May Tops In EV Sales As Tesla Motors Inc’s (TSLA) Model S Beats Nissan Motor Co Ltd’s (NSANY) LEAF

With summer around the corner, sales for electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining momentum. May proved to be the best month for sales so far in 2015, with total EV sales soaring to 11,540, according to Inside Evs, out of which Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) sold 2,400 vehicles of Model S in North America, bagging the top position.

The publication also reveals that the world’s best-selling plug-in vehicle, Nissan Motor Co Ltd’s (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSANY) LEAF made 2,104 deliveries in the US, while another big name in the EV industry, Chevrolet Volt, the plug-in hybrid from General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), secured the third position with 1,618 vehicles sold last month.

Nissan Motor’s LEAF
Although Nissan’s green cars performed well last month, the company has decided to shut down the production of its first-generation models and bring face-lifted models later this year. The next-generation 2016 Nissan LEAF is expected to release later this year with an upgraded 30 kWh battery that will boost electric drive range more than 100 miles, reflecting an uplift of 25%.

General Motors’ Chevy Volt
The previous first-generation Chevy Volt was produced in May at the Hamtramck, Michigan facility, and now the company has promised several upgrades for the newer version. According to media reports, GM has decided to pull the plug on the first-gen Chevrolet Volt as sales have nose-dived for the past few years. According to Inside Evs, GM sold 18,805 Chevy Volt last year, a drop of 18.6% from the 20,702 vehicles sold in 2013. Last month’s impressive four-digit sale of 1,619 can therefore be seen as a result of the high incentives the company had offered on its vehicle.

Tesla Motors’ Model S
Tesla Motors’ monthly sales are often mired in confusion. The automaker, as usual, did not reveal its monthly delivery figures last month, announcing its plans to reveal sales figures only on a quarterly basis. This is why several publications have different monthly sales figures for Tesla Motors.

A contrasting delivery estimate was shared by Green Car Reports for Tesla’s May sales, putting them “likely somewhere between 800 and 1,500 units” across North America. On the other hand, WardsAuto analysts reported 1,652 Tesla vehicles sold last month, marking a jump of 1,100 vehicles over a similar period last year.

According to Inside Evs, Tesla’s new dual-motor Model S 70D version boosted sales for the automaker in May. Similar to GM and Nissan, Tesla too decided to upgrade its base model by closing the production of its previous 60 kWh version.

The publication further reveals that most of the 2,400 Tesla vehicles delivered in the US belong to the all-wheel drive (AWD) “D” version, comprising the most expensive P85D, 85D and new 70D models, amongst which Model S 85D was the most popular.

At the company’s first quarter earnings call, Tesla announced that it expected to sell 10,000 to 11,000 vehicles over the second quarter this year, lower than the previously announced 12,000 delivery target. According to Inside Evs, Tesla Motors will be able to achieve its Q2 delivery guidance despite concerns about its performance in markets other than North America.

Other Notable EV brands
Other well-performing vehicles included BMW’s (OTCMKTS:BAMXY) i3 – available in both plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions. The German automaker sold 818 units of i3, up from 406 units delivered in April. Ford Motor Company’s (NYSE:F) Fusion Energi recorded 986 deliveries in May compared to 711 in April, while GM’s Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrids recorded sales of 116 units, up from 104 units sold in April.

Although May recorded the best monthly sales of the year 2015, a total sale of 11,540 cars is still 7% lower compared to a year ago, according to Inside Evs. This is because one of the major players, Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) has lagged with the production of its first-generation Prius PHV, which the company announced to end production this June. The Prius PHV 2.0 is not expected to hit markets any sooner than fall of next year.

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