January 2019 U.S. EV Sales Impress, Primarily Due To Tesla And Honda



We report the best January ever for U.S. EV sales, but only a few models pushed the number up.

Based on automakers’ sales reports and our estimates, we report a total of 17,040 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in January, compared to last year’s 12,009 and last month’s 49,900. The number may be a bit higher since we’re still unable to secure sales data for the new Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (plug-in). Moreover, keep in mind that we are now somewhat in the dark regarding GM and Tesla estimates with the new year and current situations. Bear with us as we work hard to get more concrete information.

The year is off to a decent start for EV sales, but, as expected, the overall total is low. If it wasn’t for the Tesla Model 3 and the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid both dialing up deliveries compared to last year, we may not be reporting an increase. As the year moves on, we expect sales results to ramp up significantly.

We do know that Tesla is focusing all Model 3 production for overseas markets at this point, so healthy U.S. delivery numbers this January (6,500) are impressive. As the situation levels out, we should see U.S. Model 3 deliveries rise. Much like the Model S and Model X, Tesla will focus Model 3 production efforts more on the U.S. market as the quarter wears on. However, we feel that the first quarter will remain somewhat low, as it’s a huge task to shift deliveries to foreign markets.

Honda made monumental strides in 2018 with its Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. It outsold its number one rival — the Toyota Prius Prime — in October and December. Now, January brings another win for the Clarity PHEV. Based on official reports from both automakers, Honda sold 1,196 Clarity Plug-In Hybrids in January compared to Toyota’s 1,123 Primes delivered.

Sadly, no other plug-in model eclipsed the 1,000-mark last month.

With that being said, which month this year will be the first to join our top five list? Let us know your guess in the comment section.

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

  1. December 2018 – 49,900
  2. September 2018 – 44,544
  3. November 2018 – 42,588
  4. August 2018 – 36,347
  5. October 2018 – 34,074

We’ll close out the month with the usual final data points and another look at our completed sales chart.

Other Statistical Points of Interest from January 2019

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. Tesla* – 8,325
  2. General Motors* – 1,600
  3. Honda – 1,271
  4. Toyota – 1,192
  5. BMW Group – 996

Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In January*

  1. BEV – 10,765
  2. PHEV – 6,275

*Based on estimates due to the lack of U.S. monthly sales reporting by Tesla, GM, and Ford, as well as BMW i3 splits (BEV + REx), and multiple automakers refusing to provide information related to individual EV sales.

Tesla Model 365006,500
Honda Clarity PHEV11921,192
Toyota Prius Prime11231,123
Tesla Model X950950
Chevrolet Bolt EV925925
Tesla Model S875875
Nissan LEAF  717717
Chevrolet Volt*675675
Ford Fusion Energi557557
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid**436436
BMW 530e*376376
Kia Niro PHEV*279279
BMW i3 (BEV + REx)  255255
BMW 330e*216216
Jaguar I-Pace210210
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron*175175
Volkswagen e-Golf  164164
Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid*150150
Mercedes C350e*140140
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV133133
Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV*9595
Mercedes GLE 550e*9292
Volvo XC60 PHEV*9090
smart ED  8383
Honda Clarity BEV  7878
Mercedes GLC 350e*7474
Hyundai IONIQ PHEV*7373
Fiat 500e**  7272
BMWX5 xDrive 40e*7171
Porsche Cayenne S-E*6565
Mini Countryman SE PHEV*5050
Volvo S90 T8 PHEV*3535
Hyundai IONIQ EV3434
Kia Optima PHEV*3030
BMW i82323
Cadillac CT6 PHEV*88
Mercedes S550e*88
BMW 740e*66
Hyundai Sonata PHEV*44
Mercedes B250e  11
Ford Focus Electric  00
Kia Soul EV00
Ford C-Max Energi00
2019 U.S. Sales Totals17,0400000000000017,040
2018 U.S. Sales Totals12,00916,84526,44319,62324,30725,02929,59836,34744,54434,07442,58849,900361,307
2019 Worldwide Sales*
2018 Worldwide Sales*82,00081,000141,000128,450159,346160,894144,975175,362206,500214,800237,553286,3672,018,247

Above – 2019 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). BEV models are designated with the icon.

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

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33 Comments on "January 2019 U.S. EV Sales Impress, Primarily Due To Tesla And Honda"

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I wonder how February sales of the Model 3 in the US will look… will there be a decline from January because Tesla will still be so heavily focused on loading the cars up for overseas deliveries… or… not really sure what factors would lead to a significant uptake in the US in February… maybe people looking to burn the money from their early tax returns?

March we’ll see an uptick as winter is on its way out…

Just look at the previous pattern for Model S sales, month by month in a three-month rotation each quarter throughout the year. We can expect a modest uptick in February. In March, the last month of the current quarter, Telsa will be attempting to maximize domestic sales, and we should see sales during that month about equal to September or December of last year for all three of Tesla’s models.

If you pull out Tesla, and plug-in hybrids, EV sales were down from the previous January. Only the new Leaf, and iPace, moved the needle up. Anything out over 12 months now smells like old fish.

2018 Clarity deals are fantastic!
Year, Make, Model, and Trim: 2018 Honda Clarity Base – Red on Beige
**MSRP: $34295
**Monthly Payment: $199.57
**Drive-Off Amount: $350-500 DMV, $595 Bank fee, Taxes, 1st month
**Months: 36
**Annual Mileage: 10,000
**MF: 0.00047
**Residual: 43%
**Available Incentives: $10800
**Region: NY, NJ, CT

“Available Incentives: $10800”
7500 fed + 3000 zev …. what is the 800? Honda?
If they do this deal in CA the flood gates will open and they will not sale any other sedan.


@ Steven Loveday

This chart clearly shows the historical growth of monthly Plug-In sales in the US.

The bars of 2018 were yellow.

Which color will be used for the bars of 2019?

Pink 😀

I’m hoping for paisley. 😉

That’s not a color, it’s a pattern or design, which can be any color.

Black is not a color and that is already used. 🙂

The only decent sales months will be the end of the quarters when Tesla don’t have the time to ship the M3 overseas and have to sell at home to achieve sales targets for Wall Street.
2019 will be relatively disappointing until a new high volume model is launched, ie 2020.

How do you get January sales of the BMW 330e? Old Inventory? It’s no longer offered on their web site. Dropped from the USA?

Now, they’ve only got the i3 and i8.
Just when BMW was starting to challenge Toyota in Plug-ins, they pull the plug.

The 330e’s main problems were its tiny battery only range of 14 miles. Average daily commute in the US is 32 miles. Maybe 14 makes more sense in Europe? I don’t believe the 330e qualified for the full $7500 tax credit, and probably gets fewer credits in ZEV states due to its small battery. It’s hybrid fuel economy wasn’t great either, conservatively rated at 30mpg combined. Pretty terrible for a hybrid.

A Volt gets 53 miles of battery only range, and has a hybrid fuel economy of 42mpg. Even the Volt has lower fuel economy than some of the Japanese/Korean PHEVs like the Prius Prime or Hyundai Ioniq PHEV.

The 330e is faster than a Volt w/ a 0-60 in 5.8 second using BOTH electric and gas. The Volt is rated at 8.3, but I’ve heard it can do it in 7.5. I’m not sure if that’s battery only or combined.

330e is a bigger overall car and has a much nicer interior.. but their drive train performance could be much much better.

BMW is launching the next-gen 3 series. A PHEV version is coming, supposedly later this year (?), with about double the electric range.

This, but 2018 model year inventory persists.

2018 had big defence with 2017 thanks to Model 3.
I don’t think we will that big jump in 2019 like it was 2018.

Tesla should have seen a higher jump in the first 6 months due to their manufacturing issues last year… but due to the tax credit phase out, it doesn’t seem like demand will be very high, and there’s no waitlist this time

Later months won’t see as high of a demand again due to no wait list and no impending loss of $3500 from the tax credit. Offering the $35k TM3 SR while it’s still eligible for the $1875 tax credit could drive up demand but at lower margins. It’s a question of whether people will buy such an expensive car with cloth seats, a lower range, and potentially a slower 0-60 time. (Assuming they sell it with a smaller battery instead of a software lock)

Wait list hasn’t gone away. It is still there, just full of people waiting for the SR, which Tesla can’t make at a profit yet, so they are concentrating on LR and MR European and US orders.

Tesla can unplug more demand for the Model 3, especially the higher end models with Leasing.
Still waiting…

Wow, yes EV sales in general were all down, but yet still up YoY. Typical after the holiday season spending.

“January 2019 EV Sales Impress, Primarily Due To Tesla And Honda” —> “US January 2019 EV Sales Impress, Primarily Due To Tesla And Honda”.

Two letters…making it so much better.

“Norway Begins 2019 With Strong Growth Of EV Sales”, this time you managed to add the region/country that the article was about….I wonder why you forgot in one and not in the other. 😉

And the Tesla killar iPace sold 210 vehicles. LOL

Model S sales -68% YoY January
Model x Sales also down -50% YoY January

Looks like Model 3 is sucking the sales out of everyone else.

That is a good thing but also a bad thing. Good that it will give a huge prod to the rest of the crowd. Bad that it will concentrate sales to a single company which actually is disincentive to the rest of the market for investment.

I’m guessing it’ll be July before we break into the top 5 months for sales again. With Model 3 going international, I don’t see it happening before then.

Industry cannot live off of model 3 sales. The bolt is slumping. Prius has a huge lineage of owners. Aside from that you’ve got a really big group of companies that each sell a few cars.

So Tesla will continue to run away with the preponderance of sales, but with nobody really challenging them will they just run out of steam, especially as used 3’s hit the market? It’s one thing to sell every new car you want to when there is no substitute, it’s a wholly other one to sell every car you want to when you’re competing against yourself in the used market.

Excellent numbers seeing so many different brands represented now. Hopefully every brand will sell 10,000 EVs next month. The sooner we can put fossil fuels to rest the better.