April Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales On The Imminent Rise

blue Tesla Model 3 front


April was yet another stellar month for the EV segment, and it’s just the beginning of a new quarter and still early in the calendar year.

As of today (5/8/2018), aside from GM and Tesla, we have real numbers that just came in. Even our GM and Tesla estimates, which have not been further validated by several heavily researched sources, appear to be very close to reality.

For the month, an estimated grand total of 19,681 plug-in electric vehicles were sold. This moves the month into the number 5 spot overall historically for U.S. EV sales. The fact that we keep reporting new records is huge news. We can’t imagine what the end of Q2 will bring, and this December should be astronomical!

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

Details Here: Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard

The Tesla Model 3 leads the pack once again with an impressive 3,875  deliveries. This marks four months in a row that the Model 3 has been at the top of our chart, and this month’s numbers set another all-time record. We assume that it will not leave that top position at any point in the foreseeable future, and will continue to break and set its own record month after month.

The Toyota Prius Prime claims the second-place position for the month, with 2,626 sold, and it remains in second overall on the year. While Chevrolet Volt and Bolt sales are down, GM’s plug-in siblings were still able to secure the third and fourth spots last month, respectively, with the Tesla Model S in fifth.

Overall for the year, however, the Tesla Model S and Model X land at third and fifth (with the Bolt in the four spot), holding the Volt back from the top five for 2018 thus far.

The Nissan LEAF and Honda Clarity PHEV were the only two other vehicles to sell over 1,000 copies in April. LEAF sales were somewhat of a disappointment compared to March (March sales here), but the Clarity keeps pushing along, and we think it will only continue to get better.

Until next month, we’ll leave you with some other valuable data.

Other Statistical Points of Interest from April 2018

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. Tesla* – 6,150
  2. Toyota – 2,626
  3. General Motors* – 2,620
  4. BMW Group –  1,973
  5. Nissan –  1,171

Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In April*

  1. PHEV – 10,108
  2. BEV – 9,573

*Based on estimates due to the lack of U.S. monthly sales reporting by Tesla and GM, as well as BMW i3 splits (BEV/REx)

The full monthly recap by individual plug-in (all-time) can be found on our Monthly Scorecard here.

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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24 Comments on "April Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales On The Imminent Rise"

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A 46% increase compare to same month a year ago is great, could the total 2018 sales be more then 50% higher then 2017?

Absolutely, especially since gas prices are trekking upward.

I’ve been tracking small compliance cars (SparkEV, Fiat 500e) since I was considering getting one as a second car, and the prices of even old inventory have been trending up in the last few weeks, probably matching gas prices.

Gas prices are trekking downward (down ten cents in one week) where I live.

How about 51%. That way we hit 300,000 for the year!

The sad thing is that Tesla will equal or surpass all the other manufacturers combined in the U.S. by the end of June..

Sales are up but Bolt sales are down as I expected. I’m hoping GM will be willing to put some cash on the hood next month. Anyone near Boston know why Copeland Chevy advertises prices below $27k for the LT and $29k for the Premiere trims? Is that legit or have they already factored in the fed credit?

Give them a call or shoot them an email to find out for sure. If it’s in driving distance, then it will be worth the trip.

I honestly don’t know how effective that would be. My experience with dealers is that they usually give some sort of canned response like “we advertise the most competitive prices. No one else can beat them. Feel free to stop by and we can discuss pricing in person.”

They just want you to show up in person so that they can unleash their aggressive sales tactics on you.

They’re probably advertising those as the capitalized cost of a lease.

* I withhold my POV until such time as it becomes obvious to me I will be right.

How confident are you in the 3875? I ask because Tesla had 2000+ Model 3s in transit at end of March and claims to have made 4500+ more by mid-April. It seems almost all of those would be delivered by the end of April.

Also, the market share graph they included in the shareholder letter implies about 4800 delivered in April

Pretty darn confident! “I ask because Tesla had 2000+ Model 3s in transit at end of March and claims to have made 4500+ more by mid-April. It seems almost all of those would be delivered by the end of April.” If Tesla had delivered all of the cars produced by mid-april then deliveries would have been well-over 6,000 for the month (2000 in transit + 4500) not just under 5,000 (4800). Even looking at that lower 4800 number, there are issues with the graph provided by Tesla. Based on the most recent sales data I have seen from manufacturers and Car Sales Base 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 Model 3’s. If Tesla sold 4,300 units then all 5 models combined for 17,123 units. That would give the Model 3 just over 25% market share among these models to match the graph. But the other numbers don’t line up very well with Tesla’s graph. Under this scenario, that puts the C-class at just over 30%. The graph provided by Tesla… Read more »

Wade, thanks for the detailed reply. I believe Tesla’s “premium compact sedan” or whatever segment includes other low volume makes not listed on the graph, for a total segment size of~18,500. 4800 Model 3s fit that pretty well, and the others line up, too.

I will look into it further to see if anything has changed since gathering the data a few days before the end of last month. (I’m still going to take Tesla’s graph with a grain of salt since it is so imprecise and low detail. We would need to see actual data from our usual sources to back it up. )

It’s entirely possible there were some earlier than expected deliveries or a large group of people with higher vins not reporting their vin or their expected delivery date, or some unreported fleet sales that could push sales a bit higher… but not significantly higher.

Of course, the number we estimated to be produced in April matches pretty much exactly with what Tesla reported, so over the quarter the numbers won’t change at all. If a portion of the vehicles we expected to be delivered in the first week of May came earlier than initially expected, then that would just increase Aprils numbers a bit at the expense of early May deliveries.

I will look into it further though! 🙂

Great work with the numbers IEV!

IMHO, it seems like Nissan has ceded its lead to GM (not counting Tesla). I think Nissan can turn that around, but the upcoming 60 kWh Leaf needs to best GM’s Bolt in the range department and they could really overtake GM if they were to bring a Rouge PHEV or even a Pathfinder PHEV to market! They have the tech from both Leaf and Mitsubishi’s Outlander, they need to make it happen sooner rather than later.

I really wanted to riff on your comment about the Nissan Rouge, but spellcheck has zapped me too many times.
ON EDIT: Wait, what is this? An edit button!? May wonders never cease!

Ugh, I can’t believe I didn’t spell it Rogue! You would have been justified in riffing on me!

Edit: Whoa! There is an edit button! 😮

The reality of the electric car reveloution is the #2 selling electric car has 25 mile range then it runs on gasoline. This is a hybrid. For the record 9,600 true electric cars were sold in April which is up substantially over 2017 +45%. Total car sales average 1.4M per month in the US and industry was off -2% YTD. True electric has a .007% share of market. Consumers are watching to see the eveloution.

I think that would be 0.7%

Good point about BEV’s only representing a bit under half of the plugins. But pure BEV is 0.7% market share, and the current options are very limited. This should change very soon. The Tesla Roadster is only ten years old now. We’re just at the beginning here. Next year we’ve got a ramped up Model 3, a 60 kWh Nissan Leaf, an IPace, Kona, Niro, eTron Quattro… BEV market share will take over PHEV rapidly. As charging stations come online, PHEV will make no sense.

They count light trucks as cars, and also SUV & crossovers. Those account for about 60% of all vehicles sold in the U.S. Also sales of sedans are way down, but not for bev models.
Look at what Tesla did to the luxury segment where they enjoy some of the top sellers in the space, and account for 35% of all vehicles sold as luxury sedans.
I don’t think Bmw, Mercedes are stupid enough, as some seem to be, to say that there is nothing to worry about.

These numbers will be like crumbs on the ground in 3-4 yrs. When the first 100,000 month comes in, then we will be in the big leagues.

We hit >1000/mo in the first year in the US (2011) and 10,000 per month in 2013. now in 2018 we are at ~25K/mo. Depending where we are on the S-curve, 100K might be a couple years. TM3 should sure help once they hit full production.