2014 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
After a record-setting month in August, plug-in electric car sales moderated in September while the overall U.S. vehicle market surged.
The Chevrolet Volt, the best-selling plug-in car after almost three years, registered 1,766 deliveries--little more than half the record-setting number of 3,351 sold in August.
That brings its year-to-date sales total to 17,760.
The Nissan Leaf battery-electric car logged sales of 1,953, for a nine-month total of 16,076--less than 700 units behind the Volt.
2013 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
That number is sharply down on the 2,420 sold last month, though Nissan noted that it was the company's ninth successive month of year-over-year sales increases.
Once again, Nissan said, the Leaf's best market was Atlanta, with strong sales in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, entering its top 10 market areas as well.
"As electric vehicle sales spread from the West Coast to a new wave of markets," the company said in a release, "sales were up in all major Texas markets as well."
August record high
As always, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] does not deign to report monthly sales, so it's unclear how many of its Model S electric luxury sedans were delivered.
Various websites have speculated on those totals, by reading serial numbers on the most recent units sold and other measures--but now that Tesla is also shipping cars to Europe, those calculations get more complicated.
Fiat also refuses to distinguish sales of its low-volume Fiat 500e compliance car from those of gasoline versions of the 500.
Plug-in hybrids continue strong
Sales of plug-in hybrids are expected to stay strong, though not as high as the August totals.
The plug-in hybrid with the lowest electric range (11 miles, with only 6 miles continuous) is the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid.
With more plug-in hybrids now available (two from Ford, one from Honda), the plug-in Prius saw 1,152 deliveries--down from the 1,652 sold last September last year and the 1,791 sold in August.
The Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid delivered 51 cars last month, bringing the total since January to 349.
Ford's two Energi plug-in hybrid models both increased their sales over last month's totals: The C-Max Energi sold 758, its best month in almost a year, and the Fusion Energi sold 750, its highest-ever total.
Ford has now delivered 10,009 plug-in hybrid models since the first plug-in C-Max went on sale last October.
Low-volume and compliance cars
As well as its Volt total, GM delivered 78 Spark EV battery-electric cars, significantly down on July and August totals of 102 and 103. Total sales since the Spark EV went on sale in June are 310.
Sales of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV fell to 20, its lowest monthly number this year, bringing the year's total to 978. That's no more than the 20 sales of the carmaker's brand-new 2014 Mirage five-door hatchback minicar, which went on sale just this month.
The Toyota RAV4 EV, complete with Tesla-designed powertrain, saw 167 deliveries. That's down on August's record 231 units, but still the second-best monthly number.
A total of 1,107 of the battery-electric crossover has been delivered since its launch in September 2012.
Over almost two years, Mitsubishi has delivered 1,646 of its electric minicars, whose 62-mile range is the lowest of any battery-electric vehicle sold in the U.S.
Sales of the Honda Fit EV fell back after a surge early this year; Honda delivered 35 electric Fits, for a total of 455 this year.
Ford delivered 110 Focus Electrics, finally pushing total sales of the converted compact hatchback above the 2,000 mark over 22 months.
The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive picked up its numbers, selling 137 cars in September on top of 182 in August, for a yearly total of 490 in just five months.