Plug-ins now outselling electric-only vehicles in green car buying shift
Electric vehicles that run only on their batteries (BEVs) are being outsold in the US market by vehicles that have the ability to run on electricity alone, but also have an on-board gasoline engine. For this story we are going to call all of those “plug-ins.” We examined two sources who carefully compile all manner of electrified vehicles’ sales. Plug-ins have come from behind and now the sales are clearly in favor of the plug-in electrics.
The Past Three Electric Vehicle Years
Modern electric vehicles have now been in the US market for more than 3 full years. The Leaf went on sale in 2010. Concurrently, the Volt, a vehicle that is basically electric, but also has a gasoline engine that can charge the battery, also went on sale that year. Both have been near the top of the US sales for electrified vehicles since. The Leaf has emerged as the number one vehicle of both BEVs and also all electrified vehicles.
Shortly after these two cars were launched the market began to be peppered with many new entries. Most notably, the Tesla Model S. The Model S is hugely important. It was a breakthrough vehicle that redefined everyone’s expectations of what an electric vehicle can be. Its sales climbed more or less in keeping with the company’s promises to the top of the EV charts. Tesla's sales peaked in 2014, plateaued, and have now come down significantly in the US as Tesla culls its limited production for sales to other markets (Europe, China et.). Tesla has dropped to about 4rth in US EV sales now. That is an important thing to note.
The Power of Prius
The Prius is the world’s dominant green car in its hybrid form. By that we mean the gasoline hybrid Prius we all know, which does not charge up with a plug. It outsells the electric car market – The whole market combined. Toyota was begged by owners to create a plug-in version that could run for a short distance on just electricity. It created that car, called the Prius Plug-in, and that vehicle is now number two overall for 2014 YTD after the Leaf. We would have called that simply the power of Toyota’s green branding of the Prius. However, then another plug-in, the Ford Fusion Energi rose up and this month was number two behind the Leaf for the month of June. Now in the top 6 electrified vehicles, we see four plug-ins and just two BEVs. Behind the five we have spoken about already is the Ford C-Max Energi, another plug-in. There are no other electrified cars that even approach these six in monthly sales.