This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

2012 Electric Car Sales Forecast

Toyota (TM): Much like the Ford C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, the Prius Plug-In is not a capable electric car in the same way as the Nissan and Chevrolet, but I am counting it anyway. U.S. sales have been mostly close to 1,500 per month and expanding into more states as the year moves along. Toyota should not have any problem hitting its goal of 12,000, with potentially plenty of upside.

Manufacturing of the RAV4, co-developed with Tesla (TSLA - Get Report), has just started and 2,600 units will be made over 2.5 years, with deliveries to start by August. That's an insanely low number, and demand in California alone could be there for all of these in 2012. I bet they will sell them all in 2012.

Ford (F): The all-electric Focus has been selling for a couple of months, but perhaps because the car costs even more than the largely similar Nissan Leaf, it has not sold much. It's almost impossible to say whether it will sell more or less than 1,000 units for the year.

Ford is launching the C-Max Energi near the end of the year, and should be able to move perhaps a couple of thousand of those units.

The Fusion Energi will probably not hit the market until the first quarter of 2013. Both of these should be big sellers in 2013, depending on how they are priced. They are very attractive cars, so it's just a matter of the yet-unannounced pricing.

Tesla: Elon Musk has nailed all of the forecasts so far, and is extremely confident of hitting at least 5,000 for the year. I have no reason to doubt him. Furthermore, he is equally confident in 20,000 units for 2013.

BMW: Has leased 700 1-series electrics in the U.S. The i3 won't launch until (late) in 2013.

MItsubishi: The prospects are for perhaps little over 1,000 units, maybe even less.

Coda: Total wild card. I am not convinced many will sell. Perhaps 1,000 units.

Honda (HMC): 1,100 electric Fits will be made, and leased only for $389 per month.

Fisker: It looks like Fisker is on track to sell at least 1,000 for the year.

Let's add them all up, and compare to just under 18,000 sold in 2011:
Chevrolet: 20,000
Nissan: 15,000
Toyota: 14,600
Ford: 3,000
Tesla: 5,000
BMW: 700
Mitsubishi: 1,000
Coda: 1,000
Honda: 1,100
Fisker: 1,000
TOTAL: 62,400

That would easily more than triple the 2011 sales level, but still constitute just under half of 1% of the total U.S. car market in 2012. 1% would be 140,000.

The swing factors are huge enough for 2012, so I am not making much of a prediction for 2013 yet, let alone 2014. That said, the trajectory here is very easy to understand.

By 2014, it expected that almost every car maker will have serious plug-in electric cars in the market. 2013 will be an important year, with BMW and perhaps VW and Audi -- among others -- entering the market, and the existing makers such as Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan and Tesla dramatically expanding their offerings.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
TSLA $265.54 0.27%
AAPL $123.02 -0.30%
GOOG $627.34 -0.11%
FB $95.91 0.65%
YHOO $37.57 -0.40%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,733.65 +103.38 0.59%
S&P 500 2,106.18 +12.93 0.62%
NASDAQ 5,100.5090 +11.3030 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs