The Chevrolet Bolt was October’s best-selling EV, could it be 2017’s?

The Chevrolet Bolt was October’s best-selling EV, could it be 2017’s?
Enlarge / These are becoming a more common sight on our roads.


Electric vehicle sales continue to increase this year, according to Inside EVs. Although some results have yet to be reported, it estimates that 50 percent more battery and plug-in hybrid EVs found homes in October 2017 than the year before. And head and shoulders above them all was the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Chevy sold 2,871 of them in October, making it the best selling EV of the month by quite some margin. The next closest was the Toyota Prius Prime, which notched up 1,626 sales. That means that the Bolt EV is now the second-best selling EV for the year thus far at just over 17,000 sold—not bad for a car that only went on sale in all 50 states in the second half of the year.

Anecdotally, I’ve started seeing a lot more of them in the DC area during the last few weeks, but that’s probably worthless other than as a casual observation. The Bolt EV’s sales are probably coming at the expense of the Volt, which recorded its worst month of 2017 with only 1,362 sold.

Tesla always has a bad October

Tesla’s Model S remains the best-selling EV of the year to date, and will probably keep that crown at year’s end—although that’s not guaranteed. To cap off its terrible Q3 report on Wednesday, we note even when you add the month’s Model S (1,120), Model X (850), and Model 3 (145) sales together, that’s still hundreds of cars fewer than the Bolt. Tesla always delivers fewer cars to the US in the first month of each quarter; as long as that pattern holds, the Model S’s position is safe. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider that even the cheapest Model S isn’t exactly cheap.

But on yesterday’s earnings call Elon Musk revealed that Model S (and Model X) production is being reduced to bring extra resources to bear on the Model 3’s production woes. That leaves the $40,000 Bolt EV at least an outside chance of catching up to the much more expensive sedan.

PHEV winners

A notable surprise was the strong performance by Chrysler’s Pacifica Hybrid. It shifted almost 1,200 in October, and currently has the PHEV minivan segment all to itself. I got a chance to drive one briefly a few weeks ago; sadly by the time I got behind the wheel its battery was depleted but it was enough to make realize we need to spend a few days in the company of one for a proper review here at Ars.

As of Thursday morning, Inside EVs is still waiting for BMW’s numbers. I’m quite curious to see how the 530e does—it had a strong September, deservedly so based on the week we just spent with one for a forthcoming review. For that, you’ll need to wait another week or so.

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