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Published on December 3rd, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan

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US Electric Cars Sales Up 44% In November — 1.1% Of US Car Sales!

December 3rd, 2016 by  


Also published on EV Obsession and our Electric Car Sales page.

The top 5 electric car models continue to dominate US electric car sales … for now.

The Chevy Bolt hitting the market is sure to shake things up a bit, particularly as production ramps up and GM offers the car beyond California and Oregon.

However, for now, it’s the top 5 players — Tesla Model S, Chevy Volt, Ford Fusion Energi, Tesla Model X, and Nissan LEAF — dominating the market. They accounted for 73% of US electric car sales in November*.

Notably, I think this is also the first time that US electric car sales surpassed 1% of total US car sales — a milestone that may seem small on the surface but is often seen as a tipping point in the evolution of a disruptive technology.

With the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 coming in the next year — as well as significantly updated versions of the Nissan LEAFBMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf, Toyota Prius Plug-in/Prime, and Ford Focus Electric, as well as other completely new models like the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, Smart ForFour Electric, and Hyundai Ioniq Electric  — there may not be many more months where EVs are under 1% of the overall market. And this is all before there’s a single EV model in several car classes, and with only a handful of electric cars available nationwide.

For the year to date, Tesla now has the #1 and #3 spots (Model S and Model X), but the Chevy Volt has a solid hold on the silver medal. The Ford Fusion Energi isn’t too far behind the Model X, and the Nissan LEAF has a solid hold on #5.

The BMW i3 and Ford C-Max Energi are in a tight race for #6, with the i3 currently happy with the edge. The BMW X5 xDrive 40e is sure to stay in the #8 spot in 2016. The Audi A3 e-Tron and Volkswagen e-Golf lead the rest of the compliance car market for #9 and #10. I wonder how well those models could have sold if they were as widely available as the Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, and Ford Energi models.

It’s actually interesting to me that LEAF sales fell only ~4,000 in 2016 (so far) despite the impending arrival of the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. It’s also nice to see that the Chevy Volt has gotten a nice boost of ~8,000 so far in 2016 thanks to the much better second-generation version. Naturally, though, Tesla’s ~17,000 increase in sales (well, deliveries) is the biggest US EV sales story of the year.

Again, though, almost completely under the radar, Ford’s Energi sales grew ~6,000 in 2016 — not too shabby for a couple of clear compliance cars! That’s nearly the sales growth of the Chevy Volt despite the fact that the Energi models were practical unchanged from prior years.

Overall, US plug-in car sales were up 44% in November 2016 compared to November 2015, and 28% for the year through November.

100% electric car sales were up 27% in November and plug-in hybrid sales were up 68%.

Let us know what other interesting stats jump out at you from the tables below and charts above.

us-ev-sales-2016-nov us-ev-sales-2016-november

*Note that Tesla’s numbers are estimates that are based on previous Tesla statements and guidance.


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. 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. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



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