(DETROIT) — General Motors drove strong sales of the Chevrolet Bolt in the first quarter, ousting urban rival Ford from second place in the US electric vehicle sales race.
But GM’s EV sales of 20,670 were still well below those of industry leader Tesla, which Motorintelligence.com estimates delivered more than 161,000 vehicles in the U.S. from January through March.
Ford sold just 10,866 electric vehicles in the quarter, but the company said that was mainly because it had to halt production of the best-selling Mustang Mach-E electric SUV while it converted a factory in Mexico to ramp up production. Spokesman Said Deep said the company did not build Mach-Es for seven weeks during the quarter, hurting sales.
Also in February, Ford had to halt production of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck after a battery caught fire during a quality check before delivery. The issue was resolved and production resumed on March 13th.
Still, Ford’s EV sales rose 41% from the prior-year first quarter, the company said on Tuesday.
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In the first quarter, GM delivered 19,700 of its best-selling electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt hatchback and utility vehicle. Last year, the company sold just 358 Bolts because available batteries had to be diverted to a recall of 142,000 older Bolts due to battery fires.
GM also sold 968 Cadillac Lyriq electric SUVs and two GMC Hummer EV pickups in the first quarter. Electric vehicle sales were 44 times higher than in the same quarter last year.
Volkswagen, which ranks fourth in US electric vehicle sales with 9,758 deliveries of the ID.4 hatchback, almost knocked Ford down two notches.
Sales of electric vehicles in the U.S. rose 48% to just over 258,000 in January-March, accounting for 7.2% of new vehicle sales. Last year, according to data from Motorintelligence, the market share of electric vehicles was 5.8%.
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