Recent Sales Reports Show Green Light for the Electric Car

BWM Electric Car

By Arman Kazemi

October 9, 2014

The latest data on electric vehicle sales in September shows that there is, indeed, a mass market for the electric car.

The blog EVObsession has just come out with a report showing the sale of 100 per cent electric vehicles (EVs) up by almost 82 per cent in September compared to the previous year, with the Nissan LEAF dominating the mid-to-low range EV market.

At the same time, sales for plug-in hybrids were down by 25 per cent, indicating a general shift as buyers leave the middle of the road and go fully electric.

At 3100 sales so far this year, BMW’s i3 has also come out strong in its debut year, selling 1022 vehicles in September alone. A direct comparison with luxury-market competitor Tesla Motors isn’t possible, however, as Tesla doesn’t release monthly sales data.

The recent trends are driven by affordable electric cars, like the Nissan LEAF, closing in onprice parity with internal combustion engines. And infrastructure for electric cars has also expanded with the help of government incentives in cities across North America.

Zachary Shahan –author of the EVObsession report – reports that the Nissan LEAF experienced a $6,000 USD price drop in 2013, due in part to the shift of manufacturing to domestic US facilities.

After a U.S. federal tax credit for buyers of, the LEAF sits at roughly $21,300 for American drivers, while another zero-emissions rebate for residents of California brings the suggested price down to just $18,800 USD.

Clearly government incentives play a role, as the LEAF has broken monthly record sales 19 months in a row, according to Shahan.

This report comes fast on the heels of the B.C. government’s discontinuation of its own EV incentives program, one of the first of its kind in North America.

The blog Business In Vancouver reported this week that sales of electric cars in B.C. have dropped since March, when the provincial government, contrary to prevailing trends, decided to stop its $5,000 rebate program.

This is in spite of the fact that earlier this summer, the B.C. government, in partnership with B.C. Hydro and the Government of Canada, invested in long term EV infrastructure to support the spread of electric cars. Tesla, meanwhile, has installed charging stations in cities across the province and opened its first B.C. store in Vancouver last May.

BMW will follow up on its successful i3 with the launch of the i8 next month, and Lamborghini has just released a product demonstration of its Asterion LPI 910-4, the luxury vehicle manufacturer’s first plug-in hybrid.

The Asterion aims to maintain the ride and feel of a traditional Lamborghini while maximizing battery usage with an innovative carbon fiber body. While it hasn’t been released to the market quite yet, the unveiling highlights the eagerness of manufacturers at all price ranges to jump into the EV fray.