While October was behind September's surge as expected, it was still one of the best months of all time for U.S. EV sales.

Based on automakers' sales reports and our estimates, we report a total of 34,094 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in October, compared to last year's 14,315 and last month's 44,589.  While it wasn't the best month of all time, it's only exceeded by August and September 2018. We didn't really expect that the first month of the quarter would post phenomenal numbers, but it hit our early estimates on the nose. September's Tesla Model 3 record still stands to be broken, and though October wasn't the month to do it, we know the time is coming.

Five out of five months in 2018 have claimed a spot on our list of top months of all time for U.S. EV sales. This is primarily due to Tesla as a whole, but especially the Model 3, which continues to far surpass all other EVs in deliveries. Still, the growing numbers wouldn't be where they are today without the respectable sales of the Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and Nissan LEAF.

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

  1. September 2018 – 44,589
  2. August 2018 – 36,380 
  3. October 2018 – 34,094
  4. July 2018 – 29,514
  5. March 2018 – 26,373

The Tesla Model 3 tops our chart by a leaps and bounds, with 95,882 estimated U.S. deliveries. This makes it ten months in a row that the Model 3 has been the U.S. EV sales leader. We estimate Tesla sold some 17,750 Model 3s in the month of October, which accounts for more than half of all EV sales in the U.S. for September and well over one-third of all plug-in electric car sales for the year to date.

If you include the Model S and Model X (3rd and 4th on the year, respectively), Tesla delivered an estimated 20,325 vehicles last month, which adds up to nearly two-thirds of all EVs sold in the U.S. in October. Based on our estimates - for the year as a whole - Tesla has sold a whopping 134,427 vehicles in the U.S. out of a total of some ~268,729 overall EV sales to date. Soon, the automaker should be accounting for over half of all electric vehicles sold in the U.S. for 2018.

Let's take a closer look at the other top-selling electric vehicles in the U.S. this October:

The Toyota Prius Prime lands in the three-spot for the month and the second-place position for the year as a whole, with sales on the decline from last month, at 2,001.

The Chevrolet Volt fails to surpass the Chevrolet Bolt EV in October, after outselling it for seven consecutive months. However, it remains ahead of the Bolt by over 800 units for the year as a whole. Based on our estimates, the Volt lands in the fifth-place position for October, (1,475) and remains in the fifth position for the year thus far. Our research shows that Chevrolet Bolt sales were up considerably in October, at 2,075, trailing only to the Model 3. It also retains its sixth place position for 2018 as a whole.

The Honda Clarity PHEV and Nissan LEAF were the only other vehicles to sell over 1,000 copies in September, securing the cars in the fourth and seventh positions on our sales chart for the month and No. 7 and 8 on the year, respectively. LEAF sales dropped from last month, totaling 1,234 for October 2018. The Clarity makes a strong showing once again, with an estimated 1,935 Plug-in Hybrids delivered in the U.S. last month.

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 October 2018

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. Tesla* – 20,325
  2. General Motors* – 3,512
  3. Toyota – 2,001
  4. Honda – 1.935
  5. BMW Group – 1,836
  6. Nissan –  1,234

Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In September*

  1. BEV – 24,598
  2. PHEV – 9,496

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

2018 U.S. EV SALES JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC TOTAL
Tesla Model 3 1875 2485 3820 3750 6000 5902 14250 17800 22250 17750     95,882
Toyota Prius Prime 1496 2050 2922 2626 2924 2237 1984 2071 2213 2001     22,524
Tesla Model S 800 1125 3375 1250 1520 2750 1200 2625 3750 1350     19,745
Tesla Model X 700 975 2825 1025 1450 2550 1325 2750 3975 1225     18,800
Chevrolet Volt* 713 983 1782 1325 1675 1336 1475 1825 2129 1475     14,718
Chevrolet Bolt EV 1177 1424 1774 1275 1125 1083 1175 1225 1549 2075     13,882
Honda Clarity PHEV* 594 881 1061 1049 1639 1445 1440 1495 2028 1935     13,567
Nissan LEAF  150 895 1500 1171 1576 1367 1149 1315 1563 1234     11,920
BMW 530e* 224 413 689 518 729 942 536 749 756 733     6,289
Ford Fusion Energi 640 794 782 742 740 604 522 396 480 453     6,153
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid** 375 450 480 425 650 710 450 654 637 623     5,454
BMW i3 (BEV + REx)  382 623 992 503 424 580 464 418 461 424     5,271
BMWX5 xDrive 40e* 261 596 627 563 499 321 431 264 225 224     4,011
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 300 323 373 273 297 390 350 366 378 309     3,359
Kia Niro PHEV* 155 246 227 120 218 281 225 346 313 323     2,454
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron* 145 199 214 189 267 238 220 240 230 210     2,152
Fiat 500e**  210 235 285 215 250 225 220 75 94 100     1,909
Volvo XC60 PHEV* 109 155 167 141 214 226 185 210 215 180     1,802
BMW 330e* 101 142 202 166 150 138 106 192 195 229     1,621
Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid* 1 2 49 336 275 168 195 200 210 170     1,606
Mercedes C350e* 29 172 208 158 166 176 165 170 82 75     1,401
Mini Countryman SE PHEV* 127 100 74 106 163 211 210 128 140 117     1,376
Hyundai IONIQ PHEV* 22 178 218 180 217 143 180 43 11 128     1,320
Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV* 99 106 93 90 126 133 115 125 120 100     1,107
Kia Soul EV 115 163 157 152 133 57 130 33 18 61     1,019
Honda Clarity BEV 203 104 48 52 37 126 120 75 122 116     1,003
smart ED  84 90 103 80 110 126 103 108 98 95     997
Porsche Cayenne S-E* 113 121 197 265 59 12 15 45 60 25     912
Volkswagen e-Golf  178 198 164 128 76 32 18 32 14 62     902
Kia Optima PHEV* 86 103 156 142 98 83 90 39 17 51     865
Mercedes GLE 550e* 44 70 181 93 83 75 85 90 42 28     791
Ford C-Max Energi 234 142 105 57 18 6 4 4 12 0     582
Ford Focus Electric  70 73 137 83 88 50 46 7 4 0     558
BMW i8 32 39 47 57 64 45 72 67 55 64     542
Hyundai Sonata PHEV* 52 54 78 38 67 62 60 20 15 5     451
Mercedes GLC 350e*   5 57 59 64 66 60 65 27 20     423
Volvo S90 T8 PHEV* 27 29 52 29 30 35 30 40 45 35     352
BMW 740e* 18 23 31 60 17 16 40 18 25 45     293
Hyundai IONIQ EV 49 3 60 7 32 47 35 21 12 21     287
Cadillac CT6 PHEV* 6 24 17 42 30 18 26 23 11 12     209
Mercedes B250e  40 49 33 7 3 0 0 1 0 1     134
Mercedes S550e* 13 3 11 9 7 7 8 10 8 5     81
Jaguar I-Pace                   5     5
2018 U.S. Sales Totals 12,049 16,845 26,373 19,556 24,310 25,019 29,514 36,380 44,589 34,094     268,729
2017 U.S. Sales Totals 11,004 12,375 18,542 13,367 16,596 17,046 15,540 16,514 21,242 14,315 17,178 26,107 199,826
2018 Worldwide Sales* 82,000 81,000 141,000 128,450 159,346 157,933 144,975 172,400 200,500       1,267,604

Above - 2018 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.