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PHEVs led August US sales of plug-in vehicles; Volt and Prius PHV dominate

5 September 2012

In August, the US sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) from the major OEMs (Chevy Volt and Prius PHV) totalled 3,336 units, while battery-electric vehicles (Nissan LEAF, Honda Fit EV, and Ford Focus Electric) sold a combined 728 units. Year-to-date, plug-in hybrid sales from these majors have totalled 19,579 units, while their battery-electric vehicle sales reached 4,406 units.

The Chevrolet Volt sold 2,831 units, setting a new monthly sales record and maintaining its lead in plug-in vehicle sales among the major OEMs. Volt set its prior sales record in March, with 2,289 units. The August 2012 results marked an 837.4% increase in sales by volume compared to the 302 units posted in August 2011. Year-to-date Volt sales reached 13,497 units, up 325.5% from the same period in 2011.

The Toyota Prius PHV maintained second place, with 1,047 units sold. Year-to-date, Toyota has sold 6,082 of the plug-in hybrid variant of the Prius. The Prius sedan sold 13,311 units in August; the Prius c sold 3,428 units; and the Prius v sold 3,325 units. Total Prius family sales were 21,111, up 122.4% from August 2011. Year-to-date sales of the Prius PHV climbed to 6,082 units, 3.7% of the year-to-date sales of 164,408 units of the entire Prius family.

Nissan sold 685 units of the LEAF battery-electric vehicle in August, down 49.7% from the 1,362 units in August 2011. Year-to-date, Nissan has sold 4,228 LEAFs, a drop of 31.5% from the 6,168 units sold in the same period in 2011.

Honda posted 9 units of the Fit EV in August 2012. (The company also posted 1 unit of the hydrogen fuel cell FCX Clarity.)

Ford sold 34 units of the Focus Electric in August, bringing the year to date total to 169 units.

September 5, 2012 in Electric (Battery), Hybrids, Plug-ins, Sales | Permalink | Comments (58) | TrackBack (0)

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YTD sales of Ford Focus and Corolla compared to US BEV:

1,000,000
0,025,000.

So why do so good economical cars at about $15k sell so fast and golf cars with car bodies that cost $40k hardly sell?

Vehicle electrification has to follow a step by step approach, i.e from HEVs (since 1997/1998) to PHEVs (since 2011/2012) and eventually to mass produced affordable long range BEVs by 2020/2022?

Toyota seems to be the progressive approach leader followed by Ford. By 2015, all manufacturers will be on board. With batteries price going down and e-vehicle efficiency going up (1.0+ Km/100 Wh) BEVs will become affordable by 2020/2022 or shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, PHEVs, (specially new ones with smaller 15 to 25 KW gensets and smaller battery pack) will also become more affordable.

@Kit_P
The Golf (AKA blue e-motion) BEV won't be available until 2014 so sales are not surprisingly low.

It is obvious - PHEVs give reduced fuel consumption (over HEVs), a strong green halo, and no range anxiety.

"All" they have to do it keep pressure on prices, probably by offering several different battery sizes - say 13, 26 and 40 mile ranges in the same car (maybe even 7 mile as well).

Once you have a modular design, you can offer all range options and let the market decide what it wants.

All car companies already do this with ICE engine sizes and powers.

PHEV is never going to be as good as the VOLT and the Fisker Karma. Yes, they are pricey still but that will change. Range extended BEV is the best way to go until bat tech catches up.

Kit,

In 1997 toyota sold 3000 prii. In 1998 they sold 17,000.
In 2011 they sold 400,000. In 2011 there were 17,000 EV/PHEVs sold, and this year more. 14 years later I think we will see quite a few more. However, you don't really have to denigrate the EVs, your investments in oil are safe. With increased world oil demand and a probable increase in production costs, oil will still sell for quite some time, at least for as long as you probably live. The funny part about you oilers is that you seem not to want people to make their own choices, to be free to have a choice. For all the free enterprise/freedom to pursue happiness junk you folks talk about, you sure work hard to make everyone a slave to industry.

@mahonj.

Yes, with modular plug-in batteries, let's say 8 to 10, 2 Kwh modules and a choice of on-board genset size ...from 15-20 Kw to 100-120 Kw...buyers could get the PHEV most suited to their needs. Adding a few more battery modules a few years latter could be a possibility to increase e-range and reduce fuel consumption whenever the price of batteries is right.

@ B4:

Well said. Oil may become more expensive but there is a lot left underground, at least enough for another 100+ years, specially as consumption will soon go down with vehicles electrification.

@Kit:

Will you soon compare printed material with electronic tablets? Watch what will happen to paper consumption for newspapers, books, magazines, recycling etc.

you sure work hard to make everyone a slave to industry.
The Twit meets Lauren Weinstein's definition of a pro-troll, at least in the consistency and thrust of his comments (if he's doing it for free he's one hell of a tool).

@EVryman - Volt is a PHEV per EPA.

@Kit:

Have you given a serious look at August car sales in USA?

a.. Toyota Prius sales are up 122%
b...Toyota Camry H sales are up almost 800%
c...Ford Fusion H sales are up almost 500%

With a few exceptions, electrified vehicles sales are up by almost 100% from last August. If this trend keeps up and may even accelerate, electrified vehicles sales in USA may be well over 1,000,000/year by 2015. Since USA represents about 10% or world's sales, total electrified vehicles sales could be well over 10,000,000/year by 2015. That could easily double by 2020.

“so sales are not surprisingly low.”

If sales were not low it would be surprising.

“It is obvious -”

Apparently it is not so obvious. Many here to not understand that fuel is burned to make electricity.

“In 2011 they sold 400,000.”

The Prious is just another overpriced ICE power car. If you paid more than $16k for a 5 passenger car, then you got suckered by marketing.

“your investments in oil are safe.”

My investments are in power companies. I work in the power industry. I just do not think that charging batteries is a good use of our product.

“Have you given a serious look at August car sales in USA?”

No! Two reasons, first I have a 6 year old Corolla. Judging from the two 20+ year old cars that I also own; I will never need to buy a new car again. Second I am more interested in the ‘why’ people do things. We brought a Corolla because we thought it was a better than value than a Prious for us.

The interesting thing about all those who think I am a troll. They are not telling us about their reasons for buying a BEV. They are offended because I disagree with what they are telling others what they should do.

Kit...fossil fuel is not used every where to produce most of the electricity consumed. Many countries are moving to cleaner sources such as Wind, Solar, Hydro, Waves, Geothermal etc.

New wind energy converters without blades are 2.5X more efficient. Since they will be almost noiseless, less vibrations and cost 45% less then current windmills, they will compete with fossil fuel power plants. Every Hi-Rise building roof could be used to generate a high percentage of the electricity required.

Bladeless wind energy converters could eventually be integrated with solar panels to increase total clean e-energy produced. Wind and Sun will be around for a long time and are free.

“Kit...fossil fuel is not used every where to produce most of the electricity consumed.”

Really! Show you what Harvey knows. Except for France that relies on nuclear, every industrialized county relies on fossil fuel to make electricity.

“Many countries are moving to cleaner sources such as Wind, Solar, Hydro, Waves, Geothermal etc. ”

Who? Harvey is confused by the difference between what countries say they are going to do and what they actually do.

“Wind and Sun will be around for a long time and are free. ”

Leaving behind broken solar panels and wind turbines that do not produce electricity. I always wonder what cleaner is?. Is a landscape littered with junk wind turbines and solar panels better than coal waste? If you divide the environmental impact of wind and solar by the actual power produced, I do not think it is cleaner.

Ignoring how fast wind and solar breaks, let us consider how fast we are building it. In the US, about 23,000 MWe of fossil is under construction. Wind and solar are shiny things so you do not notice that we are still moving away from renewable energy.

Kit... our 100% electric home (and 4+ million homes like ours in the same area) uses 95% Hydro, 2% Nuke (going to zero in 2015 or so) and 3% wind (going to 6%) soon.

Our last coal fired plant was closed 15+ years ago. The one remaining NG converted power plant has not been used for almost 10 years and is being maintained as an unused back up.

Fossil fuel power plants like be replaced with clean power plants worldwide. USA and China may be the exception for a while but they too will have to change.

I forgot, the tariff for our clean power is one of the lowest in the world, $0.02 to $0.03/Kwh for commercial rates and $0.05 to $0.06/Kwh for residential rate. Even with those very low rates, our sole e-energy supplier makes $3B to $4B/year net profit.

"Fossil fuel power plants like be replaced with clean power plants worldwide"

Living in the past is not good - it is over - - but it IS fact.

Living in the future can be worse - it does not exist, it may never, and is oft the product of delusion.

KP stated: "We brought a Corolla because we thought it was a better than value than a Prious for us."

That may have been 6 years ago, when gasoline $2.xx/gallon, but not true now. Let's do some math:
MSRP for Prius 2012: $24,000 MSRP for 2012 Corolla LE similarly equipped: $19,000 Price difference of $5,000.
Fuel cost for 2012 Corolla @ 29mpg combined at 200,000 miles and at $3.5/gallon: $24,137
Fuel cost for Prius at 50 mpg: $14000 You save $10,137 in fuel cost! When fuel cost is considered, you will save $5,137 for owning the Prius

Repair cost: The 2012 Prius does not have any accessory belt to break or to squeak, does not have any alternator nor starter to replace, does not have Freon leakage thru the A/C compressor shaft, does not have any transmission to maintain, repair, or replace, does not need brake pad replacement nor service since regen braking will take care most of the braking. The engine in the Prius does not have to idle, thus will last longer, and have 10,000-mile oil change interval since the engine runs so clean. You'll save in oil change expenses as well.

So, just improvement in reliability and saving in maintenance and repair cost of the Prius vs. the Corolla is enough to justify the $5,000 price premium of the Prius. The pleasure of owning state-of-art technology is totally free. The complete silence and vibration-free when stopping at traffic lights is totally free, and so will be your smile every time passing a gas station. The pride of doing something right for your country and humanity: Priceless!!!

The fuel cost saving of over $10,000 is a very generous gift, indeed!!! Even if gasoline would cost only $1.75/gallon, you will save $5000 in fuel cost.

Now, when a PHEV will come out with a plug-out cord to power your house in case of blackouts, or your camping ground with AC electricity...This is priceless! Not to mention will save you thousands of $$$ in the cost of back-up generators.

I must hasten to add further that the 2012 Prius has electric water pump that overcame the eventual shaft seal leakage of conventional pulley-powered water pump...another $500 saving in repair cost over the life of the car, and what more, the aggravation when your car is stranded in the highway.

Electric-assist power steering and electric-assist power brake of the Prius eliminate the eventual shaft seal leakage problem of the hydraulic steering pump as well as the eventual vacuum leakage problem of the brake master cylinder, thus saving hundreds of dollars more of repair and aggravation over the life of the car!!!

Conventional ICEV technology is now obsolete and I will never go back to that. For a little initial cost premium, I will stick with future HEV's and PHEV's for the reliability peace of mind, to reduce the risk of getting stranded in the road somewhere remote, as well as avoiding the time wasted in taking the car to the shop.

@ Toppatom

The 23,000 MWe of fossil is under construction in the US are better than the the old plants built before pollution controls and EIS.

Electrification is welcome as the technical limitations decrease, and costs decline toward meeting conventional ICE powered vehicles.

It is pretty obvious that the pure BEV is a commercial failure within a commercially minute portion of the auto market. I would consider owning a Volt PHEV EREV as a next car, but would never consider a pure BEV at this stage of technical imperfection and primitiveness.

Speak for yourself when calculating where the source for the electricity comes from. In my Arizona it has a very nice mix of Hydro and Nuclear with a little coal/gas and the usual green twits being satisfied with a few money losing renewable white elephants that hey can drem on about.

What fossil sources we use is primarily for peaking; and for export at ridiculously high and stupid prices to the California Lotus Eaters, who are Smug in their belief that California lives on "clean electrons".

Many here to not understand that fuel is burned to make electricity.
The Twit has ignored multiple explanations of the effects of the different fuels and greater efficiency of stationary powerplants vs. ICEV engines on various factors including pollution, yet it is allegedly his field of expertise.  It's almost as if... he's being paid not to understand these things.
They are not telling us about their reasons for buying a BEV.
I'm going to place an order for my choice of PHEV as soon as I can, and there are two reasons for doing it:  insurance against rising fuel prices, and a personal contribution to both military and economic security.

@ Roger

Applied your calculation methods to our circumstances and a Pious still will not save us money. The best way to save money is to not spend it in the first place. That is the Catch-22 of BEV. If you drive a lot, you need a diesel.

“I'm going to place an order for my choice of PHEV as soon as I can,”

Gosh E-P we in the power industry will be glad to sell you power. Keep good records and let us know how it works out.

“insurance against rising fuel prices”

Or you could just wait until fuel prices increase.

“a personal contribution to both military and economic security.”

How noble! You could car pool. You could join the navy and serve on a nuclear ship. Apparently E-P does not know the US produces about the same amount of oil as Saudi Arabia and Russia. You could go to work in an industry that produces enegy.

It is amazing the number of people who expect a medal for changing their evil ways.

True, KP, if you don't drive enough, then a HEV or a PHEV won't save you much money. Just sport around a 12-mpg-SUV if you only have to drive 10 miles each day.

Just remember that we lost thousands of lives and 1.5 trillion USD in oil wars. Do something for your country.

If you drive a lot, you need a diesel.
That appears not to be so true any more; turbo GDI engines rival diesel efficiency without the price premium ("the best way to save money is to not spend it in the first place"), and they burn cheaper fuel.
we in the power industry will be glad to sell you power.
You'll be buying back my power on net metering from my wind turbine too.  It'll still be a fraction of the cost of petroleum.
you could just wait until fuel prices increase.
Only an idiot would wait that long; in the last fuel-price spike any model with decent economy was back-ordered for months.  Now is the time to buy the plug-in; when fuel prices spike it'll be time to purchase any truck I might require, since they'll be a drug on the mart (just like 2008).
You could join the navy and serve on a nuclear ship.
I couldn't if I wanted to.
Apparently E-P does not know the US produces about the same amount of oil as Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Twit P doesn't know that the USA is a huge importer despite that, while Russia and KSA are exporters.

I'm going to attack the problem at the only place it can be attacked:  consumption.


“Do something for your country.”

Already did, spent 10 years in the nuclear navy. Then I got out and used my training to make electricity for my neighbors while paying lots of taxes. What that means is that I am a tough old sob who does not manipulate by watermelons who do not have a clue about protecting the environment.

“Just remember that we lost thousands of lives and 1.5 trillion USD in oil wars.”

Which war was that? My dad joined the navy in ’37 and I have studied lots of history. Many Americans have sacrificed much to stop tyranny and just maybe Roger you should think about how you cheapen that sacrifice you use it to support an argument on a blog.

Again Roger back to the point. HEV or a PHEV do not save money except in made up scenarios. When there is not data presented by the sellers of these rip off machines, it is just another green marketing scam.

Roger you are not being a good citizen by being gullible.

“You'll be buying back my power on net metering from my wind turbine too.”

@E-P

Like I said, keep good records but I will believe it when I see it.

“I'm going to attack the problem…”

Let me know when you start, son!

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