U.S. green-car sales fell less than 2 percent from a year earlier to about 40,000 units, while specifically plug-in vehicle sales were up about 23 percent to about 13,300 units. Keep in mind that this is the calm before the proverbial storm, as Tesla Model 3 production ramps up.
In the meantime, Tesla's fellow U.S. automakers led green-car gains. General Motors' green-car sales last month rose 35 percent from a year earlier to 3,997 units. The Chevrolet Bolt all-electric led the way with 2,017 units sold, more than offsetting the 31 percent drop in Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in sales.
Ford also fared well, boosting its green-car vehicle sales by 17 percent from a year earlier to almost 7,800 units. Ford Fusion Hybrid sales jumped 54 percent from a year earlier to 4,623 vehicles, while Ford C-Max Hybrid sales were up 15 percent to 1,009 units.
Nissan steadily boosted its Leaf EV sales by 8.3 percent from a year earlier to 1,154 vehicles, as it clears showrooms for the new 2018 Leaf arriving in October. Meanwhile, Honda doubled its green-vehicle sales from a year earlier to 2,474 units, as Accord Hybrid sales more than doubled to 2,162 units.
Such gains were more than offset, though, by companies such as Toyota and BMW. Toyota's green-car sales fell 18 percent from a year earlier to about 19,800 vehicles, largely because combined sales of the four Prius variants plunged 26 percent. Camry and Avalon Hybrid sales declined 40 percent and 45 percent, respectively, while Lexus hybrid sales fell 16 percent to about 2,000 units.
BMW also had a tough August, as sales of its i sub-brand of plug-in vehicles plunged 54 percent from a year earlier to just 533 units. At a smaller scale, Volkswagen e-Golf sales dropped 30 percent from a year earlier to 317 units, while Audi A3 Sportback e-tron sales fell 63 percent to just 129 units. Smart ForTwo ED sales rose 73 percent to 95 units.
Through August, U.S. green-car sales rose 9.4 percent from a year earlier to about 309,000 units, while plug-in vehicle sales jumped 37 percent to almost 106,000 units.