It's well through the first few weeks of 2014 and the tally of Plug-In electric vehicle sales has started to be added up for all of the relevant auto manufacturers. 2013 was effectively the third full year of sales for the industry - although we can be excused in thinking that with the media cacophony surrounding Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), they have been around forever, in point of fact by 2010 the company had only sold 1,000 roadsters. 2010 was the same year that Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) introduced the Leaf, Mitsubishi (OTCPK:MSBHY) made available to the I-MiEV to the mainstream public and the Chevy (NYSE:GM) Volt didn't get on the road until December. I think that introduction serves the point to establish 2010 as the appropriate base year to compare sales and sales growth.
Top 3 Plug-In Electric Vehicles
Cumulatively there were roughly 96,000 plug-in EV sales in 2013, just shy of double the 53,000 sold in 2012 and far above the 17,500 for 2011.
The Chevy Volt maintains the lead for unit sales with 23,094, about even with their 2012 sales.
The Nissan Leaf took the number two spot with 22,610, far surpassing the previous two years which collectively were less than 20,000.
Tesla, has of course discontinued the Roadster, however Tesla's Model S has been on fire (pun intended) and full end of year number is expected to be around 22.450.
Hybrid Electric Plug-Ins
Honda (NYSE:HMC) Accords plug-in only sold 526 for the full year.
A new entrant in the space well worth noting is Porsche with the Hybrid plug-in Panamera - in December, their first month of sales they only tallied 45 units, but the brand itself is worth watching. Personally I would love to see an all electric or at least hybrid 911.
Other Makes / Models
There are other makes and models of plug-ins on the road, which fall into what is called either the low volume or California zero emissions compliance cars.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV sold a respectable 1,029 for the year. Smart electric had 923 for the eight months that it's been on sale.
The compliance cars, which include Chevrolet Spark EV, Ford Focus Electric, Honda Fit EV, and Toyota RAV4 EV had sales of 539, 1,738, 569 and 1,096 respectively, totaling 5,050 - no small number to scoff at.
As an additional note, the Fiat 500e by Chrysler has not broken out their sales figures, separate from the full 500 line.
2013 was an excellent year for plug-in cars, with strong growth in the industry, however, as what is arguably a new technology, or at least sector within the automotive industry it's still a little early to tell what will be the prevailing long term growth rate. 2014 and 2015 promise to be breakout years with all of the major auto manufacturers releasing their plug-in models.
I haven't really found a lot of other individuals covering the full sales for the industry here on Seeking Alpha So I am hoping to make this something of a quarterly update, and of course add more for those interested in the industry in general.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.