The first 30 Tesla Model 3s arrived in the US in July...by year's end the new Tesla could be contributing as much as 10,000-20,000 per month if production goes as per the company's plans

The first 30 Tesla Model 3s arrived in the US in July...by year's end the new Tesla could be contributing as much as 10,000-20,000 per month if production goes as per the company's plans

Unlike the traditional automotive market in the US, which has been in free fall of late (and off a massive 7% in July), the plug-in electric vehicle segment in the US has been on an upward swing for almost two years (year-over-year gains have been noted in the last 22 consecutive months*). 

Now in July, the most anticipated offering to date finally arrived in the US to further help the numbers in the second half, the car of course being the Tesla Model 3.

Best selling plug-in on dealer lots in the US? The Chevrolet Bolt EV - topping the charts for the first time ever!

Best selling plug-in on dealer lots in the US? The Chevrolet Bolt EV - topping the charts for the first time ever!

At a special event in Fremont, California, Tesla delivered the first 30 Model 3s to anxious owners.

The new Tesla comes in two models, a base 220 mile version from $35,000 (+DST), and a 310 mile version from $44,000 - both with 0-60 mph times just over 5 seconds (watch the Model 3 debut/first delivery party + full details and specs here).

And while the Model 3 didn't assist in July's EV sales (at least in any meaningful way), the plug-in segment needed no help this month as some ~15,607 vehicles were sold, a gain of almost 20%.

What did help push the numbers higher was the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which lead all plug-in offerings in sales in July - a first for GM's EV; during the month almost 2,000 Bolts were sold.  Better still, July was the last month of the EVs regional roll-out, as the Bolt will be available nationwide starting in August - can 3,000 sales months be far off?

Overall, the US easily crossed into 6 digits for 2017, as ~104,863 plug-ins have been sold YTD, good for a gain of 35% from the 77,769  sold through the first 7 months of 2016.

Honda Clarity Electric

Honda Clarity Electric

Of interest in July:

  • the Model 3 wasn't the best selling newcomer in July, the Honda Clarity Electric actually arrived a few days ahead of its planned August release - and sold 34 copies.
  • Mercedes turned on the inventory taps for the US, as the popular C350 e was re-stocked at dealers for the first time since January, moving from zero sales in June to 112 in July, Also in the Mercedes camp, the luxury S 550 e set a new 2018 high, besting its 2nd best result by 50% (with 124 sales)
  • Meanwhile, BMW hit new all-times highs with the 530e, notching an impressive 343 sales in just its 3rd month on the market, while the MINI plug-in Countryman sold 75 in its first full month on sale in  America.
  • BMW also became the first automaker to sell more then 300 copies of 4 different plug-in models: i3, X5 PHV, 330e, 530e
Looking ahead, the Tesla Model 3 is expected to add at least 25,000 sales over the next 5 months, and the US market will also shortly see the introduction of the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In, the Kia Niro PHV, the new Nissan LEAF, next gen smart EDs (coupe and cabrio), Porsche Panamera 4 E hybrid, and the Honda Clarity PHV.

The takeaway from this month's report, and what is in the pipeline?  Plug-in electric vehicles sales will continue to rise, and rise even more dramatically in the near future.

2017 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** FCA/Hyundai-Kia Do Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data (Thanks to HybridCars for assist on Kia data)

2017 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** FCA/Hyundai-Kia Do Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data (Thanks to HybridCars for assist on Kia data)

Other Statistical Points of Interest from July 2017

The Plug-In Mini Countryman might prove to be popular in the US, as 75 copies were sold in its first full month on the market

The Plug-In Mini Countryman might prove to be popular in the US, as 75 copies were sold in its first full month on the market

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. General Motors – 3,514
  2. Tesla* – 3,105
  3. BMW Group – 2,004
  4. Ford – 1,695
  5. Toyota – 1,645
  6. Nissan – 1,283
  7. VW Group – 686
  8. FCA* – 600
Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In July*
  1. BEV – 7,922– 50.8%
  2. PHEV – 7,685 -49.2%
(*) estimated

New Year Highs Set In July By Model (previous 2017 high in brackets)

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV – 1,971 (1,642)
  • BMW 530e – 343 (239)
  • Kia Optima PHV - 130 (86)
  • Mercedes S 550 e - 124 (83)
  • Mercedes B 250 e - 81 (66)
  • Mini Countryman PHV - 75 (10)
  • Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid -22 (20)
  • Honda Clarity Electric - 34 (new model)
  • Tesla Model 3 - 30 (new model)
The full monthly recap by individual plug-in (all-time) can be found on our Monthly Scorecard here.

*On year of monthly sales improvements: We know someone is going to look at the chart and say, “hey, only ~11,467 sales were made in May of 2016, when 11,540 were logged in 2015!  What gives InsideEVs?”  What gives is – through an odd scheduling quirk, only 24 selling days were reported in May 2016 (versus 26 in 2015)