By on July 2, 2015


Sales figures from automakers this week show slumping sales of electric vehicles and hybrids nationwide as gas prices drop and tax incentives dry up.

According to the Detroit News, sales from EV makers such as Nissan and Chevrolet have slowed down significantly — more than 30 percent for the Volt and 12 percent for the Leaf — last month, and both models may end up down significantly for the sales year.

Hybrid carmakers such as Ford and Honda are also reporting slow sales for their cars. Ford reported that its hybrid sales were down 29 percent over the last five months, and Honda reported a 15-percent drop in June.

Industry analysts say the slowdown could be a result of the lowest gas prices in five years, and a adjustment of states’ EV incentives. Recently, the California Air Resources Board unveiled a tiered incentive program that would adjust rebates based on income. A study showed that more than one in four EV buyers in California earned more than $200,000 a year, but still received the full benefit during the second quarter of 2015. More than three-quarters of EV buyers made more than $99,000. Georgia will end its incentives.

None of this has slowed down automakers’ production of EVs, however.

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30 Comments on “Sales of EVs, Hybrids Slumping After Gas Prices Dip...”

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    The Volt and Leaf are both due for major upgrades, which probably contributes to their diminishing sales.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. The new models released spec’s show that they will be significantly better than the outgoing ones in range (Leaf) or weight and the ability to use regular gas. Using the improvements in the Prius from 1st to 2nd Gen both have the potential to be a lot better.

      Nissans [email protected]@ed attempt at air cooling the battery back in the early models causing capacity loss didn’t help things either.

      I’m looking at getting a used 1st gen Leaf here as a commuter car. My round trip is 19mi so even with a somewhat weakened battery pack I’m good.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly what I was going to write. The new Volt has already been announced, and addresses a number of complaints on the current Volt (not for me, I really was hoping for a CUV or a true 5-door hatch like the Prius-V).

      Leaf rumors are swirling (ya, pun intended) on what their next model will bring.

      Completely agree this is having impact on sales.

  • avatar

    I hear all this talk about apocalyptic gas prices – bringing down economies, etc,etc… but GAS IS UP HERE from $2.50’s to $3.50’s (average over 50 cents in the past 2 months – which I attribute to the switchover to the Summer fuel blends)

    Granted, it’s not hurting me to fuel these two beasts at all – and wasn’t when gas was $4+, but I’m trying to figure out where exactly gas is going down cause I ain’t seen it…

    As for the “EV sales decline”…

    The EV most people WANT is the Tesla Model S because it’s a BIG CAR and because many people think that all of them are fast like the P85 and P85D…only to realize when they visit TESLA that the car is actually $17,500 more than they advertise and the entry price for a car with barely anything in it is still in the high $60k’s. Then they see that $135,000 sticker on a P85D optioned out – and STILL offering less features than a $55,000 Chrysler/GM or Ford product.

    Then they see the cost of the garage charger add-on and the cost of adding a Navigation system and a moonroof – and a better interior where the chairs don’t suck.

    If the Model S was in the $50K range and had a 250 – 300 mile range, SALES WOULDN’T BE DOWN.

    BIG CARS people…


    BIG enough for a family of 4.

    Model X is going to be a completely unaffordable Luxury SUV for the super rich so they can enjoy the HOV lanes while the rest of us plebeians sit in bumper to bumper traffic.

    • 0 avatar

      re local gas prices: where are you located? Here in Mass, I”m paying an average of probably $2.70 for Shell.

    • 0 avatar

      Tesla Model S sales were UP in June (estimated 2800 units vs 1843 last year –

      Wait times are down, so it’s possible that the supply is catching up to demand, but Tesla sales are still supply-constrained. This is a car that people want.

      As for the Volt, production of gen 1 ended last month and gen 2 won’t be on sale until fall. And for the Leaf, even though Nissan hasn’t announced it officially, everyone knows that the 2016 model will have an option for a bigger battery, so why not wait for that? I’d expect the “new TTAC” to explore reasons like this, not just regurgitate the “cheap gas = no EVs” meme, which certainly could contribute, but isn’t the whole story. Also, no EV incentives changed for June. In fact, this was the last month of Georgia’s EV incentives, so that could have helped sales this month as people rushed to take advantage before it expired.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Correct on all points.

        When the 150-200 mile mid-priced EVs arrive, sales will take off. Tesla won’t be able to build Model 3s fast enough.

    • 0 avatar

      It is the brent/WTI spread.

      Gasoline is priced in brent.

      It is made from WTI. Well, not really, but the spread gives you an idea.

      I’ve made about 55K this year on refiners. Nice break if you get it.

    • 0 avatar
      healthy skeptic


      What gave you the idea that Tesla sales are down?


      Just read the story. They might be talking about domestic sales, but globally, I believe Tesla’s sales are still on the upswing.

    • 0 avatar

      The Tesla strategy is to first produce a sport car, high performance (high priced) EV to show EV’s are reliable, fun, and can compete with other traditional sport car platforms. (Roadster)

      Secondly, produce a luxury, high performance sedan ( high priced), to show EV’s can compete with other traditional high performance sedans. (Model S)

      Thirdly, to produce a luxury SUV . . .(Model X)

      And then to compete with the higher volume, lower price point $35K traditional vehicle platform. (Model 3)

      They are successful. Look at their stock value. Look at their order backlog. Look at their rating from Consumer Reports and look at their safety rating.

      I own a 1964 Porsche 356C & 67 Camaro RS (I love cars) & I love ‘old school’ , but Tesla’s vehicles are redefining the vehicles of the future.

      P.S Another Elon Musk company, Solar City is very profitable and and manufactures residential and commercial solar systems.

      P.S.S. my wife drives a Ford Fusion Hybrid. Great car!

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    The tax incentives are provided to spur sales and shouldn’t be phased out for higher incomes. Many people decry income inequality, but the rich perform a valuable function in the economy: they are early adopters of new technology, which drives the price down making that technology available to the middle class. If everyone made the median income, we’d not have many of the luxuries that are now commonplace.

    • 0 avatar

      The Rich do none of the work and pay NONE of the taxes.
      The Middle class pays all of the taxes and does all of the work.
      The poor are there just to scare the sh*t out of the middle class so they’ll keep showing up to work.
      – George Carlin.

      There is not a clearer definition of “rich” than this.

      Rich people who inherit money don’t get taxed on capital gains at the same rate we get taxed on income which is why Warren Buffet can perpetuate that lie about his secretary’s income.

      What I see however are HOV lanes and Hybrid/EV parking spaces that give people who can afford these luxuries artificial advantages over the rest of us as if they occupy a nobility class or something.

      I see no reason these people should get special privledges – especially when they are rolling around in a Lexus LS600, S-class S400 or P85D – with the only exception being parking spaces with EV chargers…

      Why should a multi-millionaire with a Prius have special treatment over a single-mom in a Sonata???

      Just having a “Hybrid or EV” sticker should give you no special treatment.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Remove all of the taxpayer subsidised handouts and watch hybrid and EV sales slide. This highly wasteful industry would have a justifiable death.

    I should go back to the US and start an unviable business and ask the government to support my life……..or get an lifestyle degree in the Arts and work in some subsidised civil service job.

    • 0 avatar

      I get suspicious when I see solar panel companies and battery companies failing .

      If this country had the political willpower to make solar the main supplier of energy- I believe we could do it . Solar panels and rechargeable batteries could become their own massive industry .

      So why is it that it takes Elon musk to force the issue ?

      Localized solar energy with rechargeable batteries is ultimately what’s going to be needed in order to truly propogate EV.

      Take the subsidies and incentives off the hoods and give them to businesses willing to install chargers on their premises.

      • 0 avatar

        Solar panel companies in the US fail because China subsidizes their industry and undercuts US companies’ prices. GE planned to build a the countries’ largest solar panel manufacturing site in Aurora CO, but they scrapped it when they saw they couldn’t be competitive.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I am an ardent supporter of the cleanest energy, nuclear.

        The pollutants generated in the production of the part time energy solutions like solar and the batteries to accumulate the energy is high.

        Nuclear and then next natural gas should be more closely researched.

        • 0 avatar

          I agree that nuclear energy is one of our best choices. It too has waste. There is no one panacea for our energy needs, but nuclear ought to be at the top of the list.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            If one looks at water on the planet, we have a finite amount and it has been constantly recycled since, well eons ago.

            I think we must view energy in the same light.

            The best and most efficient form of solar energy use is already employed, photosynthesis.

            The stored energy in plants is eaten by vegos and we eat the vegos. This gives us energy, ie, hamburgers and steaks.

            Without photosynthesis we would not have fossil fuels.

          • 0 avatar

            Big Al
            Agree on the water comment. I have an ownership interest in an advanced technology wastewater treatment company and it is a foundational principle that all water is recycled through the treatment process to become usable once again for human use and consumption.

            However, solar comes from outside the planet and the source will last as long as the planet. But the technologies used to render the solar into a usable energy source (solar panels for example) all include some waste factor. So there are no free lunches just more or less efficient technologies. I prefer solar, wind (also solar sourced) and nuclear, which are all converted into usable electrical energy.

            Fossil fuels are also valuable (oil, gas, coal) and when managed properly can be an efficient source of energy.

            P.S. I prefer steak as the source of human energy, but asparagus, baked potatoe and bourbon also have their proper place.
            P.S.S. I want a Tesla P85D for the same reason I have owned two 911’s . . .performance, performance, performance!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            I do envisage a time in the future when we will literally grow our transport, similar to plants and animals.

            Imagine a plant like boat hull with an affixed eel like tail. The vessel will be self healing/repairing. The plant like hull will furnish nourishment for the eel tail and all will be controlled by a chip.

            A completely organic vehicle. It only needs to be feed from photosynthesis and of course water.

            Transforming this tech into a wheeled vehicle will be possible.

          • 0 avatar

            Big Al
            As long as the vessel doesn’t see the passengers as fuel you might be on to something, but I still want a P85D.

  • avatar

    I pity the cop who has to drive that thing. It would seem best suited for Paul Blart 3.

  • avatar

    In Connecticut right now you can pick up a Chevy Volt for under $22,000.

    $34,995 sticker
    $30,140 Dealer “internet price”
    – 1,500 State incentive
    – 7,500 federal incentive (you front the $7,500, then you get it back on your tax return next year)

    $21,140 + Registration, tax and any “dealer fees”

    Even with cheaper gas, that’s an amazing deal.

    • 0 avatar

      I like the Chevy Volt even though my wife has the Ford Fusion Hybrid. We put many miles on our cars (My driver is a GMC Denali). She spends about $14 a month on gas and averages about 70mpg over all. At 26,000 miles we have had no problems.

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