One of the traits of early electric vehicles (EVs) is that many automakers have built these EVs primarily as what’s known as compliance cars. These cars are built primarily to sell in the state of California to meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements and allow the automakers to continue selling cars in the state.
Many of these compliance EVs have short battery ranges, may not be offered in popular body styles, often are priced with a significant price premium relative to comparative ICE models, and often were not actively marketed or promoted by auto dealers.
The result is these electric cars sell very poorly for a few years and then the automaker decides to literally pull the plug on the model. Hopefully, however they’ve learned a few things about battery technology, charging infrastructure and perhaps even how to sell electric vehicles by monitoring more successful competitors such as Tesla.
A key question then becomes, once these EVs are killed off, with what new models, if anything does the automaker replace the vehicle?
Following is a table of passenger electric vehicles (we are not including commercial or fleet vehicles) that have been sold in the US since 1999 and then later discontinued. This list also includes EVs that have been rumored or announced that they will be discontinued in the future. (The table is sortable by column):
|Replacement / Notes|
|Audi||A3 Sportback e-tron||Sedan||PHEV||D/C||2019||e-tron SUV|
|BMW||i8||Sports Car||PHEV||D/C||2020 (April)||No announced electric sports car|
|Cadillac||CT6||Sedan||PHEV||D/C||2019||Cadillac is transitioning to all-electric brand, BEV CUV expected 2020-2021|
|Chevrolet||Volt||Hatchback||PHEV||D/C||2019 (March)||GM will no longer produce PHEVs|
|Fiat||500e||City car / Coupe||BEV||D/C||2020||2019 models still available / Updated 500 likely not available in the US|
|Fisker||Karma||Sports Car||PHEV||D/C||2012||Karma Revero|
|Ford||Focus Electric||Hatchback||BEV||D/C||2019||Unnamed BEV crossover|
|Hyundai||Sonata||Sedan||PHEV||D/C||2020||Focus on regular hybrid version|
|Toyota||Prius PHV||Hatchback||PHEV||D/C||2016||Prius Prime|
|Volkswagen||e-Golf||Hatchback||BEV||D/C||2020||2019 models available / 2020s only for Canada|
- D/C = Discontinued
- Review = Automaker has confirmed publicly that the vehicle is under review and may be discontinued.
- Rumor = Automaker has not confirmed a model will be discontinued, but his highly likely.
- Chevrolet Spark was discontinued because of both poor sales and the impending launch of the Bolt. Similarly, the Mercedes-Benz B250e sold poorly and is being discontinued in advance of Mercedes launch in the future of its EQ line of EVs.
- Fisker Karma was produced by Fiskar Automotive which went out of business.The Fisker Karma was redesigned by Karma Automotive and reintroduced as the Revero. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Ford C-MAX was also produced in regular hybrid version.
- Toyota RAV4 was produced as a BEV twice, the more recent version was built using a Tesla electric drive train.