And the winner is…the Nissan Leaf! Again.
The best-selling electric vehicle in the world set a new annual sales record in the U.S. with two months to spare. Through September, the company sold 21,822 Leafs and was on pace to beat the previous high of 22,610 in 2013.
The Leaf set that record too. For the record, Leaf sales are up 36% this year and are on track to approach 30,000 units.
“With nearly 20 electric cars or plug-in hybrid models on the road today, Nissan LEAF remains at the head of the class, outselling the nearest competitor by 50% through September,” said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan electric vehicle Sales and Infrastructure.
“Since the initial launch in 2010 our primary goal is to bring electric vehicles to the mass market in a practical and fun-to-drive package, and we continue to deliver electric cars to more new buyers than anyone else.”
Nissan dominated the market for plug-in vehicles until the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid hit the market in 2012. Chevy sold more than 23,000 Volts in 2012 and 2013, but sales are down significantly this year. Through September, they’ve sold just 14,540 Volts.
While sales have been going strong this year, the Leaf did have its leaner moments, but Nissan acted quickly to boost sales in prime markets like Atlanta by offering free charging and other incentives. It also cut the price of the vehicle.
(Ford the latest to cut the price on its struggling EVs. For more, Click Here.)
Overall, plug-based vehicle sales totaled just 87,337 between January and September of this year, according to data compiled by InsideEVs.com. That’s barely 0.7% of the overall U.S. market.
(Click Here for details about the concepts at the Sao Paulo Motor Show.)
Various makers have had to follow Nissan’s suit when it comes to price cuts. Earlier this month, Ford cut $6,000 off its BEV Ford Focus. So has Chevrolet with its second-best-seller, the Volt plug-in hybrid, Honda with its Accord plug-in, Mitsubishi with its i-MiEV battery-electric vehicle, Smart, with its ElectricDrive BEV, and Fiat with its 500e.
In fact, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has all but asked consumers not to buy the little electric vehicle because his company loses more than $10,000 on every one it sells.
(To see the latest effort by the feds to turn up the heat on Takata, Click Here.)
On the positive side, total U.S. plug-based vehicle sales are already closing on the total for all of 2013, just 97,507. But there are also more electrified options on the market – a total of 22 different models at the moment, compared to just 16 at this time last year.
Nissan, which introduced the Leaf in 2010, has sold more than 142,000 unit globally with more than 64,000 snapped up in the U.S. The Leaf EPA-estimated driving range of 84 miles on a fully charged battery and MPGe ratings of 126 city, 101 highway and 114 combined.