Global Sales December & 2018: 2 Million Plug-In Electric Cars Sold

JAN 31 2019 BY MARK KANE 29

Amazing year, amazing growth and records

Sales of plug-in electric cars increased very fast and in December reached an all-time record of around 286,367 (according to EV Sales Blog estimations), which is the fourth consecutive new record.

The rate of growth was 70%, which is enough to be happy with the progress.

See more our sales reports for December 2018 here.

Thanks to the superb end of the year, the year 2018 closed with 2 million sales! The estimated result stands at 2,018,247, which is 72% more than a year ago at an average market share of 2.1%.

All-electric cars took 69% of sales, while PHEV 31%. Such high advantage for BEVs has not been seen since 2011.

Next year result is expected at 3-3.5 million with a monthly record maybe at around 500,000.

Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales – December 2018

Models rank

The indisputable market leader in 2018 was Tesla Model 3 with an all-time record of 25,050 in December and an all-time record of 145,846 in 2018. No other all-electric (or plug-in hybrid) model was ever even close to Model 3 results.

All the people engaged in Tesla Model 3 (and broadly in Tesla) should hear a big thank you from all of us, EV enthusiasts, for what they have done, showing the way for the entire automotive industry. Good luck and hopefully 300,000 sales in 2019!

The next two places were taken by Chinese BAIC EC-Series (90,637) and Nissan LEAF (87,149) – both set new own records. For LEAF it was first new record since the good old times – 2014 when 61,013 were sold. Perspectives for growth at EC-Series and LEAF/LEAF e+ are good in 2019.

Tesla Model S (50,045) and Tesla Model X (49,349) complemented the all-electric Top 5 making Tesla the brand with 3 models in Top 5!

BYD put the most – five – models in the Top 20, which consist of 3 models from the U.S., 3 from Europe and 3 from Japan (the remaining 11 are from China).

Hopefully, in 2019 more models will be selling at a rate of more than 10,000 per month.

Manufacturers rank

The race between manufacturers of plug-in electric car sales was won by Tesla, ahead of BYD, which is the only company able to keep a similar pace of growth. It’s the first such title for Tesla, especially important because Tesla sells only all-electric cars and offers only three models.

BYD is still the biggest EV manufacturer when we include buses and trucks – 247,811, but this is rather a curiosity than an important comparison.

Strong six-digit results were achieved also by BAIC and BMW, while Nissan missed the mark of 100,000 by some 3,000.

  • Tesla: 39,731 (245,240 YTD)
  • BYD: 37,015 (227,364 YTD)
  • BAIC: 27,823 (164,958 YTD)

About 49% of total plug-ins sold have origins from China, while 16% come from the U.S. and 12% from Germany. Other countries supply just 23%.

Our thanks to EV Sales Blog for tallying up and estimating the individual sales by OEM

Categories: BYD, Nissan, Sales, Tesla

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

29 Comments on "Global Sales December & 2018: 2 Million Plug-In Electric Cars Sold"

newest oldest most voted
Do Not Read Between The Lines

Only 87k sales for the Nissan Leaf? At only 7,250 sales per month, it’s clearly dying.

You forgot the /s

Toyota is having worse issues.
Being eaten alive by Tesla at the top and Mitsubishi at the bottom. That’s 41,000 Toyota highlanders that did not get sold.

But who is BIAC?

BAIC is Beijing Motor(Beijing Automotive Industrial Co.) who is a China state-owned company.
It sales cars manily inside China.

Took me a bit to detect the sarcasm.

Wow, the EV market is really taking off. Last year 1 million sold, this year 2 million, and 3 mi expected for 2019. And without any doubt, Tesla and BYD are the leaders. A relevant fact is that Tesla in just 10 years became the world’s top plug-in car manufacturer, but Wall Street keeps whining and crying Wolf.

BTW, this 2 million adds up to a stock of 3 million tallied until December 2017, meaning there are now over 5 million plug-in passenger cars on the world’s roads. Despite the progress, EVs are about 1/250 (0.4%) of total passsenger cars in use (the global stock of passenger cars is well over 1 billion). Still a long way to go.

Wall Street is still crying Wolf about Tesla because they have trillions invested in fossil fuel industries, incumbent car-makers and utilities ASSETS that Tesla success put in risk of killing their value.

All very true about the small volume of total fleet numbers.

The percentage will likely double year on year circa the nursery rhyme 1&1 is 2, 2&2 is 4, 4&4 is…… armageddon for Oil investors.

In fact, if we take the official Tesla letters of each quarter earnings, we will find that (summing all the four quarters exact deliveries numbers for Model 3 and both Model S and X), 149.055 Model 3 were delivered in 2018 and 99.451 Model S and X were delivered in 2018.
So, this give us a total of 248.506 Tesla cars delivered in 2018. Almost a quarter of million!
If it wasn’t for the tariff war, after July, between USA and China, Tesla would have passed this 250.000 mark easily.

What numbers are you using. When I add up the quarterly results, I get 145k delivered (sold) and 154k produced. Maybe you mixed some nunbers?

Global deliveries for Models S, X, and 3 are almost 250k in 2018.

haha! Good catch! My bad, I typed 59.065 Model 3 deliveries in Q3 instead of 56.065. Right numbers are 146.055 Model 3 delivered in 2018, and a total of 245.506 Tesla cars deliveries in 2018. Now, my comments about China deliveries being affected by commercial war is still valid. The only thing is that we will never know if Tesla would have been able to reach the 250.00 mark without this war…

You would think even Trump would be helping to make sure Tesla’s success continues. An American company that employs thousands of Americans, but instead he’s backing fossil fuels.
Nevada should require a certain percentage of cabs be EV’s and cars sold be EV’s.

No need to require anything. people and companies will choose these on their own. Don’t hold your breath for government to fix anything. But relax, ICE will lose in the market place, and that is the best incentive or motivating force for the conversion to all EVs.

Repubs, including Trump, make policy by the political bribe, and nothing else.
Why do you think he’s locking up kids at the border? He got a campaign contribution from the detention center people.

Where do Repubs even discuss policy?
They don’t. ALEC discusses policy. A Corporate lobbying group designing policy for it’s membership. Not for the good of the nation. This is why Repub economic results never out perform democrats. They’re paid not to.

Why do you think Repubs on the US Supreme Court voted to allow “Citizens United”: Corporates allowed to FLOOD the US election system with corporate money? The ROT goes all the way to the Top of the Supreme Court.

MX9100 Completely agree with you. Trump wants to force coal and nuclear plants to use there energy before renewable energy, under the guise of energy security. This will allow coal and nuclear plants to charge more for there electricity which the rate payer will pay. Why aren’t the GOP supporters mad as heck about that. Whatever the reason these fossil fuel industries have been getting breaks for 100 years and they still want more.

So Tesla is #1 or #2 depending on how you slice it. Go Tesla!

In all fairness Tesla is indeed the number one manufacturer of plug-in passenger cars . When you hear that Toyota, VW or GM is #1 they are talking passenger cars. BYD was #1 from 2015 to 2017, but now that they lost the crown to Tesla, they are adding up commercial vehicles and buses to say they are still #1. That is a different segment and the car industry has always ranked sales by segment.

How many BEVS where sold. This is more interesting as they are the solution to sustainable whereas the hybrids are part of the problem.

If everyone drove efficient hybrids instead of less efficient ICEs we would be a lot better off. A BEV can have a larger impact on CO2 and other emissions, but a hybrid can be a huge improvement vs a less efficient ICE.

The goal here is to reduce emissions. I think people lose sight of that. It still takes carbon based fuel to produce your BEV somewhere along the supply chain so it is still part of the problem.

The fact that we drive cars at all is the problem, but what can we do to minimize the impact since we will drive cars anyway? That is the goal.

No the goal is to eliminate emissions and only zero emissions vehicles like BEVs and FCVs can do that. Ice vehicles hybrid or not will never be able to end global warming and air pollution. It is a shame we still care to read about hybrids on websites for sustainable vehicles.

You don’t need to eliminate carbon emissions (impossible for many generations due to demanded energy from society), only reduce them. You are ignore the root of the problem is that people buy cars, not that cars produce emissions. Until you change that issue you have to settle on some compromise.

Yes, BEVs have less lifetime emissions than less efficient ICE cars and still produce carbon emissions in production. Driving a BEV might be worse than a Prius depending on where you live. Even if you don’t want to admit it the Prius is bringing positive change, it is better than less efficient ICE. Unfortunately sales are falling. As people either move back to less efficient vehicles or to cars like Tesla.

The reason BEV will win is costs and people don’t want to give up performance. BEVs give better performance while maintaining reasonable efficiency. Guilt free performance.

As an example, Union of Concerned Scientists says my Clarity PHEV running EV only will produce 202 g CO2e/mi based on my zip code. This is the same as a gas car getting 54 mpg. Conveniently, this is the same as the Prius. So me, running my Clarity on electric only, is the same CO2 emissions as driving a Prius on gasoline. My Clarity gets 45 mpg on gas. So basically, when I run it on gas it produces only a little more CO2 emissions than electricity. The exhaust is very clean too, PZEV.

But according to you, you would have rather me kept my minivan getting 19 mpg and burning about 1,200 gallons more gasoline per year producing more than 400 g CO2/mi, because they shouldn’t have bothered making the PHEV. There were no affordable BEVs in the price range of the Clarity PHEV that could charge at 125 kW necessary to transport me the way I needed to use it.

About 1.4 million were BEVs, thx to the Model 3 the BEV:PHEV ratio rose to 69:31 in 2018.

Excellent news. Worldwide sales of 2,018,247 is really great.
Tesla is #1 and its Model-3/S/X are #1, #4, #5 and taking 3 of the Top-5 spots.

A small company makes wonders. What is even great is that all of its vehicles are fully electric and can travel the full distance unlike other EVs which can go only 150 – 250 km.

They aren’t really a small company any more. They have over 40,000 employees with over $7B revenue in the last quarter…

For comparison, Mazda has 46,000 employees and about $8B quarterly revenue (yearly of 32B / 4 quarters), so Tesla is the same size as Mazda in terms of employees and revenue. Interesting though is Mazda sold 1.6 million cars and Tesla only sold about 1/6 of that (maybe 1/4 if you look at rates during Q4).

I calculated the increase in plugin sales based on the numbers in your plug-in sales scorecard and it is almost 65% – not 72%. Please check your numbers.

Will the American media give credit to Tesla for being World #1 and its Model-3/S/X taking #1, #4 & #5 positions respectively.
Chevy is only #12 among companies while none of its models could make into Top-20.
Ford is not in Top-20.

Great job Tesla. The way the Model-3 has 50% higher sales over #2 BAIC EC is very impressive.