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Published on January 11th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan

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Your 2017 Electric Car Sales Projections Revisited, … & 2018 Projections!

January 11th, 2018 by  


Last year, we surveyed readers here to get your 2017 electric car sales projections for the year. How did things turn out? Take a look below.

But in addition to checking out the 2017 results, it’s time for 2018 projections as well! Complete your answers to the new survey here.


Ford Energi Models — Your Estimate On The Money! (Sort Of)

Starting with “the least among us,” estimates for the fairly low-electric-range, small-battery Ford Energi models (the Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi) totaled favored the 10,000–19,999 sales range above all. In the end, 33% of respondents picked that option. With 17,797 US sales of Ford Energi models, that means you won! Well, 33% isn’t the majority of respondents, but this is the issue we’ll face throughout the results — the sales range with the largest percentage of votes never gets the majority of votes. Since the majority of readers can never be right, we’re judging reader success on whether the most popular range ended up being correct.

Back to the cars here, Ford Energi model sales were quite stable in 2017, as they have been for years. However, they did drop a bit as the fresh Toyota Prius Prime and Chevy Volt took more and more of plug-in hybrid sales. The Energi models are getting a bit old and could use a significant refresh with much more electric driving range. Will Ford go that route or try to more seriously create and sell electric cars? Hard to say, but I expect without any notable changes, the Energi models’ sales will dwindle further in 2018.


Toyota Prius Prime — On The Money, Barely!

With 20,936 Toyota Prius Prime deliveries in the United States, sales barely fell into the most popular choice from our survey. 31% of readers predicted 20,000–29,999 Prius Prime sales. Another large chunk (18%) did choose the option right below that as well (10,000–19,999 sales), but a few percent more (21%) chose 30,000–39,999. Maybe in 2018? Or will it be even more that that?


BMW i3 — Yikes

Well, BMW didn’t deliver. It had only 6,276 BMW i3 sales in the United States in 2017. Just a little more than 20% of respondents chose this bottom option (1–9,999 sales). Another 62% chose 10,000–29,999, and the remaining chose even more than that.

Will the BMW i3 turn things around in 2018? Well, with the Tesla Model 3 arriving, it’s very hard to see how. What could BMW do to move a lot more units of the i3 at this point?


Nissan LEAF — Another Narrow Win For CleanTechnica Readers!

It was another close call, but readers again chose the winning option. That said, the sales were on the wrong end of the range in terms of the bulk of reader estimates. Only 11,230 Nissan LEAFs were delivered in the United States in 2017. In total, 27% of respondents projected that Nissan would sell 10,000–19,999 LEAFs in the US in 2017. A small 4.4% projected fewer than 10,000 sales. The remaining bulk of respondents, of course, projected sales above 20,000. In that light, 2017 LEAF sales were a notable disappointment.


Ditto On The Chevy Volt

Again, the readers win! Sort of. Sales were on the low end of the most popular projection, and many more readers projected higher sales. There were 20,349 Chevy Volt sales in the USA in 2017. The highest chosen sales range in last year’s projections was indeed 20,000–29,999, landing 30% of the votes, but 50% of the remaining projections were higher than 29,999, while approximately 20% estimated lower than 20,000 (and were almost right).


Ditto On Chevy Bolt — But With A Few More Sales

Following the trend, the readers chose the winning bar in the bar chart again. However, sales were on the low end of the bar chart and remaining projections were for higher sales than in the winning range.

There were 23,297 Chevy Bolts sold in the US in 2017, and 33% of respondents estimated at the beginning of 2017 that there would be 20,000–29,999 sales. Another 45% of respondents estimated 30,000+ sales, which would have been far more than what we got.


Tesla Model 3 — Readers Nailed It

On to the big money, CleanTechnica readers were right again — Model 3 sales were well below Tesla’s hopes and early estimates, but they fell into the range that 30% of readers chose. That said, it also means 70% of readers chose the wrong option. Whoops. And 66% of respondents estimated 10,000+ deliveries.

Well, what about 2018? This will be much harder to estimate, imho. Have a look at last year’s projections versus the 1,772 deliveries and ~2,650 produced Model 3 sedans.


Tesla Model S — Barely Right Again?

For the Tesla Model S (and Model X), we don’t have precise US deliveries since Tesla only reports global deliveries. There were 66,581 Tesla Model S deliveries in 2017, right around the middle of the sales range chosen by the most respondents — 25% chose 60,000–69,999 global deliveries. For our part, CleanTechnica estimated that 31,554 of those 66,581 Tesla Model S deliveries were in the United States, which would again fall in line with the most popular sales range — 24% chose 30,000–39,999 Model S deliveries in the US.

There were a large number of estimates on each side of the most popular ranges, but the larger percentage of respondents again chose higher totals than lower ones.



Tesla Model X — Missed By An Inch?

We finally come across a vehicle where the range chosen by the most respondents did not capture actual deliveries.

As far as US Tesla Model X deliveries, the CleanTechnica estimate of 24,049 did fall into the most commonly chosen option — 38% of respondents selected the 20,000–29,999 deliveries option. However, that means that 62% of respondents expected more.

Where respondents missed the mark was with global Model X deliveries. The most common selection was 50,000–59,999 deliveries, whereas total deliveries ended up being a slight amount more — 60,817. This also represented an atypical result since the bulk of respondents finally estimated less than the total actually delivered. Only 12% chose the winning range — 60,000–69,999 deliveries — whereas 77.7% of respondents estimated fewer than 60,000 deliveries. Congrats, Tesla, for beating the market here!


So, there you go — top electric car sales in 2017 versus your projections. If you haven’t done so already, provide your 2018 estimates now!


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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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