While EV enthusiasts await the arrival of the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3, Ford is experiencing strong growth with affordable plug-in cars.
After a half-year of sales in 2016, Ford has now sold just under 11,000 affordable cars with a plug. This is the combined sales figure for its Fusion Energi Plug-in hybrid, the C-Max Energi Plug-in hybrid, and the battery electric Focus EV.
These numbers do not include Ford’s hybrid models (that cannot charge their batteries using an outlet.) No other automaker has seen its EVs sales rate rise as quickly in 2016 as Ford. That includes Tesla who introduced a new model late last year. Tesla’s expensive Model S sales are only ahead this year by less than 500 cars, according to InsideEvs.
With three legitimate models for sale in America, Ford also offers the most diverse EV choices of any automaker. Unlike Nissan, which went all-in with its battery-electric Leaf, Ford concentrated its efforts on plug-ins, and the market has chosen EVs that can extend their range by using an on-board gasoline motor when necessary.
Among the top selling affordable EVs in America, plug-in hybrids and range-extended hybrids now sell in larger numbers than battery-electric models. This may change when the 200-mile range Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 arrive. Or it may not.
Chevy’s new Volt is doing well since its second generation went on sale recently, but it is no longer selling at its highest rate. That occurred back in 2012 and 2013 when early adopters were buying Volts at more than 2,000 units per month. Chevy has not had a single month of Volt sales above the 2,000 unit mark since 2015.
Ford’s new 2017 Fusion Energi is doing well. Last year, the Fusion Energi garnered 9,750 units in 12 months of sales. This year, with just six months of sales, the Fusion Energi has already sold 7,235 units and its EV sales are increasing in key markets.
Ford reports that in LA, the largest green car sub-market in America, the Fusion Energi’s sales were up 39% in June alone. Ford points out that none of those sales gains were to fleets (it breaks those sales out for separate reporting). Rather, these are private sales to individuals and families.
Tesla and Chevy have stolen the EV spotlight this year. Behind the scenes, Ford has been making huge gains and is poised to end up the top automaker for affordable EVs in America this year.
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