Toyota's Mirai Fuel-Cell EV Out-Delivers All of GM's EVs In Q1 In U.S.
In the first quarter of 2022, General Motors’ combined EV sales totaled just 457 units in America. These were a combination of Bolt, Bolt EUV, and Hummer EV sales. General Motors’ total sales in Q1 of electric vehicles were negative as far as we can discern. During the quarter, GM was accepting Bolts as buy-backs from unsatisfied owners who were wrapped up in GM’s multi-billion dollar battery recall for the model line. We don’t have specific figures, but posts related to owner sell-backs of GM EVs are common on social media. We would be very surprised if GM hasn’t accepted 500 units back in the past three months.
How Does One HFCEV Outsell All Of GM's Combined BEVs?
One interesting fact highlighting GM’s EV sales position today is that Toyota’s much-maligned Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (HFCEV) out-delivered all of GM’s combined battery-electric vehicle (BEV) deliveries for the first quarter of 2022 with a total of just 715 units delivered. Nearly every EV advocate considers passenger vehicle fuel cell vehicles a non-starter, and yet, Toyota’s single FCEV model has shown that it can alone outsell all of GM’s five brands in America.
Mazda Sold More BEVs Than Hummer
Another odd fact is that despite the Hummer EV from GM now in its fifth month of sales (First unit delivered in December 2021), the 100-mile range Mazda MX-30 battery-electric vehicle is still outselling the Hummer. Mazda delivered 180 MX-30 BEVs in Q1 and GM reports Hummer deliveries of 99 units. So, Mazda’s BEV is outselling Hummer’s by roughly two to one.
All Is Well: GM Says Its Plan Was to Sell 100 Hummers Over Four Months
GM Offered the Following EV-related Updates On Its Quarterly Sales Report
-GMC’s launch of the HUMMER EV is going according to plan, with early production focused on satisfying orders of the launch edition.
-Production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV will resume on April 4. Chevrolet dealers continue to repair customer vehicles and recently resumed deliveries of some completed Bolt -EV and Bolt EUVs in inventory.
-Production of the Cadillac LYRIQ began on March 21, nine months ahead of the company’s original target. Cadillac will begin taking orders for future editions on May 19.
It surprised us to read GM state that in its fourth month of deliveries the Hummer plan all along was to have moved just 100 units into owner driveways.
If we have used the word “Sales” anyplace in this story, consider it equivalent to a delivery. We are well aware that pre-orders for virtually all green cars, and many conventional ones, are impressive. However, the real limit on all green vehicle sales today is production. Vitrually anything on any dealer lot is sold immediately. Only Telsa has shown an ability to produce battery-electric vehicles in any meaningful volume. No other automaker has produced a BEV that can sustain a 3,000-unit per month delivery rate, which is ridiculously low by any measure of vehicle deliveries.
Despite GM’s massive, sincere, and very impressive expenditures on new factories, R&D labs, battery packaging plants, and other infrastructure, the fact is, the company has yet to catch up to the tens of thousands of backlogged Bolt line vehicles awaiting a battery replacement. Not only is GM not producing a meaningful volume of BEVs right now, but they also are not even able to get the ones they already built on the road due to a six-month and counting backlog for replacement battery backs.
The biggest tragedy of this situation is that the new Bolt EUV is brilliant, and the 2022 Bolt EV hatchback is easy to call best in its class. If these vehicles were on dealer lots today in unlimited volumes, GM would very likely be the overall leader in BEV sales in America.
Cadillac’s important LYRIQ is about to begin its slow trickle of deliveries, and at some future point, the Hummer may be a real model that is delivered in real volumes. However, in our second decade of the modern EV era, GM has yet to demonstrate yet that it can produce more than a small amount of BEVs per month. At its peak, the Bolt was averaging around 3,000 units per month. That is 1/10th the volume of a mainstream models’ delivery rate.
If you read this headline planning to lecture the author and the world on how silly the Mirai is, feel free to use the comments below. Noplace in this story have we expressed the opinion that fuel cell passenger vehicles are viable, or that the Mirai is by any measure a success. In fact, we hold it up as an example to highlight GM’s low sales volume. If you can’t outsell the Mirai, are you really in the EV business today?
Image of Mirai fuel cell vehicle by Toyota. Image of GM President Mark Reuss by GM media services.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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