How about another record-breaking month?

October 2018 will mark the 37th month of consecutive year-over-year monthly sales gains for plug-in vehicles.

Each month InsideEVs tracks all the plug-in EV sales/deliveries for the United States by automaker. The 2018 calendar year has been the most fascinating thus far in the history of the segment and it only stands to get better. The year started with somewhat lackluster sales, but the momentum quickly shifted. Now, each month is almost sure to blow the roof off of the past. In fact, four of the five best-selling months of all time for electric vehicles have all happened this year. We have no doubt October will make the list and push December 2017 off, though it won't top the list. We think it will easily secure the new third-place position and possibly slot number two, but the latter would be pushing it.

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

  1. September 2018 – 45,589
  2. August 2018 – 36,380
  3. July 2018 – 29,514
  4. March 2018 – 26,373
  5. December 2017 – 26,107
As of the end of September 2018, an estimated 234,635 plug-in electric vehicles had been sold in the U.S. this year. We're down to the final quarter before the year goes into the archives (and the record books). It's looking like we'll see some 350k EVs delivered in the U.S. in 2018 by the time the year comes to an end.

Check Out: Contributor Josh Bryant’s 2018 yearly sales predictions here

Much of the success of that estimate depends on how many Model 3 vehicles Tesla delivers through the end of the year. Model 3 production seems to be pretty consistent with last month, so we may not see another monumental rise in October, but we're sure to report another ridiculously promising number. Additionally, we have to ask ourselves if any other automakers are going to ramp up their efforts in this final quarter, or if numbers will remain relatively flat.

In October 2017, an estimated 14,315 plug-ins were sold in the U.S. This September we saw well over a 100-percent gain from last year's numbers. Can October pull that off as well?  Will we see deliveries north of 28,000 this October? But, of course! We believe the number will be even higher. Realistically, there's a small chance Tesla could double last October's U.S. EV delivery number on its own. Wouldn't that be a fantastic record to report? We'd love to say that we're sure this will be the case, but our early estimates put Tesla's U.S. deliveries a wee bit shy of pulling that off. Nonetheless, the Silicon Valley automaker stands to prove epic progress once again.

October is a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to estimating early numbers. In fact, it's one of the toughest to glean thus far. While we've noted above that Tesla will continue to prevail, other automakers seem to take a rain check in October, at least in comparison to September numbers, as well as other previous months. This statement is clearly substantiated if you look at our data from prior years or look at automakers' U.S. sales in October in general. Still, we can always hope that EV sales will continue to develop and move forward.

As far as our initial estimates tell us, we're looking at some 34,000 (and hopefully many more) electric cars sold in the U.S. this October, though we're honest enough to say that the window is rather wide. We hope to see at least 36,000 sold, but we would be content enough to report that 32,500 EVs made their way into new owners' driveways this fall. Either way, the number will knock last October out of the water and will prove that the month can really shine, despite the past, albeit primarily Tesla that is once again raising that bar.

Keep yourself tuned in and refreshing the pages during the coming days as we put the numbers to the dialogue. We will begin reporting EV sales Thursday morning (November 1, 2018) and continue through Friday and into the early part of the following week. For now, below are some questions to ponder. If you have a compelling question, drop it in the comment section and we'll consider adding it to the monthly report card.

In the meantime, what are your estimates? We'd really love to know what you think, especially since October is so difficult to estimate.

Questions entering October:

  1. Will Tesla Model 3 U.S. deliveries rise again even though we're at the beginning of a new quarter?
  2. How significant of a drop in domestic Model S and Model X sales will we see due to overseas deliveries and the neverending Model 3 delivery ramp?
  3. Is October the month that Toyota Prius Prime deliveries bounce back even more convincingly after a few months of slow rise?
  4. Now that the Chevrolet Volt has surpassed the Chevrolet Bolt EV for overall sales on the year, what story will the first month of a new quarter tell?
  5. 2018 Nissan LEAF U.S. sales have been on the increase again. Will sales improve as the year moves on?
  6. Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid sales have really impressed, especially in the last five months. How many did Honda deliver in October?
***InsideEVs’ journalist Wade Malone provided sales estimations and related analysis.