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Published on November 12th, 2017 | by Zachary Shahan


Chevy Bolt Rises Again, Nissan LEAF Drops Off Cliff (October US Electric Car Sales)

November 12th, 2017 by  

Our EV charging conference last week delayed my monthly US electric car sales report, but the day has arrived.

Naturally, Tesla Model 3 bottlenecks are a bummer, so my Model 3 estimate* is moderate. Meanwhile, estimates for the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X put these vehicles at #2 and #3. And the car that really stole the show in October was the Chevy Bolt.

If you click on “YTD 2017” in the interactive chart below, you can also see that the Bolt rose above the Volt and all non-Tesla vehicles to become the #3 car in year-to-date US electric car sales. The fun thing is that this also makes the three top-selling electric cars in the US fully electrics.

A couple of solid plug-in hybrids close out plug-in car models with sizable sales. And if they have a couple of good months, the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-In could even overtake the Bolt before the year shuts down shop — highly unlikely, given the Bolt’s big rise, but possible.

The Nissan LEAF was hanging in there, but then sales fell off a cliff last month. Perhaps Nissan inventory was just getting cleared out before the next-gen LEAF arrives and there wasn’t much available in October, or perhaps buyers have ditched the idea of getting a 2017 LEAF and are waiting for a next-gen LEAF or Tesla Model 3 instead.

The only other models (that I can track or decently estimate) that have notable sales are the Ford Energi models and the BMW i3. Those models continue to see moderate sales, but none of them are likely to reach 10,000 in 2017, while the Chevy Bolt is now doing 10,000 in just ~4 months.

Jump into the numbers further by either playing with the interactive charts at the top or gazing into the tables below.

*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.

However, Tesla makes various statements about sales from time to time and offers some quarterly numbers, and Tesla vehicles are a more significant part of the EV market, so I create estimates based on every Tesla statement I can find as well as Tesla registration data in Europe and China. But do 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.

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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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