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Published on May 7th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan

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Huge Gap — Tesla Model 3 Sales vs. Other Electric Car Sales (US Electric Car Sales Report)

May 7th, 2018 by  


Update: The Tesla Model S and Model X numbers have been updated. See the June US EV sales report for updated figures: Tesla Model 3, Model X, & Model S = #1, #2, #3 In US Electric Car Sales.

As I discussed yesterday in a couple of pieces, Tesla Model 3 sales are beginning to look very good compared to gas cars in its class, and they should even give the top selling passenger cars in the United States a run for their money by summertime. I’m probably going to start doing monthly reports on those sales, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop doing the super fun US electric car sales reports.

As noted in the US car sales article I published late last night, though, US electric car sales charts are going to start looking out of balance. The Model 3 is already running away with the gold medal and production in April was still at a woefully low level compared to the eventual target.

If you click through the charts above, the Tesla Model 3 stood far ahead of any other electric car in April, and the year-to-date chart immediately draws your eye to the Model 3 as well.

What’s the story below the #1 spot?

The Toyota Prius Prime continues to outshine Big Auto’s electric offerings — presumably because of relatively wide availability, a captive Prius consumer base, and a relatively competitive cost for the value. I actually think the Prime could be selling much better compared to other Prius offerings, and I presume it’s limited either by poor sales tactics/communication or simply supply. We’ll have to dig in to learn more.

Below the Prius Prime we have the much more expensive but highly competitive Tesla Model S and Model X. Despite being in a rather exclusive segment of the market, the key points are that these models compete well against their competitors, they are widely available, and Tesla actually wants to sell the vehicles.

Then you’ve got a handful of competitive but semi-available models that can’t easily compete with the Model 3 when you balance cost and features — the Chevy Bolt, Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, Honda Clarity PHEV, Ford Fusion Energi, BMW i3, and various BMW plug-in hybrids. I’m a bit disappointed that Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales aren’t looking better since I think it’s a highly competitive model in its class. Again, we’re not sure if it’s sales are limited by supply, limited availability, poor sales procedures, or all of the above. We’re going to dig in further in the coming months to try to uncover the details for you.

Any more thoughts on the April numbers? Any guess yet on what Tesla’s May Model 3 numbers are likely to be? Is there any hope for any other plug-in vehicles to surpass 4,000 sales a month on a regular basis in 2018 or 2019? Do non-Tesla electric car sales frustrate you as much as they frustrate me? Wouldn’t it be nice if Nissan partnered with Tesla to give next-gen LEAF drivers access to the Supercharger network? Does anyone genuinely think the Jaguar I-PACE is going to be a Tesla killer?

Related Stories:

Tesla Model 3 = #21 Best Selling Car In USA. #15 In May? #6 In June Or July?

Tesla Model 3 In-Depth Review

Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

Tesla Model X Review #1

Tesla Model X Review #2

Toyota Prius Prime Review


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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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