US sales 2017 first half: Plug-in Hybrids

Having analyzed the Electric Vehicles segment, let’s look at plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs for short. The segment enjoyed a growth rate of 61.6%, the highest of all segments, though its total sales remain below those of pure Electric Vehicles, at just over 40,000 in the first half of the year.

Highlights for the first half of 2017:

Toyota Prius Prime
  • In a clear example of the idea that “if you’re standing still you’re really going back”, Chevrolet Volt‘s market share fell from 65% in the first half of 2016 to 43% in the first half of 2017, as its lackluster 11% sales growth meant that it barely held onto the segment lead
  • The new Toyota Prius Prime came out of nowhere to claim second, just a little over 1,000 units behind the Volt, and will challenge it leader hard for segment leadership all the way through the end of 2017
  • With the exception of BMW i8 all the other models in this segment are PHEV versions of mainstream models, and Ford is doing a better job of building and selling them than others: its Fusion and C-Max Energi PHEV models are a strong third fourth in the standings, and while the former lost 4% of its sales (as we’ll see soon, mostly to its Hybrid version), sales of the latter are up two-thirds on 2016
  • Despite the fast pace at which the segment is growing a few models saw their sales fall, and most of them are Large SUVs: sales of fifth-ranked BMW X5 xDrive40e fell by 17%, those of ninth-ranked Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid fell by 16%, while those of the tenth-ranked Volvo XC90 fell by 23%
  • Luckily for BMW its other models are doing much better, with the new 330e, considered by many the best-resolved PHEV on the market, shooting all the way up to sixth in the charts, and the new 530e and 740e landing in 11th and 13th, the latter outselling the new Cadillac CT6 Plug-In by more than 7-to-1
  • Hyundai Sonata PHV gained a meager 4% of sales, while its Kia Optima PHV cousin debuted at a lowly 12th spot
  • Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid debuted in eighth spot, though the model would have surely done much better were it not plagued by recalls
  • By far the biggest sales loser in the segment, from among cars still in the market, was the BMW i8, which lost almost two-thirds of its sales
  • The final new model to enter the market was the Mini Countryman S E PHV, though its sales ramp up was slow and it won’t be until the second half of 2017 that we’ll see the true sales potential of the model

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