EV Sales Surging In 2017. Here Are The Winners And Losers


EV sales in the US are showing impressive gains compared to last year, with plug-in hybrids leading the way. Overall, sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric cars are up nearly 20% so far this year. That number needs some explanation. Sales of hybrids have fallen off a cliff lately. Toyota Prius, Prius V, and Prius C deliveries are down about 25%. The same malaise is affecting Lexus models that feature Toyota’s patented Synergy Drive technology.

Accord Hybrid leads EV sales March 2017

On the other hand, demand for the newly introduced Honda Accord Hybrid is red hot. Go figure. Maybe people just want hybrids that are larger than the compact Prius. Plug-in hybrid sales are what is driving the green car market forward. Through the first quarter of the year, they rose 23 percent to 109,292 vehicles. Plug-in vehicle sales have jumped 65 percent to more than 37,500 units. The new Prius Prime plug-in hybrid is enjoying strong sales.

Over at Ford, where CEO Mark Fields says no one wants to buy electric cars, green car sales jumped 61 percent from a year earlier to 9,212 units. Fusion Hybrid sales almost tripled to 5,865 units, while sales of the Focus Electric with its newly introduced larger battery quadrupled to 407 units.

General Motors’ green car sales grew even faster at a 67 percent increase from a year earlier. Chevrolet Bolt sales hit 978 units, which was up slightly from the 952 sold in February, though short of the monthly record 1,162 sold in January. The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid sold 2,123 cars, up 14 percent from a year earlier.

Honda and BMW both experienced green car gains last month. Honda’s sales amounted to 2,040 cars — up five times from last year. That was due almost entirely to strong demand for the revised Accord Hybrid. Sales of BMW’s i-branded plug-in vehicles rose 79 percent to 752 units, with i3 EV sales doubling from a year earlier to 703 units. The Nissan LEAF. with its larger battery and longer range. saw sales rise 19 percent from a year earlier to 1,478 units. And VW’s green car sales more than doubled to 351 units, as e-Golf demand almost quadrupled from a year earlier.

The winners and losers are all laid out in this chart prepared by Autoblog.



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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.

  • trackdaze

    No matter if its an up or down year plugins in Q1 represent about 17-20% of total years sales.

    So somewhere between 200,000 to 240,000 sales this year.

    • Epicurus

      Almost 1 in 5 cars sold in Q1 was a plug-in?

      • trackdaze

        Total plug ins.

    • Marc P

      “plugins in Q1 represent about 17-20% of total years sales”… that’s 20% **of Hybrids**, not of all cars !

      • trackdaze


        • Marc P

          If I understand correctly, out of EV’s, Hybrids and PHEV’s, “plugins” (so EV’s and PHEV’s) increased from 25% in the same period in 2016 to 34% so far in 2017. All in all, it’s a good thing !

      • Epicurus

        Too bad it wasn’t 17-20% of all auto sales. I knew that was too good to be true.

  • J_JamesM

    These are some good data. I’m particularly impressed with Honda’s offering, I’ll have to look into that. I’m also pleasantly surprised by the i3’s showing—the i3 deserves every success for the risks it took. I consider it an instant classic.

    The Prius figures are rather unsurprising. Despite its recent update with polarizing looks (to say the least), the underpinnings of the Prius and in particular its stablemates are getting extremely long in the tooth. As far as tech is concerned, the other automakers are eating Toyota’s lunch.