In addition to Tesla, which continues to boost sales but doesn't publish monthly metrics, Ford and General Motors each performed well in May. Green-car sales for the Blue Oval rose 56 percent from a year earlier to 9,221 vehicles, as Fusion Hybrid sales more than doubled, while Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid sales jumped 77 percent.
Up the road, General Motors increased green-car sales by 50 percent to 3,964 vehicles. Notably, the Chevrolet Bolt electric-vehicle model had a record month, tallying 1,566 unit sold in May. While the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in sales fell slightly to 1,817 units, Chevy Malibu Hybrid sales doubled to 493 units.
Nissan, Volkswagen, and Honda also made big gains. Buoyed by a jump in sales for its Accord Hybrid, Honda green-car sales rose sixfold to 2,178 units. VW's green-car sales were up 24 percent on a rise in e-Golf demand. And Nissan's all-electric Leaf increased sales 42 percent from a year earlier to 1,392 units.
Such gains more than offset the impact of less-than-stellar months from Toyota, BMW, and Audi. Toyota, which remains the world's biggest green-car seller, saw sales fall 9.9 percent to 20,191 units, primarily on a 20-percent drop in sales for the four Prius variants. Camry and Avalon Hybrid sales fell 17 percent and 38 percent from a year earlier, respectively, while Lexus Hybrid sales declined 7.6 percent to an even 2,300 units.
As for the Germans, Bimmer's i sub-brand saw its sales fall 38 percent from a year earlier to 524 units. And Audi's Sportback e-tron sales dropped 19 percent to 294 units.
Through the first five months of the year, US green-car sales are up 18 percent from a year earlier to about 193,000 units. Plug-in vehicle sales have surged 50 percent to almost 67,000 units.