The Tesla Model 3 is one of the biggest variables for 2018 EV sales (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the biggest variables for 2018 EV sales (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

We've completed an entire month of 2018, and soon enough, we'll know how sales will flesh out for the beginning of a new year.

Sadly, 2017 plug-in sales fell just shy of the 200,000 mark, though that's not to say that it wasn't an extremely impressive year as a whole. Hitting that number for 2018 will happen well before the end of the year. However, there are a huge amount of variables involved in determining where we might be by the end of this year. Will we see 300,000?

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

One of the biggest variables is the Tesla Model 3. According to Tesla, the automaker could clear the "multiple hundreds of thousands" mark on its own, but that potential has yet to be proven. Keep in mind that many of those vehicles will eventually be bound for markets overseas.

We also have to consider the arrival of new models (primarily PHEVs) and make an assumption regarding how well they might be stocked, and inevitably, how well they'll sell. Let's not forget that strong results for one vehicle may adversely impact the sales of a competitor (point of reference: 2017 Chevrolet Volt sales following the arrival of the Toyota Prius Prime, and now the Honda Clarity PHEV).

Then there's the all-new second-generation 2018 Nissan LEAF to consider. It's already getting somewhat of a late start, however, once the ball is really rolling, sales should be impressive. But, "How impressive?" is the big question. We do know that pre-orders are high, but will lofty sales follow?

What will January bring for EV sales? What might it mean for the year as a whole? What questions come to mind?

The Nissan LEAF has arrived! ... Well, sort of

The Nissan LEAF has arrived! ... Well, sort of

Questions entering January 

  • The Chevrolet Volt has struggled to maintain sales now that the 238-mile Bolt EV has arrived. It has seen deliveries drop year-over-year for nine months in a row. Will strong deliveries in January end the streak?
  • On the other side of the coin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is on a 10-month sales growth streak, will it continue into the new year?
  • Will the Tesla Model 3 prove "huge" numbers yet, or will we have to wait another month or more?
  • Will Tesla Model S and Model X sales be impacted by the rise in Model 3 deliveries?
  • Has the Nissan LEAF actually arrived, and, if so, in what kind of volume?
  • How will the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV fare in its second month (first full month) of sales?
  • Will the Toyota Prius Prime continue to impress after its strong year-end push?
  • In the continuing battle of “new 2018 offerings that disappointingly aren’t stocked so well”, who will manage to sell more – the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Volvo XC60 PHEV, Volvo S90 T8 PHEV or the new Mini Countryman Plug-In?
  • Will Honda manage to keep up with newfound demand for the Clarity PHEV and secure another significant boost, meaning it will find a new home in our recaps for next month?
  • The above question can also be asked about the Honda Clarity BEV. Will it eclipse 500 again?
  • Will BMW be able to continue its aggressive surge after its major butt-kicking in November and December? 
  • How will the Kia Niro PHEV and Hyundai IONIQ PHEV fare in their initial (partial) month of U.S. sales?
Stay tuned over the course of the next few days for the answers to these questions and many more, as we report January 2018 EV sales in real-time, beginning on Thursday, February 1, 2018, with the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Bolt/Volt sales at 6:30-7:30 AM PT (9:30-10:30 AM ET), and finishing with Ford and BMW’s plug-in data on the afternoon of Friday, February 2, 2018.