Peter Kelly-Detwiler: 617.875.6575 | Leighton Wolffe: 781.547.1193 pkd@northbridgeep.com, leighton@northbridgeep.com

Inside EVs is almost finished posting the tallies for December U.S. EV sales, which in turn give us the year-end volumes. The numbers are solid, representing a strong reversal of last year’s slight decline. 2014 stood at 122,438, and 2015 backslid to 116,099. 2016 already shows just under 155,000 sales with Ford and BWM (together they will easily yield another 3-5000) numbers still outstanding. And then there are the EV ‘losers’ such as the Volvo CX90 and Kia Soul (which between them can’t seem to muster 400 sales in any given month), which will add a few hundred more.

GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images – walking by a winner

Not surprisingly, Tesla had another strong annual first place showing with the Model S up from 25,200 to 29,400. Its Model X placed a strong 4th at 18,200 and well ahead of the languishing Leaf.  From a first place peak of 30,200 in 2014, the Leaf fell to under 17,300 last year and declined further still to 14,000. Perhaps the lesson is that Leafs do fall. They certainly will continue to do so if the best Nissan can muster is a modest range gain from 84 to 107 miles, while the rest of the EV pack accelerates (quietly) by.

TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images – a need to branch out

With its back-up gas tank, the plug-in hybrid Chevy’s Volt is not encumbered by range, and made strong headway, clambering up to from third place (almost 15,400 in 2015) to second place (over 24,700). Ford Fusion Energi made real gains from 9,750 to almost 15,000. That’s the first Ford model to smash the 10,000 car ceiling.

AND…drum roll…579 Bolts bolted off the lot and theoretically could have gone 238 miles before running out of juice. The Bolt sales numbers will bear watching in about two or three months.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images – keep an eye out for sales numbers in Q1

Across the planet, Inside EVs reports over 664,000 electric vehicles sold which compares rather poorly to an estimated 88.7 million internal combustion cars sold globally in 2015. In the U.S., those 155,000 EVs are still a pittance compared with 2015 light vehicle sales exceeding 17 million. But, one’s gotta start somewhere and 2016 was a solid showing.

Bloomberg NewEnergy Finance projects a rosy future for electric vehicles, as battery costs decline and cost of ownership falls below that of conventional vehicles by 2025. By 2040, they foresee EVs grabbing 35% market share. With global numbers doubled between 2014 and 2016 (approximately 321,000 to 664,000), the trend-line is moving in the right direction. A couple more doublings and the market will be looking pretty solid indeed.