Auto industry April 2017 EV Sales

Published on May 6th, 2017 | by Steve Hanley


April EV Sales — More Range Equals More Sales

May 6th, 2017 by  

The numbers are in and they show EV sales were up sharply in April, thanks in large part to two electric cars that boast longer range — the BMW i3 and the Renualt Zoe. The i3 now comes with a 33 kWh battery, which is 50% larger than it debuted with a few years ago. Range is now listed at 114 miles as compared to 82 miles for the original. Buyers have responded. Twice as many i3 sedan found new homes in April of this year as did a year ago.

April 2017 EV Sales

In France, the Renault Zoe, which is a close cousin to the Nissan LEAF, also has a new battery with longer range. Except in base trim, the car now sports a 41 kWh battery and an estimated range of 186 miles in the European testing cycle. That has propelled the Zoe to the top of the sales charts in France and made it a strong seller in many other European countries.

The proof that battery technology is evolving at a rapid pace is that both the new BMW battery and the new Renault battery (sourced from LG Chem) fit in the same space as the smaller batteries the cars came with initially.

BMW is ecstatic about the surge in i3 and i8 sales. “We are therefore well on course to delivering more than 100,000 electrified vehicles for the first time in 2017,” says Harald Kreuger, chairman of the board at BMW. Sales of electrified cars accounted for 3% of BMW’s global business in April.

Sharp eyed readers will notice the chart shown above does not mention Tesla. That is because Tesla does not report sales monthly as the rest of the industry does, nor does it break out sales information by country. Instead it reports global sales on a quarterly basis. For the first quarter of 2017, it said it delivered 25,000 cars — 13,540 Model S sedans and 11,550 Model X SUVs, making it one of the global leaders in electric car sales.

Source and chart credit: CleanTechnica via EV Obsession

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I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • Leeper

    This should be a pretty exciting fall, with the debut of leaf2, model 3, and nationwide bolt! Folks with EVs that need extra range will be able to upgrade and their used cars will make great water testers for those that aren’t ready for a $30,000 car to learn the basics.

  • Chris Overholt

    I broke the mold and just bought a used 2013 Leaf today with the 24 kw battery. Finally got an electric car. Been wanting one for a long time now. Looking forward to a longer range one in a couple years.

    • Steve Hanley

      Good for you! I have been looking around at prices in my area. Please keep us informed. Might be interested in doing a story about your experiences with it at the 6 month mark if you are interested.

      Can you share with us what you paid for it? The `13’s near me seem to be in the $8000 range at dealers. Haven’t seen too many of them being offered by private sellers, probably because most of them were leased rather than purchased.

      • Chris Overholt

        I bought my Red 2013 SL for $9450 from a Toyota dealer near me in the Seattle area. 40k miles, but 95% SOH when I pulled up the Leaf Spy.

        Drives like a dream. I feel like I just stepped into an alternate reality. It’s so quiet and smooth.

        I would love to share my story at the six month mark or whenever. How do we exchange info?

    • Epicurus

      Congrats. Depending on the sales price and the costs of gasoline and electricity in the area, buying a used Leaf can be equivalent to getting a free car. A lot of people don’t realize that.

      • Chris Overholt

        Thanks! I ran the numbers and it was as cheap or cheaper to have this be our main wheel and keep a backup ICE car than pumping money into our existing two ICE cars or selling one ICE and buying a new ICE AT virtually any price.

        • Epicurus

          That’s great, Chris.

          Could you show us your calculations? I know readers would be interested.

      • Chris Overholt

        Public utility charges 10 cents per kwh and Washington state has high gas taxes, so we’ll see how it turns out.

        • Epicurus

          If you compare the costs of operating the ICE car you got rid of with your Leaf, I bet the Leaf will turn out to be “free” after a few years.

          • Chris Overholt

            Plus savings on the myriad of parts inherent in ICEs that have to be replaced or repaired constantly.

  • Epicurus

    When will Renault start selling the Zoe in the U.S.? It’s a strong contender. Might be a good idea to start manufacturing them here too. There is room for both the Leaf and the Zoe as France shows.

    • Steve Hanley

      Haven’t heard anything that makes me think they have any intention of doing so. The Zoe is significantly smaller than the LEAF (think Honda Fit in size). While that is a very popular size in many world markets, Amurricans love their really, really big cars. Bigger is better according to most US buyers.

      • Epicurus

        It might have a following anyway if it is cheap enough. Any idea what it would sell for here?

        • Steve Hanley

          Not an easy question to answer. Why? Because Renault leases the battery separately from the car. The cheapest Zoe is about $16,000 and the cheapest battery rental is the smaller battery and annual mileage of less than 4,500 km.

          The most expensive Zoe is about $24,000 and the 40 kWh battery with unlimited mileage is an additional $130 a month.

          More info at this link:

  • infodatasphere

    Renault start selling the Zoe in the U.S.i am interested in it .

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