Tesla Model 3 — 5× More US Sales Than Chevy Bolt In Q1, 433× More Than BMW i3

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Unfortunately, we have discontinued monthly or even quarterly reports on the overall US electric vehicle market. Too many companies do not publish model sales data these days, not even on a quarterly timeframe.

Even if we don’t consider the many plug-in hybrids whose sales data we don’t get, we’re also missing data for the Jaguar I-Pace, Hyundai Kona EV, Hyundai Ioniq EV, Kia Niro EV, Kia Soul EV, Honda Clarity EV, Fiat 500e, and Porsche Taycan. Regarding Tesla, which by itself has historically landed the majority of US electric vehicle sales, we only get global figures from the company. We have a thorough system for estimating US sales that we feel confident in, but these figures are not perfect/official.

Despite not being able to publish an overall EV market report for the US, we can at least compare our highly educated Tesla Model 3 sales estimate with sales of some of the other “top” models.

Based on CleanTechnica’s sophisticated number crunching, in the first quarter of 2020, the Tesla Model 3 had …

  • 5× more sales than the Chevy Bolt.
  • 14× more sales than the Nissan LEAF.
  • 16× more sales than the Audi e-tron.
  • 77× more sales than the Volkswagen e-Golf.
  • 433× more sales than the BMW i3.

The Chevy Bolt, Audi e-tron, and BMW i3 are each in a different class from the Tesla Model 3, but they have been considered potential “Tesla killers” or at least some of Tesla’s top competitors by certain members of the automotive media and industry at various points in time. Clearly, though, they are not appealing to American car buyers to nearly the same level as the Tesla Model 3 (or presumably Model Y).

Among millions of EV enthusiasts, there is probably nothing we want more in the industry than some more electric vehicle models that are close to the level of a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y in terms of their overall package for the cost, and the resulting consumer demand. (Of course, all of that also assume the automakers have appropriate production capacity in place.) Tesla cannot transition the automotive market to electricity by itself. We need other big players — what are currently much bigger players in terms of annual sales volume — to be electrifying consumers quickly as well.


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Zachary Shahan

Zach 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], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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