Update: This article has been updated to correct a few key stats after an error was identified in two spreadsheet formulas (the “100% Electric Totals” in the second table).
The US electric car market has continued to grow at a rapid pace in the past year — led by California’s particularly strong electric car market, of course. From January through August, sales of 8 fully electric cars* grew 47% in the country. Sales of 6 plug-in hybrid cars were up 30%. Overall, that meant sales of these 14 plug-in car were up 40%.
August 2017 vs August 2016 was less dramatic but still a period of strong growth. Fully electric car sales were up 19%. Plug-in hybrid sales were up 4%. Overall, that meant a 13% increase in plug-in car sales.
If the Tesla estimates** are to be believed, the Tesla Model S was far ahead in the #1 spot, the Chevy Bolt held tight at #2, the Toyota Prius Prime rose to #3, the Tesla Model X dropped to #4, and the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF retained their places at #5 and #6, respectively. Ah, gone are the days of the neverending LEAF vs Volt battle at the top of the charts (which was a super tight competition for years).
If you look at the January through August stats (which are educated estimates** but certainly not exact), the Model S is crushing it (despite its high price tag). That hints at how extremely competitive the car is in its niche segment. The Volt has a slight lead over the Model X, which has an even slighter lead over the Toyota Prius Prime. The Chevy Bolt has a gap to cover to catch up with any of those models, but now that sales are picking up and availability is nationwide, it has potential to climb up the ranking and perhaps even land on the podium by the end of the year.
We can surely expect electric car sales to keep increasing as Tesla Model 3 production ramps up, the next-generation Nissan LEAF arrives on dealer lots, and overall EV awareness rises. I would be surprised if our report one year from now doesn’t show a more dramatic electric car sales increase of 82% at this point in time.
Here are more 2017 sales details in table format:
|EV Model||August 2017||August 2016||% Change||YTD 2017||YTD 2016||% Change|
|Audi A3 e-tron||129||346||-62.7%||2,467||2,637||-6.4%|
|Ford C-Max Energi||705||707||-0.3%||5,954||4,687||27.0%|
|Ford Focus Electric||131||75||74.7%||1,332||579||130.1%|
|Ford Fusion Energi||762||1,422||-46.4%||6,522||9,998||-34.8%|
|Tesla Model 3||100||130|
|Tesla Model S||2,700||3,000||-10.0%||20,882||17,093||22.2%|
|Tesla Model X||1,800||1,800||0.0%||13,356||10,000||33.6%|
|Toyota Prius Prime||1,820||2||90900.0%||13,157||48||27310.4%|
|All EVs Total||13,703||12,111||13.1%||105,963||75,815||39.8%|
|100% Electric Total||8,813||7,408||19.0%||63,664||43,219||47.3%|
*There are several automakers that don’t break out sales of their electric models (for example, sales of the BMW 330e are hidden within sales of the BMW 3 Series). As such, we have little insight into how many of these cars are sold in the US. Rather than guess, we exclude them from these monthly reports.
**I base these on every Tesla statement I can find on the matter as well as Tesla registration data in Europe and China. But note that Tesla doesn’t publicly break out monthly sales and doesn’t break out country-by-country sales, so these estimates are definitely not precise.
Also published on EV Obsession’s Electric Car Sales page.