Published on January 5th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan


Tesla Crushes Electric “Competition” In US

January 5th, 2016 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

I’m still waiting for all of the 2015 automotive sales numbers to roll in before publishing my monthly electric car sales report, but the numbers from most of the big players are in, so I thought it would be worth highlighting the main story.

Nissan LEAF 7Nissan sold 17,269 LEAFs in 2015 (including one to CleanTechnica/EV Obsession). GM sold slightly fewer Volts (15,393), but more electric cars overall (an additional 1,024 ELRs and 2,477 Spark EVs through the end of November — I’m still waiting on the Spark EV’s December numbers, since GM doesn’t bother to break it out from the gasoline Spark in the main press release and table). Ford’s numbers fall somewhere between Nissan’s and GM’s. So, basically, the top 3 electric car automakers other than Tesla each hit between 17,000 and 19,000 electric car sales in 2015.

Tesla Model Ss FloridaTesla doesn’t break out US sales versus foreign sales, but it did indicate last year that it delivered slightly more than half of its cars to the US. With something similar projected for 2015 (in which 50,580 Teslas were delivered), I ended up with an estimate of 26,566 Tesla Model S deliveries and 208 Tesla Model X deliveries (all of them so far). That puts Tesla at nearly 27,000 US electric car deliveries (and many more orders and reservations, it should be noted, especially for the Model X).

By any measure, Tesla is crushing mainstream automakers in electric car sales on its home turf, the USA. Imagine if the mainstream automakers tried as hard as Tesla and put their banks full of cash into quickening the transition to EVs…

Here’s my current spreadsheet for monthly and total 2015 US electric car sales:

US EV Sales 2015 - December FINAL

Photos by Zachary Shahan | EV Obsession |CleanTechnica

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • JamesWimberley

    The model cycles are not synchronised. IIRC there will be significantly improved Volts and Leafs in 2016. Will they catch up technical ground on Tesla?

  • ROBwithaB

    I bought the recent dip in the share price. (Well, I HOPE it transpires to be just a temporary “dip”, obviously…)
    My thinking is that “hitting the low end of the target” (along with the Norway fire and some exogenous China market movements) will soon be overwhelmed by the realisation that 60% annual growth in sales is actually a GOOD thing.

    These are not projections, but actual sales. Money in the bank. And with X now in regular production, and 80% increase in 2016 is very doable. All of a sudden, we’ll be a year away from annual profits of around $2-3 Billion, even WITHOUT the Mod 3.
    And then the stock starts to look very cheap.
    Now all that’s keeping me awake is the potential for a recall on those $&@% fancy doors and windscreens….

    • I just bought more earlier today as well. Everything seems to be in solid order, from what I can tell. I was afraid of more production problems and not hitting target at all. With production ramping up exponentially, I’m feeling happy with where Tesla is. The drop in stock price due to stock market short-sightedness just provided another good buying opportunity, imho. We’ll see… 😛

      • neroden

        Since I already have nearly 5% of my family’s entire portfolio in TSLA (a bit less since the recent drop) I decided to be cautious and I haven’t been buying more stock. I’m still making money by selling put options to the shorts, though, and if it does drop more I’ll end up with more stock. 🙂

        (This is not investment advice; I am not your investment advisor…)

  • CU

    I have some reflections; Why is Mercedes B-Class and Volvo XC90 T8 selling so badly?

    • They’re not widely offered. (And the latter just hitting the market now.)

    • BartV6

      Recently I tested the Mercedes, BMW and Nissan.
      I would go for the Mercedes … only if they had at least a quick charger.
      And a 200km real range.

  • Sheet is updated/corrected, and also more easily viewable now if you click it, or right here:

  • C. Botsford

    Yes, your spreadsheet total for EVs is incorrect. Based on your numbers, EVs have about a 2/3 market share over PHEVs.

    • Thanks. Yes, I normally don’t publish this part of it and apparently haven’t updated the formulas for awhile. It’s updated. Thanks.

    • eveee

      The corrected graph shows EVs have a 59.5% market share over PHEVs. Is that more like it? It didn’t move the needle much.

      • Yeah, was basically the opposite before. C.B. was saying that ~2/3 is what it should have been.

  • dRanger

    Thanks for the article, Zach. I’ve been expecting this, and it’s nice to see it “in print”.

  • Folatt

    Your spreadsheet is wrong. Error is most notable in December.

    • TomK

      And also, if blue rows are meant to be 100% Electric, then the BMW X5 xDrive has the wrong color…

    • Thanks. As noted above, I normally don’t share this portion of the spreadsheet, and I apparently hadn’t updated the formulas for awhile and didn’t notice. Updated now.

      • Folatt

        Now I can finally imagine turning your headline into:
        “BEV defeats PHEV in US.”

        It’s a shame you started omitting other electric hybrids a couple of year ago. Would have loved to see how BEVs stack up to them now. And not wanting to wait for the next step, how are they doing compared to diesels?

        • ROBwithaB

          The more information, the more complete the picture.
          The better people will be able to take informed decisions.

        • I just have no interest in the conventional hybrids. Totally different market, imho. And including them made it harder to see actual plug-in car trends. I think Autoblog Green might do reports including them. Used to, but I haven’t been following since their RSS feed doesn’t come into Feedly anymore. 😛

        • Dragon

 includes numbers for PHEV vehicles as well as a few thoughts on each vehicle in the list.

          Only the Volt sold much of anything in the PHEV category.

          LEAF sales are abysmal, down 43% from the previous year and despite the 2016 being available all December, they sold fewer LEAFs than most other months of the year. Nissan isn’t advertising them, dealers aren’t pushing them (if anything, they push people AWAY from them), other EVs of similar cost have entered the market, and with the 200 mile Bolt here in under a year plus Nissan taunting us with a future 200 mile car, I don’t know if LEAF sales will ever recover much less grow exponentially as we need. It makes me sad.

          The article mentions there’s demand for at least 1000 plug-in Prius per month but Toyota is barely making any and only had 22 to sell in December! I’ve hated Toyota for a long time but didn’t realize they were also slowing the EV transition by vastly underproducing their PHEV.

          Chevy plans to only make 30,000 Bolts the first year. Just enough to stay somewhat close behind Tesla’s numbers in the USA.

          There’s a good reason Tesla keeps crushing the competition. The competition doesn’t want EVs to happen at all and are being dragged kicking and screaming into the market.

  • Omega Centauri

    Tesla being on top will only add fuel to the meme that electric cars are only for rich folk.

    • dRanger

      What it really does is prove that electric cars can be desirable and consumers will buy them; not something that traditional manufacturers and dealers have been willing to admit.

  • tibi stibi

    in amsterdam i notice that almost all charging stations are occupied. i hope they will add more soon because this will slow the ev sales down.

    in amsterdam the car2o’s are electric and you can get bonus minutes for connection your ev. but now it will take long to find free places so i less often try to connect it after use 🙁

    • When I was there, I found out that someone living or working on the street just needs to request a new charging station and the city will install one. Heard it takes a month or two, iirc.

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