April 2018 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

MAY 8 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 184

This April gives ultimate confidence that 2018 plug-in sales are on the rise toward a massive year.

April marks the 31st month of consecutive year-over-year monthly sales gains* for plug-in vehicles, with an estimated total of 19,681 sold. This makes it the fifth best month of all time for the EV segment.

January 2018 EV sales had us a little worried. The rise was not as expected, but it turns out it was not indicative of what was ahead. February came and we had to wait forever to get the final numbers, but, in the end, it was worth the wait. The month exceeded our forecast significantly. Then, March blew the roof off for plug-in sales. It ended up being the best month of all time for the segment and the strongest quarter to date.

Last Month’s Results – March 2018 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card

It seems like just yesterday we were reporting March EV sales. April came and went with a vengeance, so here we are again. We considered only running sales articles on a quarterly basis now that GM has decided to change its reporting schedule (and Tesla has been following this method all along). But, as the segment grows, there is an increasing number of other major players.

In the event that other automakers change to quarterly reporting, we may have to reconsider. For now, you can still count on your monthly dose of InsideEVs sales reporting, although, as stated above, we may adjust the format as time goes on.

For April, we estimated at least 18,500 plug-in cars sold. However, the odds were in our favor, and sales approached the 20,000-mark.

Top Months for U.S. EV Sales to Date (estimated):

  1. March 2018 – 26,373
  2. December 2017 – 26,107
  3. December 2016 – 24,785
  4. September 2017 – 21,242
  5. April 2018 – 19,681

Follow Here: Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard

Let’s take a look how the month played out.

Nissan finally began to move a notable number of copies of its all-new 2018 LEAF in February, at 895. However, we were confident that March would be the turning point … and it was (Nissan moved an impressive 1,500). We anticipate that number to continue into the second quarter, with the potential to soar. The automaker delivered 1,171 LEAFs in the U.S. for the month of April.

While the Tesla Model 3 continues to suffer production issues, March was an incredible month for Tesla’s hugely popular new small sedan. In fact, in regards to EVs, it was the best month of all time for any automaker in the U.S. This was true not only for the Model 3, but also for Tesla as a whole.

Tesla sold 3,820 Model 3s in March, for a total of over 8,000 in Q1. To top it off, the Silicon Valley automaker delivered an estimated 10,000 vehicles in March in the U.S. alone, over 6,000 of which were the company’s Model S and Model X. To top it off, Tesla took the lead for global EV sales for March and the quarter.

For April, we estimate Model 3 sales at 3,875. This is essentially flat from the previous month, but there was one less working day, potentially four less selling days (although Tesla doesn’t play by the same rules as legacy automakers), production output was about the same, and Model 3 production saw a brief shutdown. Based on our estimations, Model S and X sales are up a touch from last year, though pretty consistent, at 1,250 and 1,025, respectively.

GM boldly decided at the end of the first quarter that it will switch away from monthly sales reporting. Instead, the automaker will follow Tesla’s lead and only release numbers at the close of each quarter. So, it will be July before we have a solid handle on Chevrolet Bolt and Chevrolet Volt deliveries. Between now and then, we’ll make an attempt to estimate sales to keep our chart complete. Keep in mind, when GM shares quarterly sales in July, we’ll watch and update our official numbers.

With that being said, we see Bolt deliveries at 1,275 for last month, as well as a welcome surprise from the Volt, as sales are at an estimated 1,325. These numbers put the Bolt right on target with expectations, at an almost flat number compared to last April. As we anticipated, Volt deliveries are down year-over-year, however, GM has upped production and inventory of its aging plug-in while beginning to reduce Bolt allocations. In late March, the automaker also resumed Bolt deliveries in South Korea, ahead of schedule.

The Toyota Prius PrimeHonda Clarity PHEV, and BMW i3 are also worthy of mention. Of course, the Prime has maintained second place on our sales chart by a pretty wide margin thus far this year. The Clarity PHEV secured an almost miraculous December, which was its first full month of sales. It succeeded again in February, edging it closer to the top competitors in the segment, but March is when it really started to shine, with over 1,000 deliveries. Though i3 sales were weak throughout 2017 and opened this year the same, March saw a surge.

Prime sales are in and show continued success, claiming the second spot once again on our chart thus far, only exceeded by the Tesla Model 3. Toyota sold 2,626 copies last month. Honda did a solid job keeping inventory up for the newly popular Clarity PHEV, with 1,049 sold in April. BMW i3 sales are just about flat from last April, at 503.

While 2017 plug-in sales fell just shy of the 200,000 mark, it was still an extremely impressive year as a whole. Hitting that mark for 2018 should happen well before the end of the year. However, there are several variables involved in determining where we might be by the end of this year. Will we see 300,000?

Check Out: Contributor Josh Bryant’s 2018 yearly sales predictions here

The year ahead holds amazing promise for the segment, however, every time we enter a new quarter, there are many questions and it’s hard to know exactly how everything will pan out.

Questions entering April:

  1. Will 2018 Nissan LEAF sales continue to rise, or was March an exception?
  2. With no sales data from GM until July, will Chevrolet Bolt and Volt inventory be proof enough of sales ups or downs? (We’ve dug deep and consulted help. That said, estimated Bolt sales are flat at 1,275, and although estimated Volt sales are still down, 1,325 is super promising)
  3. Will the Tesla Model 3 remain far above all others, despite continued production problems and the recent shutdown? (There’s no question here. Yes!!! Estimates show 3,875 deliveries)
  4. How much will Tesla Model S and Model X sales be impacted by the continued rise in Model 3 deliveries? (Not so much. We’re nearly flat with previous year estimates and actually up some. Model S – 1,250 and Model X – 1,025)
  5. The Toyota Prius Prime rocked the end of Q1. Will April sales continue a trend toward to top? (Of course! Toyota sold 2,626 Prime plug-ins for April)
  6. Honda Clarity PHEV deliveries closed out the 1st quarter impressively. Can they rise even further? (Clarity PHEV sales were flat in April, at 1,049)
  7. The BMW i3 finally made a more healthy showing in March. Was it simply an end-of-quarter surge or do we have another true sales rival with the potential to move in in the top ten? (One and done for the i3. This month is back to the norm at 503 copies moved)

Also of note: Toyota sold 76 Mirais last month. Honda sold 156 Clarity Fuel Cells. Additionally, 15 Hyundai Tucson FCEVs were moved in April.

Last update: May 8, 2018

***InsideEVs good friend and contributor Wade Malone provided assistance with sales estimations and related analysis.

*Regarding “year of monthly sales” improvements: We know someone is going to look at the chart and say, “hey, only ~11,467 sales were made in May of 2016, when 11,540 were logged in 2015!  What gives InsideEVs?”  What gives is – through an odd scheduling quirk, only 24 selling days were reported in May 2016 (versus 26 in 2015)

Below Chart: An individual run-down of each vehicle’s monthly result and some analysis behind the numbers. (Previous year’s monthly results can be found on our fixed Scorecard page here)

2018 U.S. EV SALESJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDECTOTAL
Tesla Model 31875248538203875625018,305
Toyota Prius Prime 1496205029222626292412,018
Tesla Model S80011253375125015208,070
Tesla Model X7009752825102514506,975
Chevrolet Bolt EV117714241774127511256,775
Chevrolet Volt*7139831782132516756,478
Nissan LEAF  1508951500117115765,292
Honda Clarity PHEV5948811061104916395,224
Ford Fusion Energi6407947827427403,698
BMW i3 (BEV + REx)  3826239925034242,924
BMW 530e2244136895187292,573
BMWX5 xDrive 40e2615966275634992,546
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid**3754504804256502,380
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV3003233732732971,566
Fiat 500e**  2102352852152501,195
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron1451992141892671,014
Kia Niro PHEV155246227120218966
Hyundai IONIQ PHEV22178218180217815
Volvo XC60 PHEV109155167141214786
BMW 330e101142202166150761
Porsche Cayenne S-E11312119726559755
Volkswagen e-Golf  17819816412876744
Mercedes C350e29172208158166733
Kia Soul EV  115163157152133720
Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid1249336275663
Kia Optima PHEV8610315614298585
Mini Countryman SE PHEV12710074106163570
Ford C-Max Energi2341421055718556
Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV991069390126514
Mercedes GLE 550e44701819383471
smart ED  849010380110467
Ford Focus Electric  70731378388451
Honda Clarity BEV  203104485237444
Hyundai Sonata PHEV5254783867289
BMW i83239475764239
Mercedes GLC 350e5575964185
Volvo S90 T8 PHEV2729522930167
Hyundai IONIQ EV  49360732151
BMW 740e1823316017149
Mercedes B250e  40493373132
Cadillac CT6 PHEV624174230119
Mercedes S550e133119743
2018 U.S. Sales Totals12,04916,84526,37319,68124,56099,508
2017 U.S. Sales Totals11,00412,37518,54213,36716,59617,04615,54016,51421,24214,31517,17826,107199,826
2018 Worldwide Sales*82,00081,000141,000128,450432,450

Above – 2018 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Monthly or Quarterly Totals, ** Estimated (Based on State/Rebate Data and other reports), Credit to HybridCars.com for assistance on Hyundai/Kia and some BMW data. BEV models are designated with the  icon.


Individual Plug-In Model Sales Recap For Major Models:

(Limited to vehicles with ~500 sales/or potential for 500 sales in a given month)

Nest Generation, 2016 Chevrolet Volt

2017 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt:  

The Chevrolet Volt entering January found itself continuing an unfortunate streak of nine consecutive months of year-over-year losses. 2017 fourth-quarter sales alone were down some 3,000 units from the previous year.

January sales made it ten months of losses in a row, as 713 were sold, some 55.7% lower than a year ago (1,611). For February, the Volt continued its downturn with a total of 983 sold, which was 46% lower than last year’s impressive 1,820. However, it’s up significantly from this January’s numbers.

It has become more than obvious that the Volt’s stablemate, the Chevy Bolt EV, is stealing the Volt’s thunder. For as many months as the Volt has been down and dropping, the Bolt has been up and gaining. Keep in mind, this is definitely not a bad thing, it’s just different … and, in all honesty … better. It means less gas burned!

GM sold a total of 1,782 Volts for the month of March, which was one of its more impressive showings as of late, but still down 16.4% from last year’s 2,132. However, this is a huge and welcome sales surge for the Volt.

As we previously explained, GM has decided to stop providing monthly sales figures. Sadly, we won’t have a firm grasp on Volt sales now until July. With that being said, we are estimating April 2018 deliveries at 1,325, which is higher than may be expected. Keep in mind, however, that Volt production and inventory are on the rise.

 

 

Chevrolet Bolt EV sales

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV: 

The Chevrolet Bolt EV made its debut in December of 2016, as a 2017 model. However, it wasn’t technically available nationwide until August of 2017, but only a handful of copies landed in those 30-odd new states during that month.

That began to change in September. More evenly spread inventory led to rapid Bolt EV sales growth, notching 2,632 sales during that month.

October brought 2,781 deliveries, but November took that number even higher, as 2,987 sales were made. For December, GM eclipsed the 3K threshold by moving 3,227 Chevrolet Bolts, finishing 2017 with a 10-month streak of sales gains.

Unfortunately, in January only 1,177 Bolts were delivered, which a mere 1.3% gain over last January’s 1,162. For February, GM delivered 1,424 Bolt EVs, up 49.6% from last February’s 952 sold. Bringing Q1 to a close, GM sold 1,774 Bolt EVs in March, up 81.4% from last year’s 978.

Estimating Bolt EV sales for the month of April brings us back to some normalcy, and right on target with last year’s figures (1,292). We are putting GM’s BEV delivery number at 1,275 for April 2018.

 

 

 

Nissan LEAF sales

2018 Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF:

The Nissan LEAF entered February as the oldest offering on the U.S. market – going on 88 months now.

As you all know by now, it has been replaced by the updated 2018 Nissan LEAF, which debuted in September (full details here).

Is the new LEAF better?

Yes, in every way, including ~43 more miles range (up to 150 miles from 107) for $700 less. Not enough?  A ~225 mile, higher performance trim level arrives later in 2018 (as a 2019 MY car).

Sadly, Nissan USA proved not as capable as Nissan Japan, which managed to launch the new LEAF as planned in October (to some very impressive results), while the U.S. (and Europe) had to wait until January. This wouldn’t be a problem if the wind-down of the first-gen 2017 model wasn’t pre-planned to be defunct by October.

The resulting gap between the ‘new’ and ‘old’ left Nissan with almost no remaining inventory, which caused sales in October to drop to just 213 deliveries, ending an impressive eight-month run of four-digit results. In November, that number dropped further, to 175 sales. December, the best-selling month for EVs, saw only 102 LEAFs delivered. We’re pretty sure Nissan is wishing it had done things differently, as the LEAF closed out 2017 down some 20% overall.

Fast forward to today, when the LEAF was supposed to have been rolling off of lots two months ago, and that’s not quite how it worked out. Cars didn’t begin arriving until January in small numbers and they were pegged for reservation holders. Nissan told us it would be mid-February before another shipment of LEAFs became available at dealers for new buyers, which we figured would result in a sales bump, albeit small.

In January, Nissan delivered 150 LEAFs, down 80.6% from last January’s 772. For February, sales increased to 895, which was hugely promising, only down ~14% from last year’s numbers. As a point of reference, last February, Nissan delivered over 1,000 LEAFs.

For March, Nissan delivered 1,500 LEAFs, which is on par with numbers from March of 2017 (1,478). However, it’s a leap from February’s 895.

Sadly, LEAF sales don’t grow as we hoped for April. It’s not bad, however. Nissan moved 1,171 copies this April. Let’s hope that accelerates as the year moves on.

 

 

 

Toyota Prius Prime sales

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime: 

After 18 months of waiting for the first-generation Prius plug-in to be replaced, the Toyota Prius Prime (details) arrived on U.S. dealers lots over a year ago, and sales have been brisk ever since.

After setting a new high of 1,908 in May, it was expected that with deeper inventory the Prime would be headed much higher.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and a ‘doubling’ of stock (to around 2,000 units), only resulted in 1,899 sales in September. An additional 50% gain in inventory for October (up to ~3,000) actually resulted in a lower number – 1,626 sales.

For November, inventory levels stayed fairly strong, averaging slightly more than October, which translated into better sales, but still a relatively disappointing 1,834 deliveries, given the higher expectations for the year’s end.

For December, the Prime saw a record sales month, with 2,420 sold. This put the 2017 total at 20,936, landing Toyota’s plug-in the fourth place spot overall for the year as a whole.

Toyota delivered 1,496 Primes for the month of January, up 5.1% from last January’s figures. February Toyota Prius Prime numbers were super-impressive, with 2,050 sold. This is up a whopping 50.5% from last year’s monthly figures!

Toyota sold 2,922 Prime plug-ins this March, up again from last year’s numbers by an impressive 74.1%.It’s also up significantly from last month’s figures, and we’re pretty confident that the Prime will continue to rein No. 2 to the Tesla Model 3.

Yes yes yes, Toyota’s popular plug-in continues to hold the number two spot with 2,626 delivered in April.


The Toyota Prius Prime not only features its own unique look, but also 25 miles of all-electric range.

How has the Toyota found a selling range of ~2,000 units a month? The plug-in Toyota is priced right – from $27,950, which after the $4,500 federal credit gives the Prime a selling price of $23,450. This price-point comes in at over $1,000 cheaper than the base hybrid Prius, which should translate into long-term sales success if the EV can remain well stocked.

 

 

 

BMW i3 sales

BMW i3

BMW i3: 

The BMW i3 entered the U.S. market with a bang in 2014, but it’s too bad that the initial fireworks display of sales back then was the peak – we just didn’t know it at the time.

For 2017, BMW i3 sales were a mixed bag.

Sales got off to a rough start, with just 182 moved in January, and 318 in February. The tune changed drastically in March (which given the i3’s track record is not all that surprising) with 703 sales made, a 118% gain over March of 2016. However, for several months after March, sales hovered around 500-600 units, until October when almost 700 were yet again moved.

For November…trashbags, as the company recalled all of its i3 vehicles due to a safety issue (for people who chose to NOT wear their seat belts if you can believe that) and put a ‘stop sale’ on the model for a time.  Just 283 i3 vehicles were sold during a month that is historically one of the best in terms of EV sales.

Quite frankly (and notwithstanding this recall), the i3 as it stands today is likely too expensive for plug-in vehicle buyers. So, if BMW wants to sell the EV in volumes like it did in the past, it’s going to have to sharpen its pencil considerably.

In late August, BMW proved it still really didn’t understand the issue behind lackluster sales or the i3 itself, by releasing a new, slightly sportier trim level – the i3s (full details here). The car gets some new styling details, some wider tires and some extra performance (+10 kW), but what the public really wants is a longer range option and a price cut (the new i3s is ~10% more expensive in most markets).

Now, 2018 models are being delivered, and it was also reported that a larger battery (long-range) model is set to arrive in late 2018.

December i3 sales accelerated from November’s totals considerably. The German luxury automaker delivered more than double the previous month’s total, at 672 to close out 2017 with 6,726 sold.

For January, BMW delivered 382 i3s. This is exactly the same number as last January. February brought a 96% bump in i3 sales from the same month last year, with 623 sold.

It looks like the i3 is going to start gaining interest once again. We’ve now seen two consecutive months of excellent sales growth. BMW sold an impressive 992 copies in March, which is the best showing for the car since August of 2016. This is up 41.1% from last year’s 703, and a big bump from last month’s 623.

It looks like March was a one and done success story for the i3. April sees 503 copies moved.

 

 

 

Tesla Model S sales

2014 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S: 

Tesla doesn’t give out exact monthly sales (apparently because the public can’t handle the concept of regional allocations and delivery lead times). For this reason, we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until Tesla’s quarterly (or annual) updates add more clarity. However, we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening.

To come to an estimated monthly number, we don’t simply take the quarterly estimate given by Tesla and divide it by 3 and hope it all works out. This is surely not how it works in the real world. We simply report from the data we accumulate ourselves, including first-hand accounts available from the factory and from the community itself, and the number is what it is (see below).

Revisions/disclaimer to the accuracy of prior estimates: The 2016 Model S chart has been adjusted (via U.S. Q3 data leaked directly from Tesla) by 469 units in Q3, and 525 units in Q4. The 2015 chart was adjusted (one time) by 498 units to compensate for confirmed full-year numbers. The 2014 sales chart was adjusted (one time – again after the end of the full year of estimates) 611 units to compensate for full-year numbers. While past success is no guarantee of future results, InsideEVs is quite proud of its sales tracking for the Model S over the years.

That being said, we only estimate this number because Tesla does not report it, and to not put a number on Model S sales would be to paint an even more inaccurate overall picture of EV sales. Despite our fairly accurate track record, we’re not analysts or portfolio managers and we don’t own any positions in TSLA the company.


While Tesla continues to conform to a familiar quarterly pattern of prioritizing international production early in the quarter before transitioning to domestic output, there has been somewhat of a change/reshuffling of priorities we have seen this time around.

The name of that priority is Model 3.

As we mentioned in 2017, it appeared Tesla knew fairly early that volume production would not be close to guidance by the end of Q3, and quickly refocused in an attempt to make that a reality by the end of Q4 (investors need to be kept happy we suppose).

The end result is that production energies and skilled labor normally assigned to Tesla’s original EVs are being diverted from the Model S and X to getting the Model 3 back on course. Tesla seems to be more focused on net sales than setting a specific S and X target, but international deliveries also play a role. All-in-all, we may see Model S and X sales flat or even lower over the course of 2018.

Additionally, the automaker just pushed back Model S and X delivery timelines by several months. It was said that this is due to a spike in orders for the vehicles, likely due to the attention Tesla is getting from the Model 3, and also because many people are having to wait so long for their Model 3 that they’ve opted for an S or X instead.

With all of this considered, it’s becoming increasingly clear Tesla is picking and choosing how it will skillfully hit its delivery targets. This means that sales figures for the Model S for December and January were down from last year’s numbers.

We estimated January Model S sales at 800. February’s estimate came in a bit higher, at 1,125, although this is still a notable drop from last year’s 1,750.

March sales mirrored 2017 as expected, at 3,375, to round out the quarter fairly close to targets.

We know full well that Tesla’s Model S and X U.S. deliveries are generally lowest in the first month of the quarter. As stated above, the automaker has made it increasingly clear that S and X sales will likely match last year’s targets, remaining pretty flat for 2018 due to the Model 3 focus. April sees an estimated 1,250 Model S deliveries, which is up marginally, though pretty consistent with last April’s 1,125.

 

 

 

Tesla Model X sales

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X: 

Like the Model S, Tesla does not report Model X sales, so we do our best to estimate monthly results for North America using all the data at our disposal (For more info on that, check out our disclaimer for the Model S)


Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Oct 11th):

Tesla’s leaked U.S. sales data for Q3 2016 put U.S. deliveries at 5,428. Our own Q3 estimate was 5,800 for North America, which includes Canada (which ended Q3 with 389 registrations for the quarter), meaning 5,787 were actually sold. Though we don’t attest to being experts, we were only off by 13 units in Q3.

Previously in Q2 2016, Tesla reported 4,625 Model X deliveries. Our estimated scorecard got within about ~55 units of the actual number (accounting for just a handful of international Model X deliveries). In Q1 we were within ~200 units.


Since we don’t want to bore you by explaining the same thing twice, have a look at the Tesla Model S recap (above) and then come back here.

All done? Good … welcome back.

Like the Model S, Model X production has been sacrificed as Tesla attempts to prove itself more capable of building the Model 3. Tesla directed to some 10% less production of the Model S & X in Q4 of 2017. Keep in mind, however, that all cars and regions are not created equal.

Aside from lower sales volume due to the Model 3, for the months of December and January, Model X sales seemed to be business as usual (despite the long-winded explanation above). In December, we estimated that Tesla moved 3,330 electric SUVs compared to the 3,875 sold in the same month of 2016. We estimated January 2018 Model X sales at 700, down a touch from last year’s 750.

Our estimates for February put Model X deliveries at 875 (to reconcile the quarter, we’ve bumped this number up to 975), up a fair amount from January’s estimates, as well as February 2017 numbers (of course, last February, Model X production was somewhat limited, as our estimates show the automaker delivered 800 during that month).

For March, sales were consistent with 2017, at 2,825, to finish the quarter fairly close to targets.

Last year, April Model X sales were quite low, much like that of January and February. We saw the same trend the first few months of 2018. However, it should be noted that as 2017 moved forward, the X began to rise in popularity and did a better job of mirroring sales with the Model S. While it appears Tesla still sold more S’ vehicles in the U.S. again this month, the divide is more closely matched. We estimate 1,025 Model X SUVs delivered this April.

 

 

 

Tesla Model 3 sales

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3: 

Just ~16 months after orders opened, and ~10 years since it was first announced (then known as the “Bluestar”), the first Model 3s were delivered on July 28, 2017! One can check out the full delivery ceremony and all the newly released specs (220-310 miles range, 0-60 mph in 5.1-5.6 seconds) on our full recap here.

As with Model S & X sales, Tesla is not planning to release monthly Model 3 sales in the U.S. at this point in time. Until then, we’ll do our best to estimate monthly results for North America using all the data at our disposal (For more info on that, check out our Model S disclaimer).

Historical accuracy/Sales Update (Nov 1st):  Q3 2017 sales of the Model 3 were adjusted up 2 units.


Thankfully, in the early days (Q3 2017), estimating Model 3 sales in the U.S. was a pretty easy task, as the complete delivery volume for July took place live at the July 28th delivery event in Fremont, California. The first 30 cars were delivered to Tesla employees/stakeholders in the U.S., and one could almost count the individual cars as they left Tesla’s Fremont factory in August.

For September, we had Tesla’s quarterly disclosure that put deliveries at 222 cumulatively for the quarter, meaning about 117 were delivered.  Truthfully, the monthly numbers were meaningless in Q3. Instead, all eyes were on production. While the company guided to some 1,630+ to be produced, just 260 were built.

Of course, much chatter arose as to why. Tesla generically blamed “production bottlenecks.”  The company, looking to re-assure, said at the time:

We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.”

From our perspective, Tesla realized fairly early in July that the September goals would not be met. Following the future ‘S-Curve’ goal into year’s end was going to be problematic. It appears from that moment on, rather than working on “near-term” production and deliveries, Tesla has been working more proactively with the main goal of simply being able to show volume production by year’s end – something originally targeted for the end of September.

While this thought process was never officially confirmed by the company, a quasi-confirmation came with the admission that Model S and X production would be off 10% in Q4 2017. Additionally, we are now seeing the effects of manpower being transferred into transitioning the Model 3 production from “burst” output (or start and stop if you will) to a more consistent, ordered structure.

While it’s only speculation on our part (as it has been for several months while watching the happenings around the car), we believed Tesla was desperate to provide confirmation of a “decent” sustained production level for the Model 3 by the close of the year … and we were right.

To that end, progress to a certain degree was definitely made in November, as more cars than ever did actually find employee driveways (and orders also opened to the public mid-month … well at least to the first batch of locals anyway). Though Tesla only delivered an estimated 345 Model 3s in November, this number was a notable jump from prior months.

Tesla publicly reported delivering 1,060 Model 3s in December, for a grand total of 1,772 on for 2017. Additionally, Tesla dialed down the target of 5K a week, to 2.5K now, and set the 5K production level back to June (essentially a six-month delay at this point).

Adding up all Tesla vehicles delivered in the U.S. in 2017 brought us to an estimated 50,147. Global deliveries passed the 100K mark for the year as a whole (~103,000), making 2017 Tesla’s best year yet, despite Model 3 shortfalls.

While Model S and X sales were both down a handful for January, based on our estimations, Model 3 sales were up again compared to last month’s numbers (one would sure hope so!) However, they’re not up as high as projected or expected.

We estimated January Model 3 sales at 1,875. Basically, we took the 860 vehicles in transit in December, plus the ~500 vehicles produced in each of the first two weeks of January (and those 15 extra vehicles from December that Tesla assured were ready to go but not yet scheduled for delivery), and projected that the automaker was able to successfully deliver these cars prior to the close of the month. This makes sense since the Tesla was still (and still is) looking at three to six weeks for the entire process to unfold.

For February, we must assume that most of the remainder of the Model 3s manufactured in January made their way into owners’ driveways. Added to this, we gather that some early February production was delivered prior to the 28th of the month. We should also point out that an anonymous source with close ties to Model 3 production made us aware that the line has been down for as much as a week at a time over the course of the last month or so due to timing issues with the robots. This was later verified by the automaker. Our February Model 3 delivery estimate was 2,485.

As expected, Tesla has dialed up Model 3 production for March considerably, and according to the automaker’s Q1 sales report, future prospects are looking up. You can read the whole report by clicking here.

Tesla delivered a grand total of 8,180 Model 3 sedans for Q1 2018, with March sales at an impressive 3,820.

One less day in April, similar production numbers in comparison to March, and a brief shut down mean that last month’s Tesla Model 3 deliveries remain very consistent with the previous month. Now that fixes have been made in Fremont and the Gigafactory, we should look forward to a surge for may, followed by a leap in June to end Q2. Still, our Model 3 April delivery estimate of 3,875 is impressive considering the circumstances, and there’s no doubt the popular electric sedan will again dominate our sales chart.

 

 

 

Chrysler Pacific Hybrid (plug-in) sales

Chrysler Pacific Hybrid (plug-in)

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: 

Editor’s note:  FCA does not split out sales data for the plug-in Pacifica, so we try our best to estimate that number from month-to-month until hard/verifiable data is gleaned.

The much-anticipated plug-in extended range passenger van arrived in January of 2017, albeit in stealth, stuttered, and very limited in fashion.

Due to some odd quirks with production timing and plant scheduling, we had an on/off/on/off/quasi-on start for the Pacifica Hybrid as it relates to deliveries. Then there was QC holds, then launch delays.

Finally, the Pacifica Hybrid officially arrived on “Earth Day” April 22, 2017, and customers enjoyed a good three to four weeks of arriving inventory … until the wheels fell off (not literally).

By June 10, 2017, a nationwide recall was announced, and all 1,677 Pacificas sold in the U.S. and Canada had to head back to Chrysler to get a faulty diode replaced that could cause loss of power when in operation. We won’t get into all the details from there (check out our June sales report for more info).

Thankfully, by September, the kinks appeared to have been worked out just in time to see its Windsor, Ontario assembly plant go down for the entire month of October for pre-scheduled updating of the facility to comply with U.S. regulatory/safety tooling on the Grand Caravan.

Nonetheless, customer orders and dealer stock are once again flowing and the 2018 model has arrived. With January being a low-volume month, we put Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid sales estimates at 375. For February, we estimated Chrysler delivered 450 Pacifica Hybrids.

Our March estimate sees 480 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids delivered.

After three months below 500 sales, the Pacifica Hybrid may soon lose its spot in our recaps. However, we’ve kept it around for now in case the rest of the year begins to show promise. However, April’s numbers don’t help its case. We estimate FCA sold about 425 copies.

 

 

 

Ford Fusion Energi sales

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford Fusion Energi: 

The refreshed 2017 Ford Fusion Energi (details) was a fairly big hit in 2016, showing marked improvements throughout the year.

Heading into 2017, the Fusion Energi crossed back into “four-digit land” in March, as 1,002 Energis were moved … joining a club of just five others at that level. The month of May showed a repeat of such numbers, but sales have stayed in the 700s ever since.

Looking at the inventory in the past, it was easy to see why (and how) so many of the new Fusion plug-ins have been sold. The Fusion Energi often won the crown for the “most stocked” EV in the U.S., until Chevy got crazy with the Volt and Bolt EV.

With that said, Ford had been struggling to keep production on pace with demand (or rather managing inventory lower). After having almost 3,000 in stock in mid-June 2017, that number fell below 2,000 units by the start of September, as the industry-wide summer shutdown/changeover to MY 2018 was underway. This inventory level flatlined through the end of 2017, for 9,632 deliveries.

Fusion Energi sales were in January, at 640. Deliveries climbed in February to 794, very close to last year’s 837.

For March, Fusion Energi sales were flat from February’s number, with a total of 782 sold. However, this is down considerably from last year’s 1,002 moved in March.

April sees a total of 742 Ford Fusion Energi’s sold. It seems about 700 is the new magic number for Ford’s midsize plug-in.

 

 

 

BMW 530e sales

2018 BMW 530e

BMW 530e:

Welcome to the “big time” BMW 5 Series! By “big time” we mean selling more than 500 copies and getting an individual recap on our sales scorecard.

The plug-in hybrid’s $52,400 starting price point makes it the cheapest of the 5 Series to own, and thus a strong seller. After crossing 500 sales in both September and October, an amazing 872 were moved in November, followed by 706 in December – shooting the plug-in BMW up our sales chart.

For January, deliveries slide down significantly to 224. February starts to move back up, with 413 deliveries.

BMW 530e deliveries were on the uptick for March, with a total of 689 sales.

BMW moved 518 copies in April.

 

 

 

BMW X5 xDrive40e sales

x5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 xDrive40e: 

The BMW X5 plug-in had an unexpectedly strong debut in the U.S. in 2016, which only got stronger over the year.

In fact, the electrified BMW SUV had seen sales as high as 876 units in 2016 (August 2016).

Then 2017 happened, and sales disappointed. During the first 10 months, numbers ranged from the 260s to the 480s.

With just 329 sales in October, and 333 in September, we confidently predicted the X5 plug-in would be leaving our recap list in 2018 … then November happened. The month brought an all-time best 929 deliveries, which made the BMW the sixth best selling plug-in for the November! In December, sales were down, but still strong at 832, pushing the just out of the top ten for the year as a whole.

While inventory is still low, we’re happy to be able to report that the 2018s are here in volume. Hopefully, enough plug-in SUVs will eventually arrive that BMW can once again make a push to achieve the four-digit mark!

BMW X5 plug-in sales plummeted in January to 261. For February, we saw a bump back up to 596, keeping the X5 safe in our recaps.

March numbers remained consistent, as BMW delivered 627 plug-in X5s.

For April, X5 sit at 563, which again is right on target with the last few months.

 

 

 

Honda Clarity PHEV

Honda Clarity PHEV: 

The Honda Clarity PHEV just arrived in November of 2017. Only 5 copies were sold that first month, followed by an incredible 898 in December. At that point, we were going to add the new plug-in to our recaps, but we decided to give it a few months to settle in.

January deliveries fell to 594, however, that’s still outstanding for a new addition to the segment. February brought a nice surge back up to 881 sold, pushing the Clarity PHEV within reach of the best-selling vehicles in the segment.

Now, the Clarity PHEV finds a new home in our recaps, and it’s obvious it earned it well. The addition of the Clarity was much-needed, as it comes at a time that we have recently eliminated the Volkswagen e-Golf, Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, Ford C-Max Energi, and Fiat 500e due to not meeting the sales threshold.

The Clarity PHEV starts at $33,400 before rebates. It’s powered by 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, with a total system output of 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. The Clarity boasts a 47-mile EPA all-electric driving range, making it the closest PHEV all-electric range competitor to the Chevy Volt. Charging takes 2.5 hours with 240-volt power or about 12 hours on a 120-volt household outlet.

Honda has reported a total of 1,061 Clarity PHEVs sold in March.

Clarity PHEV sales were flat in April, at 1,049.

Categories: Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Sales, Smart, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo

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184 Comments on "April 2018 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Report Card"

newest oldest most voted
Warren

I’m sad about the Leaf sales too. But you still need to list them.

Warren

Hello? It has been four hours and the April Leaf number has still not made it up to the table. The number is 1,171

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Look at the Prime go!……..lol
Spanked the TMS&X.

CDAVIS

or…

Look at the Model 3 go!……..lol
Spanked the Prime & Leaf.

scottf200

Has to be the on-going concern that the Prius Prime plug-in is just being bought for the HOV lanes where Z number of owners do not even bother plugging it in. This has been reported in the past too. My understanding is that the Prime is very aggressively priced even compared to their non-plug-in hybrid.

john1701a

FUD being spread by others about supposedly never plugging in shouldn’t be re-posted here without supporting evidence. Now that the weather has warmed up here (Minnesota) I’m seeing 25 miles of EV on the highway and close to 30 in the burbs. A little warmer, I’ll be back to low 30’s.

In other words, there’s a very large gain to be had from a seemingly small battery-pack.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Yeah, this FUD about PHEV drivers never plugging their cars in is just bizarre, and I regard it as nothing more than EV bashing.

You can see, from VoltStats.net, that for Volts actually being driven, on average 2/3 (66.6%) of their miles are EV miles rather than gas-powered miles.

Kinda hard to do that if you never plug the car in! 😀

https://www.voltstats.net/

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I have to disagree there Mr PuPu.
I know Govt Fleet managers that have Volts and PiP’s and they rarely charge them. Some fleet facilities do not even have EVSE’s and almost all of them only use L1 chargers. That’s one of the reasons they don’t bother plugging them in during the day, not worth the time plugged in when in 40 minutes the car may get signed out again.
They claim there’s no money in their budget for L2 EVSE’s and wiring to pull to the parking locations. Those very few that do have L2 are only because “they got a grant that funded them”, their words not mine.

Pushmi-Pullyu

If you go looking for evidence to support something you’ve already made up your mind about, then you are likely to see it, whether it actually exists or not. That’s known as “observer bias”. But the case or cases you’ve cited amount to nothing but anecdotal evidence, not anything which is statistically significant.

As they say: “The plural of anecdote is not data.” (There are exceptions to that rule, but a glance at the voltstats.net figures shows this isn’t one of those exceptions.)

Taylor Marks

I think you’re also suffering from Observer Bias. VoltStats only collects data from their 1769 members (about 1% of all Volt sales). These people are self-selected people who compete on a leaderboard to get the best MPG. It’s quite likely that when you include the other 99% of Volt owners, the average MPG goes down dramatically.

Pushmi-Pullyu

You’re trying to claim that 1769 sets of data is insignificant? It’s not; Consumer Reports only uses about 600 data sets from customer surveys for its automobile ratings.

All anyone has to do, to contribute data to the VoltStats.net figures, is agree to allow their Volt’s onboard OnStar system to upload data to the VoltStats.net organization. That data is uploaded automatically, without human interference. So it’s not like people are only uploading data that they’re proud of, and withholding it if they’re not so proud.

Admittedly VoltStats.net isn’t completely free of bias, because you do have to opt in to report data there. But I think most reasonable people would agree that 1769 data sets is a heck of a lot better basis for coming to a conclusion than using anecdotal evidence from a few people that someone knows personally!

Now, if you can come up with a broader set of data, or data collected in a truly random fashion from Volt drivers, then please do present that data. But until someone does, I think most reasonable people would agree that we should use the data that we have!

Nix

Trolly — So your proof that individual buyers are getting plug-ins just to get HOV access, is to talk about what Gov’t Fleets?

I guess if you don’t have any facts, changing the subject from supposed HOV cheaters to Gov’t fleet operation is certainly your only choice. Nice try.

Phteven

I won’t make broad claims but I do know someone who bought a Ford C-Max Energi in part for single occupant HOV lane access and never plugs it in.

Yuhong Bao

There is also the point that the Volt only has a 3.3 to 3.6kW charger, so even one hour of level 2 charging will probably gets you less than 10 miles or so.

Scramjett

I personally would argue that fleets don’t represent the general population.

R.S

To add to PuPu here:
Have you ever talked to a Prius owner? They love to brag how little gas their car needs. Hard to believe they would not plug their Prime in.

I am sure HOV lane access is a big reason for buying the Prime, but that’s also true for a Leaf, a Model X, or a Bolt. Sure you could also not charge them an push them down the highway. That’s almost as unpractical as not plugging in your PHEV. Because plugging in saves trips to the gas station and money.

Will

Prime would we be a great car for me if it has 16kw 42 AER miles and Apple Carplay abd Android Auto

menorman

So basically, you want a Clarity PHEV.

menorman

The Prime is cheaper than the regular Prius after tax credit, a delta that only grows when considering any state, local, or utility incentives that may also exist. The only compromise is the loss of a back seat, which thus renders it ineligible for rideshare companies.

Mark C

I’ve read (a long time ago) of people who had a Volt as a company car, but not plugging in at home because they are not reimbursed for the electricity, but they are reimbursed for gas. I can believe it too, as I know someone who leaves his gasmobile running when he’s out of it at a customers business so it will still be comfortable when he gets back in the car later. I find that hugely annoying, because, among other things, they are sticking it to the business that is providing their income.

Nix

Yes, there is an IRS tax problem that causes this. Companies need itemized receipts to deduct employee gas purchases to book the gas purchases as business expenses for taxes. Gas receipts off-sets revenue on a dollar for dollar basis.

But you can’t submit an itemized receipt for electricity from your home to your boss. No receipt means the only way your boss can reimburse you for charging your car at home is to provide an estimated benefit amount. This is counted as salary by the IRS, and the company has to pay FICA taxes on it the same as any other benefit.

A simple tax law tweak that would explicitly allow companies to treat EV charging reimbursement the same as gas receipts would solve this.

Mark Miller

Web-linked EVSEs provide the data needed for a receipt, if the company would accept a print-out from the app….

Nix

It is the gov’t that won’t accept the receipt. It actually has to have a dollar amount that actually changed hands on the receipt.

James

Yeah and what about the 4000 Model 3 in transit?

DEE

What month this year will Tesla sell more cars then the rest of the manufacturers combined for the month? June or September or not this year? I’m thinking maybe June..

dan

May’s model 3 sales = 4000?

ziv

One thing about the slowdown in Tesla numbers is it makes it a lot easier for Tesla to push the 200,000th car into July. Less than 6200 (est.) for April means they can sell right around 17,000 cars in the US over the next 2 months and still stay under the ceiling, thus giving themselves a full additional quarter of the full credit. Yesterday I was thinking it probably wouldn’t happen, but today I am really hopeful that Tesla can find a way to keep their profitability high, push sales abroad and still sell the 200k car in July.

Dave

If Tesla tries to “Game” the system like you say, I hope the leadership in DC calls BS on them, and cuts them off.

scottf200

You don’t think GM and others are carefully monitoring that 200K numbers? 🙂 Haha. The sad part is the followers get to take advantage of the leaders making EVs popular and lowering the battery cost (LG and others making more)

john1701a

The truly sad is those who wasted the tax-credits, using them up on designs unfit for mainstream sales.

Don Zenga

Like Smart-EV which gets a pathetic 58 mile range and can seat only 2 passengers and carry very little luggage.

Just_Chris

How is a Smart-EV a waste of tax payers money? It offers more society benefits that pretty much any other EV in the market, it is:

+ Smaller so takes up less space on the road and in parking lots
+ It uses less electricity per mile that a larger car
+ It will do less damage to the roads
+ It takes less energy to make
+ It costs less money to buy making it more accessable to those on lower incomes

In Japan there are tax benefits for buying smaller cars, it is madness that people feel that they need to have a 5+ seater car to drive to work every day. How many families really need 10+ seats in 2 cars to get the kids to school and their parents to work. I’m not saying it would work for everyone but moving from a 2 car family to a 1.5 car family is a positive thing.

menorman

It’s not a waste of taxpayer money, it’s a waste of a credit of eligibility for the manufacturer. Tiny econoboxes are overwhelmingly NOT what Americans are buying, but that’s what Smart is getting credits with instead of something more in tune with the market (e.g. plug-in CUV). Though since I don’t believe that the Smart sales don’t count against those of Mercedes Benz, there’s no danger of “wasting” as many since Smart sales in general are pretty anemic anyway and I doubt they’re going to anything much bigger anytime soon.

Asak

Well the sad truth is that the Smart EV doesn’t actually use les electricity per mile than larger cars. The Smart whether due to poor aerodynamics or some other reason had always been an inefficient turd.

The Smart EV gets lower MPGe than the Bolt, Leaf, e-Golf, well seriously it’s lower than almost every other EV. Meanwhile its small size means pathetic overall range too.

The small size of the Smart is good for parking, but other than that it has few redeeming qualities.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Puhleeese…..
They all “Game” the system. It’s the systems fault for being written so friggin dumb. It rewards the lagging manufacturers. They should have had a top 3 to hit the mark and then call it done!
No need to let the lagging slow pokes that show nothing but concepts continue to play.

Pushmi-Pullyu

The leadership in Washington, DC — that is, the minority actually acting as leaders rather than absorbed in their own petty power games — have much better things to do with their time.

And if Tesla did game the system like that (which they’re not), and the leadership did notice, then hopefully they would cheer Tesla on — since it’s producing American made cars!

Too bad about serial Tesla bashers like you, who want Tesla to fail. 🙁

menorman

It’s not “gam[ing] the system” to follow the rules. If they don’t deliver 200k cars until July, they don’t deliver them.

Timothy Hughbanks

Actually, following the rules while circumventing the intent of a system is kind of the definition of “gaming the system” – not that I’m particularly upset that they might be doing it.

Just_Chris

It really depends on how Tesla does it. If they hold back 3 thousand cars that they deliver on July 1 then it is gaming the system but if they are decide to make modifications to the factory in May rather than August or begin exports a few months early it is just good managment. The justification for the tax benefit I assume included creating new jobs and supporting american industry. No one can argue that Tesla hasn’t done both of those in spades. We have basically no incentives in Australia for EV’s and no auto industry. A 2nd hand Nissan leaf here also cost nearly the same as a new Nissan leaf in the US.

menorman

They could push them out, but they’ll probably mostly just prioritize international deliveries. They’ve already started taking Model 3 orders from Canada, so they should be arriving to customer driveways soon.

CarGuy

Hoping you are correct but I don’t believe it is likely. I think April Model 3 sales estimate was lower than actual.

Will

They dont count. Plus i dont believe theres 4k TM3 in transit thats alot of trucks leaving the factory in a week span

Srk

Most production estimates for the Model 3 I have seen are around 20000 total cars. The above estimate implies that they have sold around 14000 cars. That is a pretty big gap between production and deliveries.

Tech01x

Some of these cars might be on their way to Canada this month.

Dave

They are not quite to 20K yet, but getting close… Seems to be about 6 K cars in limbo somewhere.

windbourne

These are just what was sold in America.

Matthew

“Top Months for U.S. EV Sales to Date (estimated):

March 2018 – 26,373
December 2018 – 26,107
December 2017 – 24,185
September 2017 – 21,242
March 2017 – 18,542”

December 2018 estimate is too low, it should be more like 40,000 or 50,000.

Tech01x

There were 2,040 Model 3’s in transit at the end of Q1. Roughly another 5,200 made before the factory shutdown. While quite a few of these may be on trains and the like for delivery, the 3,875 guess seems quite low. That’s not even the vehicles in transit + 1 week’s of production. Since the shutdown came at the end of the month, there was a lot of time for the vehicles made earlier to make it to delivery. Maybe the last week’s worth was not. So 2,040 + 5,200 – 2,000 = 5,240 is probably closer to correct. This doesn’t even take any of the vehicle production from the last week of the month, of which some of those were also delivered. It is quite possible the actual result is closer to 6,000.

Of course, it is possible some of this production is on its way to Canada.

JP

Model 3 numbers seem impossibly low. Weren’t there a couple thousand in transit at the end of Q1?
“An additional 2,040 Model 3 vehicles were also in transit to customers. These vehicles will be delivered in early Q2 2018, which keeps us on track for our full-year 2018 Model S and X delivery guidance.”
In transit and one week alone of 2K plus production would be over your estimate.

leafowner

I agree – I can’t see how it is not over 5000….even 3 weeks running at 2k / week is 6k, Don’t get it.

HVACman

IEVs Model 3 delivery estimate is way, way lower than the analysts were expecting, based on Tesla’s claims of 2,000+ per week production at the end of Q1. Deliveries = sales = cash flow. If this keeps up, Q2 cash flow will be a financial disaster. Gonna be a rough conference call tomorrow.

EVShopper

I don’t get the Prime sales. It’s truly a horrible car, IMO. Must be awesome deals on it.

Also, should you now mark the GM sales as “estimated” on the chart like you do for Tesla?

bro1999

Don’t underestimate the Prius lemmings. Brand loyalty is strong.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

You beat me to it!

john1701a

Spoken like a true enthusiast, out of touch with mainstream consumers.

Reality is, the bulk of automaker sales aren’t exciting. Focus is on attributes like affordability & reliability along with a variety of creature comforts. That’s what Prime delivers, as well as a full EV driving experience.

So what if it doesn’t perform like more expensive plug-in choices.

Mark Miller

Just curious, have you driven one? I’ve had mine five months, love it. Averaging 5 miles/kWh, summer and winter. The system has trained me to be way more gentle in accel/decel than I was with my 2005 Prius.

CarGuy

True the Prime is not the best of cars but Prius owners rarely test drive a different car. Many Prime owners never plug in. It is the cheapest way to get into the HOV lane without a passenger.

randomhuman

Just 3875 Model 3? That doesn’t make sense. There were over 2000 of them in transit last month and they can’t possibly delivered or produced just 2000 more. Even with the production halt it doesn’t make sense for me. I expected at least 6000 Model 3. They had 3 full weeks in April to produce at least 6000 alone and of course in the end there are still some in transit. But this number doesn’t quite add up…

jtc_LA

I think the rest are going to Canada. I’m actually glad it’s low in the US, hoping that they will be able to push the 200,000 delivery past July 1st, so the $7,500 credit will be in full effect till Dec. 31, and by the 3rd QTR they will produce a lot more per week. Win-win.

Will

I expected 7k but the Shutdown plus the rush to get 2.4k production rate affected the sustainability of 2.5k a week for cars

vdiv

Thank you, Wade Malone, thank you, InsideEVs for your dedicated pursuit of monthly EV sales data, and more importantly the reasons behind it!

ziv

Hear, hear!
I agree with vdiv and would like to second the thanks to all the InsideEVs staff!
This is the place for the most accurate info on electric cars that is possible to find on the web.

WadeTyhon

You bet! We try our best!

Steven of course did almost all of the overall work, but I assisted where I could by gathering detailed data on some of the models that aren’t being reported monthly by automakers.

As much as I’d love for the Leaf, Bolt and Model 3 to exceed all expectations, it is far more important that the information be correct.

There is no guesswork or gut instinct informing the estimated numbers. Just data! 🙂

Dave

Ultimately it is just having the correct information that matters… You guys do a great job, and usually your estimates are pretty darn close to reality.

Pretty disappointing month for the Bolt, huh?

WadeTyhon

Bolt and Leaf were a bit disappointing for US sales but both had silver linings.

Leaf sales worldwide have been absolutely fantastic. And US inventory by the end of the month was strong.

And signs point to Chevy increasing exports of the Bolt for the next few months. Good news for South Korea and likely for Canadians!

Not such good news for US buyers looking for a great deal! ^^’

Pushmi-Pullyu

Wade, I didn’t realize you are a member of InsideEVs staff! Well, that helps explain why you have access to all those numbers you cite regarding estimated Tesla production.

We Usual Suspects (or at least most of us) very much appreciate all the hard work you staff do every month to give us the most comprehensive and accurate EV sales numbers in the industry — and you give us those for free!

I look forward to seeing one or more articles explaining the apparent huge discrepancy between Tesla Model 3 production and delivery. Is Tesla’s delivery system creating a bottleneck? Are Model 3’s piling up on Tesla lots and in delivery centers, with too few sales reps unable to keep up?

Or is there a hold-up in customs at the Canadian border?

Inquiring minds want to know! 😉

Mark
Will

April was a terrible month due to weather it even snow two weeks ago here in midwest

Scott

Looks like they have a typo in the chart for the outlander phev, says 237 instead of 273… I added 1 to that number with mine I just got. Very nice SUV for the money and the most electric range out of all options other than tesla, love mine so far…

Dave

Wow, Model 3 only 3875 deliveries when Tesla had announced that over 2000 were headed to customers at the end of Q1, that means only 1800 built in April actually found owners… Not a good sign considering Tesla announced 4200+ were built in the first 2 weeks of April.

WadeTyhon

Production of the Model 3 was *very* good in April even with the short shutdown.

A small handful of VINS in the 17000-20000 range were scheduled to be delivered in the last week of April.

But these were a tiny handful compared to the 13000-15000 that were scheduled to be delivered the last week of April. 15000 is about where overall *deliveries* are at this point.

But those higher VINS are built or in production and are on the way to customers all across the US (and a smaller portion in Canada) very soon.

Don’t worry about Tesla for a second. 😉

Another Euro point of view

I see little incentive for Tesla to deliver many cars in the US in Q2 of this year due to the 200k cars sold limit that should better be crossed in early Q3. Plus flooding the US market with Model 3 in Q3 could be the perfect “bear trap” to catch Tesla shorts and Elon seems to like playing with bears.

Pushmi-Pullyu

The incentives are:

1. Tesla needs income

2. Every delay in ramping up TM3 production means lost future market share, as other auto makers ramp up their own long-range BEVs

3. Tesla’s ability to borrow money and raise capital is partially dependent on how well the company performs as a manufacturer, and at present the most obvious part of that is how fast they can ramp up TM3 production.

I think the down side for Tesla purposefully delaying crossing the 200,000 threshold is worse than the upside. And let’s not forget the full $7500 tax credit does not disappear when that threshold is crossed; it lingers for awhile. Assuming Tesla crosses that threshold this quarter, which seems almost certain, the full tax credit will continue until the end of 2018.

Ziv

Push, I promise I am not stalking you, but as I said yesterday, the full credit ends 31 to 59 days after the 200,000th car is sold, not later than that. As the EPA noted in their diagram, if car 200k is sold on February 12th, the credit gets cut in half on June 30th.
So if Tesla hits 200k anytime in June, the credit gets cut in half on September 30th. I am enclosing a link to the Federal Tax Credit page for electric cars. Look at the Phaseout diagram, it clearly shows that if Tesla hit 200k in June, the credit gets cut in half in September, not December. That is why delaying the 200k delivery is so important. Tesla isn’t even close to full rate deliveries yet and won’t be for a couple months, or more.

https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml

Ziv

Argh! The full credit ends 91 to 179 days after the 200k’th car is sold. I try to bring the accurate info and botch it. LOL!
The full credit ends after the remaining 1 day (if 200k is sold on the last day of June) to 89 days (if 200k is sold on the first day of the quarter) plus 90 days of the following quarter.
1 + 90 = 91
89 + 90 = 179
Sorry for botching it in the response above.

Pushmi-Pullyu

My apologies if I’ve been copying and repeating a bad meme; I must have missed seeing your earlier post.

It looks like you’re saying the credit stays at 100% for only one full quarter (well, 90 days) after the end of the quarter in which the 200,000 threshold is crossed. I could swear elsewhere I’ve seen it claimed, and I (perhaps mistakenly) thought authoritatively, that it lasts for -two- full quarters thereafter, not just one quarter.

Anyway, since there is some argument on the point from someone I consider to be reasonable (that would be you, Ziv), and all I know is what I read (and as they say, half of that is wrong), then I should cease asserting a “fact” which may not be correct. Or at least, I should wait until after I see some informed discussion on the point, which will no doubt be coming soon in IEVs articles about Tesla crossing the 200,000 threshold, which will almost certainly happen within the next two months.

I’m surprised there is so much confusion on this point.

Ziv

One of the InsideEVs writers commented a couple months ago that he thought that the credit would last for the remaining days of the quarter the 200k was sold in, then for 2 full quarters after that. But he came back a day later and said he had made an error. So I understand how you would think it. But if you look at the link and the diagram in the link, it shows that a government website thinks the phaseout starts 3.03 to 5.97 months after the 200k car is sold.
And thanks for not telling me to take a flying leap for sharing my opinion of how to interpret the government verbiage on how the phaseout will occur. I really wish the phaseout would be slower because is punishes the top electric car sellers.

PHEVfan

Pushmi, Though all your points are valid, there is nothing saying WHERE those deliveries have to go. If Tesla were to “prioritize” Canada deliveries for one or two weeks of this quarter they still meet their production numbers without crossing the 200k US sales limit. They’re known for playing the delivery game to their advantage, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it in this case.

Will

Wow i was way off. I thought TM3 will get to 7k and the leaf 2.5k

WadeTyhon

You hit very close to production numbers this month! If Tesla was only prioritizing California and surrounding states like they did in late March, then I have no doubt the numbers in April could have been higher.

But transit to the rest of the US (and a small portion likely headed to Canada in May or early June) takes more time between Vin assignment, production and delivery. They’re coming!

Pushmi-Pullyu

Anybody know what the average delivery time is for the most distant parts of the U.S.? I didn’t think it would be as much as a month, but I could be wrong!

MTN Ranger

I talked to the pre-delivery contact at Telsa this week and was quoted two weeks to get from California to East Coast (NC) for my Model 3. Rail goes in Birmingham, Alabama. From there, they ship by truck. Of course delays can happen as cars are queued up at the different shipping points. Delivery scheduled for May 17th. They said my car was ready for shipping on April 28th, so my total shipping/prep time is about three weeks.

CDAVIS

My crystal ball puts April Model 3 US deliveries @ 4,851

Another Euro point of view

You may need to have it fixed.

CDAVIS

Lol… certainly would not be the first time… looking forward to seeing final #s.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I think it’s due for the calibration lab sir…..

Will

I will up it like Elon to 5,890

Joe Bellisario

Plug-in Electric Vehicle Report: I have been driving my 2017 Volt for over one year and have found this concept serves my driving habits very well. I can drive around my local area using my stored electric. If I decide to go on a longer trip, I can switch to gas and still get really great gas mileage over 40 miles per gallon. Please thing about this concept verses 100% electric with the concerns of finding a place to recharge periodically. My Volt electric storage capability has also increase during my first year of ownership from 53 miles to over 80 miles.

David Cary
Joe – your electric storage capability has not increased. It truly hasn’t. I promise. Now – you may have a gauge that says you can go 80 miles (I don’t really know how its gauge works) and if you do it is based on you and the car’s performance. There is always an increase in efficiency after the break-in period. This is mostly based on tires which get a lot better with a little age. You may have learned to drive efficiently and the weather maybe more favorable. This website treats the Volt as any other EV although many posters do not. Most people’s main complaint with the Volt (mine is) is that it is too darn small and the drivetrain needs to be put in a larger vehicle. My wife would be fine with a much larger Volt. She usually drives no more than 40 miles a day but having gas for the occasional trip or emergency would make her happy. The other problem with the Volt is the maintenance on the ICE. Not a terribly big deal. But my Tesla went 2 years without seeing anyone other than our annual safety inspection (faster and cheaper than emissions) and… Read more »
kbm3

There were over 2k Model 3’s in transit as of April 1st and 2k average produced over the next 2 weeks.

So InsideEV’s is claiming only part of the first week’s production and none of the subsequent production was delivered in April?

Ron M

I think InsideEV does a great job complying the EV numbers but I don’t understand why the first month of every quarter is the worst for almost all the EV’s. Second month a little better and the last month of every quarter is the best month. I thought it was only true of the Tesla’s but it seems as though all the EV’s have this pattern.

Don Zenga

Another month Model-3 tops. Seems they are following the quarter end high sales for Model-3 also just like for Model-S/X. Still 3,875 for non-quarter end month is very high. There is a big YoY overall sales increase.

Nissan reduced fleet sales and that’s why Leaf sales fell since most of these cars are sold to corporate leases. Hope the dealer will slowly transition to retail sales of Leaf as well. In the coming months, we will know whether their dealers are selling anxiously or just hiding Leafs under the ground. Now Toyota is also selling Prius Plugins in higher #.

Honda Clarity sold 1,212 units (all 3 versions put together).
BMW i3 could not sustain higher sales despite big discounts. Hope they consider some price reduction.

Did Fiat sell more units of 500e than 500?

Will

Theres three leafs at my Nissan dealership here in I90 Nissan in Ohio

Don Zenga

Mr. Steven Loveday.
A kind request, can you please add 1 more line named ‘Worldwide Heavy Vehicle’ after Worldwide.
Last month more than 9,000 heavy plugin vehicles were sold in China and this data is readily available.
I believe at least 90% of those vehicles were sold in China.
Since the figure may miss many countries, you can add a + at the end like 9,000 +.

Some of those who may drive such a vehicle for their job may prompt their manager to buy such a vehicle for their company. Besides Tesla is also coming up with an Electric Semi.

Don Zenga

For all those who question the Model-3 sales #, please wait until May 2, 2018, followed by a live Q&A session at 2:30 p.m. PST (5:30 p.m. EST) for Tesla Earnings call.

They may reveal the sales, if they don’t, then we should take the # quoted by insideevs.com because their # is accurate to +/- 1% margin of error.

Bill Howland

Seeing as how well the Prius Prime sells, and the astronomical rise of the honda Clarity (over 1000 in March), I have no doubt this trend will continue. Its the only affordable midsize plug-in available – and it is with HONDA QUALITY.

If I were GM I’d be very worried. This car is nearly as large as a Malibu, and with the credits, is CHEAPER in New York State, then the all gas Malibu. Its like getting the LUXURY PLUG-IN option for free, and it is a GOOD 47 miles of EV driving every day. The car made a big impression on me at the Buffalo Auto Show, and it was attracting many other onlookers as well.

The good thing here is if it forced some other car companies to come up with some competition for it. Right NOW, there is NOTHING like it on the market for even double the price.

menorman

Agreed, the only demerit about the Clarity family is the design. Could be worse (i.e. Mirai), but it can certainly be an acquired taste.

Mark C

Perhaps the problem with the Nissan Leaf sales has something to do with the history of the LEAF, as in all the articles and attention given on the internet to battery degradation due to not having active thermal management. Throw in a few articles on the 30 kWh LEAF pack degrading even faster than the 24 kWh pack and a few more on the next-year LEAF getting a completely different battery from a company known for a far better quality battery.

I’d like to see Nissan prosper with the LEAF, but they are doing it to themselves. It’s a really nice car with a weak battery. Care to buy one with that reputation? Me either.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Yup.
No Active, TMS No Sale.

Will

I got one right the i3 was at 500 i said 400. My tesla 3 pick was off by 4k😒, my Leaf pick was off 1.5k, hearing people say that it has not arrive in California is kind of troubling unless they fixing the software to prevent throttling when rapidcharging. Bolt and bolt were 1k each

menorman

It’s certainly here in CA, my local Nissan dealer has had a couple pass through their lot already, including one there now.

Will

Now seeing Honda Clarity phev and Nissan Leafs ads during NBA playoffs thank the EVs gods

Another Euro point of view

It seems that since yesterday Insideevs is the victim of somewhat of a smear campaign from Tesla church members because of that 3’875 figure for April TM3 sales (on other sites). The narrative goes like this that Insideevs estimations are inflated in the last month of the quarter using Tesla own sales figures as given at the end of each quarter. I take it this is of course wrong and does show that both side of the trade regarding Tesla (bears/bulls) is often equally intellectually dishonest.

WadeTyhon

“The narrative goes like this that Insideevs estimations are inflated in the last month of the quarter using Tesla own sales figures as given at the end of each quarter.”

What are they trying to imply that production and delivery was flat between Jan, Feb and March? XD Lol!

Well, some sites can’t be bothered to accumulate the data available all over the web. So they just take the quarter numbers and divide by 3. So maybe people really think the same number of Model 3’s were delivered in January as were delivered in March! 🙂

Oh well, don’t worry about it. They’re passionate about Tesla, I can certainly understand that… but I think most Inside EVs readers are more passionate getting the right info than getting the info they want to hear.

The delivery estimates for April were not in any way a statement about the production estimates. Model 3 production in April was very good. Significantly higher than March even with nearly a week of production shut down. But cars “produced” are not cars “delivered”.

Those cars are on their way to lucky Model 3 reservation holders very soon!

Another Euro point of view

“but I think most Inside EVs readers are more passionate getting the right info than getting the info they want to hear”.

Indeed, and I dare to give to you, Steven and all Insideevs writers (except maybe one :)) a collective thank you for this.

fasterthanonecanimagine

“BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) sales of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles totaled 1,973 in April 2018, an increase of 60.9 percent from the 1,226 sold in the same month a year ago. BMW Group electrified vehicles accounted for 7.3 percent of U.S. sales in April 2018.

BMW Group currently offers seven electrified models in the U.S., including the BMW i3, BMW i8, BMW 330e, BMW 530e, BMW 740e, BMW X5 xDrive 40e and MINI Countryman plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle.”

Don Zenga

The new website of insideevs.com looks lot nicer with the ‘inside’ in black, ‘ev’ in color and finally the ‘s’ in black again.
It has Like/Unlike option.
There is no need to sign on to comment.

Great job Team insideevs.com
No matter what other websites say, what individuals comment, I go with the estimate of this website.

While many of us may be disappointed that Model-3 sales did not cross 4K mark, we should feel happy that with the 3,875 sales, it has overtaken the Prius-hybrid sales at 3,830 units. Remember Prius is the long time leader of the hybrid world with no challenger in sight. Finally with Model-3 overtaking Prius, we can expect this electric vehicle to do wonders.

But the biggest challenge for Tesla is what happens after the $7,500 Fed credit drops down to $3,750. I am sure they are reducing Model-3 sales in USA so that the Model-S/X sales increase and also keeps the company within the 200,000 mark before 2018-Q2 end.

Will Tesla reduce the price of their vehicles or just keep it as it is?

menorman

I doubt they’ll discount TM3 after tax credit ends, there’s no need to with nearly half a million reservations.

Don Zenga

Estimation should be becoming more difficult with increasing sales and also with automakers hiding the plugin sales because they don’t want to see their vehicle sales being lower than Tesla Model-3 which is pure EV.

So please appreciate the Team insideevs instead of questioning them.

If you are really interested, please send a letter to Tesla requesting them to provide sales on monthly basis at least from July since their vehicle sales should cross 10,000 by that time.

Yes BMW sold 1,973 plugin vehicles and already reported on chart are i3:503 and i8:57. So another 1413 can be added. So 18,000 sales should be there last month.

Dan

Just read a news report on Teslas quarterly results…in the report it states over 2000 ” 3″ cars were produced three weeks running…may be they wern’t all delivered..hence your lower number?

Mike

You guys keep reporting such low numbers for Pacifica Hybrids but it looks like we (Ontario) export around 1,800 a month or so to the US! Where are they all going?! (I’m assuming Google Waymo?) Those extra 1,300ish vans are being soaked up somehow. If you include those monthly shipments then the Pacifica is in Leaf territory.

Don Zenga
Quoting BMW Plugins and Mercedes Plugins in 1 line each is the best thing done by Team Insideevs. For those companies (laggards) who are not interesting in providing breakup, why should you spend so much time & effort on finding the details. The same can be done for Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Fiat as well. Ford has only 3 models and out of that both CMax & Focus-EV are winding down. Some of the agencies who provide auto sales summary are not providing anymore because of GM not revealing their sales and those agencies who provide sales detail are just providing without GM’s figures. In this information age, its in the best interests of the company to provide details on a monthly basis for their customers, investors, suppliers and the general public. Instead of reducing price on Bolt, Volt and selling in higher #, GM chose to hide. Anyway its going to take a lot of time to dig in and find the Model-3 sales alone as the numbers increase. I wish at least from July month, Tesla provides Model-3 sales on a monthly basis since the sales will cross 10,000 mark. And this will force GM to turn around and… Read more »
Don Zenga

As per an estimate: 2018-04 auto sales is 1,349,742, off 5 % from the same month a year ago.

On the other hand, 2018-04 plugin sales of 18,015 is 4648 over 13,367 (YoY) and this is 34.7 % growth rate. Still some models sales are not counted and we don’t need to.
So Sweet.

TM

Quarterly is fine with me. Just don’t post more videos of Car A racing Car B.

PearJam22

Curious why the Tesla Model 3 “Sales” numbers are lower than the “Production” numbers. Is a “Sale” made when someone places a $1000 deposit or when they take delivery?

menorman

The latter.

G2

Any info on how long the average EV sits on the lot before being sold vice LICE vehicles?
My impression is that the EV market remains supply constrained vice demand constrained.

a-kindred-soul

During Tesla’s last conference call on May 2nd some new information came up, like “we produced more than 2,000 Model 3 vehicles for three straight weeks,and we hit 2,270 in the last of those weeks” (which means more the 6000 cars produced in april) and the graph of Model 3 sales relative to the other brands in the same class, which shows a 25% market share in april. I have the impression you can deduce from both that there were more then 3875 Model 3 sales. Maybe still under 5000, since many cars probably were not yet delivered, but more then 4000. Does anyone has more recent information?

WadeTyhon
Based on the most recent sales data I have seen for the LS(999), C-Class(5,148), 3-Series(3,550), and A4(3,126), they combined for 12,823 sales in April. In order for Tesla to have about a 25% market share among these models they would need to sell less than 4,300 units. If Tesla sold 4,300 units then all 5 models combined for 17,123. That would give the Model 3 just over 25% market share among these models. But the other numbers don’t line up very well. Under this scenario, that puts the C-class at just over 30%. The graph provided by Tesla seems to put it at about 27% or 28%. So that’s a 2-3% difference. BMW sales would be off a bit over 20% while the graph indicates they should be a bit under 20%. The Lexus LS sales would then be under 6% market share, rather than the 10% estimated in the chart provided by Tesla. That leads me to believe the chart was based on estimates for April sales and that Tesla underestimated the sales of some of the other models. It would seem that at *best*, a bit over 4,000 Model 3’s would have been sold if just looking at… Read more »
Nix

Tesla announced they are stocking showrooms with TM3’s that you can sit in and play with. That is going to build a gap between delivery and production numbers. Next will be demo driver cars, which will also cause a gap between delivery and production numbers.

Don Zenga

Finally automakers revealed the split of their sales.
2018-04 tally of 19,581 is 6,214 more than the 13,367 sold in 2017-04.
This is a big 46% increase and the overall market dipped by 0.6% if we include the GM sales.

On top of that 2018-04 ended up as 5th highest month of plugin sales.

What a wonderful news.
Even with all this increase, the average MPG will go down since the Truck category vehicle sales (CUVs, SUVs, Vans & Pickups) are increasing at a rapid pace. The share of those vehicles stands at 68% with the cars taking the remaining 32%.