January was shy compared to the late months of 2018
U.S. car sales in January 2019 are estimated at over 1.14 million, which means it decreased by about 1%. In such circumstances, the plug-in electric car segment - which improved by almost 43% to 17,109 - is growing super fast. Sure, it could be better (in fact it was the slowest growth in almost a year), but it would be a sin to not appreciate such a result.
The market share increased by about half year-over-year to around 1.5%. We expect that both sales and market share growth will continue on up.
U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – January 2019
January is usually a slow month. One of the reasons is the federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchasing a plug-in car, which is available after the particular year ends - you need to wait a year to receive it right now. On the other hand, if you know more or less your taxes in the late part of the year, you can purchase a plug-in car, and recover the credit in a few months.
The other reason is that some manufacturers (like Tesla, which is also the biggest player in BEVs) notes the best results usually at the end of a particular quarter. Currently, Tesla shifted its production more towards Europe, and lost half of the federal tax credit for its customers (up to $3,750 now).
The Tesla Model 3 remains the top choice for those who decided to purchase a plug-in electric car - we estimate that around 6,500 were delivered.
In January, the LOL chart reveals a slower pace of growth of the Tesla Model 3 - but enough to overtake the Tesla Model S (148,046 M3 to 144,767 MS). The #1 Chevrolet Volt is now within range for February (152,819).