2018 March US Plug-In EV Sales Charted: Market Up 42%

Red Tesla Model 3 driving

APR 6 2018 BY MARK KANE 14

We’re accustomed to seeing a new record for plug-in electric car sales in December, but it turns out that March is a record-setting-capable month, too.

InsideEVs estimates that in total some 26,373 plug-in were sold last month (42% more than one year ago).

The market share improved to 1.6% (second highest result ever).

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – March 2018

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – March 2018

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – March 2018

Cumulative sales now exceed 820,000 units. The race to the 1 million by the end of this year continues.

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – March 2018

Tesla Model 3, with an estimated 3,820 sales, was the best selling plug-in for the month and for the quarter.

Tesla already put three cars in the top 4 with the Model S and Model X in 3rd and 4th, respectively.

Tesla Model 3 sales in U.S. (estimated) – March 2018

Toyota Prius Prime noted a new high of 2,922 sales in March, which was 35.5% of all Prius sales that month, and remains second YTD.

Toyota Prius Prime sales in U.S. – March 2018

Chevrolet Bolt EV moves up, but its 1,774 sold in March was only enough for 6th place for the month and 5th YTD.

Next month, maybe we will see the Nissan LEAF above the Bolt EV – in March, Nissan delivered 1,500 LEAFs.

Chevrolet Bolt EV sales in U.S. – March 2018

BMW (incl. MINI) achieved a record 12.1% share of plug-in electric car sales last month by delivering 2,662 (7 models).

BMW plug-in electric sales in U.S. – March 2018

Categories: BMW, Chevrolet, Nissan, Sales, Tesla, Toyota

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14 Comments on "2018 March US Plug-In EV Sales Charted: Market Up 42%"

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Thank you for including the cumulative sales chart!

No problem!

With Tesla finally ramping up Model 3 production we are probably going to see a new record almost every month this year.

For the most part, but April may end up a tad short of March. Since historically April has been the 3rd worst month of the year.

Even if Tesla does 10,000 Model 3s in April and other manufacturers grow sales by 20%. IT would still not beat March.

That said, I’m hopeful that we will.

Plus tesla may start diverting more sales overseas than usual for the x and s to get one more quarter out of the tax credit.

The Model 3 also gets one more quarter of incentives by delaying 200k th Tesla delivery to July 1.

Considering how much April S and X sales dropped last year, and the quarterly drops we have seen with Tesla over the years, they wouldn’t have to change their past delivery emphasis that much to make 200k happen in Q3. An increased emphasis on Europe for the S and X in May and June, possibly starting European sales of the 3 a couple months early and sending a few more 3’s to Canada.
Wham! You have 199,800 delivered at the end of Q2 and the profits are still coming in, albeit delayed a bit w/regards to the cars going to Europe.
3 extra months of unlimited Federal Tax Credits helps Tesla in a huge way.

I do not believe we will see monthly sales below 20k again. Model 3 alone will hit 7-10k in April….and I expect Leaf sales to be above 2k (maybe even 3k) starting in April as they finally get distribution going….

Also – the Bolt will need a major price cut very soon…

The real world price of the Bolt has gone up $3,000 in the past couple months. Truecars isn’t perfect, but it is pretty close to what you can get if you bargain reasonably hard. The $37,500 MSRP was actually going for $32,600 most weeks. This past month though, the best I have seen is $35,500.
Chevy dealers aren’t making the same deals they used to and North American inventory is way down. 5600 down to 2850. The Bolt doesn’t need a new lower price until GM decides to actually build enough to satisfy demand. There is a bit of a Bolt shortage and the dealers are responding to that shortage by reducing the amount they are willing to drop the real world price of the Bolt.

Several dealers near me have leftover 2017s and still aren’t discounting them much.

I have looked near me in Virginia and in southern California, so I am checking prices in states that are in the top 10 for BEV adoption. But both Virginia and California have seen the Truecar estimated price go from $32.5k up to around $35k plus or minus $500. So I am seeing the same thing that you are seeing.

So GM and the Chevy dealers aren’t discounting nearly as much as they used to. And inventory is still down to around 2850 from mid-5,000’s last year.

A few factors involved in low inventory.
1. GM has to be shipping more to Korea. They announced allotment would be 5000 in 2018.
2. Their new LG parts/battery plant should be up and running by fall for the 2019 model.
3. Turns out that’s about time they’ll pop over the 200,000 mark.

So my guess is they are doing a slight bit of redirect to keep the powder dry so that they can hit it hard on the lower cost battery packs, motors, etc that will come out of Michigan. I wonder what the typical late summer retool will look like.

GMAuthority had a piece that speculated that the 2019MY Bolt would get a boost in the AER, but it is nothing definitive. But no news I have seen shows any increase in charge rate, so far.
Interesting bit about the Korean shipments and the new LG parts/battery plant being up in the fall. I hadn’t heard about that.
I keep hoping that GM will do a reveal of the Buick Cute Ute sooner rather than later, it would be great to have it released while the credit is at least $3750. Probably too late for it to hit the dealerships before the credit gets cut in half.