Sales of plug-in electric cars in the U.S. continued at roughly the same pace as in previous months, at least among vehicles for which sales were reported.

The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid continued a strong if not spectacular year, with 2,191 sales in October for a 10-month total of 18,517.

The Nissan Leaf battery-electric car, on the other hand, continued to lag the Volt, at roughly two-thirds of the Chevy's sales rate.

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Nissan delivered 1,412 Leafs last month, for year-to-date sales of 10,650.

In October, however, the Leaf also passed a mark the Volt had reached in July: 100,000 deliveries in the U.S. since December 2010. The Leaf is now at 100,241, while the Volt total through October is 107,267.

Tesla refuses to break down even its quarterly delivery figures by country, so we can only guess at its deliveries.

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

The BMW i3 logged 442 sales, low by the standards of its two-plus years on sale but not unexpected as it transitions to 2017 models with battery capacities 50 percent higher.

The 10-month total of 6,205 BMW i3s lags last year's pace, which was almost 9,000 after the same month of 2015.

Volkswagen delivered 407 e-Golfs in October, for a year-to-date total of 3,189. The 2018 e-Golf, with a higher-capacity battery, is expected sometime next spring.

And Audi sold 348 A3 e-Tron plug-in hybrid hatchbacks, bringing its 10-month total to 3,297—higher than the e-Golf.

Finally, the Chevrolet Spark EV, formerly deemed a compliance car, hovers right on the edge of our high-volume definition (300 cars or more per month). 

Chevy delivered 260 of the electric minicars last month, for a 10-month total of 2,979.

2017 Ford Fusion Energi

2017 Ford Fusion Energi

Sales of Ford's pair of Energi plug-in hybrids, the C-Max hatchback and the Fusion mid-size sedan, were 571 and 1,372 respectively.

That brings their year-to-date totals to 5,907 and 13,422, indicating how much of a lead the plug-in hybrid sedan has established over the waning tall hatch model.

(A fire in Ford's headquarters building in Dearborn, Michigan, affected the data system used by dealers to report sales, so Ford's October figures were issued later than usual.)

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Two eagerly awaited plug-in vehicles haven't hit the market quite yet, and they'll likely boost next year's sales numbers considerably.

Both 2017 models, they are the Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car, with 238 miles of rated range, and the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid.

Sales of the Prius Prime are expected to start next month, and Bolt EV sales will likely follow in December.

Following the high-volume cars are a slew of vehicles, both electric cars and plug-in hybrids, with sales that average less than 300 a month.

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid [photo: Gary Renick, Twin Cities region]

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid [photo: Gary Renick, Twin Cities region]

Those include luxury plug-in hybrid models from BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo. 

The Cadillac ELR, now at the end of its life, sold a mere 3 units, its third month of single-digit sales. Its 2016 total to date is 526, and total sales over its lifetime are likely no more than 3,000.

Mercedes-Benz delivered not only 19 GLE 550e plug-in hybrid SUVs but a remarkable 174 S550e plug-in hybrid large luxury sedans, bringing year-to-date totals to 118 and 427 respectively.

And the BMW i8, bird-wing doors and all, logged another steady month at 199, keeping its 10-month total on pace at 1,288 sold.

Shifting to low-volume all-electric models, another 58 Mercedes-Benz B250e battery-electric hatchbacks were delivered last month.

The sales pace of the only all-electric Mercedes remains at less than one-third that of 2015, with a total of 526 for the year to date.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive - First Drive, May 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive - First Drive, May 2014

After a string of double-digit months, the tiny Mitsubishi i-MiEV slipped back into single-digit territory, with 4 sold last month—bringing its 10-month total to an underwhelming 86.

Finally, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive saw sales of 43, bringing its year-to-date total to 570—roughly half of last year's pace.

Smart is now in the middle of a lengthy model transition, with an all-new electric ForTwo to arrive next spring, following its launch last month at the Paris Motor Show.

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Two compliance cars round out the list: the Fiat 500e and the Ford Focus Electric, which is supposed to get a range upgrade for 2017.

Ford delivered just 44 electric Focus hatchbacks, indicating a sell-down before an anticipated longer-range version is released for the 2017 model year.

Chrysler refuses to provide sales of its battery-electric Fiat; the Korean makers of the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid and Kia Soul EV also won't disclose data for those models.

We're still waiting for figures from BMW, Porsche, and Volvo.


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