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.
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.” 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???Here 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 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.
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)