Toyota Prius is top-selling affordable EV again in May.
John Goreham's picture

2018 Toyota Prius Prime Outsells Chevy Bolt and Volt Combined To Top Affordable U.S.-Market EV Sales

Toyota makes the top-selling affordable vehicle with a plug and no competitor is even close in sales to the plug-in hybrid electric Prime for May or for 2018 year to date.
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Toyota's plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Prius Prime outsold every competitor by more than two to one in May. With sales of 2,924 units in the month of May, Toyota increased its Prime EV sales by 47% compared to last May. More importantly, Toyota outsold the Chevy Bolt and the Chevy Volt combined for the month of May. Toyota's Prius Prime sales have been remarkably consistent for the past three months at just under 3,000 units per month.

Chevrolet no longer issues formal delivery information monthly, so like most of the automotive media, we rely on the hard work done by Inside EVs for Chevy's numbers and Tesla's numbers. Inside EVs has been very accurate in the past and the publication corrects any numbers quarterly when the SEC forces reluctant automakers to reveal the bad news.

The Nissan Leaf and Honda Clarity had relatively decent months of sales. Nissan sold (or leased) 1,576 Leafs in May. Up a bit for the month compared to May of 2017, but Nissan's Leaf sales are still way behind the model's previous highs. Honda's all-new Clarity PHEV is selling very well for a new model. May marks the seventh consecutive month of sales increases for the new car and with 1,350 units sold in May, Honda really has the last affordable EV of note in America.

In the luxury EV class, the big news is the Tesla Model 3. Tesla was able to deliver about 6,250 units by Inside EV's best estimate. This is up from two consecutive months of just under 4,000 units per month. Tesla continues to work on the production of the Model 3 and is slowly working up to its promised rate of about 20,000 units per month. As we have explained in exhaustive detail, Tesla isn't planning to build any affordable Model 3 cars any time soon, and in fact, the newest trim of this luxury sedan will cost buyers about $82,000. Elon Musk says that if Tesla were to build the promised $35K Model 3 the "company would die."

Tesla's X and S vehicle sales look to be down a bit from May of last year and are in the 1,500 units per month range. Tesla should be congratulated for keeping large luxury model sales at that level. Not many models in the $90K to $170K price range from any luxury brand sell at this level consistently.

Related Story: Real World Pricing Comparison - Chevy Volt & Prius Prime Cost Half What the Tesla Model 3 Does

BMW doesn't break out its individual models monthly in its initial sales reports but did say that all of its BMW and MINI EVs combined sold under 2,000 units.

We've pretty much given up on reporting on Ford EVs, but if the info shows any surprises when Ford issues its numbers days after the rest of the industry we will update this story at that time.


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