2015 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
With two months of sales still remaining in the year, the Nissan Leaf broke its own record for most electric cars sold in the U.S. in a single year.
October saw deliveries of 2,589 Leafs, bringing the year-to-date total to 24,411--which exceeds the 2013 total of 22,610, the previous record.
It also exceeds the annual sales totals for the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car in any of the three full years it's been on sale as well.
Nissan has sold a total of 66,533 Leafs in the U.S. over almost four years.
As for the Volt, it logged 1,439 deliveries last month, bringing its 10-month total this year to 15,979.
With the Volt now in its last model year before a complete redesign--to be introduced at the Detroit Auto Show in January--sales have plateaued over the last two years.
The Volt is still the highest-selling plug-in car in the country since its December 2010 launch, with total sales through October of 70,531 units.
But as the model winds down, it has been selling at a rate of roughly 2,000 per month for almost two years now.
Meanwhile, BMW underscored its serious intent in electric cars by selling 1,159 of the innovative and technologically advanced BMW i3--the third month in a row it has sold more than 1,000 i3s--which brings its six-month total to an impressive 4,263.
The Munich maker also delivered 204 BMW i8 gull-winged two-seat plug-in hybrid sports coupes in only that car's third month on the market. It brings the total delivered to 271.
BMW is considered to be the third of the large global automakers--after Nissan and General Motors--to be serious about electric cars, along with startup Tesla Motors.
But sales of the Tesla Model S are not reported monthly, and are consequently the subject of much debate and speculation.
Possibly due to the effects of September's National Drive Electric Week events, October sales are historically high for plug-in electric cars, as advocacy group Plug-In America noted in a recent blog post.
As well as those four vehicles, the highest-volume plug-in cars in the U.S. are the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid and Ford's pair of Energi models, the Fusion mid-size sedan and C-Max compact five-door hatchback.
But sales of all three plug-in hybrids have fallen dramatically over the last couple of months.
Sales of the plug-in Prius were 479 in October, the third month of sales below 1,000 after six straight months of sales ranging from 1,041 to 2,692.
Year-to-date totals for the lowest-range plug-in vehicle sold in the States are 12,321--although total deliveries since inception of 37,159 keep it ahead of the Tesla Model S (estimated), at least for the moment.
Ford delivered 644 C-Max Energis and 686 Fusion Energis, whereas both vehicles were above 1,000 sales each as recently as August. The 10-month totals for those two vehicles are 7,130 and 10,009 respectively.
Following those models is a raft of lower-volume vehicles, both battery electrics and plug-in hybrids, that sell in volumes of 10 to 200 a month.