40k with everything on it, but most seem to be about 33 before tax incentives, at least around here (I tried to find a cheaper one, before I ordered the one I wanted). From the dealers I have spoken to, most are skipping the 240v charger. Maybe this isn't the case nationwide though?

  15. If you're going to ADD taxes and fees, why not DEDUCT federal and state incentives. You appear to be loading up the equation on one side if you only ADD the fees. (But then, again, you really appear to be one-sided in any case.)

  16. There are more comments in this thread
  17. I didn't realize a care with a very high costumer satisfaction rating was a piece of junk and mistake…

  18. I did buy a 2013 Smart Electric Drive in July. Is Mercedes offering sales figures?

  19. Mark,
    PLEASE write about your experience. Looking forward to hearing about it.

  20. I think the huge state incentives for BEVs in the states outside of CA is really helping the sales.

    If GA is offereing $5K for the Leaf and Federal offering $7,500. That is $12,500 off the price of Leaf which is about $30k.

    Government is paying for more than 1/3 of the Leaf price.

  21. There is another way to look at this - the Feds are refunding the income taxes paid on that $32,000 (depending on your income, of course). It's clearly an incentive, and there are arguments to be made about burden shifting, but still...

  22. Sure, but some of the state and local incentives are equal or higher than the Federal incentives.

    Many of the State and local incentives are NOT related to the income either so people can take more advantage of it.

  23. "Many of the State and local incentives are NOT related to the income either so people can take more advantage of it."

    Leases roll those incentives in AFAIK, so folks who can't take full advantage of income tax credits can benefit thru leasing.

  24. I believe that is federal incentives only.

    In the case of CA, you get a $2,500 check regardless what your income is and that is On top of the $199/month lease. So, the CA state basically paid your 1st year of lease for a 3 yr lease. You get the Leaf for FREE for the first year.

    Volt can't compete against a FREE Leaf.

  25. Even with CA's incentives - why aren't they selling more in CA and in other states like CO, IL and PA with these big incentives? The sales of Volts are 1/10th nationally compared to Impalas (same prices MSRP as a Volt) and Malibus. I think people just don't understand EVs yet and don't trust them due to the media and right-leaning "plays" against EV adoption.

  26. @John McVicker,

    I think Volt is selling well in CA comparing to Volt sales elsewhere. At one point, Volt sales in CA is more than the next 5 states combined.

    One thing is that Volt's sticker shock. In CA, you can effectively get a Volt for about $26k. That is NOT the case else where since most other states don't offer incentives on Volt but they do on other BEVs. So, Volt is at least $30k for most other states.

    Also, dealers in other states aren't exactly Volt friendly. Plus all the political reasons...

  27. We live in GA and leased a Focus EV last month. Ford gave $12,750 rebate up front on the lease as opposed to waiting for the $7,500 from the feds and GA gives the $5,000 income tax rebate on a lease, you have five years to use it. Around GA there is no L3 charging yet unlike TN. The Focus monthly was only slightly more than a than a less luxurious Leaf that does not perform as well on L2 as the Focus in range or charge time. The Leaf suffers more in the heat than the Focus' liquid cooled batteries.We think the baby Aston Martin styling is better and is more unique than the droves of Leafs around here.People who "know what it is"like it and It doesn't attract any unwanted attention, stigma or aggressive behavior from "prius hater" hick types

  28. Do you have the 2012 sales in an easy to see table? Curious about seasonality in EV sales.


  30. The Tabular data is awesome.
    One question, why does the table predict very low sales of the Model S in June and July (less than 1000)?

  31. Good catch, John. July is a traditional shutdown month for tooling, maintenance, etc., but not for the whole month, of course, usually just a week around July 4.

    My guess would have been tooling/retooling, but I haven't read anything that leads me to believe this is the case. Musk seems certain they can reach 20K this year and at the June and July rates shown here, that wouldn't seem likely, so I don't trust the data without knowing more.

  32. @John, @Robok: I believe the Tesla plant took a week off at the start of July, and that the company has largely fulfilled its backlog of U.S. orders.

  33. @ Jogn Voelcker:

    The number is an estimate based on the assumption that all cars produced are sold. So I think what they do is they take estimated production numbers and subtract the number of cars they think are designated for export. At the end of the day it's all just guess work.

  34. The part where they believe Tesla started moving cars to Europe is, of course, true.

    The part where the believe U.S. deliveries magically fell in 1/2 but no backlog resulted.... Well, that part is categorically false.

  35. @Mark: Interesting assertion. Your support for it, please? Might be worth a followup for us if there's info to substantiate.

  36. Are you a TSLA stockholder and trying to pump up the valuation? This is where I worry that sales estimates and rumors don't match with actual facts and results. Be careful if so.

  37. They built a lot of Model S for export to Europe and also took 1st week of July off at the plant.

  38. Hey, John Steele, tell us about the bad things that have happened with your Leaf. You DO own one, of course......
    Tim, Volt owner

  39. Tim, Please realize that I live in Tucson, Arizona one of the hottest areas of the country. When I bought my Leaf in June of 2011, nothing was was indicated from the dealer about statements buried in the owners about heat exposure, and full charging in high heat conditions. All I was told was that the batteries would probably degrade about 20% in 5 years. That has happened in 2 years. Nissan repurchased a double cars in the Phoenix area as a good will gesture initially until more & more of the cars in high heat ares reported issues. They stopped any more repurchase activity, and issued a limited warrantee on Leafs that lost more than three charging capacity levels. Nissan has indicated that this number having problem is "Tiny". no space!

  40. Seems to be the limitation of air cooling. Most unfortunate.

  41. Indeed.

  42. And there were numerous articles before the LEAF was released and shortly thereafter criticizing the lack of liquid cooling and predicting problems in areas with temperature extremes. That's one reason I decided not to get a LEAF, actually, although I was already leaning toward a Volt by then.

    I'm sorry for your problems and Nissan has handled it all badly but do some basic research next time. Do you know how many sites mentioned this issue before you got your LEAF?

  43. We did the research. Tucson was a test market area, and Nissan stated that this was not an issue of concern. We went with that, in good faith for our purchase decision. We also, mistakenly, assumed Nissan would support their product.

  44. Tucson, Arizona...I heard they gonna launch a new streetcar system,that will be good competition for all electric transport.
    Unbelievable Nissan would choose to run away from dealing with a problem

  45. There are more comments in this thread
  46. Page 2 I filed a claim with the Better Business Bureau Autoline in Arlington, VA, and after going through that process, there is nothing that can be arbitrated. So I'm SOL. Nissan's attorneys have done a great job in screwing the customer. The cars in cooler climates appear to be fine. If that's you situation, enjoy what is otherwise a great car. JS

  47. Apples and Oranges. The VOLT is a PHEV.
    LEAF compares to SPARK PEV.

  48. dip in #'s for the LEAF is a bit of a surprise especially considering 4 new ones spotted on the streets in Oly along with a day last week when I was headed North on I-5 (driving company van) and saw 3 new ones (all with temp plates) headed North with me! But then again, the # of LEAFs currently on the lots nationwide pretty much says the hotspots for sales (East and West Coasts) are being stocked while the rest of the country is likely not seeing much variety on the lots

  49. I am surprised that inventory is so unevenly distributed. Hot cities such as Atlanta should get more allocation since GA offers a lot of state incentives on the car.

    There are already lots of Leaf and Volt in CA. I can't go through a day without seeing half dozen of each everyday...

    Of course, Tesla Model S is the same way...

  50. I think Ford is really losing the plot by not advertising the Focus EV and Energi cars more. The Focus at least with the lease incentives and tax rebate on a lease in GA. Is close enough to the monthly for a loaded leaf that it's worth it. The only real advantage the Leaf really has is L3 and here there is no L3 yet. The Focus charges faster on L2, goes further in real world driving, is less effected by the heat with liquid cooling, accelerated 0-60 .5s quicker, has more passenger space, equal (even though awkward)trunk space and everyone I have spoken with agrees it a lot easier on the eyes.Also anti-EV people don't know they are supposed to hate me unless they suddenly remember how to read and see Electric on it,it looks like a normal car

  51. Or you might say ... actually
    VOLT SALES UP 9% year to date.
    VOLT outsells all other PHEV combined by 200% year to date.
    VOLT is a PHEV but is in a dead heat with much lower priced LEAF BEV.

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Find Green Cars


© 2015 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.