November was a record month with over 14,000 sales

From time to time, we've been asked about separate sales reports for plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars and last month provided us with a perfect opportunity to look into PHEVs more deeply as more than 14,000 were sold.

The split between PHEVs and BEVs requires some assumptions, because vehicle classification is not digital or we don't have all the data. In this report we assume to add all plug-ins without internal combustion engine to BEVs, and all with internal combustion engine (in any configuration) to PHEVs. Because the BMW i3 comes in two versions (with or without ICE - REx) and we don't know exact numbers we assumed 50% for BEVs and 50% for PHEVs. We believe that i3 sales were at least around 50/50 in the first few years, and most recently longer-range BEV i3 takes probably two-thirds of sales. Some of the results for the other models are also estimated - see our monthly plug-in sales scorecard for data.

There are about 34 mainstream plug-in hybrid passenger cars on the market as of 2018 (some models are all-new, while others are being withdrawn). Because the plug-in market expands, and there are more models, you can see more or less steady growth over the past eight years.

We estimate that November 2018 was an all-time record by a huge margin - up to around 14,400. On the other hand, PHEV share in overall volume of plug-in cars is decreasing because progress on the BEV side is higher (see separate report for BEVs coming soon). The times where the Chevrolet Volt dominated a table of just a few models (over 80-90% share) are long gone.

U.S. PHEV Car Sales – November 2018

U.S. PHEV Car Sales – November 2018

During the first 11 months of this year, more than 113,000 plug-in hybrid cars were sold the in U.S., which is the best year ever (up 33% year-over-year). The total volume since 2010 is almost 490,000 (45% of total 1.078 million). The share among all plug-ins for the 11 months decreased to 36%.

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – November 2018

The best selling plug-in hybrids since 2010 are:

Those three account for almost two-thirds of all PHEVs sales in the U.S. so far. The Volt also recently set its new all-time record of 3,930 in November. It's also the highest monthly result of any PHEV, which is kind of sad when you know that production of Volt will end early 2019.

Without the Volt, the market of PHEVs will be affected and we are not sure whether other models will be able to increase enough to compensate for the Volt's loss and provide growth of the segment in 2019.

Feel free to tell us in comments what your perspectives are for plug-in hybrids.