Newsworthy stories: Global plug-in electrified vehicles surpassed the one million mark in sales during 2017, according to a new report from Navigant Research. The
report anticipates that annual market growth will continue at 38% through 2020. Since PEVs rolled out in 2011, sales have grown by 40% or more each year. The rollout of long-range EVs at prices below $40,000 will have much do with it, Navigant Research says………….. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has set up a $200 million mobility technology fund. CEO Carlos Ghosn will be announcing details during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas early next week. The alliance had also announced plans to set up a consortium that will bring robotaxis into commercial use. That will include ride sharing services and autonomous vehicle technologies………….. CES 2018, which will run through Jan. 12 in Las Vegas, will be a showcase for autonomous vehicle technology and has become probably the most important event for the auto industry. Automakers and tech suppliers will be demonstrating their systems that will include 3D solid state Lidar. Chinese company Byton introduced its debut concept vehicle, a connectivity-focused electric crossover. Hyundai will showcase a trio of new technologies focused on connecting future technology with evolving mobility challenges. Hyundai’s next-gen fuel cell electric vehicle equipped with new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technologies will be featured and its new name revealed at the show.
How green vehicles performed last year in the U.S.: Electrified vehicles had a better year in 2017 for the U.S. auto market. Plug-in vehicles were up significantly from about 158,000 units sold in 2016. It was also impressive compared to overall U.S. auto sales being down for the first time since 2009.
The Toyota Prius Liftback was the top selling hybrid at 65,631 units sold; though it was down 33.6% from 2016. Hybrid sales finished the year at 364,174, up 4.9% over 2016. The Ford Fusion Hybrid finished the year in second place at 57,474 sold, and the Toyota RAV4 came in third at 50,559.
As for plug-in vehicle segments:
Battery electric vehicle sales in 2017: 104,487 (up 24% over 2016)
Plug-in hybrid sales in 2017: 89,992. (up 23.4% over 2016)
During December, the Tesla Model S and Model X led the way in battery electric vehicles. For the year, the Model X saw more growth at a 20% increase, while the Model S was down 9% for the year. The Tesla Model 3 had disappointing results at 1,050 units sold in December – much lower than the company had promised earlier to manufacture and deliver.
The Chevy Bolt did very well, coming in close to 25,000 units sold even though its wasn’t fully available until mid-2017.
The Nissan Leaf had a weak sales month. Production of the new Leaf has begun, and sales volumes are expected to increase in the coming months.
The Toyota Prius Prime continues to lead the plug-in hybrid segment, up significantly over 2017. It’s edged out the Chevy Volt, which was down nearly 18% from 2017.
The days of the Volt may be numbered. General Motors is looking into ending production of the Volt in 2022, according to a report by AutoForecast Solutions. Sluggish sales of the Volt, and improvements made to battery packs in range and cost, are influencing GM management to phase out of plug-in hybrids. By now, GM had been expected to launch spin-offs based on the Volt drivetrain, but the business plan has instead shifted over to battery electric and fuel cell vehicles.