I await its arrival with bait-like breath…

Back in the late 1980s, I was fortunate enough to ride a “S curve.” I was in the computer-aided design software field, employed by a software company as an Sales Engineer. I was the technical half of a sales team. The software we sold was revolutionary and ended up redefining 3D design. When I started the job, the product was relatively unknown. However, demonstrations of its capabilities blew engineers away. Of course, many were jaded, by years of “smoke-and-mirrors” in software demonstrations. Their experience caused them to fear what they weren’t seeing (i.e. possible bugs or limitations). Adoption was slow at first.

The CEO spoke to the sales teams about “S curves of innovation.” “Basically,” he said, “when a new, revolutionary product debuts, sales start off slowly. As more and more people get exposed to it, the ‘first adopters,’ buy first. These are the people that see where this new product can go, in its development, and want to jump on board as soon as they see it. Next, as those people gain experience in the new product, the tell their friends about it. Other sign up to see a demonstration. The sales curve starts to change. What was a gradual adoption of the technology, becomes a massive uptick, as the masses begin to see what the early adopters grasped from the beginning and jump on the bandwagon. As the years move forward, sales begin to slow down, either because everyone that needs the product has acquired it or a new competition (with a newer technology) enters the market and starts its own S curve.”

S curve

I said I was fortunate, because those who sell a new product, which is at the beginning of the steep increase in sales, become valuable personnel. In just three years, my income tripled! CEOs of companies attempted to recruit me, due to my in-depth understanding of this bold, new product. Life was exceedingly good.

Now I’m starting to see the evidence that I’m about to surf another wave. The evidence first appears, when you look at cumulative sales. Here’s my cumulative plug-in vehicle sales:Cumulative

I can definitely see the slope of the curve taking off. Looking at the S curve chart above, I’m thinking we may be around the 7 or 8 value, on the X (horizontal) axis of the chart. If so, that means there’s a very wild ride coming up very soon. Dealerships who failed to prepare will be left behind and, in my opinion, many will fail to survive. Back in my software days, I saw the demise of many venerated software companies. They had been leaders, in their day, but had failed to innovate. The just coasted on their past successes.

Innovation is not easy. Overcoming market inertia is not easy. But it happens every day.

Image result

A bit of advice here: In your career, YOU are the product. Failure to continually upgrade your skills will destroy you in the modern job market. We no longer need typewriter designers, whalers, livery stables, etc. I started my career in the oilfield manufacturing arena, as a machinist. I became a CNC machine operator (a manufacturing machine controlled by a computer program) and then learned to program those machines. I taught others what I knew and I became a manger. I was fat and happy.

Then, the price of oil collapsed. Houston was devastated. I had to move 250 miles away to find work. My income plummeted.

But I learned my lesson. I had grown my skills, butHawking quote only as they pertained to my specific industry. When that industry collapsed, I was financially damaged. Take note oilfield workers, coal miners, etc: Renewable energy careers are on the upswing just as your career is on the downswing. Have you read much about it? Taken any courses to learn about it? Are you fat and happy, like I was? I highly recommend reading “Who Moved My Cheese?”

I’ve been talking about a tipping point for three years now. As I saw things, the “stickiness” of plug-in vehicles, or the strong likelihood that a plug-in vehicle owner would never go back to a solely gasoline-powered vehicle, as a building swell, of which most people were unaware.

As I mentioned in my February 2018 sales figures, in my 4-1/2 years as an “Evangelist,” I usually saw zero plug-in vehicle sales in January and February. Last year was the first exception. I sold one in each of those two months that year.

This year, I sold 3 in January and 4 in February.

And it gets better from there.

So far this month, I have sold 3 plug-ins and have commitments on another SIX for a total of NINE and it’s not even the midpoint of the month yet!!! These are solid deals. We are just waiting for the vehicles to arrive. The most I’ve ever sold in March was five Volts in 2016, when the 2nd generation Volts started arriving in Texas (the 2016 models were not available in Texas). Other than that one standout month, my best March was one plug-in.

What’s going on here?!?!?

Plug-in salesThe plug-in Chevys are not advertised in Texas (where I am located). Texans are proud of their oil heritage and by-and-large think of EVs as a fad (they’re wrong). Chevy dealers have goals established by General Motors for sales of various vehicle types. Classic Chevrolet has consistently hit around 400% of the goals. In my estimation, most Chevy dealers in Texas won’t hit the target we have, but things are heating up. Here’s some interesting info:

  • I trade vehicles with other Chevy dealers, up to 250 miles away, to get the exact configuration my customer desires (or as close as possible). In the past, the other dealer always wanted a Silverado, Camaro, Tahoe or Corvette in trade for their Bolt EV or Volt. More and more often, they will ask for a plug-in vehicle to replace the plug-in vehicle I’m getting from them.
  • Fewer and fewer dealers have any available for trade and some have been reluctant to let go of their plug-in vehicles.
  • Dealers are now contacting us to trade for one of our plug-ins! This used to never happen!

It may be the optimist in me, but the boost in what would be a lackluster time for plug-in sales, has *almost* convinced me that the wave has truly started, in an indisputable way. Is 2018 the year we’ll look back on, as the year that plug-in vehicles began to roar?

I’ve been preparing for this for five years now. I’m ready.

February 2018 Sales Numbers

This month, I’m going to start the countdown to 200,000 vehicles, for the three manufacturers that can possibly hit that mark this year: General Motors, Tesla Motors and Nissan. Once that happens, these manufacturers are scheduled to have the $7,500 Federal Income Tax Credit begin to phase out. The mechanics of how this happens can be found here. Here’s how it looked as of the end of last month:

Tesla averaged 4,179 vehicle sales per month last year and the Model 3 production is ramping up. If they maintain last year’s rate, Tesla could be at the 200,000 mark by August. General Motors averaged 3,658 plug-in vehicle sales per month last year, but the Bolt EV was not available in all 50 states until August. At that rate, the 200,000 mark would happen in August, as well. That would mean the 200,000 could get cut in half by December 31st of this year. Nissan averaged 936 plug-in vehicle sales per month last year. At that rate, they would hit the 200,000 mark years from now. However, that’s misleading. Their sales, last year, were hampered by the announcement of a new, redesigned Leaf with much better range (although well short of the Model 3 or Bolt EV). Sales lagged for months as consumers waited for the new Leaf. I expect all these manufacturers’ average sales to be much better, but unless they’re phenomenal, Nissan buyer’s will still be getting the full tax credit into 2019.

February 2018 plug-in vehicle sales were up, across the board, which is very abnormal for February.

As I mentioned a couple months ago, I have dropped the Ford C-Max Energi from the tracking, as Ford has decided to end the model. It has been replaced, in my tracking, by the Honda Clarity EV and Hybrid models. I am combining the two plug-in versions of Clarity, but not the hydrogen fuel cell version.

In total vehicle sales, February 2018 was typical. I sold 5 units. The weather was cold and rainy for the last week of the month and traffic was very low.

In the chart below, the February rebound in plug-in sales is obvious. All the curves jump up, in the last month.EV Sales NumbersHere are the February 2018 sales figures, compared to the previous month:

  • Chevy Volt: UP 38% (983 vs. 713)
  • Chevy Bolt EV: UP 21% (1,424 vs. 1,177)
  • Nissan Leaf: UP 497% (895 vs. 150) **new model
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: UP 37% (2,050 vs. 1,496)
  • Tesla Model S: UP 41% (1,125 vs. 800) **estimated
  • Tesla Model X: UP 25% (875 vs. 700) **estimated
  • BMW i3: UP 63% (623 vs. 382) **new model announced
  • Ford Fusion Energi: UP 24% (794 vs. 640)
  • Honda Clarity BEV & PHEV: UP 55% (1,234 vs. 797)
  • Tesla Model 3: UP 33% (2,485 vs. 1,875)

In February, the average price of gasoline dropped from $2.59 per gallon, at the start of the month, to $2.55 at month’s end. The dive was pretty constant, hitting $2.51 on the 18th, bouncing up for a few days, before bottoming out on the 26th at $2.50, before recovering some of its loss.My Sales By Month

I am shocked by the continued robust sales of the Volt and Bolt EV. As you are probably aware, due to the Federal Income Tax Credit on plug-ins, most sales are biased toward the last half of the year, as people start thinking about their income taxes. Until 2017, I had never sold a plug-in vehicle in January or February. In 2017, I only sold one Volt, during each of those months. However, the world is born anew in 2018! In January 2018, I sold two Bolt EVs and a Volt. In February, I sold three Bolt EVs and a Volt. Is this an indicator that we’re moving beyond first adopters of new technology and more into mainstream buyers?My five February 2018 sales were comprised of three Bolt EVs, one Volt, and one Equinox, which means the Bolt EV is rapidly rising, in my overall lifetime sales by model. It is still in 3rd place (42 units), with the Silverado 1500 (55 units) in 2nd place and the Volt (76 units) in first. The Bolt EV got there in eight months. I’ve been selling the other vehicles for 53 months!My Vehicle Sales By ModelBy vehicle type, my lifetime sales are 28% plug-ins, 20% SUVs, 18% pickups (down 1%), 15% sports cars. The rest are sedans & vans (19%).

Plug-in sales, compared to the same month a year ago, were split:

  • Chevy Volt: DOWN 46% (983 vs. 1,820) **Bolt EV effect?
  • Chevy Bolt EV: UP 50% (1,424 vs. 952)
  • Nissan Leaf: DOWN 14% (895 vs. 1,037) **new model
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: UP 51% (2,050 vs. 1,362)
  • Tesla Model S: DOWN 46% (1,125 vs. 1,750)
  • Tesla Model X: UP 9% (875 vs. 800)
  • BMW i3: UP 96% (623 vs. 318)
  • Ford Fusion Energi: DOWN 5% (794 vs. 837)
  • Honda Clarity BEV & PHEV: (was not available in February 2017)
  • Tesla Model 3: (was not available in February 2017)

January 2018 Sales

January 2018 plug-in vehicle sales were significantly down, which is normal for January. There were two exceptions: The Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model 3.

In a repeat of last couple of month’s posts, the chart shown below, shows my Volt and Bolt EV sales by month, over the last four-plus years. I sold three plug-in vehicles in January 2018, which is WAY outside norms. Usually, January sales are slow because everyone is focused on getting the Federal Income Tax Credit in November and December of the previous year. Before this year, I’d only sold one Volt in January and one in February, and that was only for the year 2017. Before that, I’d never sold a plug-in in either month! That red bar in January, in the chart below shows how different January 2018 was for me (in plug-ins, anyway…)My Plug-Ins by MonthIn total vehicle sales, January 2018 was typical. I sold 4 units. In January 2015 and 2017, I sold 4 vehicles. In January 2016, my vehicle sales totaled 10, of many different types. Traffic was terrible that January, but sales were good.

The Bolt EV, in just seven months has become my 3rd highest volume vehicle, surpassing the Corvette. In the chart below, you can see that, in the six months they were available in Texas, my Bolt EV sales totaled 37 units. My best year, in Silverados (2015), was 25 units and my best Volt year (2016, when the 2nd generation first became available) was 27 unitsVehicle Sales By Model & Year Sold

In the chart below, the January downturn in plug-in sales is obvious. The Leaf (light blue line) barely budged upward and the Model 3 (dark purple line that starts in July 2017) jumped up significantly.January 2018 EV Sales NumbersOnce again, I am going to point out the beginning of the adoption curves. The curve taking off the fastest continues to be the Chevy Bolt EV. Last month, its adoption curve has started to turn downward, toward the rest of the pack, but almost every other adoption curve did the same. It will be interesting to see how the new Leaf, i3 and Honda Clarity compete this year. The foremost dark purple line is the Tesla Model 3. January sales helped its adoption start to look like the Bolt EV. Those two models have been seen as major competitors, so the coming year should be interesting to watch.Bolt EV ZoomHere are the January 2018 sales figures, compared to the previous month:

  • Chevy Volt: DOWN 63% (713 vs. 1,937)
  • Chevy Bolt EV: DOWN 64% (1,177 vs. 3,227)
  • Nissan Leaf: UP 47% (150 vs. 102) **new model announced
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOWN 38% (1,496 vs. 2,420)
  • Tesla Model S: DOWN 84% (800 vs. 4,975) **estimated
  • Tesla Model X: DOWN 79% (700 vs. 3,300) **estimated
  • BMW i3: DOWN 43% (382 vs. 672) **new model announced
  • Ford Fusion Energi: DOWN 27% (640 vs. 875)
  • Ford C-Max Energy: DOWN 46% (234 vs. 436) **end of model announced
  • Tesla Model 3: UP 77% (1,875 vs. 1,060)

In January, the average price of gasoline rose from $2.47 per gallon, at the start of the month, to $2.59 at month’s end. Gasoline started out around $2.47 per gallon and remained about the same through the ninth. After that it rose steadily, to $2.55 on the 17th. After a minor dip, over four days, it then rose to the end of the month.My Sales By MonthMy four January 2018 sales were comprised of two Bolt EVs, one Volt, and one Malibu.

Vehicle Sales By ModelBy vehicle type, my lifetime sales are 28% plug-ins, 20% SUVs, 19% pickups, 15% sports cars. The rest are sedans & vans (18%).

Plug-in sales, compared to the same month a year ago, were mostly down, with only two models showing an increase and both were new or revamped models: Bolt EV and the Prius Prime.

  • Chevy Volt: DOWN 56% (713 vs. 1,611) **Bolt EV effect?
  • Chevy Bolt EV: UP 1% (1,177 vs. 1,162)
  • Nissan Leaf: DOWN 81% (150 vs. 772) **new model announced
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOWN 8% (1,496 vs. 1,641)
  • Tesla Model S: DOWN 11% (800 vs. 900)
  • Tesla Model X: DOWN 7% (700 vs. 750)
  • BMW i3: UNCHANGED (382 vs. 382)
  • Ford Fusion Energi: UP 6% (640 vs. 606)
  • Ford C-Max Energi: DOWN 51% (234 vs. 473)
  • Tesla Model 3: (was not available in December 2016)

EV charging infrastructure: Who? How? Why?

EV Charge StationThere have been lots of people asking why the makers of plug-in vehicles, other than Tesla, aren’t getting more involved in charging infrastructure roll-out. I wrote about the business model for charging infrastructure, shortly after getting our first two Chevy Volts. I was considering starting a business that installed and operated EV chargers. The path to profitability did not seem viable to me. In fact, it seemed so difficult to achieve profitability, that I still don’t understand how these companies plan to survive! In Texas, there’s an added obstacle: Only energy retailers can sell electricity to the public on a per-kWh basis and the EV charging companies do not meet that standard (unless the law gets modified). In order to resolve this, many EVSE companies have based charging on time connected. This places an undue burden on EVs that charge more slowly than others. For example, the Gen 1 Chevy Volt charged at about half the speed of a Gen 1 Nissan Leaf. By charging, based on connect time, it’s as if one gasoline-powered vehicle was charged twice as much per gallon than a different gasoline-powered vehicle.

EV Charge StationLooking back, five years later, I’ve realized a few things:

  • Plug-in hybrids do not need to charge on public chargers. There, I said it. Better yet, I’ve lived it. In over five years of driving Volts, I have plugged into a public charger under five times, mostly out of curiosity. WHY would I want to be stuck at a public charger to add ten miles of range for each hour I was charging? I can just pull into a gas station and fill up, if my battery won’t get me home.
  • EV etiquette arguments spring up with shorter-range BEV drivers (Leaf, Spark, iMiEV, etc) complaining that they can’t get home because a hybrid was plugged in. The hybrid camp responds with, “Exactly! That’s why we did the ‘smart’ thing and bought a hybrid.” P.S. The correct answer is, “You’re right. Since you asked politely, I will give up the charging spot to you. I’d rather drive home on gasoline than give the anti-EV crowd another nonsense issue with which to dissuade others from buying plug-in vehicles.
  • I believe the newer, longer-ranged EVs, when being used for driving less than 200 miles per day, also will not have a real need to charge at public chargers. If the owner can charge at home, doing so will open up charging stations to those who cannot charge at home (like apartment dwellers).
  • Our government entities are planning on using budget for DC fast-charging infrastructure to build them, primarily, in large, metropolitan areas. This is where they believe the chargers will be most needed because that’s where the EVs are located. That’s fine for Level 2 chargers, since an EV in a large city, is probably less than 25 miles from home and a one hour charge would satisfy that need. But the most critical need will be between major cities, to help EVs make it from one city to another. This is what Tesla has been building: “Destination chargers.” Being from the western U.S., where there’s hours of driving between major cities, I may have a regional bias here…EV Charge Station
  • We need to be smarter about charging locations: Here are some things to consider:
    • Charging centers cannot replicate gasoline filling stations. Have you ever been to a gas station and thought, “This would be a great place to hang out for a couple hours!”?
    • There has to be another attraction, that the EV owner would actually want to use, to fill the charging time and add revenue for the charging station owner. A movie theater and restaurant are good starts. However, movie theaters probably won’t work for destination chargers, as people will show up at all times, not just when a movie is about to start. To facilitate this, you need the ability to stream a movie from the EVSE to the EV’s infotainment system or passengers’ tablets/phones. In this way, the movie starts right when you arrive. This adds another revenue stream to support the cost of the charger.
    • A nice club, like frequent flyer clubs in airports, could be nice. Very clean, quiet reading rooms, restrooms and nice grounds for picnicking, game rooms/arcades, swimming pools, and gyms would be something most EVers would ante up for. Trailheads with chargers (or buses that go to and from the chargers to the trailheads) for nice one to two hour hikes would be a big hit.
    • These “destination chargers” could be a boon to a small town (since that’s where they’d be located). A nice, downtown shopping area, that could be strolled through, would be an invitation for EV owners and their disposable income to stay a little longer…
    • The destination chargers need to be located where they can do the most to push the evolution of transportation forward. Getting to Colorado from east Texas is very difficult because there are no DC Fast Chargers available to the average EV in the Texas panhandle. Due to this, the EV driver has to plan a route that takes them days out of their way, or find hotels/RV parks, with chargers or outlets available for charging overnight. THIS sounds like an obstacle AND an opportunity for small towns who wants to attract visitors.
    • It would be nice, if there was a small EV-specific garage at the destination chargers. Someone who could top off battery coolant, replace or repair leaking tires, replace 12V batteries, etc. Concerns about getting basic EV service in a small town is surely holding back some buyers.
    • These chargers are not going to help move the switch to fun, clean EV driving, unless they are available. Every state needs to have tough fines/towing laws on the books for vehicles (both plug-in and non-plug-in) that are parked at a charger but not charging. There should be a timer, showing time since charging ceased, to prevent fining someone who got back a little bit late. There should also be video surveillance of the site, for the safety of nighttime charging.
    • One last thing that would help: Each charger should have multiple connectors so that the next driver (and the next?) could go ahead and plug-in, knowing that their EV will wait until the previous EV is through charging, before their EV will begin charging. This can make each charger’s utilization climb because, as long as the next EV is in line and plugged in, the charger will experience no downtime or lost revenue.

EV Charge StationNow, who is to responsible for all this infrastructure?

  • The EV manufacturers (some, very late to the EV game) are up to their eyeballs in developing new EVs and trying to get to profitability. I don’t expect much from their camp.
  • The EVSE manufacturers will probably continue to try to ally themselves with EV manufacturers and offer free charging or free memberships. I’m not sure this will do much for those who have already owned a plug-in vehicle, but it will help ease fears of new EV buyers.
  • The government is getting money from the Volkswagen “diesel-gate” scandal and is applying a lot of that to charging infrastructure. Now might be a good time to use some of that to build destination chargers in a small, strategically located town and getting the town to develop surrounding attractions to grow with the charging site. By doing this, we will quickly determine what works and what doesn’t, in added attractions and revenue streams.EV Charge Station

Another way to tell your dealership is serious about EVs…

I got a call from Tom Durant, the owner of the Chevy dealership, for which I work. He asked me where I was and then asked me to come to his office.

Bolt EV vs. Volt

One thing about me: Whenever this happens, I have a moment of panic, expecting the, “Well, Buzz, we gave this EV thing a good try, but it’s just not working out, so…” talk.

A few minutes later he called again and said, “I’ve got some people for you to meet. Meet us at the bottom of the stairs.” When I arrived, a stream of well-dressed businesspeople were streaming out the door, with Tom in the lead. He introduced them to me as members of the Texas Automobile Dealer’s Association, or TADA. This year, Tom is the chairman of TADA. We wanted me to give the TADA members a tour of “Electric Avenue,” our EV & Hybrid Sales & Learning Center.EA Main Room

As we walked toward my building, I gave them a short history of how I came to be in the car business and what Classic Chevrolet is doing with this new center. I spoke about the “educational sale,” where the customer is going to visit the dealership 4 to 5 times, before making a purchase, instead of buying “on the spot” like in a traditional car sale.

Once inside, the visitors had very good questions for me about what it is like to sell EVs, what concerns customers have, what has surprised me most about driving EVs, how built-out is the charging infrastructure, etc. I felt the questions were so well though-out that these must be questions on the minds of many car dealers today.

If anything, it showed me that, even in oil-rich Texas, car dealers are sitting up and taking notice of plug-in vehicles and want to better understand how to be successful selling them.

Maybe I’m having an impact after all…

When your dealership is serious about EVs…

General Motors requires that any dealership that sells the Bolt EV must have a DC Fast Charger. It does not require that it get installed.DCFCThe charger is over $10K in cost and, at least in the case of Classic Chevrolet, where I work, the additional service we had to bring in more than doubled the project cost.

I’m happy to report that ours was installed this week. I’ve been keeping my inventory charged for test drives and purchase, on our multiple Level 2 chargers. Now, I’m looking forward to the next batch of Bolt EVs to arrive, so I can try this baby out!

December 2017 Sales Numbers

December 2017 plug-in vehicle sales were mostly up, over the previous month, with two exceptions: The Nissan Leaf and the Ford Fusion Energi. As I mentioned last month, Nissan has announced the next generation Leaf, with much more range (and somewhat improved looks) than the current model.

In a repeat of last month’s post, the chart shown below, shows my Volt and Bolt EV sales by month, over the last four years, with my December 2017 sales fully accounted for. I’ve had two very good months of plug-in sales.

In total vehicle sales, December was a let down. In December 2016, I sold 24 vehicles, including 8 Volts, making plug-ins 33% of my total sales that month. In December 2017, my vehicle sales totaled just 13 vehicles, of which 10 were plug-ins, for 77% of the total! Although I’d have liked higher sales volume, the 77% takes some of the disappointment away.My Plug-Ins by Month

In the chart below, The Bolt EV’s U.S. sales are represented by the dark blue/green line that starts in December 2016. Bolt EV’s December sales were only bested by the Tesla Model X (barely) and the Model S (which bounces around a lot). The Bolt EVs assumed main competitor, the Tesla Model 3, is the dark purple line that starts in July 2017. Today, it was reported widely that Tesla has pushed back the date for production ramp up to 5,000 vehicles a month, to mid-2018. I’ve had three Bolt EV deals that were originally Tesla deals, due to delays in production. At about 1/2 the price of a readily available Tesla model, the Bolt EV, to borrow an old tagline from Apple, is becoming “the EV for the rest of us.”December 2017 EV Sales Numbers Once again, I am going to point out the beginning of the adoption curves. The curve taking off the fastest continues to be the Chevy Bolt EV. This month, its adoption curve has diverged even more from the rest of the pack. It is truly making a splash. Can you imagine if GM really got behind promoting it and the Volt???Bolt EV ZoomHere are the December 2017 sales figures, compared to the previous month:

  • Chevy Volt: UP 14% (1,937 vs. 1,702)
  • Chevy Bolt EV: UP 8% (3,227 vs. 2,987)
  • Nissan Leaf: DOWN 42% (102 vs. 175) **new model announced
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: UP 32% (2,420 vs. 1,834)
  • Tesla Model S: UP 273% (4,975 vs. 1,335) **estimated
  • Tesla Model X: UP 76% (3,300 vs. 1,875) **estimated
  • BMW i3: UP 137% (672 vs. 283) **new model announced
  • Ford Fusion Energi: UP 20% (875 vs. 731)
  • Ford C-Max Energy: DOWN 17% (436 vs. 523) **end of model announced
  • Tesla Model 3: UP 207% (1,060 vs. 345)

In December, the average price of gasoline fell from $2.54 per gallon, the previous month, to $2.46 last month. Gasoline started out around $2.47 per gallon. It dropped steadily, bottoming out at $2.42 on the 18th. It then rose to $2.49 at the end of the month.

My December sales were my second-best ever, but as I mentioned above, they were lower than I anticipated.My Sales By WeekMy thirteen December sales were comprised of seven Bolt EVs, three Volts, one Silverado, one Cruze, and one Tahoe. I probably could have sold even more Bolt EVs, but we ended up with only three left in stock and did some dealer trades to get specific options buyers wanted. There was also a serious delay in shipping Bolt EVs to us. Bolt EVs leave the factory, on a train bound for Ohio. There, they are unloaded and put on a train headed to Texas. For some reason (I was told it was a railcar shortage) nine Bolt EVs we ordered were delayed in Ohio for a month! My Volt sales gained ground against pickups, again last month. I have only been able to sell Bolt EVs for 6 months, but it has already surpassed my 51 months of Corvette sales, becoming my 2nd place vehicle sold, over my entire time selling vehicles! An important note here, is this included the debut of the C7 Corvette, in 2014, which was very, very hot item.

By vehicle type, my lifetime sales are 27% plug-ins, 20% SUVs, 19% pickups, 16% sports cars. The rest are sedans & vans (18%).Vehicle Sales By Model

Plug-in sales, compared to the same month a year ago, were mostly down, with only two models showing an increase and both were new or revamped models: Bolt EV and the Prius Prime.

  • Chevy Volt: DOWN 48% (1,937 vs. 3,691) **Bolt EV effect?
  • Chevy Bolt EV: UP 466% (3,227 vs. 570) **Bolt EV debuted in December 2016
  • Nissan Leaf: DOWN 95% (102 vs. 1,889) **new model announced
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: UP 47% (2,420 vs. 1,641)
  • Tesla Model S: DOWN 15% (4,975 vs. 5,850)
  • Tesla Model X: DOWN 15% (3,300 VS. 3,875)
  • BMW i3: DOWN 15% (672 vs. 791)
  • Ford Fusion Energi: DOWN 20% (875 vs. 1,099)
  • Ford C-Max Energi: DOWN 66% (436 vs. 1,289)
  • Tesla Model 3: (was not available in December 2016)