Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Memory Lane - 2010

If 2011 can be considered as Year One of the Third Age of the Electric Car, the year before was Year Zero, with some of the current players already on the field.

Mitsubishi I-Miev
Best-selling Plug-In Cars of 2010

1. Mitsubishi I-Miev - 2.809 units;
2. Tesla Roadster - 704 units;
3. Think City - 685 units;
4. JAC J3 EV - 583 units;
5. BYD F3 DM - 417 units.

Mitsubishi began to export the I-Miev to other markets and numbers
began to grow significantly, leaving the competition way behind.

Tesla was still in second place despite the 100.000$-plus price, Think was increasing sales in order to better endure the arrival of the new plug-in generation and the chinese brands JAC and BYD made their appearance, with the last introducing the Plug-In Hybrid concept, something that the Chevy Volt would soon take credit for. Speaking of Volt, despite arriving late to the party and registering just December as a sales month, it almost entered this ranking by scoring 326 sales. It took it one month to sell as much cars as the #3 did in six (!) months.

And the New Age began...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Memory Lane - 2008 & 2009

Some consider the launch of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf in the end of 2010 as the beginning of the Modern Age of the Electric Car, the third of its kind, but let's not forget that before them there were already pioneers paving the way for those two headline-friendly vehicles.

In 2008 the electric car output was measured in the few hundreds, there was still a small range of electric vehicles to choose from and sales information were even more scarce, but nevertheless, here's a TOP3 ranking, just to get an idea of what was like then.

Think City
Best-selling electric cars in '08

1. Think City - 330 units;
2. Buddy EV - 250 units;
3. Tesla Roadster - 120 units.

As one can see, small numbers, but this was the year that began the Tesla journey, with the Roadster being delivered to their first customers.

The next year had two major additions, the Mitsubishi I-Miev and the lease-only Mini E, both gave visibility to the electric car and helped the number of electric cars to grow significantly, as shown in this TOP5 below.

Mini E
Best-selling electric cars in '09

1. Mitsubishi I-Miev - 852 units;
2. Tesla Roadster - 604 units;
3. Mini E - 590 units;
4. Buddy EV - 370 units;
5. Think City - 300 units.

Although these numbers can now be seen as small, they were tripling 
Tesla Roadster
the number of sales regarding 2008 and the ranking was now starting to look a contemporary one, with highway-capable vehicles that could be used just like every other car, although 3 of them were still 2 seater cars...

The then modern Mitsubishi I-Miev debuted in Japan and took over the global sales ranking right away, followed by the Roadster, now in full swing, and by the lease-only Mini E in third. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Australia & New Zealand June 2013

The not-that-practical-trunk of the 2013 Nissan Leaf
Nothing New Edition

Like in the UK and other countries, the complete australian sales data is only available in every Quarter of the Year, i can now post half year EV sales from kangarooland.

With 96 sales in the second quarter of the year, plug in sales increased 23% regarding the first quarter, which lead the EV share to increase 0,01% to 0,03%. The growth signs exist, especially considering that in the first six months of 2012 there were only 12 electric cars sold...

The Nissan Leaf is at #1 with 77 units sold, just one unit less than it had sold during the 12 months of 2012. 

In second comes the Holden Volt with 67 units sold, failing to reach the Leaf's top spot, but selling 3 more units (30) than in the first quarter and increasing the plug-in hybrid share from 32% in the end of 2012 to 39% in the end of H1 of '13.

Finally, in third and lagging behind the other two, the Mitsu I-Miev closes the podium.

AustraliaH1 '13H1'12
Nissan Leaf7710
Holden Volt67N/A
Mitsubishi I-Miev e)302

e) - Estimate


Adding to the Australian ranking, i'm posting, as curiosity, the neighboring New Zealand plug-in car ranking.

Despite efforts from manufacturers, the kiwi EV market has still low numbers and the 0,02% EV share reflects that. 

Looking at the models ranking, the Mitsubishi I-Miev is back at #1 (It held that spot in 2010 and '11), meanwhile the 2012 leader, the Nissan Leaf, has still to register its first unit this year. 

Thanks to David Crawford (MIA) for NZ data!

New ZealandH1 '13H1'12
Mitsubishi I-Miev65
Holden Volt2N/A
Nissan Leaf04

Memory Lane - Introduction

This new section doesn't want to give a History Lesson about Electric Cars, for that we have Wikipedia, but it's made just to complete with some figures and pictures, the electric car sales preceding the period recorded by EV Sales. This post relates to the first Two Ages of the Electric Car and in the following days i'll post some more regarding the Third Age, the one we now live.

First Age of the Electric Car (1890's - 1920's)

Detroit Electric car, during its lifespan (1907-39), this manufacturer sold 13.000 electric cars

Unlike what many people might think, electric cars are not a novelty, in fact in the end of the 19th century, electric power was competing with gasoline and steam (!) as the preferential source of power for cars, with electric cars in their heyday reaching some 30% share in some markets, being recognized as easier to use, cleaner, quieter and much more economical than their competitors.

The decline began with the mass production of Ford Model T and the subsequential lowering costs of gasoline-powered cars, transforming electric ones in niche cars and then the 1929 economic crisis ended with most electric car manufacturers.

Second Age of the Electric Car (1990's - 2003)

In the beginning of the 1990's, government-led initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic, like the now famous California Air Resources Board (CARB), began a push for more ecological vehicles and several carmakers  developed electric cars as way to respond to that push, here are pictures from some of the most famous models of this Age.

With the end of government support and/or other causes, the beginning of the new century saw the end of those projects and by 2004 only the toy-like REVA G-Wiz was on sale.

Peugeot 106 Electrique - Believe it or not, this was the best selling car of this Age, total production was 6.400 units during its eight year lifespan (1995 - 2003). Its cousin, the Citröen Saxo Electrique sold another 2.500 units, performing a total of 8.900 units for PSA.

Toyota RAV4 EV (1st Generation) - Proof that electric cars are reliable, many of these vehicles are still on the roads today, despite having been produced just 1.484 units between 1997 and 2003.

GM EV1 - Like the Dodo, this car had more fame when it ceased to exist, featuring even in a starring role on a movie around the End of the Second Age. 1.117 units were produced between 1996 and 1999 and in 2002, (in)famously, all were recalled by GM to be scrapped.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

EV Business Case Q2 - 2013

Now that Ford saw the price drop thing work for others, it now wants to see if it works on her (On the Focus EV?!?!) 

"Prices down, Sales up" Edition

That's pretty much what can be said about this Second Quarter of 2013, with most of the sales results in, it's time to measure the winners and losers of this Quarter:

The winner camp have one thing in common: Be it price drops (Nissan), generous discounts (GM) or a brand new model with an attractive price (Renault), all focused in the price factor and all profited from it.

Nissan - With sales of the Leaf at 70.000 units, they now can afford to drop prices without losing much money on it, because most of the ROI (Return-On-Investment) is done, add that to local production and the ever-lowering cost of batteries, and is surely to expect in the beginning of 2014 another nice price drop announcement from Nissan while it prepares the 2nd Gen Leaf. That's what's nice in being pioneer, while others are figuring out how to enter a new market, you're already thinking on the next level.

GM - Another pioneer of plug-ins, the Volt family is now nearing the 50.000 landmark and with it the ROI already allows some price drops in the form of discounts (Now) and lower MSRP (Later in the year). GM acted just when it was suffering competition from others (Read: Nissan Leaf) and Volt sales were dropping (1.483 sales in April). With the needed incentives in the US market, sales recovered and went back to late 2012 levels (3.056 units in June), although the European Operation is still lagging behind (Incentives, anyone?). When one doesn't want to change the establishment, the establishment forces you to change.

Renault - Profiting from its best EV sales month since May 2012 and climbing three positions in the brands ranking to #3 since the last Quarter, the french carmaker can thank greatly to its new addition, the Zoe, a dedicated B-Segment electric car that sold 1.387 units in June, already close from the 1.500 units/month that Renault's hopes to sell. While not enough to be profitable per se in the short term, it should help the french manufacturer global ROI in electric cars and batteries, as well as ensuring that EV's get a foothold in Europe. Renault hopes to secure with the Zoe the best-selling electric car title in the Old World and reach the break-even point.

The loser side has just one manufacturer, but an important one.

Mitsubishi - In the end of March, the japanese carmaker was running on all cylinders and was the second best selling brand, just 1% (19%) behind the leader Nissan (20%). Now, it's in fifth place in the manufacturers ranking, lost 8% share (It's now at 11%) and worst of all, none of its models entered the June Top 10...The now famous battery problems were the cause for this sales plunge and Mitsu hopes that consumer confidence on their products haven't got shaken from it when it resumes production of its new sales-champion: The Outlander PHEV, having sold in no time all production it made before the battery problems and with an extensive waiting list across the world, the japanese manufacturer hopes to sell some 4.000 units/month and profit with it from a favorable ROI on their batteries (Remember the car itself has ICE versions, so the cost there is much diluted). On the pure electric side, Mitsu sold 30.000 units of its MIEV battery pack on the "i" and Minicab models, so it would be a waste for them not to invest in a new generation of pure electric cars. CA-Miev, anyone? Mitsubishi career in Plug-ins is like a roller coaster, in 2009 and 2010 it was the sales leader, 2011 and 2012 it was relegated to a secondary role, in the beginning of 2013, when it was preparing itself to recover the #1 spot, all hell broke loose and it went down again. Will it rise again and fight for Number One? It sure has the potential for it... 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

World Top 10 June 2013 (Updated)

A Sports Car? No, it's just the Opel Ampera
Models - Volt wakes up 

Chevrolet Volt sales boomed (3.056 units), allowing it to recover the second place, dropping the Model S to third.
The Prius Plug-In is a comfortable fourth but in fifth place there's a bullish Renault Zoe that climbed one position this month and in #8 the Kangoo ZE is just 17 units behind the seventh Mitsu I-Miev, so a close fight is to be expected in July between these two.

The lowest place in the ranking belongs this month to the Chery QQ3 EV, but the other two competitors remain close with the  #11 Renault Twizy (1.647) 153 units behind and the #12 Ford Fusion Energi (1.585) 215 units behind, so it will be a close fight for #10 in July...

Despite Volt's sales rebound, plug-in hybrids continue to lose share, they're now at 37%, one percent less than last month.

1Nissan Leaf19.746
2Chevrolet Volt (1)11.685
3Tesla Model S9.884
4Toyota Prius PHEV7.701
5Renault Zoe4.770
6Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV4.307
7Mitsubishi I-Miev (2)2.985
8Renault Kangoo ZE2.968
9Ford C-Max Energi2.482
10Chery QQ3 EV (e)1.800

Manufacturers - Renault climbs two positions

In the Manufacturers ranking, Nissan increases its leadership, adding another percent share to 25%, it's now followed by Chevrolet at 15% and a surprising Renault, with 13%.

Working on its Euro-landing, Tesla drops two positions to fourth, with 13% and the still hampered battery issued Mitsubishi drops another position to #5, losing more 2% share to 11%.

Behind the seven major players, figures become a bit sketchy as one doesn't know for sure how the chinese brands are behaving, but taking in account confirmed numbers, Chery switches positions with BYD, with Chery now #8. Smart closes the table in #10 but it's now pressuring BYD.

8Chery (e)1.800
10Smart (a)1.407

(1) - Includes Holden Volt, Opel and Vauxhall Ampera;
(2) - Includes Citröen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn.
(a) - Thanks for Suprise Cat for the updated numbers of Smart Fortwo ED 
(e) - Estimate

Questions for July

Is it possible for the Kangoo ZE and C-Max Energi to pass by the Mitsu I-Miev? 

Who will get this time the tenth place in the models ranking?

Can Renault hold on to #3?

Will Mitsubishi lose the #5 position to Toyota?

Can Chery hold on to #8?

Can Smart pass BYD and reach #9?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Markets Roundup June 2013 (Updated)

This is how much junk you can store in a Fluence ZE trunk
The Rise of Zoe II

June came and the new french sales star Renault Zoe collected three new trophies (Germany, Switzerland and Denmark) to the ones it had last month (Spain, France and Austria), losing only Italy for the Nissan Leaf, but enough to lead comfortably the European ranking. 

But it's not just the Zoe to give good news to Renault, the Fluence ZE became the best selling plug-in car in Hong Kong (Wait! What?), both on the monthly chart and in the YTD ranking.

In the UK-made Leaf news, it recovered the best selling title in Italy, reached #3 (And best selling BEV) in Holland, #2 in Switzerland and Portugal and...That's it for now, the Zoe isn't giving any chances. 

Trends in the G7 (Great Seven)

The US market made the news with the podium ranking upside down, with the previous #3 (Volt) now in number one, the previous #1 (Model S) now in third place and the #2 (Leaf) in the same position and all three separated by just 55 units in the YTD ranking.

Looking at EV shares, only Germany has a lower EV share than in '12, but this month it recovered, it's now standing at 0,18%, still 0,02% behind the 2012 performance (0,20%), but it's getting there. As for the others, the biggest gains are in the USA (0,52% in '13 vs 0,39% in '12) and Norway (3,56% vs 3,12%).

Other Markets

Switzerland (169 units), Italy (182), Austria (122 units) registered the best selling months of the year, helping them to recover their respective EV shares (0,31%, 0,08% and 0,16%). Let's hope they continue the upwards trend and reach the end of this year at least at 2012 EV level shares (0,41%, 0,13 and 0,30%, respectively).

Mentioning other countries, it's worth noting that Bulgaria registered in June their first four Renault Twizy's and Mexico has 70 Nissan Leaf's registered this year.

Ruining our month theme, here's the Fiat 500e backside

Questions for July

Who will be the US #1 in July?

Will the Chevrolet Spark EV beat all compliance cars in its second month of sales?

How will the 500e behave in its debut month?

Will the Zoe improve even further its performance?

Will Germany have a new leader?

In which european country will the Tesla Model S perform better?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Europe June 2013 (Updated)

The Renault Kangoo Maxi ZE: A 5 seat electric car with cargo room utility. 
Zoe Steps Ahead Edition

With 1.358 units sold in June, the best monthly performance for a single model since last September, the Renault Zoe had finally a month according to Renault's expectations, with brilliant results in Austria and Switzerland, consolidating the top spot on the European Plug-In Car Charts.

Despite registering its second best performance of the year, with 711 units sold, the Nissan Leaf saw the distance from its french cousin grow, Renault's new baby is now 800 units and 4% share ahead and if it keeps this rhythm, Nissan will need to step up Leaf sales in a big way if it wants to fight again for #1.

Further down the ranking, the Kangoo ZE is, as always, in #3 and behind it the #4 Prius Plug-In is being pressured by the Renault Twizy, profiting from the summer peak sales.

The same is the happening between #8 Volvo V60 Plug-In and #9 Mitsu I-Miev, with just 3 units separating them, and the Chevrolet Volt, now looking to dethrone the Bolloré Blue Car from #12.

On the brands ranking, thanks to the Zoe surge, Renault increased their domination, it's now at 47% share (Up 3%), followed by Nissan, at 19%, and Toyota, losing 2% to 10% share.

1Renault Zoe1.3584.77023
2Nissan Leaf7113.97319
3Renault Kangoo ZE4532.96515
4Toyota Prius Plug-In1891.96510
5Renault Twizy3801.6348
6Smart Fortwo ED e)1751.2926
7Opel Ampera1791.0985
8Volvo V60 Plug-In474892
9Mitsubishi I-Miev634862
10Citröen C-Zero103822
11Goupil G3902751
12Bolloré Blue Car02581
13Chevrolet Volt252321
14Peugeot iOn101891
15Renault Fluence ZE291541

(e) - Estimate

Thanks for Benoit for Goupil and Suprise Cat for Smart Fortwo ED numbers

Friday, July 19, 2013

China June 2013

BYD F3 DM trunk
TOP 5 Edition

Despite being the fourth largest EV market in the World, it's hard to get accurate data from the chinese market, but after getting some new info about this market, i can now give a approximate ranking of this important but smoke-curtained market.

Sales mounted to 5.889 units in the first half of the year, which represented a 42,7% jump over the same period last year, most were pure electrics (5.114), while Plug-In Hybrids represented just 13% (775 units) of the market.

Based on certified data and past performances, the presumed Top 5 stands much like last years ranking, the Chery QQ3 EV comfortably in #1, JAC J3 EV in #2, just above the BYD offerings, with the e6 in third and the soon-to-be-deceased F3 DM in #4.

The only change is in #5, where the BAIC E150 EV profits from a bad performance from Zotye TD100 EV (Down 86% to just 117 units), to climb one position and feature on this Top 5.

1Chery QQ3 EV (e)1.800
2JAC J3 EV (e)850
3BYD e6730
4BYD F3 DM658
5BAIC E150 EV (e)550

(e) - Estimate

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Austria June 2013

The Renault Zoe deep trunk

Zoe Takes Over Edition

With 122 units sold this month, the Austrian EV market recorded its best performance since last September and the biggest responsible for that was the Renault Zoe, scoring a monstrous score (For the austrian market, at least) of 88 units sold in one month, making it the best monthly performance ever by a sole model.

This pushed the EV share to 0,16%, 0,07% above the result last April, but still far from the 0,30% score it had in 2012.

Apart from the historical performance from Renault's new electric supermini (#96 in this months overall market), there's not much else to say, because only the small Twizy scored significant sales (24 units), consolidating with them its #2 spot.

1Renault Zoe8812246N/A
2Renault Twizy2458221
3Nissan Leaf328106
4Opel Ampera
5Smart Fortwo ED51459
6Citröen C-Zero
7Mitsubishi I-Miev1555
7Peugeot iOn
9Renault Fluence ZE1314
10Renault Kangoo ZE


Source:; Manufacturers

Switzerland June 2013

This year ten swiss buyers got this sports-car-sized trunk on their  new Fisker Karma

Zoe jumps to #2 Edition

Finally a decent month for Plug-Ins in Switzerland, with 169 sales, June represented the best sales month since last November and pushed the EV share to 0,31%, just 0,09% below last years share.

Thanks to a record performance (80 units sold), the Renault Zoe jumped to #1 in June and #2 YTD and it's now looking for the Twizy's top spot as the next item in the agenda. The Nissan Leaf also had a good month and jumped to #3 YTD.

On a side note, this month recorded the first registration of the Tesla Model S, an important landmark given the Swiss taste for powerful cars, so expect for Tesla to be in the news here.

1Renault Twizy22129271
2Renault Zoe808618N/A
3Nissan Leaf3884176
4Mitsubishi I-Miev1570145
5Opel Ampera73672
6Chevrolet Volt32863
7Citröen C-Zero
8Fisker Karma21028
9Peugeot iOn1719
10Renault Fluence ZE


Source: BSCB; Manufacturers

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spain June 2013

Mitsubishi I-Miev surprisingly spacious trunk
The Alliance Against I-Miev Edition

After a surprising #1 place on the YTD ranking earned earlier this year, the Mitsu I-Miev is now feeling pressured by no more than three models from the Renault-Nissan Alliance: The Twizy (Just 2 units behind), the Leaf (16 behind) and the Zoe (17), all three conquered the podium positions in June by far and after the I-Miev battle, they look determined to fight between them for the best seller title throughout the year.

With 99 units sold, the spanish EV market had a solid month, which led the EV share to rise a little bit more to 0,12%, still far of the 0,24 share of '12, but better than the meager 0,04% it had last February.

1Mitsubishi I-Miev
2Renault Twizy30112241
3Nissan Leaf2998213
4Renault Zoe339721N/A
5Toyota Prius Plug-In42767
6Smart Fortwo ED
7Opel Ampera1519
8Renault Fluence ZE


Source: Manufacturers, Anianca

Italy June 2013

Behold the new Twingo Cargo, the LCV Twizy and its cargo area
Leaf fights back Edition

Just when it looked that Italy was going to be Zoeland, when in May the french electric car delivered the best performance of the year with 80 sales, in June the Nissan Leaf surged to beat Zoe's performance by selling 83 units, leaving it 37 units behind, with 45 Zoe sales.

This surprising fight, together with solid months of the Twizy (#3 with 32 sales) and the Smart Fortwo ED (#4, with 16 units), enabled this month to beat May as best sales month with 182 units sold and recover the EV share to 0,083%.

These June events allowed for the Nissan Leaf to jump two positions to second place and push the Zoe and Fortwo ED down one position.

1Renault Twizy32212351
2Nissan Leaf83141233
3Renault Zoe4513522N/A
4Smart Fortwo ED1685148
5Renault Fluence ZE52247
6Peugeot iOn
7Tesla Roadster
8Citröen C-Zero


Source: Manufacturers,