EV sales in the US are showing impressive gains compared to last year, with plug-in hybrids leading the way. Overall, sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric cars are up nearly 20% so far this year. That number needs some explanation. Sales of hybrids have fallen off a cliff lately. Toyota Prius, Prius V, and Prius C deliveries are down about 25%. The same malaise is affecting Lexus models that feature Toyota’s patented Synergy Drive technology.
On the other hand, demand for the newly introduced Honda Accord Hybrid is red hot. Go figure. Maybe people just want hybrids that are larger than the compact Prius. Plug-in hybrid sales are what is driving the green car market forward. Through the first quarter of the year, they rose 23 percent to 109,292 vehicles. Plug-in vehicle sales have jumped 65 percent to more than 37,500 units. The new Prius Prime plug-in hybrid is enjoying strong sales.
Over at Ford, where CEO Mark Fields says no one wants to buy electric cars, green car sales jumped 61 percent from a year earlier to 9,212 units. Fusion Hybrid sales almost tripled to 5,865 units, while sales of the Focus Electric with its newly introduced larger battery quadrupled to 407 units.
General Motors’ green car sales grew even faster at a 67 percent increase from a year earlier. Chevrolet Bolt sales hit 978 units, which was up slightly from the 952 sold in February, though short of the monthly record 1,162 sold in January. The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid sold 2,123 cars, up 14 percent from a year earlier.
Honda and BMW both experienced green car gains last month. Honda’s sales amounted to 2,040 cars — up five times from last year. That was due almost entirely to strong demand for the revised Accord Hybrid. Sales of BMW’s i-branded plug-in vehicles rose 79 percent to 752 units, with i3 EV sales doubling from a year earlier to 703 units. The Nissan LEAF. with its larger battery and longer range. saw sales rise 19 percent from a year earlier to 1,478 units. And VW’s green car sales more than doubled to 351 units, as e-Golf demand almost quadrupled from a year earlier.
The winners and losers are all laid out in this chart prepared by Autoblog.