With most EV news centering around the Tesla Model 3 these days, we have to stop and remind ourselves that we’re not playing fantasy baseball here. Unlike Model 3, which some people hope to see within two years, very real cars in U.S. dealerships can get you driving very green right now. In fact, a check of the numbers on InsideEVs says March 2016 was the best month of electric vehicle sales on record.
The cars topping the list were far from vaporware. In one case, a nameplate introduced in February 2013 was outperforming the majority of the pack. Maybe it just takes a few years to get used to the idea of electric driving after all. Here are the five cars that topped the sales charts in the all-time record month. Since it hasn’t failed us yet, we continue to rely on the InsideEVs monthly scorecard for figures.
5. Ford Fusion Energi
You have to go way back to June 2014 to find a better sales month for Ford Fusion Energi, which saw 1,238 deliveries in March. The midsize plug-in sedan, capable of 19 miles on pure electric power, pushed itself into fourth place overall on the 2016 list with the huge showing, which represented 48% gains over March 2015.
4. Nissan Leaf
Since summer 2015, when rumors swirled about a longer-range Nissan Leaf hitting the market, sales of this EV slowed dramatically. By January 2016, they fell under 1,000 for the first time since February 2013. The tide turned back in March, when the 84-mile Leaf SL and 107-mile Leaf SV combined for 1,246 sales.
3. Tesla Model X
The only thing holding back the Model X has been production constraints, but Tesla seemed to shake those for the first time with a blockbuster month of 1,860 sales. (Because Tesla does not release monthly sales counts, this figure is an estimate by InsideEVs.) With a previous record high of 270 sales, we can confidently say Model X annihilated all records in its past.
2. Chevy Volt
Before most people got used to the idea of a 2016 Chevy Volt, GM hustled out the 2017 model-year edition that is now on sale throughout the U.S. In March, Volt blew away its earlier performances this year with 1,865 sales. That represented a 192% gain over the 2015 model’s performance, year over year. With more range and greater economy than its predecessor, the new Volt may be the best green car GM ever made.
1. Tesla Model S
Could Tesla have had a bigger week? While the Model 3 was taking the world by virtual storm (325,000 orders and counting), the sales charts came in with Model S leading the pack by a mile. Whether you go by the InsideEVs estimate (3,990 sales) or more conservative counts, it crushed the competition in March. If the number holds, it will be the biggest month ever by a plug-in vehicle in America.
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