Green car sales have been disappointing this year. President Obama suggested there could be more than one million cars with plugs on American roads by the end of this year. In fact, the actual figure will be less than half that amount. With historically low gas prices the norm, sales of larger vehicles are way up while efficiency and environmental concerns have taken a back seat.
Ford C-Max Energi
In our 4th article pulled from Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want — a new report from CleanTechnica, EV Obsession, and GAS2 — I’m jumping into which electric car models respondents were most likely to buy and most excited, as well as some implications regarding certain car companies.
Without surprise, current EV ownership matched historical EV sales fairly well — 33.9% had the Nissan LEAF, 21.4% the Tesla Model S, 16% the Chevy Volt, 6.5% the BMW i3, and then much smaller percentages had numerous other electric cars.
Importantly, I think this indicates that the EV-driver respondents are quite representative of the broader EV consumer market, which bodes well for making broad generalizations from this report.
More interesting than the cars people currently have (which we already basically know anyway) were the electric cars people intended to buy and were most excited about. Naturally, these results weren’t a huge surprise either, as there are just a few very exciting electric models publicly planned for market in the coming few years, but it was interesting to see how the preferences were split. Breaking out results for each model, here are the 7 hottest electric vehicles:
39% owners expect to buy next
55% of potential owners expect to buy
53% owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
56% of potential owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
12% owners expect to buy next
17% of potential owners expect to buy
13% owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
15% of potential owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
10% owners expect to buy next
20% of potential owners plan to buy
Chevy Volt (1.0 + 2.0)
7% owners expect to buy next
23% of potential owners expect to buy
5% owners more excited about Volt 2.0 than any other new/coming EV
5% of potential owners more excited about Volt 2.0 than any other new/coming EV
6% owners expect to buy next
17% of potential owners expect to buy
8% owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
4% of potential owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
Nissan LEAF (1st-Gen)
6% owners expect to buy next
8% of potential owners plan to buy
5% owners expect to buy next
33% of potential owners expect to buy
10% owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
6% of potential owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
There are a few other long-range and competitively affordable electric cars tentatively planned for market, but their release dates are less certain, which likely caused them to rank lower.
However, another reason they don’t have as much buyer interest or enthusiasm may be due to Nissan, GM, and Tesla benefiting from “first-mover advantage.” The Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, and Tesla Model S were the first genuinely mass-market electric vehicles in the United States. Many more of them have been sold than any other electric car models. Both early adopters and EV enthusiasts eager to join the EV movement seem to trust these companies and want to reward them for their leadership in this sector.
Potential EV Drivers
Current EV Drivers
Tesla clearly stands out, even far above Nissan and GM, in consumer interest. I had a little fun with a couple of questions about the electric car company, and the results were impressive: 54.2% of EV owners/lessees self-identified as fanbois/fangurls (typically derogatory terms), and 28.6% said they were “perhaps” fanbois/fangurls. Interestingly, almost the exact same percentages came out of non-owner/lessee responses — 54.5% and 29.10%.
It’s unspecified why respondents were so enthusiastic about Tesla and its products, but there are several likely reasons. One is that Tesla is 100% focused on fully electric vehicles. Not only does it not produce fossil-fuel-gulping cars; it even stays away from fossil-fuel-sipping plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles. This, by itself, must endear it to EV enthusiasts.
The company, mostly via well known CEO and product architect Elon Musk, is passionate about combating climate change, air pollution, and oil dependency. This is important to many people, and we like Tesla more for its passion on this front.
Tesla has also demonstrated the ability and desire to produce extremely high-performance and innovative vehicles. The Tesla Model S has broken many auto industry records and turned the general concept of electric cars on its head. Additionally, Tesla is the only company with a super-fast charging network in place, a topic I’ll come back to later in the report.
Tesla has long held plans to release a long-range and affordable electric car. It is widely assumed that Tesla’s batteries come at a lower cost per kilowatt-hour than any other EV batteries on the market. Making that assumption, when Tesla does bring a mid-market car to production, many potential buyers believe they will be able to get “more car for the money” from Tesla than from any other automaker.
Given the reviews of the Tesla Model S and Model X, as well as Tesla’s Supercharger network, many EV enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting a Tesla model they can affordably get their hands on. Even those who have bought or plan to buy a higher-cost Model S or Model X are enthusiastic because the Model 3 will presumably bring long-range, fully electric transportation to millions of people — if all goes as planned. That would mark a huge step forward for the electric vehicle movement.
You can download the full “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want” report here.
Careful shoppers who are patient can often get very attractive lease deals on new cars, as auto makers seek to clear out old inventory or get ready for the release of new models. Inside EVs keep track of such things and shares that information on a regular basis. Leasing an EV is often the lowest cost option. That’s because the $7500 federal tax credit gets deducted from the capitalized cost of the lease right up front. If an individual buys an EV now, he or she won’t get the full benefit of the federal credit until tax time rolls around in 2017
By far the best lease deal this month is on the the 2016 Chevy Spark EV. Not only is it just $129 a month, it requires no money down at signing. Total payments over the 39 month term of the lease total a mere $5,421. Much of that cost will be offset by the money saved from not buying gasoline and performing routine maintenance. As with all leases, pay careful attention to the allowable annual mileage. Exceeding mileage limitations can prove costly when the lease is over and its time to turn the car back to the leasing company.
The Fiat 500e has the next best lease package — $i69 a month for 36 months with a down payment of $1,999 for total payments of $8,083. A 2015 Ford C-Max Energi goes out the door for $227 a month with $3,179 down while a 2016 VW e-Golf can be leased for $149 a month with $2,349 down. Finally, the second generation Chevy Volt is available for $299 a month with no money down. Total cost of that lease is $11,661, which is more than double the cost for a Spark EV. The terms of the Volt lease only apply to customers who do not presently own a General Motors product.
Inside EVs has also uncovered an unadvertised promotion offered by Nissan. Buy a 2016 LEAF, and the company will finance your purchase at 0% interest for 72 months. Qualified buyers will also get an extra $3,000 off the price of the car. Apparently, this offer applies mostly to the base model LEAF S, which does not have the new extended range battery available on SV and SL models. You will need to speak with an authorized Nissan dealer to get all the details.
The bottom line is that you can drive electric for very little money, if you shop around. The Chevy Spark EV is no Tesla Model S, but it has its share of admirers. Here’s the best part. It is rated at 82 miles of range — about the same as the entry level LEAF S. At $129 a month with no money down, that is more than a great deal. It’s an outright steal!
Via EV Obsession:
Those who drive one of Ford’s electric vehicles and who also possess an interest in “smart watches” may be interested to hear that the company has developed a new app that allows owners to remotely control their car on a smart watch.
To be more specific, users of the new app will be able to: check on their battery levels and unlock their doors remotely, amongst other things. The app is compatible with the Ford Focus Electric, the Ford C-Max Energi, and the Ford Fusion Energi.
The Ford manager of Connected Vehicles and Services, David Hatton, commented: “The app gives drivers the ability to quickly check important data like available range before leaving on a journey without having to access the mobile application on their smartphone The app can also notify users when their car is fully charged, helping a driver be courteous to other electric vehicle owners so they can free up the charging spot or avoid fees applied at some charging stations when you overrun your time after the charge is complete.”
The new app was designed specifically with smart watches in mind, so the display is reportedly rather well suited to the medium, and intuitive to use. Apple Watch users can simply swipe up from the default display to launch the app.
A few other features of the app are: the ability to start preconditioning the car’s cabin; a summary of vehicle mileage; a “last trip” feature providing detailed stats on miles per gallon, driving efficiency, etc; and a “vehicle location” service providing walking directions to your car.
Access to charging station locator services is integrated as well.
Via EV Obsession:
Well, let’s be honest, August was a lame sales month for electric car lovers. There are clear reasons for this. Historically, the two highest-selling electric cars in the US have been the Nissan LEAF and the Chevy Volt. The 2nd-generation Chevy Volt, much improved and even a little cheaper, is just hitting the market, and many buyers have surely been waiting for it. Nissan has remained rather silent about it its 2016 model but has indicated it will be bringing a long-range electric car to market before long. We also gathered word that it will be offering a 110-mile battery option in the 2016 LEAF, for an extra cost, of course (the current model only offers an 84-mile battery). So, it seems very likely buyers are holding off for the long-range electric Nissan or at least the 2016 LEAF… or even the Tesla Model 3 now that it is closer.
So, with all of that context out of the way, electric car sales were down almost across the board in August compared to August 2014. That’s in contrast to strong sales in the broader car market. Only four models were up — the Chevy Spark EV by 68.8%, the Tesla Model S (based on my estimates) by 94.9%, the Mercedes B-Class Electric by 237.3%, and the BMW i8 by a whopping 2233.3%. Of course, I highlighted that last one just for a bit of fun. 😀 BMW i8 sales began in August 2014, and just 9 cars were delivered in that initial month, so a sales increase of 2233.3% to 210 sales is really just a statistical joke. You have to find a little fun in the story.
The situation for the year to date looks a little better for electrics. 100% electric car sales are up 13.6% (from 37,200 to 42,245 sales), with the Tesla Model S carrying the pack with 22% of all plug-in car sales (again, based on my educated but surely imperfect estimates). Plug-in hybrid sales, on the other hand, are down 27.5%, bringing total EV sales down 6.7%.
Looking at the top 6 models, change in market share is rather interesting:
- The Tesla Model S jumped from 9% in Aug 2014 to 22% in Aug 2015, and from 19% for YTD 2014 to 22% for YTD 2015.
- The Nissan LEAF fell from 26% in Aug 2014 to 15% in Aug 2015, and from 23% for YTD 2014 to 18% for YTD 2015.
- The Chevy Volt fell from 21% in Aug 2014 to 15% in Aug 2015, and from 16% for YTD 2014 to 12% for YTD 2015.
- The Ford Fusion Energi grew from 10% in Aug 2014 to 11% in Aug 2015, but fell from 11% for YTD 2014 to 9% for YTD 2015.
- The BMW i3 grew from 8% in Aug 2014 to 9% in Aug 2015, and jumped from 3% for YTD 2014 to 9% for YTD 2015.
- The Ford C-Max Energi fell from 9% in Aug 2014 to 8% in Aug 2015, but remained at 7% for YTD sales.
For more details, see these charts and tables:
Originally published on EV Obsession.
Well, the Netherlands is certainly turning out to be one of the most interesting electric vehicle markets in the world. It is #2 in terms of electric cars’ percentage of total new car sales, but the cars leading the pack keep changing. The Dutch plug-in hybrid fetish is apparently as strong as ever, and some new and new-ish plug-in hybrid models are giving the running champ — the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV — a serious run for its money.
The Volkswagen Golf GTE continues its reign at #1, but the Outlander PHEV actually got kicked out of the #2 spot as well now, by the Audi A3 e-tron (which is basically the Golf GTE with a different body and brand, btw), and it barely fended off the #4 Mercedes 350e — with only 3 more registrations in the month of July! Will the Outlander PHEV be able to hold onto a medal in August? We’ll see!
Of course, for the year to date, the Outlander PHEV has a solid hold on silver (and the Volkswagen Golf GTE has a solid hold on gold). The Audi A3 e-tron is holding onto bronze, but the the Volvo V60 PHEV isn’t far behind it.
Btw, where the hell are all of the 100% electric cars? The Tesla Model S is barely holding onto the #5 spot, but looks like it will easily be overtaken by the new and quickly rising Mercedes 350e —
unless someone accidentally takes out the 350e’s knees in a back alley. In the month of July, the Model S was just 3 registrations ahead of the Ford C-Max Energi (yes, C-Max Energi!) in the #6 spot. you have to scroll down to the anthills to find the BMW i3, Nissan LEAF, Renault Zoe, Smart Electric Drive, Mercedes B-Class Electric, etc.
What’s with the Dutch not buying more fully electric cars? I still don’t really get it, even after my trip to the Netherlands and conversations with numerous Dutch electric vehicle experts. They’ve got better incentives for fully electric cars, they’ve got easy access to on-street EV charging (the government will install chargers for you), they’ve got an excellent and fast-growing EV fast-charger network from Fastned, it’s a small country geographically, and there are very attractive (Model S, i3, B-Class Electric) as well as affordable (Zoe, Leaf, etc.) models on the market. It’s still a bit of a mystery to me.
Btw, Dutch plug-in car sales represented about 6.6% of all new car sales in July, and about 6% for January through July. Not earth-shattering, but 2nd only to Norway. José Pontes makes some other awesome notes that get me much more excited: the VW Golf GTE represented 38% of all VW Golf registrations in the Netherlands in July, the Audi A3 e-tron represented 61% of all A3 registrations, the Mercedes C350e represented 71% of all C-Class registrations, and the Outlander PHEV represented 95% of all Outlander registrations and 39% of all Mitsubishi registrations. WOW.
Anyway, jump into the charts and table below! And as always, thanks to José Pontes for the numbers*.
*Note that these registration numbers require some assumptions and are not all from an official source. I’ve tried to track down complete numbers in the past, but the nature of the beast these days is that they just aren’t available. I’ve also found mistakes and odd assumptions in José’s numbers in the past, but they are still far and away the best I have found aggregated on the internet. So, be cautious with how you use these sales statistics, but the general picture should be accurate and useful.
Originally published on EV Obsession.
Well, that was a crappy month… if you’re an electric car fan. Almost across the board, US electric car sales were down in July 2015 compared to July 2014. However, three models were up — the Tesla Model S ($75,000), the Mercedes B-Class Electric ($41,450), and the BMW i3 (42,400). This actually matches fine with my theory of why US electric car sales were down in June (and again in July). Historically, the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt have dominated US electric car sales. With the next generation of the Volt (much improved) just hitting the market, one would expect Volt sales to be down a lot, as well as sales of close competitors, and they are. Similarly, an updated LEAF is expected soon, and I think that is killing LEAF sales. Furthermore, as we get closer to 2016 and 2017, people are holding out for the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.
Those are my key theories, at least, and the stats fit the story (… or does the story just fit the stats?). As far as the positive stats go, BMW i3 sales were up 158% (572 cars) in July compared to one year prior, Mercedes B-Class Electric sales were up 378% (155 cars), and Tesla Model S deliveries were up an estimated 11.1% (200 cars). On the negative side, the Nissan LEAF was down 61.1% (1,845 cars), the Chevy Volt was down 35% (707 cars), the Toyota Prius Plug-In was down 70.8% (970 cars), the Ford Fusion Energi was down 30.5% (374 cars), and everything else was down a bit as well (not counting vehicles that weren’t yet on the market in July 2014, of course). Basically, everything that costs under $35,000 was down, but three higher-end models were up. You can have a closer look in the charts and tables below.
I’m not sure how long it’ll take GM to ramp up production of the 2016 Chevy Volt, but until that happens and until an improved LEAF comes to market, I think we’re going to see a bit of a dip in US electric car sales. Of course, by the end of the year, we’ll see production of the Tesla Model X flying electric SUVs out the door, Chevy Volts zipping under Christmas trees across the country, and perhaps some significant movement from Nissan again. And who knows, maybe the Audi A3 e-tron will find itself a nice spot in the market.
I’m fairly turned off to infographics these days, as many are simply a lot of colors and squiggly lines with little substance. However, some really good ones come across my desk from time to time. Thanks to a good friend, Amber Archangel, I’ve got a great one to share. The infographic was created for Car Leasing Made Simple, and is full of very interesting stats and charts about the top electric car countries and the top electric cars. Here’s the infographic, with more commentary below it:
I’ve been long planning to do an EV owner and lessee survey like this, so I am super eager to see the results. (I’m going to have a hard time not watching them obsessively as they come in.) But the key, of course, is getting EV owners and lessees to complete the survey.
If you drive electric, please complete this short survey! And be sure to click “Done” at the end.
If you know people who own or lease and EV, please pass this on to them.
If you have more EV owner or lessee survey questions you think I should ask (in a future survey), please feel free to drop the suggestions in the comments. If you have feedback on this survey, again, feel free to drop it in the comments or ping me directly.
Thank you! I look forward to sharing the results!
I’m generally not a fan of infographics — they often pack a little bit of information into a maze of colors. However, I think the one below is super interesting. It uses what us old-schoolers call “charts” and “graphs,” and it uses them to paint a really succinct and interesting picture of the US electric car market, from the beginning of 2011 to the end of the 1st half of 2015. Have a look (click to embiggen), and then check out my commentary if you care for it:
Here are some of the things that popped out to me looking at those charts and graphs:
- You can really see the BMW i3 pop onto the scene in 2014 (and I’m sure it’s not just because of the bright green color it was given…).
- The Toyota Prius Plug-In really drops off a cliff, doesn’t it?
- I think buyers are very ready for the 2016 Chevy Volt.
- Compliance cars, a lot of them….
Of course, tracking US electric car sales like it’s my job (oh, yeah…), none of this is news, but cool to see visualized.
Wow, yeah, that tells the story.
2015, come on! Get moving!
Also, I think the note on the right is a bit wrong to claim the 2015 stagnation is due to low oil prices. More likely, it is due to the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf getting old, people eagerly waiting for the 2016 Chevy Volt and next-gen Leaf, and also for long-range, affordable electric cars from Nissan, Tesla, GM, Volkswagen, and potentially others.
Wow, Florida and Texas just surprised me! Of course, they’re two of the most populous states in the country, so….
Seriously, note the wide variation in gas prices there. Gas prices are highly volatile. Electricity, not so much. And if you get cheap electricity from solar panels, well, then you are rocking it, while driving on sunshine.
What’s the fastest electric car on the market? I think you can guess, but what about #2–17?
First of all, let’s get a little perspective in here. A car’s quickness is generally rated by how fast it goes from o mph to 60 mph (or 0 km/h to 100 km/h outside of the USA and a few other places). But there are other ways to measure it — o mph to 30 mph, o mph to 15 mph, etc. The thing about electric cars is that they have instant torque, which gives them a huge jolt of power right off the line, something that conventional gasmobiles simply can’t match. To visualize that a bit, here’s a simple graph via DesignNews (via the Union of Concerned Scientists):
This instant torque and the many benefits it offers is one of two key reasons that I think electric cars will quite quickly take over the automobile market. (This is the other reason.)
But anyhow, a car’s 0–60 time is the the standard by which we typically measure how quick (or fast, if you’re not being precise with your use of language) a car is, so that’s what I’m using in this article to rank the top 10 quickest “electric cars on the market.” Just keep that instant torque thing in mind and be sure to share that graph with your uninitiated gearhead friends.
As one more intro point before jumping into the list, I put “electric cars on the market” in quotation marks like that because some cars are supposedly “on the market” but are basically unattainable. The $1 million Rimac Concept_One, for example. Wonderful car, and supposedly goes from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, but come one, we can’t have a $1 million car on this list.
Oh, and by the way, plug-in hybrid electric cars are a subset of electric cars in my eyes, so they are included in this ranking.
With those disclaimers out of the way, here are the 17 quickest electric cars on the market:
17. Chevy Volt = 8.8 seconds (Note: 2016 Volt will = 8.4 seconds)
I went beyond the top 10 quickest electric cars because I wanted to get a bit more into “every man’s” territory. The Volt is certainly in that realm, with a price tag (or MSRP) of just $33,995 before the US federal tax credit for EVs or other state and local incentives. It’s also a very sharp-looking car and has gotten a ton of love from its owners over the past several years. It seems to offer a good balance between performance, comfort, and price.
16. Fiat 500e = 8.7 seconds
The Fiat 500e is known for being a bit spunky despite its cute looks, and quite snappy off the line. Road & Track actually named it the best electric car of 2013. At $32,500 before incentives, it’s again very much in the “affordable” category. It’s definitely one of the electric cars I most want to test drive and haven’t yet… which is largely because Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne doesn’t really want to sell the thing, it’s mostly just been available in California, and I live all the way over in Poland. But maybe one day….
I was actually quite surprised to see the Ford C-Max Energi (and it Fusion sibling) so high on the list. I mean, I saw the number when updating this comprehensive electric car page a few months ago, but I really didn’t remember it beating out so many other electric models. It’s very much a family car, in my eyes, and doesn’t scream “fast.” Perhaps the decent acceleration is one of the things that keeps it sales quite steadily in the top 6 or 7 in the USA. The affordable $31,635 MSRP doesn’t hurt either, I’m sure.
14. Renault Zoe = 8.2 seconds
I love the Renault Zoe. I realize it’s not the response that many have to such an affordable, simple car, but I really love the thing. And finding out that it has a decent 0–60 time of 8.2 seconds just makes it that much better. Naturally, it would be hard to choose the Zoe over the Tesla Model S or some of the other more expensive cars on this list, but if you want to save money, the Zoe is an awesome choice. Of course, it’s not on the US market, but it is the 3rd most popular electric car in Europe so far this year, and the quickest of those top three. By the way, the price in its home country of France is €21,900 and the price in the UK is £13,443, not including the leasing of the battery.
12. Ford Fusion Energi = 7.9 seconds
Like with the C-Max Energi, the Fusion Energi is another surprise “family car” that I was surprised to see so high on the list. It was the 5th best-selling electric car in the US in the first half of 2015, and 4th in June, due to its many benefits. Fast, quite spacious, quite affordable, good looks — what more do you need (other than a bit more all-electric range, ahem)? Price = $33,900, btw.
12. Mercedes B-Class Electric = 7.9 seconds
With some Tesla organs and a Mercedes badge, it’s not surprising to see the B-Class Electric show up on this list. However, it’s by far the most expensive we’ve seen so far, with an MSRP of $41,450. For much more detail on the B-Class Electric, I recommend this thorough review: 2014 Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Review — 1st Month (Exclusive).
11. Cadillac ELR = 7.8 seconds
Expensive? What was I talking about? For an extra 0.1 second (… and, admittedly, a few other things…), the Cadillac ELR adds about $25,000. Granted, that’s a big reason why its sales are pretty lousy compared to other models on this list. But hey, it almost broke into the top 10, and the truth is that it does offer quite a bit of luxury.
9. Volkswagen Golf GTE = 7.6 seconds
Getting back into the realm of cars an average man can afford (well, the price is still a bit above average), the Volkswagen Golf GTE starts at £33,755 in the UK. If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s not yet on the US market. But it is selling like hotcakes in Europe. It was #6 for the first five months of 2015, but rose to #2 in May. As you can see in the video reviews above, it’s quite well loved.
9. Audi A3 e-tron = 7.6 seconds
The Audi A3 e-tron is tied with the VW Golf GTE because it is basically the same car, just with a different cover. It also comes in at basically the same price. Essentially, if you like the features of these plug-in hybrids for the money you have to fork over for them, the deciding factor is basically whether you prefer Audi or Volkswagen. Sort of like choosing between a Chiquita banana and a Dole banana, you know? The good news is the A3 e-tron should hit US shores in October (I’m guessing California).
8. Chevy Spark EV = 7.2 seconds
With more torque than a Ferrari 458 Italia, the Chevy Spark EV didn’t have too much trouble landing on this list… or impressing test drivers and owners. Yeah, 7.2 seconds to 60 mph isn’t amazing, but remember that graph at the top of this page. You have to adjust. And considering that the car comes in at just $25,995 before incentives (after a recent price cut), the Spark EV is by far the cheapest on this list that is available in the US, and comes in several thousand dollars below the average new-car price, not even counting the $7,500 US federal tax credit for EVs or the $2,500 ZEV rebate in California. You’d think it would be selling like crazy… unless GM wasn’t actually producing the car to meet demand or advertising it.
7. BMW i3 = 7.1 seconds
Full disclosure: I love the BMW i3. Agreed, the looks aren’t like those of a Rimac Concept_One or BMW i8, but the car drives wonderfully, has impressive acceleration off the line, is comfy and spacious, is the most efficient car on the US market, and is green as all get-out. With almost the same price as the Mercedes B-Class Electric, that’s likely its closest competitor. The i3 obviously crushed the B-Class Electric off the line (well, is 0.8 seconds faster to 60 mph), but there’s plenty of debate which car is better. See this comparison vs this comparison. Heck, even the tweets on those competing articles are almost the same.
6. Mercedes 350 e = 5.9 seconds
The Mercedes GLC 350 e 4MATIC Plug-In may be an SUV, but this beast knows how to get up and go, reportedly hitting 60 mph faster than your mom can say “ouch.” It has just hit the European market, so we’re yet to see much of it, but in the plug-in-hybrid-loving Netherlands, it was the 4th best selling electric car in June. I haven’t searched out the price yet, but I’m sure it’s not cheap.
5. Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid = 5.7 seconds
The luxurious, high-performance Volvo V60 PHEV is a close competitor to the 350 e in many respects, and barely inches it out in the drive to 60 mph (or 100 km/h). It’s high price tag certainly scares away many buyers, but it has enough to offer that it has a solid grip on the #9 sales spot in Europe. It’s not available in the US, btw.
4. Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid = 5.4 seconds
Ah, hard to have a “fastest cars” list without Porsche strutting its stuff. Another SUV/crossover, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid is all about the mixture of performance and luxury. At a cool $77,200, it’s not for the 99%, but what can you expect with the Porsche logo on it. For the record, I think it is my favorite SUV/crossover (until the Tesla Model X arrives), but I do wish Porsche had squeezed more than 14 miles of electric range into the vehicle.
3. Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid = 5.2 seconds
Ah, and sharing much of the same technology, the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid steals the bronze medal from the Cayenne S E-Hybrid. The Panamera S E-Hybrid actually accounts for about 10% of Panamera sales last I heard. I think it deserves even more, but whatev — people are slow to catch on to new trends. (Btw, Porsche, I have’t driven this thing yet — drop me a line.)
2. BMW i8 = 4.4 seconds
Eating Porsche’s lunch this time, the BMW i8 is not just a beauty of a car that pulls in people who know nothing about it — it’s a vehicular cheetah. The only problems? Its $135,700 price tag and its quite minimal 15 miles of electric range. But still, look at that beauty. (Btw, BMW, I have’t driven this thing yet — drop me a line.)
You knew it all along, of course. The Tesla Model S is the best mass-manufactured car on the planet, the best of all time according to many of us. Motor Trend recently named it one of the top 10 American cars of all time (come on, just call it #1 of everything), while the oil industry is pissing its pants about it. It makes most of the other cars on the road look like golf carts, and as I noted at the top, it burns Ferraris or Lamborghinis off the line. At a reasonable price, it’s no wonder the Model S is the top-selling car in its class in the USA.
Unfortunately, after test driving the record-breaking Tesla P85D, I’m ruined for all other cars.
(Update on July 17: Tesla just announced that it has gotten its 0–60 time down to 2.8 seconds.)
Originally posted on EV Obsession
What is the tipping point for plug-in cars? If you ask me, I’d have to say that the U.S. has already hit that mark, as more than 118,000 electrified vehicles were bought or leased in 2014, a 27% increase over 2013 and the first time sales of plug-ins have hit the six-figure mark. There’s no going back now.
According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association (via Green Car Reports), 118,773 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids were sold in the United States last year. InsideEVs puts the number slightly higher at 119,710 Keep in mind though that this is an estimation, as several automakers like Tesla, Kia, and Fiat don’t offer monthly sales updates on their EVs, making it difficult to nail down an exact number. That said, the numbers are sure enough to handily beat the approximately 93,000 plug-in sales recorded in 2013.
So what were the best-selling plug-in cars for 2014? It should come as no surprise that the Nissan LEAF walked away with the sales crown, moving about 30,200 vehicles off of dealership lots. Next was the Chevy Volt, which saw sales tumble to just 18,805 sales in 2014, which can be at least partially attributed to buyers waiting for the next-gen 2016 Volt to go on sale. It is still about 5,000 sales short of last year’s mark though.
Sitting in third place is (probably) the Tesla Model S, which InsideEVs estimates topped 17,000 U.S. sales in 2014, and about 33,000 total sales globally. Following up on the Model S would be the Prius Plug-In, up slightly with 13,264 sales, with the Ford Fusion Energi moving over 11,500 units as well (including at least 50 cop cars). Other notable top sellers were the Ford C-Max Energi (8,433) and the BMW i3 (6,092), which rounds out a bulk of U.S plug-in car sales, accounting for approximately 105,000 of the 118,500 plug-in car sales in 2014. Just six plug-in other vehicles (Smart ForTwo ED, Ford Focus Electric, Chevy Spark EV, Cadillac ELR, Toyota RAV4 EV, and Fiat 500e) managed to break 1,000 units sold, with another 10 or so vehicles selling just a few hundred examples each.
All told, Americans have purchased over 300,000 plug-in cars since late 2010, and while we may not meet Obama’s goal of a million electrified vehicles by the end of 2015, we’re a lot closer to a cleaner world than we were just four years ago.
A little over a year ago, Ford was riding high on a wave of enthusiasm for a product lineup that boasted some of the fuel efficient vehicles in America. Unfortunately, those MPG ratings proved to be a bit optimistic. The EPA has forced Ford to lower the MPG ratings on six of its vehicles by as much as 7 MPG, due to an internal testing error.
The hardest hit by the new MPG figures was the Lincoln MKZ hybrid, which saw its 45/45/45 MPG rating drop down to 38/37/38. The Fusion Hybrid also took a big hit, falling from 47 MPG across the board down to a 44/41/42 MPG rating. The other vehicles affected include all Ford Fiesta models (save for the Fiesta ST), the C-Max Hybrid, and both the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids.
As recompense, Ford is refunding lessees and buyers as much as $1,050 to make up for the difference in advertised and actual fuel economy. Consumer Reports was one of the first to sound the horn on Ford’s overly-generous MPG ratings, and they’ve certainly been validated by the EPA. Already the lowered MPG ratings are affecting sales, especially of the C-Max Hybrid, which was supposed to be Ford’s Prius-killer.
So much for that.
Ford blames both virtual aerodynamics testing, and the Total Road Load Horsepower measurements, which produced these huge discrepancies. Ford claims to have discovered the error only in March, when it immediately reached out to the EPA.
Uh huh. Pardon my skepticism, but if you’re going to try to build some of the most fuel efficient cars on the market, I’d think you’d go to great lengths to ensure your cars are actually returning the claimed MPGs. All the wind tunnel testing in the world doesn’t compare to real world driving experiences, and if road engineers were coming back with wildly different numbers than what the lab tests reported, maybe that was the time for Ford to reconsider its MPG ratings.
I’m a Blue Oval fan through and through, but this whole thing reeks of bureaucratic incompetence at best, and underhanded trickery at worse. European automakers have been called out for deceptive fuel economy testing practices, and who’s to say American automakers aren’t doing the same thing?
|Model Year||Vehicle||Powertrain||Revised(City, Highway, Combined)||Previous(City, Highway, Combined)||Lease Customers||PurchaseCustomers|
|2014||Fiesta||1.0L GTDI M/T||31 / 43 / 36||32 / 45 / 37||$125||$200|
|1.6L A/T||27 / 37 / 31||29 / 39 / 32||$150||$250|
|1.6L SFE A/T||28 / 38 / 32||30 / 41 / 34||$275||$450|
|1.6L M/T||28 / 36 / 31||27 / 38 / 31||Combined MPG not affected||Combined MPG not affected|
|2013-14||C-MAX||Hybrid||42 / 37 / 40||45 / 40 / 43||$300||$475|
|Fusion||Hybrid||44 / 41 / 42||47 / 47 / 47||$450||$775|
|MKZ||Hybrid||38 / 37 / 38||45 / 45 / 45||$625||$1,050|
|Model Year||Vehicle||Powertrain||Revised**(Charge Sustaining, Charge Depleting, EV Range)||Previous**(Charge Sustaining, Charge Depleting, EV Range)||Lease Customers||PurchaseCustomers|
|2013-14||C-MAX Energi||Plug-in Hybrid||38 mpg / 88 MPGe+ /19 mi EV range||43 mpg / 100 MPGe+ /21 mi EV range||$475||$775|
|Fusion Energi||Plug-in Hybrid||38 mpg / 88 MPGe+ /19 mi EV range||43 mpg / 100 MPGe+ /21 mi EV range||$525||$850|
Ford is fighting dirty with this satirical response to the controversial Cadillac ELR ad, combining compost with their hybrid car, the C-Max Energi. Instead of working just to work, Ford asks why aren’t we working towards a better world? Pashon Murray has the answer
Where the Cadillac commercial that opens with movie star Neal McDonough standing in front of a huge pool, Ford opens with Detroit Dirt founder Pashon Murray staring at mounds of dirt. She launches into her own spiel about the American work ethic, and why she has made it her mission to use Detroit as a springboard for the urban farming movement. Her organization provides compost made from food scraps and manure to local farms that sell their food locally. It’s a dirty job doing a great service to a city many have given up hope for, one that requires a lot of hard work…minus the luxurious surroundings found in Cadillac’s commercial.
At the end of her monologue, Pashon steps into a Ford C-Max Energi, just as McDonough did at the end of Poolside, just in case you didn’t “get it” yet. True, the Ford commercial also fails to tell buyers anything of value about the car itself, but in terms of touting the American work ethic, I prefer Ford’s take.
Which ad do you think does a better message of conveying the American spirit?