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US sales of EVs pass 10,000 for the first time in August

By Jay Cole

Early in August when General Motors decided that now was the time to drop the price on the best- selling car in the electric segment – the Chevrolet Volt — by $5,000 (to $34,995), we knew it was going to be a strong month for the car. And by month’s end, GM’s North American president Mark Reuss let the cat out of the bag to the L.A. Times:

“Well, we are having a great month. We will do about 3,300 Volt sales this month”

Then as Nissan said they were seeing Leaf sales ramp up in several markets across the country and they also expected an all-time high for August, we figured a monthly record for plug-in sales in America would be set.

However, what no one saw coming was Toyota doubling their best result of the year on the Prius plug-in, and having eight out of the 14 major models available to the US consumer hit yearly highs in total.

The end result?

Chevrolet sold an all-time record 3,351 cars, Nissan set a personal best mark of 2,420 Leafs, and the Toyota Prius sold 1,791 plug-ins. Just taking those three vehicle’s sales combined (7,592 cars sold) beat July’s result by 850 units.

By the time all the numbers shook out, the total plug-in sales number reached the five digit mark for the first time in history as more than 10,000 plug-ins were sold in the United States, obliterating the former mark of 8,559 set in December of 2012 – proving the business of electric vehicles is still the strongest automotive growth segment in America.

Actually, to be perfectly accurate – more than 11,000 vehicles were sold, as we put August 2013 total plug-in sales at 11,073 units.

Table: January-August 2013 EV sales in North America

2013 monthly sales chart for the major plug-in automakers includes estimated Tesla North America numbers based on Tesla total sales verified through June 2013 (as per Q2 financials). Fiat 500e is estimated based on available data

August EV sales are a whopping 29 percent improvement over the best month ever, and 64 percent better than July. 

Where do we go from here?  Hopefully only higher and higher. (Reprinted from


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