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Published on October 22nd, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan


Tesla = 75–85% of US Electric Vehicle Sales

October 22nd, 2019 by  

We no longer publish monthly US electric vehicle sales reports, because few automakers publish their monthly electric vehicle sales, and several don’t even publish quarterly sales of their EVs. Nonetheless, I continue to track the numbers that are published and estimate sales for the other fully electric models.

The unfortunate thing about the US electric vehicle market (compared to the European or Chinese market) is there are not make widely available electric vehicles. The EVs that are for sale in the US are often limited to California and perhaps a few other markets, and compelling models are so production limited compared to consumer demand that it can be difficult to get one even in California — you may need to wait a year or so, for example. All together, the result is that one car accounts for the majority of sales. That car, of course, is the Volkswagen e-Golf.

Just kidding! It’s the Fiat 500e.

Haha — okay, I’m done. The Tesla Model 3 accounts for approximately 60–70% of US EV sales — 64% according to my current estimate for January–September 2019. Adding in Tesla Model S and Model X sales estimates, the figure rises to 80%. Since so many numbers are estimates, I’m roughly assuming that Tesla accounts for 75–85% of all fully electric vehicles sales in the US. (Note: that’s not including electric bikes, electric scooters, and electric buses, of course — we’re just talking about cars, crossovers, and SUVs here.)

As much as a 60–70% market share for one model and 75–85% market share for the brand is a testament to Tesla’s superb leadership in EVs and overall competitiveness, it’s not a sign of a healthy market and also highlights that other automakers are not doing as good of a job surfing into the electric vehicle future.

The Tesla Model Y, whenever it starts getting produced and comes out, will certainly be another mass-market EV, expected by many to see even more sales than the Model 3, but the burning question is: when will there finally be a mass-market non-Tesla EV? Furthermore, what will the model be, and which company will produce it? Some people expect it to be an electric crossover from GM, some expect an electric crossover from Nissan, and some expect it to be Volkswagen’s ID.4, an electric crossover that is supposed to hit the market in a couple of years.

Despite all of those big questions, one thing is certain: Tesla dominates the US electric vehicle space and will do so for the foreseeable future. The parents of one of my daughter’s classmate just bought a Tesla Model X, which will make it the 5th or 6th Model X I see picking up kids at our elementary school, the 9th or 10th Tesla, and the 11th or 12th EV. Leaving a Starbucks today, an older gentleman was asking me about our Tesla Model 3,  seemingly considering quite seriously whether to trade in his BMW for one. I often see 10–20 EVs on a short drive, almost all of them Teslas. As more and more normal people take notice and ask owners questions, the Tesla market grows. The market for the much less abundant and noticeable EV competition? Not so much.

The most exciting thing about the Tesla Model 3 is just that it sells. If there was another electric car that sold half as well as the Model 3, we’d be writing about it every day.

If you’d like to buy a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X and want 1,000 miles of free Supercharging, feel free to use my referral code: https://ts.la/zachary63404 — or use someone else’s if you have a friend or family member with a Tesla. I won’t cry. 


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. 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, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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