Nissan sees strong June sales for electric car

Nissan's June sales for its electric car Leaf slightly dipped in June, but Nissan is still up 5.5 percent since June 2013. Tesla Motors didn't report monthly sales for the Tesla Motors Model S electric car, but it is estimated that Tesla Motors sold about 1,200 cars.

Lenny Ignelzi/AP/File
Angie Vorhies plugs in the charging cord to her Nissan Leaf electric vehicle at a mall Nov. 13, 2013, in San Diego. Nissan's June sales for its electric car Leaf slightly dipped in June, but Nissan is still up 5.5 percent since June 2013.

It hasn't reached the heady heights of May's record-breaking sales tally, but Nissan still has the highest-selling mainstream electric vehicle on the market.

Nissan rounds off the month's sales having moved 2,347 Leafs.

That's 770 fewer than May's best-ever Leaf sales total, but it's still a record for June, up 5.5 percent on last year's June total.

June's sales bring the Leaf's year-to-date total to 12,736 cars, further increasing its lead over the Chevrolet Volt and other electric vehicles for 2014.

It's also the Leaf's sixteenth straight month of record sales, and means Leaf deliveries are up almost a third over the same period in 2013.

The Chevrolet Volt didn't beat its best-ever monthly total in June, but managed to build upon May's 1,684 total with 1,777 cars finding homes last month.

Unfortunately for Chevrolet, that's still a third down on June 2013's total, but continues the model's reasonably consistent sales for another month. The Volt's 2014 total is now up to 8,615, and its 43-month lifetime tally tops 63,167 cars.

Chevrolet also offers the Spark EV in its plug-in car lineup, and while overall sales of the diminutive electric car are nothing to write home about, the model is selling strongly next to last year's figures.

Chevy moved 85 Spark EVs in June, a full 215 percent increase over June 2013. That's 97 fewer than May though, and brings the compliance car's 2014 total to 454.

The other volume electric car we're keeping our eye on is the BMW i3.

June sales just topped those of May, its first month on sale. With 358 cars finding homes, BMW beat May's total by 22 units, and brings 2014's two-month tally to 694 cars

Tesla Motors does not report monthly sales data for its Model S electric car, but we're continuing to estimate around 1,200 cars per month in the US, as the factory concentrates on meeting deliveries in Europe and China.

Its 2014 total is likely to be somewhere over the 7,200 cars mark, and its US total may now exceed 28,000 cars.

Plug-in hybrids

The Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid sedan beats Toyota's Prius Plug-In Hybrid this month for sales, hitting 1,939 deliveries – its best-ever tally, nearly 600 units more than last month's previous best.

The plug-in Prius, which had its best-ever month in May, dips a little but Toyota still sold a respectable 1,571 examples in June. The plug-in Prius also leads the Chevy Volt overall in year-to-date sales, on 9,300 units. The Fusion Energi currently sits at 6,235.

Ford's other plug-in hybrid, the C-Max Energi, isn't quite as popular. 988 Energis found homes in June, though that's still the best-selling of the remaining plug-ins on sale.

Honda's Accord Plug-In Hybrid continues drip-feeding onto the market, with another 28 sold in June. And Porsche's Panamera S e-Hybrid had its second-best ever month, with 111 units sold.

Low-volume and compliance cars

Of the remaining electric cars on the market--the low-volume cars and those "compliance cars" sold only in certain states--the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive continues to lead, and June was its best-ever month.

A full 278 Electric Drives hit the roads last month, fending off the faster and much more practical (but more expensive) Ford Focus Electric, which moved 197 units – its own best-ever month.

Chevy's most- and least-expensive plug-ins--the Cadillac ELR and Chevy Spark EV – were fairly closely matched last month; the former managed 97 units, the latter dropping to 85 after last month's high of 182.

The Toyota RAV4 EV, soon to end production when Toyota and Tesla part ways, splits the pair with 91 cars sold. Honda managed to shift 38 of its lease-only Fit EV in June.

Bringing up the rear is the diminutive Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Just 22 cars found homes in June, a drop of a third after last month's tally of 35. Fiat still does not separate sales of its 500E from other models in the 500 range, so we've no idea how well (or not) the model is doing.

It's good news in general for plug-in cars though, as June 2014 is the genre's second-best ever month – of reported sales (i.e. excluding the Fiat 500E and Tesla Model S), a full 9,927 electric cars hit US streets last month.

And next month's figure could bring plug-in car sales since 2010 to over 200,000 units altogether – we'll let you know whether that milestone is reached in next month's figures.

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