Sales of the Chevy Bolt rose 3.5% in the first half of 2018.

Rising gas prices and improved range appear to be creating an appealing environment for plug-in electric vehicle sales with no company reaping better results than General Motors in the first half of the year.

The company’s Chevy Bolt EV saw sales rise during the second quarter of the year.

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U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35% year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40% in the first half.

To keep up with the demand GM is increasing fourth quarter production by more than 20% compared to the average of the first three quarters.

(EV tax credits soon to end for some automakers. For more on the story, Click Here.)

Tesla hit its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans in one week last week.

“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada and South Korea, has outstripped production,” McNeil said.

“The extra production coming on line should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our U.S. dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions.”

However, a closer look reveals much of that demand appears to be from overseas markets. In the U.S., Bolt sales were up 3.5% through the first six months of the year, but they were down in the second quarter 19.2%.

(Click Here for more about Tesla meeting its goal of 5,000 Model 3 sedans in one week.)

However, other EVs are also seeing increases that suggest the segment may exceed the nearly 200,000-unit sales record from last year well in advance of the end of 2018. Through June,, which tracks plug-in electric sales, reports that nearly 120,000 units have been sold through June.

With sales of many of the big sellers of EVs in the U.S. seeing drops in June, including the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius line-up, the increase is led by the smaller producers like Honda, BMW, Kia, Ford and others.

Adding to increased sales could be the possibility of some automakers reaching the 200,000-unit sales mark, cutting off the $7,500 federal tax credit that, in many cases, pushes the price of these vehicles below the $30,000 mark.

(FCA planning to plug in. Click Here for the story.)

Tesla deliveries are up as well as Elon Musk’s company finally eclipsed its production goal of 5,000 Model 3 sedans in a week, which adds to the rising number of sales in June. In fact, suggests sales of plug-in electrics will be up in June — continuing the trend for every month of 2018.

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