November U.S. plug-in EV sales will climb again, but how high?

November 2018 will mark the 38th month of consecutive year-over-year monthly sales gains for plug-in vehicles.

Each month InsideEVs tracks all plug-in EV sales/deliveries for the United States by automaker. The last four consecutive months are now the top four best-selling months of all time. In addition, March 2018 completes the list, meaning all five top months have happened this year. We have no doubt November will make the list, but where will it fit in? Is there a chance it could shoot to the top?

September’s results will be tough to beat since it’s so far ahead of the others. Perhaps we’ll have to wait for December U.S. EV sales to crown a new champion? But, that doesn’t mean that November sales won’t be top-notch!

More Info: How about a deep dive into our estimates and methodology?

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

  1. September 2018 – 42,548
  2. November 2018 – 33,994
  3. August 2018 – 36,380
  4. October 2018 – 34,094
  5. July 2018 – 29,514

As of the end of October 2018, an estimated 268,729 plug-in electric vehicles had been sold in the U.S. this year. We’re two-thirds of the way through the final quarter before the record-setting year goes into the archives. There’s a chance we may see over 350k EV deliveries 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

In November 2017, an estimated 17,178 plug-ins were sold in the United States. In both September and October 2018, we saw well over 100-percent gains from last year's numbers. Will November be another repeat of this trend?  Will we see deliveries pass 34,500? There's little doubt that this will be achieved. Over 34,000 EVs were sold in the U.S. in October, and November numbers are historically better. We think the month will easily see over 40,000 electric vehicles delivered on our shores.

In September, we saw a monumental effort by Tesla to get as many Model 3 sedans as possible delivered since the automaker was working diligently to show a profit. In addition, U.S. Model S and Model X sales were solid. For the month of October, the Model 3 push wasn't as significant, and being that it was the first month of a new quarter, Model S and Model X sales were lower, as expected.

Fast forward to November and it seems there's a different story to tell. Keep in mind that Tesla is also delivering Model 3 vehicles to Canada. Also remember that many Model S and X vehicles (as many as 50 percent) were delivered outside the U.S. last month. Nonetheless, Tesla Model 3, S, and X sales are outstanding based on our research and data.

According to our estimates, Tesla sold a fantastic 2,750 Model S sedans and 3,200 Model X crossovers in the U.S. in November.

Our research and data puts November Model 3 deliveries at 18,650 in the U.S.

Since GM has decided to discontinue monthly sales reporting, we provide you with estimates each month and then reconcile (if needed) at the end of each quarter. We're happy to report that our research has proven successful and our monthly numbers have been pretty solid.

Based on our estimates, the automaker has kicked it way up this November. It seems Chevrolet Volt sales have set an all-time record at 3,930 delivered in November. Previous to this report, the Volt's best month was December 2016, with 3,691 sold.

While Bolt EV sales didn't soar as high -- based on our research and data -- Chevrolet delivered an estimated 3,025 this November, which is not too far from its all-time high in December 2017 (3,227).

Nissan LEAF sales grew in August and escalated even further in September. However, October brought a mild downturn.

Moving on to November, LEAF deliveries are down again, at 1,128

The Toyota Prius Prime has made positive strides in the last few months, following a significant drop in sales in June and July.

According to Toyota, Prius Prime deliveries in November reached an impressive 2,312.

The Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid hit a high point in May (1,639). It also pulled pretty promising numbers for June, July, and August (about ~1,500 for three consecutive months). However, September was the month that broke records for Honda's new plug-in as it crossed the 2,000-mark for the first time. October continued that momentum, as our estimates pegged Clarity Plug-In Hybrid sales a 1,935.

This November, Honda sold a total of 1,903 Clarity vehicles. Based on our estimates, 1,857 of these were of the plug-in hybrid variety.

Keep yourself tuned in and refreshing the pages during the coming days as we put the numbers to the dialogue.

Questions entering November (with answers in italics as they come in):

  1. Will Tesla Model 3 U.S. deliveries rise or remain flat? (Up again. While not as high as the huge September push, we see Model 3 sales up again, at 18,650 in the U.S. this November.)
  2. How much was Tesla able to ramp up U.S. Model S and Model X sales due to the upcoming expiration of the U.S. federal EV tax credit? (Lots! According to our estimates, Tesla sold 2,750 Model S sedans and 3,200 Model X crossover in the U.S. in November.)
  3. Did the Toyota Prius Prime finally make a significant delivery surge, or is 2,000 the new magic number? (Yes. Toyota upped its inventory and reported Prius Prime deliveries at an impressive 2,312 for November.)
  4. What do our estimates reveal about Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Bolt EV sales, which seemed to completely flip over the last two months? (GM wowed us this November. According to our estimates, Chevrolet sold 3,930 Volts and 3,025 Bolt EVs.)
  5. While not incredible, 2018 Nissan LEAF U.S. sales have been solid in the 1,200-1500 range for eight straight months. Can the LEAF close out 2018 with a few strong months? (Nope. LEAF sales were down in October and have dropped again for November. Nissan delivered 1,128 LEAF vehicles last month.)
  6. Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid sales have been impressive all year, but especially over the last two months. Can November deliveries set a record for the Clarity? (Our estimates don't suggest a new record, but a solid number nonetheless. Honda reported 1,903 Clarity deliveries in November. We believe 1,857 were plug-in hybrids.)
  7. As far as we understand, Jaguar sold its first five I-Pace vehicles in the U.S. in October. Will November show exponential sales growth? (Yes! Jaguar sold 165 I-Pace vehicles in the U.S. in November.)
  8. Did GM cross the 200,000-mark in November? (According to our estimates, it appears that's the case, but we'll wait for GM's quarterly report to verify.)

Also of note this November:

  • Honda sold an estimated 9 Clarity FCEVs.
  • Toyota delivered 194 Mirai fuel cell vehicles.

Last update: December 5, 2018 @ 1:05 PM ET

*Keep in mind that we use the words sales and deliveries synonymously. In order for a car to count as SOLD, it has to be paid in full (or leased) and be in the possession of the consumer.

***InsideEVs' journalist Wade Malone provided in-depth, detailed, and heavily researched sales estimations and related analysis.


(Previous year’s monthly results can be found on our Historical Charts page)

2018 Monthly Sales Chart

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 18650   114,532
Toyota Prius Prime 1496 2050 2922 2626 2924 2237 1984 2071 2213 2001 2312   24,836
Tesla Model S 800 1125 3375 1250 1520 2750 1200 2625 3750 1350 2750   22,495
Tesla Model X 700 975 2825 1025 1450 2550 1325 2750 3975 1225 3200   22,000
Chevrolet Volt* 713 983 1782 1325 1675 1336 1475 1825 2129 1475 2530   17,248
Chevrolet Bolt EV 1177 1424 1774 1275 1125 1083 1175 1225 1549 1975 2825   16,607
Honda Clarity PHEV* 594 881 1061 1049 1639 1445 1440 1495 2028 1935 1857   15,424
Nissan LEAF  150 895 1500 1171 1576 1367 1149 1315 1563 1234 1128   13,048
BMW 530e* 224 413 689 518 729 942 536 749 756 733 1012   7,301
Ford Fusion Energi 640 794 782 742 740 604 522 396 480 453 1131   7,284
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid** 375 450 480 425 650 710 450 654 637 623 895   6,349
BMW i3 (BEV + REx)  382 623 992 503 424 580 464 418 461 424 490   5,761
BMWX5 xDrive 40e* 261 596 627 563 499 321 431 264 225 224 213   4,224
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 300 323 373 273 297 390 350 366 378 309 376   3,735
Kia Niro PHEV* 155 246 227 120 218 281 225 346 313 323 619   3,073
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron* 145 199 214 189 267 238 220 240 230 210 180   2,332
Fiat 500e**  210 235 285 215 250 225 220 75 94 100 148   2,057
Volvo XC60 PHEV* 109 155 167 141 214 226 185 210 215 180 225   2,027
BMW 330e* 101 142 202 166 150 138 106 192 195 229 373   1,994
Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid* 1 2 49 336 275 168 195 200 210 170 200   1,806
Mercedes C350e* 29 172 208 158 166 176 165 170 82 75 80   1,481
Hyundai IONIQ PHEV* 22 178 218 180 217 143 180 43 11 128 136   1,456
Mini Countryman SE PHEV* 127 100 74 106 163 211 210 128 140 117 74   1,450
Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV* 99 106 93 90 126 133 115 125 120 100 130   1,237
Volkswagen e-Golf  178 198 164 128 76 32 18 32 14 62 230   1,132
smart ED  84 90 103 80 110 126 103 108 98 95 100   1,097
Kia Soul EV 115 163 157 152 133 57 130 33 18 61 61   1,080
Honda Clarity BEV 203 104 48 52 37 126 120 75 122 116 37   1,040
Porsche Cayenne S-E* 113 121 197 265 59 12 15 45 60 25 35   947
Kia Optima PHEV* 86 103 156 142 98 83 90 39 17 51 79   944
Mercedes GLE 550e* 44 70 181 93 83 75 85 90 42 28 35   826
BMW i8 32 39 47 57 64 45 72 67 55 64 133   675
Ford C-Max Energi 234 142 105 57 18 6 4 4 12 0 0   582
Ford Focus Electric  70 73 137 83 88 50 46 7 4 0 1   559
Hyundai Sonata PHEV* 52 54 78 38 67 62 60 20 15 5 5   456
Mercedes GLC 350e*   5 57 59 64 66 60 65 27 20 24   447
Volvo S90 T8 PHEV* 27 29 52 29 30 35 30 40 45 35 40   392
Hyundai IONIQ EV 49 3 60 7 32 47 35 21 12 21 34   321
BMW 740e* 18 23 31 60 17 16 40 18 25 45 18   311
Cadillac CT6 PHEV* 6 24 17 42 30 18 26 23 11 12 13   222
Jaguar I-Pace                   5 165   170
Mercedes B250e  40 49 33 7 3 0 0 1 0 1 0   134
Mercedes S550e* 13 3 11 9 7 7 8 10 8 5 4   85
2018 U.S. Sales Totals 12,049 16,845 26,373 19,556 24,310 25,019 29,514 36,380 44,589 33,994 42,548   311,177
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 81,000 141,000 128,450 159,346 157,933 144,975 172,400 200,500 208,800 237,553   1,713,957

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.

To view our Individual Plug-In Model Sales Recap For Major Models, click here. It contains an individual run-down of each vehicle’s monthly result and some analysis behind the numbers.