2017 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
In a U.S. car market that's coming off record numbers over the last couple of years, plug-in electric car sales continued strong last month.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV, GM's 238-mile battery electric hatchback, set a new monthly sales record of 1,937 deliveries in its eighth month on sale—the highest number for any electric car in July.
It was closely followed by the Toyota Prius Prime and Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid hatchbacks, at 1,645 and 1,518 respectively.
The aging Nissan Leaf battery-electric hatchback, now in its seventh and final model year before a redesigned 2018 Leaf is revealed early in September, sold 1,283 copies.
Both the Tesla Model S hatchback sedan and Model X crossover likely delivered around 1,500 units in the U.S. As always, Tesla refuses to break down its quarterly delivery numbers by country so those estimates cannot be compared to reported monthly deliveries from other makers.
The less-expensive Tesla Model 3 electric sedan also logged its first deliveries in July, with 30 cars handed over to their "friends of Tesla" buyers at a splashy media event last Friday evening.
2018 Tesla Model 3Enlarge Photo
The four models that have now sold more than 10,000 units so far this year are the Chevy Volt (12,450), the Toyota Prius Prime (11,337), and the two larger Teslas.
The Bolt EV (at 9,563) will likely join the five-figure crowd next month, and the Leaf (8,529) after sales are reported for August or perhaps September.
One level down, deliveries of Ford's pair of Energi plug-in hybrids, the Fusion mid-size sedan and the C-Max compact tall hatchback, logged sales of 703 and 844 respectively, bringing their seven-month totals to 5,760 and 5,224 respectively.
Sales of the BMW i3, which have been somewhat inconsistent as the new, longer-range 2017 models started to arrive, were 601, for a seven-month total of 3,593.
Audi sold 218 A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid hatchbacks, bringing the year-to-date total to 2,338.
Porsche, meanwhile, delivered 160 of its Cayenne S E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid luxury SUVs, taking its seven-month total into four figures, at 1,138.
2016 Porsche Cayenne S E-HybridEnlarge Photo
The Cayenne lineup's total sales through July were 9,058, meaning the plug-in hybrid represents 13 percent of sales even with a low 14 miles of electric range.
Mercedes-Benz sold 124 of its pricey S550e plug-in hybrid large luxury sedans, along with 112 of its C350e smaller sedans, but the year-to-date totals for the two cars are only 535 and 400 respectively.
The Ford Focus Electric compliance car continued at its usual rate, selling 148 units for 1,206 year-to-date.
Overall, car sales in the U.S. are slowing down, with the average vehicle in dealer inventory now taking 76 days to sell—the longest time since July 2009, according to Edmunds.
Sales of plug-in models are not formally broken out by Chrysler, Fiat, Hyundai, or Kia, so we don't have comparable data on those vehicles.
We'll update this article through the day and also tomorrow as more sales numbers are reported.
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.