Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Transport

Total Plug-In Vehicle Sales In United States Reach 1.6 Million Units

In August 2020, according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, cumulative plug-in vehicle sales in the United States reached 1.6 million units.

In August 2020, according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, cumulative plug-in vehicle sales in the United States reached 1.6 million units.

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates, August 2020. Fact #1153 Dataset

Fully electric vehicle (BEV) sales are clearly in the lead among plug-in vehicles, accounting for approximately 1 million of these sales. Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) sales account for the other 600,000 or so. “Since June of 2015, BEV sales have outpaced PHEV sales, and for the last year, BEVs accounted for 60% or more of all plug-in vehicle sales,” the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy stated.

In the early years, the top two plug-in vehicles in the country (in terms of sales) were the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt (2012–2014). Then the Tesla Model S took the leading position (2015), while the LEAF and Volt continued to do relatively well. A few early plug-in hybrids also saw decent sales: the Ford Fusion Energi, Ford C-Max Energi, and Toyota Prius PHEV (the updated version is the Prius Prime, which is still on the market and has moderate sales). The BMW i3 performed fairly well for years as well.

The Tesla Model S continued to lead in 2016, but the Tesla Model X started to rise up close behind it and the Chevy Bolt arrived at the end of the year. In 2017, the Model S and Model X led the market, but the Bolt was right behind.

The market really took off, though, when Tesla Model 3 production ramped up in 2018, becoming the first truly mass market electric car and even crushing the competition in its segment of the market. The Model 3 has completely dominated US plug-in vehicle sales since then. Well, that is, until now. The Tesla Model Y has now taken a chunk out of the 3’s monthly sales (i.e., deliveries) and may even be outselling it. Unfortunately, we don’t have insight into that level of sales detail, especially since Tesla combines Model 3 and Model Y deliveries in its sales reports.

When Tesla completes Giga Texas, the numbers could spike again, as Tesla will be able to produce the Model 3 and Model Y in Texas for the eastern half of the US while producing those popular models in California for the western half. Giga Berlin will also help increase supply by producing for the European market. Additionally — perhaps a big additionally — Tesla will be able to produce the Cybertruck in Giga Texas, a model that’s radically different and appears to have so much “cult appeal” that it could be a large additive vehicle for Tesla demand. In fact, there are strong arguments for how the Cybertruck could mark a major transformation in the auto industry as a whole. We’ll see.

The past decade of EV sales trends has been interesting and exciting, but the next decade is going to be something else.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: Cruise Talks Autonomous Driving Tech, Regulations, & Auto Design

New Podcast: Battery Mineral Mining Policies & Regional Trends

Written By

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], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like


In a red hot market in which fully electric vehicles (BEVs) jumped 183% year over year (YoY) and plugin hybrids (PHEVs) shot up 6-fold...

Autonomous Vehicles

Ford recently announced an upgrade to its Co-Pilot360 software. Called BlueCruise, the system will allow for hands-free driving on most interstate highways. While Ford...


I recently sat down with Viktor Irle and Jose Pontes of EV Volumes to talk about Volkswagen Power Day, EV batteries, EV charging in...

Clean Transport

Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists. By Jonna Hamilton President Biden recently unveiled his American Jobs Plan — a two trillion-dollar package with significant investments...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.