Plug-in electric car sales in Feb better than Jan lows, winter doldrums not so bad (final update)

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2018 Nissan Leaf with EVgo fast charger at NJ Turnpike Molly Pitcher travel plaza, Feb 2018

2018 Nissan Leaf with EVgo fast charger at NJ Turnpike Molly Pitcher travel plaza, Feb 2018

Sales of plug-in electric cars tend to be lower during the winter months, unlike the rest of the market, and February was little exception to that rule, though not as bad as it could have been.

After a whiz-bang December that took 2017 sales to their highest-ever number—just under 200,000 battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold in the U.S.—January numbers had fallen back substantially.

February is proving to be a better month than January, but expect higher numbers yet later this year as the weather in many states gets more temperate.

READ THIS: 2018 Nissan Leaf electric car: four-day winter road-trip review

The Chevrolet Bolt EV saw 1,424 sales, up from January's 1,177. That number isn't really comparable to last February's total, as the Bolt EV took the first six months of last year to roll out nationwide.

With the new generation of 2018 Nissan Leafs now arriving at dealers and hitting the roads, Nissan reported 895 sales last month, up sharply from the 150 remaining last-generation cars sold in January.

We'd expect the Leaf number to enter four figures soon, as numerous reports and sightings crop up on forums and social media showing the new models on the road and at dealerships.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car and 2018 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car and 2018 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid

The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid hatchback saw deliveries of 923, against the 713 recorded in January.

The Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, which has now outsold the Volt for several months in a row—and barely nosed past it for all of last year—decisively trounced it last month.

A whopping 2,050 Prius Primes were sold, its second-best month ever, and a significant increase over its January number of 1,496. That total represented fully 29 percent of all Prius models delivered in February.

DON'T MISS: For six months, one in five Prius sales has been a plug-in hybrid

As always, Tesla does not report its monthly sales or break out quarterly deliveries by country, meaning we have no comparable numbers to the sales reports from other makers.

The Volkswagen e-Golf logged 198 sales, up from January's 178, but still far below the 2017 average of almost 300 electric Golfs a month.

After an exceptionally low 382 sales for January, the BMW i3 is back on pace at 623 sales last month, more or less resuming its average pace of deliveries from 2017.

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid drive, Napa Valley, Caifornia, Dec 2017

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid drive, Napa Valley, Caifornia, Dec 2017

The plug-in hybrid version of the Honda Clarity mid-size sedan continues to deliver strong numbers. It has now become the third of the three high-volume plug-in hybrids, along with the Volt and Prius Prime.

It sold 881 units last month, following 594 in January and a remarkable 898 in December, only its second month on the market.

Honda also delivered 104 of the battery-powered Clarity Electric version (as well as 243 Clarity Fuel Cells, that variant's best-ever month in its 15 months on the market, now that sales have resumed after a recall for a software update).

CHECK OUT: Electric-car sales in 2017 set new record: just under 200,000

The Audi A3 e-tron came in at 199 units for February, considerably down on its pace during the first half of last year, though higher than January's 145 deliveries.

Sales for the Energi versions of the Ford C-Max compact tall hatchback, already out of production, continued to ebb: 142 were delivered in February, just a quarter of the total last October, and a decline over January's 234.

Plug-in sales for the Ford Fusion Energi mid-size sedan came in at 794, pretty much on average. Ford has since announced a battery-capacity boost for the 2019 Fusion Energi, giving it a 25-mile range that matches that of the Prius Prime.

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Volvo XC90

Porsche delivered 121 Cayenne plug-in hybrid crossover utility vehicles last month, following January sales of 113. (It also delivered its very first plug-in hybrid version of the latest Panamera generation, now known as the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid).

The two plug-in hybrid Volvo T8 "Twin Engine" crossover models now on sale logged sales of 105 for the XC90 large SUV and 109 for its mid-size XC60 counterpart.

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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