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

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

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.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

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.

Zachary Shahan has 7136 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan