As has often been the case of late, Tesla Motors lead the sales charge in September

As has often been the case of late, Tesla Motors lead the sales charge in September

We have to admit, reporting on plug-in vehicles sales for the United States was a bit of a drag in 2015. The lack of new models, and waiting on new generational upgrades, meant that sales were flat for most of the year.

2016 has been nothing like that.

After taking 2016 off, the new Toyota Prius Prime looks to be ready to give the Tesla Model S a run for the US EV sales crown in 2017, <a href=after being priced in the US from $27,100 (+ DST) this month" draggable="false">

After taking 2016 off, the new Toyota Prius Prime looks to be ready to give the Tesla Model S a run for the US EV sales crown in 2017, after being priced in the US from $27,100 (+ DST) this month

And for September, a new all-time record was set, with ~16,974 plug-ins sold during the month, good for a large 67% gain over 2015, when 10,134 vehicles were sold.

The surge in EV registrations, combined with a bit of a slump for the overall automotive segment in the US for September (1,435,689 sales), gave plug-in vehicles more than 1% of the new car market for the first time - coming in at 1.2%

For the full year, US sales have now crossed into 6 figures, hitting an estimated 110,171 plug-ins sold after 10 months, a 34% gain from the 82,404 sold through September of 2015.

Finding a reason for the surge this month was an easy task, as Tesla Motors in an effort to hit earlier sales guidance, delivered a record 24,500 cars in Q3, with the bulk of them (about ~7,500 according to our estimates) happening in the US during September.

In so doing, the Tesla Model S achieved an all-time single month plug-in sales record in the US, selling more than 4,300 copies.

A few other models also reached new 2016 highs during September, including the Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model X and Volkswagen e-Golf.  

However, a few dogs still weighed the market down and prevented sales from passing the 17,000-level for the first time; most notably the under-stocked BMW i3, whose updated 33 kWh battery option (good for 114 miles in the BEV configuration, and 97 miles in the PHEV version) failed to arrive in volume before the older 2016 models ran out of stock.

2016 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers NA-X – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

2016 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers NA-X – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

Other Statistical Points of Interest from September 2016

After 2 years of availability on the US market, the Kia Soul EV crossed into

After 2 years of availability on the US market, the Kia Soul EV crossed into "the 200s" for sales for the first time in the US in September

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. Tesla Motors* - 7,550
  2. Ford - 2,423
  3. GM - 2,352
  4. Nissan - 1,316
  5. BMW - 1,085
  6. VW Group – 1,000
Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In September*
  1. BEV – 10,771 -63.5%
  2. PHEV – 6,203 – 36.5%
New Year Highs Set In September By Model (previous 2016 high in brackets)
  • Tesla Model S* - 4,350 (3,700)
  • Tesla Model X* - 3,200 (1,860)
  • Nissan LEAF - 1,316 (1,246)
  • VW e-Golf – 529 (454)
  • Kia Soul EV - 217 (153)
  • Mercedes S550e - 41 (36)
(*) estimated

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