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

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.


Kit P

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


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.

Thomas Lankester

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.



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.



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.


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.



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.

Kit P

“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 P

“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.

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