Plug-in electric car sales for Aug: Bolt EV leads Prime, Volt lower (updated)

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV continued a steady sales rise last month as it solidified its position among the top three plug-in electric cars for which monthly U.S. sales are reported.

In August, Chevy delivered 2,107 Bolt EVs, the first time the car had sold more than 2,000 units in a month after entering the market in mid-December last year.

Close behind was the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, at 1,820 sales, with the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid in third place at 1,445 deliveries for August—its lowest monthly number since February 2016.

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The Nissan Leaf, now in full sell-down mode with four-figure discounts rampant across the country, logged 1,154 sales.

Those four vehicles have collectively sold almost 50,000 units in the first eight months of the year: 11,670 Bolt EVs, 13,157 Prius Primes, 13,895 Volts, and 9,683 Leafs. More than 10 million new vehicles were sold in the U.S. over that period.

Tesla neither reports monthly sales nor breaks down its quarterly sales by country, so comparable figures for sales of the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X are not available.

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

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Tesla hasn't yet commented on how many Model 3 electric cars it sold in August, after delivering the first 30 to hand-picked buyers at the end of July.

The company will gradually ramp up volumes of the Model 3 over what CEO Elon Musk has called several months of "production hell," with a goal of 5,000 Teslas a week coming off the line by December 31.

With 455,000 reservations already placed for the car, whose base version will start at $35,000 before incentives, the Tesla Model 3 is widely expected to become one of the top-selling electric cars in the U.S.

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Among other higher-volume electric cars, 504 BMW i3 electric cars found buyers—with and without the REx range-extending engine—a number exactly on pace with its monthly rate this year, for a year-to-date total of 4,097.

Sales of the Volkswagen e-Golf were also steady at 317 units, for an eight-month total of 2,512.

Rumors have emerged of high discounts required to move remaining stocks of 2016 e-Golfs, with 83-mile ranges, to make room for the 2017 model rated at a far higher 125 miles.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

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Ford sold 762 Fusion Energi mid-size sedans and 705 C-Max Energi compact tall hatchbacks, bringing the year-to-date totals for those plug-in hybrids to 6,522 and 5,929 respectively.

Among luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz delivered 212 of its C350e plug-in hybrid sedan, the highest monthly total since it went on sale in January, for an eight-month total of 612.

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At an even higher price point, 178 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrids were sold in August, bringing the eight-month total for the luxury plug-in hybrid SUV offering 14 miles of electric range to 1,136.

Deliveries of the Audi A3 e-tron fell significantly from previous months to 129 units, the lowest number since that car went on sale in December 2015. The A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid's year-to-date total is now 2,467.

2018 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

2018 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

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Finally, it's worth noting that sales of the entirely new Smart ForTwo Electric Drive launched last month, with 94 delivered after several months of wind-down for the outgoing version.

We will update this report further as more monthly sales information comes in.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As of May 2017, this monthly report covers only plug-in electric cars with sales of 100 units a month or more—with occasional exceptions for new models, exceptionally large changes in sales volume, or other newsworthy events.

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