U.S. EV Sales Surge In August To Nearly 15,000, Now Past 500,000 All-Time

9 months ago by Mark Kane 31

U.S. Plug-in car sales – August 2016

U.S. Plug-in car sales – August 2016

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Plug-in enthusiasts in U.S. have a very good reason to celebrate, as recent monthly results for EVs since June have brought big gains.

August was the 2nd best month ever in terms of the volume of plug-ins sold (14,882), and the overall EV market share (0.98%), as well as the best ever result in terms of growth year-over-year (+66%). See August’s full report here.

So with the recent upward trend, and August being so good, there shouldn’t be any problem to set new sales record in the next several months as well, right?  Maybe even exceed 20,000 sold in December?  We think there is a real good shot – perhaps depending on how quick high volume newcomers (like the Chevy Bolt EV, Toyota Prius Prime/PHV) arrive.

U.S. Plug-in car sales – August 2016

U.S. Plug-in car sales – August 2016

According to EDTA (Electric Drive Transportation Association) data on the vehicle type splits (BEV vs PHEV), both types of plug-ins note healthy growth this year over 2015:

U.S. Plug-in car sales – August 2016

U.S. Plug-in car sales – August 2016

As of the end of August sales in the US 2016 have exceeded 93,000. Meaning that the all-time sales of plug-ins has now crossed the half million mark (504,009).

Editor’s Note:  Because we had to “pick a spot” to start the count,  InsideEVs official historical tally begins from what most consider to be the start of the “2nd generation” of mass EV production/adoption in the US, which kicked off in December of 2010 with the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF.

So our official tally of 499,618 sales does not include the earlier Tesla Roadster sales and other fringe/obscure offerings that don’t find inside the mold of “traditional EV sales since December of 2010”, which account for an additional ~4,391 sales since the start of this millennium.

U.S. Plug-in car sales – August 2016

U.S. Plug-in car sales – August 2016

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31 responses to "U.S. EV Sales Surge In August To Nearly 15,000, Now Past 500,000 All-Time"

  1. Someone out there says:

    Very nice! With the Bolt, the next gen Nissan LEAF and the model 3 things will really take off in the coming years. I’m sure it won’t be long until one million and then the second million will be really quick.

    1. Rich says:

      Good point. We are looking at the slow ramp part of the S curve. Over the next 4 years, we should see aggressive growth with 200 mile range BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) coming to market.

      1. KenZ says:

        I really hope you’re right. I thought we’d be way further along in market penetration than we are now. I kinda feel like every time something better comes along in the EV market, the market doesn’t expand as much as we all predict (or wish), and then the excuses come out. I do agree that the Bolt completely changes the game, and we’ll see what Nissan brings to the table. Hopefully we’ll be singing a different tune a year from now. Just worried because hope is not a strategy!

        1. Robert Middleswarth says:

          I thought we’d be way further along in market penetration than we are now. I kinda feel like every time something better comes along in the EV market, the market doesn’t expand as much as we all predict (or wish), and then the excuses come out. — KenZ

          I expect the Bolt will bring the numbers up some but not allot. Chevy is expecting only around 25k or ~2,000 a month I think that number is low but I don’t expect it to be above 50k or ~5,000 a month. Granted that would move this months number from 15k to 20k but that still will leave EV right around 1% of the US market.

          1. SJC says:

            Chevrolet Volt…
            When you include PHEVs the numbers look better. A PHEV is NOT an EV.

            1. Mikael says:

              I would like to see you try to spell to PHEV without EV.

              It’s also kind of funny how you just disregard a number of cars that have been driven 100% electric for their whole lifetime so far.

              1. SJC says:

                Plug HYBRID Electric Vehicle is not an Electric Vehicle.

                1. Mikael says:

                  “… Electric Vehicle is not an Electric Vehicle.”

                  Okey, I get it now. 🙂

                2. Ziv says:

                  My Volt disagrees with you 97% of the time. 39 months and less than 34 gallons of gasoline with no range limitations or Plugshare worries.
                  I had to put 4 gallons of gasoline in last week because my gas was getting too old. Winter and sub-15 degree weather will put paid to that soon, though.
                  Any car with a plug is good in my book, though I wish the Ford Energis had more than 30 miles of AER rather than 21.

                  1. Michael Will says:

                    The volt is about the only exception here though, Prius plugin and most others don’t give you an acceptable electric range or kick in the engine at freeway speeds.

        2. suresh says:

          its the gas prices. we have decent growth in US and the gas prices are still very low. i frankly don’t see it making economical sense in majority of US states. if bolt’s fleet intake for car sharing works out and tesla’s fanboyism (includes me) works outs i will be happy to be proven wrong.

  2. Ziv says:

    Given the way Tesla sales peak every third month, September is shaping to be a phenomenal month. I think it will be the first time electric car sales make up more than 1% of the total sales in the US. 20,000 would be a phenomenal number, if it happens.

    The other factor is how Ford and BMW sales have really been rising this year. There are a lot more bit players, but Tesla, GM, Nissan, Ford and BMW are really the big dogs pulling the sales sled. Here is hoping that Ford will turn those PHEV-21’s into PHEV-30’somethings!

    1. Dave A says:

      PHEV-30 might be more appealing if you’re set on a Ford and nothing else, but after 3 years in the PHEV-21 Ford CMAX and switching to the new PHEV-53 2017 Volt (real world PHEV-60 for me) Ford’s going to have to come up with something at least that large, or a BEV-250+ to lure me back.

      1. Ziv says:

        I hear you Dave. I own a 2013 Volt and every time I look at the 53 mile spec for the Gen II I get a little jealous. But I look at every car as appealing to a certain portion of the car buying public. The Volt is a compact hatch and is going to appeal to a certain relatively small amount of drivers.
        The Ford Fusion Energi and the Ford C-Max Energi appeal to other drivers and the Fusion Energi appeal to a larger section of either of the other two. Getting the FFEn up to 30-35 miles of AER would make it a very attractive PHEV. It wouldn’t be as good as the Volt in electric car terms but it would be a great mid-sized car for a LOT of people.
        From tiny acorns mighty oaks grow.

        1. Keith Moon says:

          I have a 2015 Volt and I just did 66.7 miles on battery last Friday (my record is 67.7). The 2015 is a first gen, but with a 17.1kWh battery.

          There is more to the value of a car than just its battery rsnge though and the first gen has a direct drive rather than a chain drive. That one difference means you’ll get 100,000 miles more out of the vehicle without a major repair. Sparky has over 300,000 miles on his 2012 Volt with no major repairs.

    2. ffbj says:

      Fun, creative, analogy.

  3. Dave says:

    very nice. 1% of the sales market goes to plug-in cars.

    you’re still including hybrids. when 1% of the market goes to actual BEVS that will be an amazing milestone.

  4. Mister G says:

    PITIFUL PITIFUL PITIFUL nothing to get excited about .98%

    1. Justin Benson says:

      I wonder if your great grandfather lamented the time when 99 horses were still being sold for every 1 car.

      1. Mister G says:

        I hear you it’s just that my patience is running thin on the transition to BEV.

    2. ffbj says:

      Great oaks from little acorns grow.

      1. Ziv says:

        Dang, ffbj, I just saw your oak quote after I used a similar one above. I think the true sign of genius is how frequently someone agrees with me…
        LOL!

        1. ffbj says:

          That’s funny.

  5. Tom says:

    From Aug 2013 to Aug 2016, the monthly sales rate looks pretty flat. However, I do think the monthly sales rate will take a significant jump upwards once all of the new models are available. Hopefully 20K per month will be the new norm.

    1. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

      One year from now we could be aiming for 50000 sales a month. Two years from now, we could be at 100000 sales a month.

      1. Tom says:

        Yes, I should say 2017 should see 20K per month as the new norm, hopefully followed quickly (2018) by an extra 30-40K per month just from the Model 3 alone. 100,000 K per month is certainly doable in 2019 if the other EVs come out with compelling offerings.

        1. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

          Yes, I’m counting on the Model 3 for my guesses, but also that GM will see that in 2017 demand for the Bolt will be much more than the 30/50.000 figure and decide to go at least a 100.000 sales for 2018 (IF the obsolete way of thinking of their dealer ship network doesn’t screw up it all). I’m counting in the NextLeaf with 60 kWh, then with new VW cars, maybe Ford, BMW and Audi for 2019, or even 2018. I feel that, right now, if it was enough choice of compelling electric cars at 30.000 dollars and more than 200 miles EPA range, something like 25% of US consumers would consider to buy one of them in the next three years.

          1. Tom says:

            Might break into the two digit percentage stratosphere of 10% of all new car sales level in 5 yrs, which would be amazing.

          2. John M says:

            And if Ford really makes an F150 with a plug, that number could be even a bit higher.

  6. TNT says:

    How will a Trump presidency impact future sales? With Trump now leading over at 538, we need to consider how no incentives and massive incentives and no regulations for the fossil fuel industry will impact EV’s future. I think it will push it back a decade or so.

    1. Michael Will says:

      Sniff sniff.