The new Ford Mustang Mach-E battery-electric vehicle’s launch has been among the most robust electric vehicle launches in US EV history. In its first quarter of sales, Ford delivered 6,614 Mustang Mach-Es. To give that volume of electric vehicle deliveries some context, we thought we would look back and compare Ford’s launch to GM’s Bolt launch, The launch of the Leaf, the recent launch of the Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV, and the launch volumes of some of Tesla’s models.
Before we begin, one fact jumps right off the delivery report pages when we analyze the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s delivery volume. The Mach-E entered the market selling at about number 4 overall in the US EV market. Not bad for a new entry. Generally, automakers need six to nine months to reach peak production volumes of a given model, so the Mustang Mach-E could very well be the top-selling electric vehicle in America by later this year. Ford reports the Mustang Mach-E is a conquest model, and that 70% of the Mach-E's buyers come from competitive brands.
Ford Mustang Mach-E Delivery vs. Tesla Launches
Unlike every other automaker doing business in America, Tesla does not offer model-level breakdowns for the vehicles it sells in the US. We are not sure why Tesla opts to hide this data from investors and fans, but it does. Prior to this year, Inside EVs did a very good job of tracking the sales of Tesla models in the US by using RMV and VIN data. However, after consecutive years of overall EV sales declines, the publication stopped. Other outlets like TrueCar and GoodCarBadCar publish Tesla sales numbers, but they are just rough estimates not based on company data or reliable third-party data.
For this reason, we really don’t know the month-to-month delivery numbers for the Tesla Model Y in America. However, we do have good historical data about Tesla’s top-selling vehicle, the Model 3, and its legacy models, the X and S. When Tesla launched the Model 3, the undisputed EV delivery volume champion of America, it took Tesla twice as long to reach the delivery volume that the Mach-E had in its initial launch quarter. The Model 3 was Tesla’s fourth EV launch.
The Model X was Tesla’s third EV launch. It took Tesla three months just to sell ten Model X cars in a month. Tesla didn’t deliver 6,600 Model X cars for ten months.
Let’s not dive deeply into the Roadster and Model S launches by Tesla. It’s not even close to a fair comparison. After all, Tesla was only a ten-year-old company when it launched the Model S. Interestingly, the S launch deliveries were roughly the same as the X.
RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid-Electric Vehicle
One of the top-three highest volume EV launches in American market history was the RAV4 Prime. Toyota made (unwanted) headlines when it made the mistake of being honest in an interview with the Tesla-advocacy publication, Elektrek. That publication called Toyota’s projected launch volume “laughable,” despite it being among the most rapid in EV history. Some publications have their favorites and invest in the stock of brands they promote. (We don't for the record).
In any case, Toyota is way ahead of the delivery schedule that it conveyed to Elektrek. Toyota has delivered just under 6,000 vehicles in America to date, over a span of about eight months. At last check, Toyota was on a pace of roughly 3,000 units per quarter and is still ramping up.
Related Story: Toyota Way Ahead of Projected RAV4 Prime Deliveries In America - Hybrid Models Continue Strong Growth
Chevy Bolt vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E Deliveries
If anyone should be able to hit the ground running, it is the legacy automakers. They know how to do launches, having done literally thousands before. The Chevy Bolt had a great launch by any small car measure, but particularly for an electric vehicle. In its first quarter, GM sold 2,693 Bolts. It took GM twice as long to match the delivery numbers the Ford Mustang Mach-E achieved. In its first year of sales, the Bolt was the number-two-selling EV in America.
Nissan Leaf Deliveries vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E
Let’s have some context before we discuss the Leaf. When the Leaf entered the market in December of 2010, it was America’s first affordable BEV for sale in the modern era. And it remained so for quite a while. It took Nissan three times as long to reach 6,600 units delivered as it took Ford to deliver that volume of Mach-Es.
The ID.4 is an exciting new market entry. VW does not offer a monthly breakdown of its US model sales, but it did report that in the past quarter, the company delivered 474 ID.4 cars to US owners.
Notes About the Mach-E Launch
Some fans of other brands may cry “foul” when we discuss the launch of the Mustang Mach-E. After all, the company did deliver 3 units a few days prior to the quarter we are counting. Ford also had a delay due to software issues that held the Mach-E back a bit longer than planned. If you have followed electric vehicle development from its origins back in the 2010 rebirth period, you know this is pretty much the norm for all EV launches. Hold it against Ford if you like. Or simply substitute our comments about the Mach-E’s deliveries to “Its first four months of sales.” Not much changes in the story either way.
Interestingly, Ford is providing dealers with enough cars to not just sell (and sell out of), but also enough that in some places dealers have demo Mustang Mach-Es. One dealer even provided a Mustang Mach-E service loaner to a Ford customer who put their own car (an Escape) in for service. Unlike some brands, Ford seems to be walking the walk when it comes to making EVs mainstream. The cars are available nationwide, Ford is rapidly certifying its dealers to work on Mach-Es, and dealers are offering tire-kickers rides.
It will be fun to look back and see how many Mustang Mach-E cars Ford delivers this calendar year. If the company continues its present pace it will be the second or third-best-selling EV in America for sure. Should Ford continue to ramp up its deliveries, it could easily take the second spot. Not bad for a first-year market entry.
What’s your prediction for the Ford Mustang Mach-E? Will it rival the Model 3 and Model Y for volume in America this year? Tell us in the comments below.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin