Cooley On Cars
Top 5: Best selling EVsBrian Cooley ranks the top five best selling electric vehicles in the U.S. for 2014.
[MUSIC] Electric cars are still a fickle market. With the car buying public divided between basically two forms of incredulity. One camp can't believe you don't drive one. The other camp can't believe you fell for one. [MUSIC] I'm Brian Cooley, not here to settle that argument, but to give you a scorecard how well the things are selling. We're going to rank electric car sales by their 2014 U.S. full sales numbers for the year, which by the way amounted to about one and half percent of all new car sales, leaving out trucks. And only about a half a percent of all new vehicles sales globally. Let's go. Number 5, the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in, 11,000 copies or so were sold, 19 miles on electric charge, and an overall 88 MPGe. Now to most eyes this is the best looking car in the affordable electric world. But note, it's a plug in not a pure battery car. Now the Focus Electric, which is pure battery from Ford, would come in a weak eighth on our list after the Smart Electric car. That has to hurt. Number four's Toyota's Prius Plug-in, a little over 13,000 sold, just six miles on a charge, but 95 MPGe. Now the standard Prius, that remains the undisputed king of hybrids. But this plug-in variant. Makes the list of EVs, but just barely in terms of sales. Kinda measly EV range. That battery does give it killer MPGe, although its gas MPG is about the same as the regular Prius, so there's whole lot of meh here. No wonder it lags at fourth. And no wonder Toyota is in hot pursuit of hydrogen right now as its encore for the Prius. Number three, the Tesla Models S delivers 17,000 sold, 265 miles of range is the big boy on the list, 89 MPGe from that. The most lauded car on our list, pure battery of course, the highest range as well. If you have the money, and want a pure battery electric car, this is your benchmark. It's also the only EB from a company whose entire existence. Rides on [UNKNOWN] going big, so all eyes are now on the launch of the more affordable falcon wing door crossover, Model X, later this year. That will make the company more than a one-note tune for the first time in a number of years. Number two the Chevy Volt, A little under 19,000 sold, gets 38 miles on a charge, 98 MPGe. It is of course not a pure battery car but also a plug in hybrid of the range extender class with a gas engine that is largely just used as a generator. Yeah, it's a bit of a complicated story to tell, even recent Volt TV commercials seem to admit that. The new model we just saw unveiled in Detroit is going to arrive soon with sleeker looks. And now a 50 mile electric range on a charge. Before we hit number one the EVs that sell so slowly you wonder why they're sold at all, include, Porsche's Panamera S-E. At least if you buy a Tesla a 100,000 gets you a actually electric car. This just gets you a hybrid. And not the one your wealthy greenie friends are impressed by, fewer than 900 last year. Honda's Accord Plug-In & Fit EV, both around a measly 400 units sold each year. What can I say? Honda has never been great at selling anything electrified. And the Mitsubishi i-MIEV. I forgot they still sold this thing in the US. At 196 total units for the year, apparently you did as well. It looks like a prop from Caddyshack, not a real car, and that doesn't really fly in the US. The number one EV in 2014 by sales, was the Nissan LEAF, over 30 thousand moved out the door. It gets 84 miles on a charge. And has a 114 MPGE. The Leaf was the sales champ every month of the year except December, when Tesla had a spike. This is the EV to beat, a sort of book end in a way to the model S. It's goofy looking as all get out. And rumor has it Nissan will make the next version look more like a car and perhaps offer a choice of longer range battery packs. But that's not for a year or two, so. This is the one to look at for a regular budget. More top five lists awaits the car lover. Go to CNEToncars.com and click on top five.