Sales of Alternative Power cars across all segments fell by 11.2 percent in 2016, making this the third year in a year of decline in a row. This means that, with 264,287 sales in 2016, the meta-segment is some 25 percent smaller than it was at its peak in 2013, though it is still more than twice as big as it was a decade ago. That said, prospects for cars with alternative power still look pretty bleak because cheap gas keeps luring people away from EVs, hybrids and more fuel-efficient cars in general into larger crossovers, SUVs and pick-up trucks. Not even the new Toyota Prius liftback, Chevrolet Volt or Tesla Model X seem to be able to stop that.
Highlights for 2016:
- Sales of the three-vehicle Toyota Prius family dropped 26 percent in 2016 despite the arrival of the new Toyota Prius liftback; what’s more, while the collapse in sales of the Prius C and Prius V looks bad (sales down almost have compared to 2015), it’s that fact that the new liftback lost sales compared to its predecessor that should have Toyota worried – have they alienated the model’s conservative consumer base with the controversial styling?
- The second-placed Tesla Model S keeps going from strength to strength, and in 2016 saw its sales go up by 29 percent thanks to a mild facelift that brought it closer style-wise to the Model X, whose arrival does not seem to have hurt its prospects one bit
- However, coming up fast to the Model S is the new Chevrolet Volt, having outsold the Californian car in Q2, when Tesla was having problems with the supply of the facelifted car, and outright in
- Ford C-Max lost fourth spot to the Volt in 2016 as its sales fell 9 percent, and is likely to fall to sixth spot in 2017 as the new Tesla Model X easily outsold it in the second half of the year
- From among the other new cars that came to market in 2016 the Toyota Mirai did best with a little over 1,000 sales, though it was outsold in Q4 by the fully-electric Chevrolet Bolt
- All the other models lost considerable volume in 2016, from the 24 percent drop in sales experienced by the Honda CR-Z, to the 67 percent drop in sales of the Mercedes-Benz B-class
Note: Clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off