Electric Car Sales Expected To Increase Substantially In 2019


Electric car sales are set to rise dramatically in 2019 as rapid growth in the sector is expected to continue.

According to electric vehicle website Driving Electric, drivers who are considering taking the plunge are advised to strike now before supply bottlenecks take hold.

Research by the website shows that it usually takes around 10-12 weeks for a new car to be delivered, but lead times for some electric vehicles can be up to six months.

The website found that Hyundai claims to have “no lead time” between order and delivery for the hybrid version of the Ioniq hatchback, but buyers wanting plug-in hybrid or fully electric versions will have to wait around four months.

And if you want a conventional Volkswagen Golf, you’re looking at a 14-week wait. But if you want the electric version, you’ll be looking at adding another four weeks to that.

Those who want a new Jaguar will normally have to wait three months, but buyers of the brand’s new I-Pace electric SUV will have to double that wait.

Yet all that pales into insignificance next to the new Hyundai Kona Electric, which is said to have a 10-month waiting list.

According to Driving Electric, the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is only set to grow, and lead times look likely to lengthen.

“It has been a remarkable year for electric cars, with the segment performing much more strongly than the overall market,” said Vicky Parrott, the associate editor of DrivingElectric.com.

“During 2018 the total of all new car registrations was nearly seven per cent down, compared with 2017. But pure electric cars were up by more than 10 per cent. And in November alone, compared to the same month a year ago, the overall market was three percent smaller while battery electric vehicles were nearly 70 percent ahead on the same month last year.

“Plug-in hybrid electric car sales have also risen in 2018 by around a quarter, helped by a combination of interest in electric and the reassurance of the range-extending possibilities of an additional conventional engine.

“With every sign that electric cars are immune to the doldrums much of the rest of the market has found itself in during 2018 we expect demand to rise even faster next year.

“Because EVs are seeing a global surge in interest, anyone who has pondered the idea of buying one is advised to stop dithering from this point and get ahead of any future supply bottlenecks caused by their popularity. It’s time to stop pondering and pounce instead.”

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63 Comments on "Electric Car Sales Expected To Increase Substantially In 2019"

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The elephant in the room, Tesla, receives no mention?

Tesla effectively “sold” 400K+ cars almost 3 years ago, and now catching up. It’s not clear if Tesla should be mentioned. If just going by 2019 sales (ie, not “sold” 3 years ago), I’m not sure if there will be much increase, if at all.

Tesla “config-to-delivery” only takes a few weeks recently. New customers don’t need to reserve. The remaining reservations are for the Short Range and for those who are undecided. Q4 deliveries were mostly from new customers, and didn’t seem to let up. Q1 US sales may get a hit due to a drop in tax incentive and a large part of the production volume will go overseas. Once the Short Range model becomes available in Q2, US sales will rise back up.
Overall, Tesla global sales will keep increasing for a while until production rate reaches target of 10K/week. By that time, it’s the Model Y’s turn. Rinse and repeat.

Maybe so, but there’s still waiting list, and it’s hard to know what is the actual demand until waiting list is filled. We can revisit this after 400K+ Tesla 3 are delivered. Until then, it’s murky at best for Tesla.

Then we only can look at non Tesla sales, and it’s not that good. When even $21K Bolts (32K sale – post 7.5K – 2.5 K CA rebate – 1 K SCE rebate) are not moving much more than before, increase in sales isn’t likely.

Well it is true that so far only Tesla has built a compelling EV that can sell in large numbers. However I suspect that they will be enough to power a large sales increase this year. Then 2020 we should have quite a few other compelling EVs hit the market to sustain the momentum.

There are other compelling EVs that just lack the ability to supply in quantity at this time. ei. Kona/Niro. Most EVs are constrained by supply, not demand.

True, for 2019 Tesla is the only volume ev manufacturer. Sales should exceed 400k for 2019. 2019 is the initial start with EVs for the rest of the transitioning ice automakers. 2020 should be the same.

Chevy made 1000000 times more Bolts than all Tesla combined, people just didn’t buy it even when it’s $25K, $23K, now $21K. They leave a dozen or so at each Chevy dealers across the country and send the rest to car heaven.

I don’t know what makes Kona/Niro more compelling than $21K Bolt. But try this thought experiment: If Tesla 3 is sold as Chevy, would people pay $50K (average transaction price)? I highly doubt it. Even people in this “pro EV” forum will say it’s worth 20% less than comparable gasser (like PuPu thinks of Bolt).

Current “EV sales” is not for EV, but Tesla badge sales. One can argue that Tesla makes EV, hence it’s EV sales, but it’s not really when EV from other makers are not selling much even when 20% cheaper than comparable gasser.

Yes, this is a very good point that I’ve noticed EV enthusiests don’t get. Tesla could come out with an ICE car and it would sell well because it’s being sold on cult not on product. It’s why they are so often compared with Apple, who has a very long history of selling on cult instead of product. What this means for the market place though is that Tesla can essentially do no wrong so long as their cult following is large enough. But any other entrants into the market place will have to win customers the old fashioned way, and the manner in which those sales occur will tell you the real state of the EV market. Something you need to remember as EV enthusiasts, and I stress this a lot, is that most people who are not enthusiasts don’t care about electric cars at all. They don’t hate them or love them. They simply want a cheap car that looks pretty that their phone can hook up to. Those people are the LAST people you want to buy an EV. No I’m serious. If average Joe goes out and buys an EV, probably by mistake, gets it home,… Read more »

This is of course total nonsense, but the comparison to apple is good.
Companies only get cult followings if their product is good. That happened to Apple and to Tesla. It doesn’t work in reverse.

You mean as opposed to the annoying weekly trip to the gas station that most EV drivers get to avoid?

The fact that the Volt sold well and that there was a waiting list for the EV1 says otherwise

Yes, look at what happened with Tesla S & X. After the initial reservations were filled, the sales dropped off a cliff…
Oh wait….

You’re confusing Tesla with EV. Tesla is selling Tesla badge, not EV.

The slow and decreasing non Tesla EV sales is showing is that EV do not sell even when it’s cheaper than comparable gasser even if that EV has range of Tesla S 75 (and 1/4 the price).

Occam’s razor. What’s more likely, Tesla makes a good EV that people want to buy OR Tesla has managed to delude hundreds of thousands of people into buying a car they actually do not want but they want a Tesla.

Your theory sucks. The Bolt isn’t selling well because GM dealers are actively anti-selling it, and it’s just not that inspiring of a vehicle. If GM makes a better car they will sell more.

The Bolt is selling out and has a waiting list, all major EV manufacturers do. The issue is supply not demand.

Yeah that is the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth. So if I buy the base Model 3 that I reserved March 31, 2016, today, I’ll get it, here in Kristiansand, Norway, in “a few weeks”, right?

It never seizes to amaze me how capable Americans are of completely forgetting that 95% of the world lies outside of US borders.

Only by raw population numbers is that 95% number true. The real metric would be premium car market where the US is a lot closer to 50%. But hey – no one in the US gets a truly base model 3 either – in a few weeks. (Presuming the base is the $35k model).
So while we Americans are pretty ethnocentric generally, lets not pretend that 95% of the market for $35k+ cars is outside the US. While you didn’t explicitly say that – and I know you don’t think that – your post implies it.
And then there is the fact that this is an American based board where correspondence is in English. So discussions are often based on that. There is a far different reality living in the US then in Europe living in a country that has 5% of the population you can drive to in a day. That is just geographic and nation-state reality. I live in North Carolina. The population of my state is higher than your country. And the US is roughly the size of the EU. Different perspective.
That perspective isn’t really a reason to insult Americans.

Some Model 3 reservation holders may also be waiting for a lease opportunity, or for the PUP (Premium Upgrade Package) to become optional; currently it’s mandatory.

Oh, and it’s “Standard Range”… not “Short Range”.

Not true. Majority of Q4 deliveries were new orders for Tesla, not reservations

That’s reasonable, but you can’t base everything on total increase in registrations and then not mention Tesla.

To be fair, there are a plethora of articles about Tesla’s supply and delivery, and how long wait times are. It is true that, regarding BEV supply, there’s Tesla way out front, with the rest of the suppliers trailing far behind in a pack. But it’s nice to see an article that focuses on the rest of the market for once.

If you look at US BEV sales and ignore Tesla, the market is literally down YoY. I did the math and started facepalming at manufacturers.

The reason is that all manufacturers are responding to increasing international demand by making supply primarily available to foreign countries. Even Chevy is doing the same. Business-wise it’s reasonable, but isn’t the solution to actually ramp up BEV production to respond to demand??

Not if they are losing money on the sales. Elon Musk admitted about a month ago that Tesla got within weeks of running out of cash on the push to get the Model 3 out the door. Chevy reportedly lost tens of thousands on every Bolt sale when you count R&D into the picture (and you have to, any model car must pay for it’s R&D too, not just it’s raw parts and manufacturing costs). Too many of these EVs in the USA are compliance cars sold mostly in California and a few other states that demand them. Companies often lose money selling them, though how much isn’t usually disclosed. If they can sell them in other markets for a profit, but not in the USA, that’s not their fault, that’s just supply and demand.

There are plenty of articles on this and other sites about Tesla. Isn’t it nice just for once to have one that only mentions the other EV players?
There is such a thing a ‘Tesla overload’ you know. Yes, I know it generates clicks but sometimes there are just too many articles with Tesla in the title or if there isn’t, a load of the comments soon divert the conversation to Tesla.
They aren’t the only EV player these days. Yes, they are the only one with the volumes until VW comes on stream and many of us want to know about ALL EV makers not just what Elon had for breakfast today… (sic but I hope you get my point).

Also the article was discussing the UK market (not made clear by Inside EVs) and until Model 3 arrives the various alternatives are the right thing to focus on if you are writing about the importance of ordering now and not waiting!

The article being discussed was actually talking about the UK market. It is uncertain when Model 3 will be available and in what quantities so makes sense to focus on cars that can be purchased right now, given that was the focus of the article.

Depending on where you live you might not be able to get one for quite a while. These times are mostly for places where evs will be available. With almost every single one in low production numbers, fewer than 25k a year, like the iPace, Taycan, Kona, Hyundai ev, if not already ordered you probably won’t get one this year, and that’s only where they are being sold, which is not everywhere..

Kona is a Hyundai ev… And they make > 5k/month of them.

Hyundai recently had a big bump in production to 4.6k Kona EV/month, half for the domestic South Korean market and half for export with Norway getting a substantial share. If you live in say Texas…. good luck.

Hyundai has said it will supply dealers in all US states, not just the CARB states, as long as they have a definite order. So while it won’t have inventory in Texas, anyone in Texas can buy it at a Texan Hyundai dealership. And they’ll probably not have to wait as long as in Norway. If you order in Norway today, you’re looking at late 2020 or possibly 2021. So clearly Hyundai is making far fewer than people want to buy. And although ffbj may be technically incorrect that it’s fewer than 25k, his point basically stands. Many cars are coming to market, but volume is low across the board, the only significant exception (apart from in China!) being Tesla and especially the Model 3. I don’t know why that is, but the preponderant claims that battery availability is an issue seem plausible to me. Nissan has long had the capability to ramp Leaf production (since they make it in 3 factories, 4 if you include the Chinese version), but when the e+ was introduced (with 62 kWh said to be from LG chem) it said it plans to make just 9,000 in 2019. Demand should be way higher than… Read more »

What Hyundai says and the reality on the ground are pretty far apart. 4.6k a month. Export 50%. Open Norway’s reservations earlier – not sure if that is true but numbers are available where I haven’t seen US numbers. You are looking at over 1 year to get one in Texas most likely. 4.6k a month does not supply SK and Norway.
My wife wants one – and I had to tell her – probably special order, over a year wait and if there was a problem with an EV component, it might take weeks to fix.
So when they say supply all states – with what volume?

With the volume that is ordered by the customers.
EV will turn to special order only, just like in the rest of the world.

same in Belgium and the Nederlands, waiting list has gone up to more than one year. yearly production of 5000×12 = 60000 cars a year. more pll are willing to buy than hyundai is willing to produce.

I think you are right about battery supply holding them back but I think its actually profitability that is the main problem. These companies aren’t stupid – they can see demand exists – but if filling it means they lose money on every car sold their hands are tied. Selling 35,000 cars a year at a loss for compliance reasons or with one eye on the next product cycle is easy for these companies to absorb. Selling 350,000 a year at a loss is another story altogether. So far, the only non-Tesla, non-Chinese EV that we know is profitable is the leaf. There could be others and the high-end models coming to market should gave good margins but for mass-production (i.e. 100,000+ a year) there is still very little available. This is where Tesla is furthest ahead if you ask me. Its their profitability (at the model level at least) that gives them their biggest advantage.

Most of the lead times mentioned are due to the fact that manufacturers are not yet producing enough of their EVs to satisfy demand.

Demand is growing faster than production.

Hyundai is definitely a great example. In December they exported 6000 hybrid Ioniqs yet only 780 PHEVs and 1600 EVs. No wonder there’s no waiting for a Hybrid if they’re allocating all their damn production to them!!

I think the author is smoking something. And while yes, I’m hoping for increasing numbers in sales as well in 2019. These numbers are cherry picked, mostly from vehicles that are compliance vehicles with very limited production numbers.

Nope, these waiting times are worldwide.
And these vehicles are not compliance cars in the rest of the world, far from that.

Waiting times worldwide? What is that supposed to me. Waiting times vary wildly depending on your region. No such thing as a worldwide waiting time

In some regions the waiting times are worse than in others, but it is global. There is no reason to supply one region far better than other regions.
Sales in some regions are far lower than in other regions, but that is sales channel and culture dependent, not factory policy.

They really are compliance cars. But so what? It just means that they are made because regulations require them, not because Tesla is forcing their hand with its fleet of super affordable $50k+ cars…

If anything, we should all hope for tighter regulation. That would lead to a much more rapid increase in the volume of compliance cars. And some of them are excellent! I have bought the Kona (but not yet taken delivery), which is clearly an excellent compliance car!

Cars that are designed and build to conquer the market are not compliance cars.
That they are hard to get in most of the USA has a different reason.
The USA market lost the competition with the EU and Asia markets.

Nope. These wait times are in the UK. Not made clear by Inside EVs but is if you look at the original article.

PHEVs with short AER are close to useless. PHEVs with 30+ electric mile range are very effective in not only reducing oil consumption but serving as a gateway drug to BEV. Don’ t let the perfect be then enemy of the very good.

Not true. Transition to a sustainable future will go much faster without hybrids that just prolong the time we could burn fossils economically.

We have a gen 2 volt, and in 45k miles have only burned about 85 gallons. (which was mostly during long trips) if we had a leaf, we would have been forced to take one of the other cars that get alot worse mpg than the volt when burning gas. We are really looking forward to the affordable 200+ mile EVs (dont care for either the bolt or m3), but niro ev looks like a winner to us. Please don’t make PHEVs the enemy, they are a very good transitional tech/solution.

For people that can’t change at home you can eliminate new ice sales completely and they will still go for the used ice. Don’t be naive, this switch will take time and the current ev market is poor at best.

Congratulations for making the stupidest statement I’ve read all day. If PHEVs, by your own admission, make fossil fuels cheaper, then the only way they accomplished that is by causing a large surplus due to a decline in demand. So, please explain how we would be “burning more.”

“PHEVS are not sustainable and just increase fossil fuel burning because they make burning it cheaper so we end up burning more”

This doesn’t make sense at all. Most people drive to and from work or school everyday, occasionally long distance for travel. Driving a PHEV doesn’t make me to drive more, I’m driving the same distance regardless what car I drive.

Lots talks about exponential growth, what is the exponent and how does it change year to year?

I think exponential is sadly used about any curve that bends upwards, from quadratic to factorial. 🙂

I think it’s worse than that.
I’ve seen countless examples of “exponentially” statements relating to two points on a growth curve. As in: “My August toffee-apple sales increased exponentially from 95 to 240 over the past year”.

One could, just as accurately, say linearly, logarithmically or even logistically (much more likely in the EV case). And it all means nada in the absence of controlling coefficients, exponents etc.

Just a case of hoi polloi discovering a “new” term and abusing the s**t out of it. Aggravating? Yup!

You might want to check the dictionary definition of “exponential”. It has a broader meaning than you think.

There’s no link to the source, but if it’s drivingelectric.com, it would be worth mentioning that the source website is talking about EVs in Britain, specifically. Not super relevant in the US, where most InsideEVs readers are, and where sales figures and vehicle availability are far different.

Found the original, which is indeed about the market in the UK. https://www.drivingelectric.com/news/798/electric-car-demand-set-surge-2019

From what they’ve said before, only half its readership is from the USA. I know, hard to believe..! The slant is so strong you’d think it was > 90%…

Interesting, thanks. The article would be fine, even for US readers, if it made clear the subject is the UK market.

The bottlenecks discussed are very temporary. Once Model 3 ships to EU/UK, yes, deliveries of EVs will increase. Not difficult to see that happening.

Buying rare cars is not a good financial move whether EV or not.

> Electric car sales are set to rise dramatically in 2019

Just how much of a rise is “rise dramatically”? Are we talking about doubling? Quadrupling? …?

It seems to me that EV sales this year — and for at least the next couple of years — will be constrained by production rather than demand. So the question is more about how many EVs will be produced this year than how many will be sold.

We should have a reasonable picture of planned production globally across all brands for the year by now. I don’t have the figures, but a site like InsideEVs should be able to work it out.

Whatever the answer, it’s clearly going to be a lot higher than this year, but I’d like to get some actual projections rather than just a wooly “set to rise dramatically”.

Look at the build plans of the OEMs to see sales growth… Wait times are fungible. Tesla still ramping up quickly, VW hurrying to market, all others ramping production, trying not to get lost in the process. If the US hit 80% growth tin 2018… 2019 will probably be better. 2020 -2025 will be incredible.
Tesla may double its US production rate, plus more entrants at low levels. Most new EVs will sell, given the rise in EV interest and mandates in some states. But watch the proliferation and build/shipment numbers.