The Chevy Volt bolted to an early lead in Canada's 2015 plug-in electric vehicle sales, with 71 sales. That's nearly double the Nissan Leaf's January total of 36.
We'll see if the Volt can sustain this lead, as the Leaf outsold it by a margin of 393 to 372 during the last four months of 2014.
This proved to be the fourth consecutive January where the Volt's sales numbers have improved, having risen from 11 in 2012 to 44 the next year, and 66 a year ago.
The month's total allowed the Volt to Cruze past 4,000 Canadian sales. It should handily traverse the 5,000 mark this year, and the second-generation model might even spark it past 6,000.
Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, January 2015
The Leaf's figures were down by about half, month-over-month (both the Leaf and the Volt sold about 60 units in December) but consistent with the past four Januaries: 30 in 2012, 37 in 2013, and 41 last year preceding last month's 36 – one of which was Canada's 2,000th Leaf.
Cadillac sold another 4 ELRs – pretty much on par for the past four months – but neither the Mitsubishi nor Toyota press releases discussed the i-MiEV or Prius Plug-in, respectively.
Mitsubishi was quick to respond to an inquiry, so we know that 3 i-MiEVs were sold in Canada in January. When we hear back from Toyota, we'll update those figures as well.
2015 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive
2015 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive
It would be unfortunate if automakers began to follow the examples of Ford and Mercedes, which refuse to report on their their electric-car sales. (Mercedes manufactures the Smart Electric Drive.) For the record, their rationales are:
- From a U.S. Ford spokesperson: "I have looked into this and unfortunately we are not inclined to provide this level of detail for Canada. The numbers are very small, as you might imagine."
- From Mercedes: “...it is Mercedes-Benz Canada’s policy not to disclose specific model sales so we must respectfully decline this opportunity to comment.”
Based on January sales data for the Ford C-Max and Fusion, and historical ratios of the Hybrid and Energi sales, we'd expect four new C-Max Energi and six Fusion Energi vehicles to have driven off dealer lots in January.
We'll recalibrate our estimates the next time registration data becomes available (especially from Quebec, where the incentive program allows for exact tracking).
2014 Tesla Model S P85D, road test, Dec 2014 [photo: David Noland]
December registration summary
The Tesla Model S had a fantastic December; its 123 sales almost doubled combined sales of the Leaf and Volt. It was the second year in a row in which Tesla had won three monthly sales sweepstakes, and the seventh time it finished first.
The monthly winner scoreboard now reads:
- Chevy Volt: 28
- Tesla Model S: 7
- Nissan Leaf: 7 (includes 2 uncontested months when it was the sole electric car sold in Canada)
- Mitsubishi i-MiEV: 1
The BMW i3, too, won buyers over in December, setting a Canadian monthly record of 36 sales, up from 19 in November.
Another 10 buyers drove the i8 off BMW lots, up from 8 in December. And moving further up the food chain, a pair of no-doubt gleeful drivers drove new home in new Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercars.
Porsche 918 Spyder, 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show
Rounding the car count off with some everyday electrics, Smart sold 26 more Electric Drives in December, up from 23 in December, and Kia sold 15 Soul EVs, about doubling its November total (8).
Ford and Chevrolet sold one each of the Focus Electric and the Spark.