We report another year-over-year rise in U.S. EV sales, but it's marginal.
Based on automakers' sales reports and our estimates, we report a total of 27,587 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in March, compared to last year's 26,443 and last month's 16,864. While the increase is minimal, it's an increase nonetheless. Tesla has accounted for much of the large overall U.S. EV sales numbers for several months now. Meanwhile, many other EVs are seeing lackluster sales. With Tesla delivering more of its cars to overseas markets, we anticipated the lack of massive growth, at least early in the year.
As the year moves on and Tesla streamlines its Model 3 delivery schedule, gains should be more notable. However, we assume we'll continue to see a focus on global deliveries in the first few months of each quarter, followed by a substantial domestic delivery push in the last month. In addition, Tesla announced the launch of its $35,000 Standard Model 3 last week, which will only be sold in the U.S. initially. Sales of this variant should ramp up in the coming months.
Tesla sold 14,625 EVs in the U.S. in March 2019, based on our estimates. Last March, that number came in at 10,020. To put it in perspective, Tesla sales in March 2019 accounted for over half of all plug in sales (27,628) on our shores. According to our research, Tesla delivered 10,175 Model 3 sedans, 2,275 Model S vehicles, and 2,175 Model X crossovers in the U.S. this March.
As you can clearly see, month-over-month sales are not a metric that paints the real picture. This is precisely why all other automakers report year-over-year gains or losses in addition to why several automakers are moving to quarterly sales reports. Little attention is paid to whether or not other OEMs have month-over-month gains or losses. Added to this, the first quarter of each year is historically lower for automotive sales than the fourth quarter. This doesn't just apply to Tesla or other EV sales. With that being said, year-over-year sales are skewed for Tesla as well, since the company was in a completely different position in Q1 2018 with regard to vehicle production and the global Model 3 situation.
Honda made notable strides in 2018 with its Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. It outsold its number one rival -- the Toyota Prius Prime -- in October and December. Moving into 2019, January and February brought two more wins for the Clarity PHEV. In March, it appears Prime sales have topped Clarity sales. However, sadly, Toyota has stopped reporting Pruis model splits, so we only have an estimate of Primes delivered. According to our research, Toyota sold 1,820 Primes in the U.S. in March, compared to 1,416 total Honda Clarity vehicles.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV also eclipsed the 1,000-mark last month. In fact, deliveries shot up to some 2,166, according to our estimates. Other chart toppers for March include the Nissan LEAF with a respectable 1,314 copies sold, as well as the Chevrolet Volt, at 1,230 estimated deliveries. The Volkswagen e-Golf took us by surprise last month, with an unexpected 581 U.S. deliveries.
So, which month this year will be the first to join our top five list? Let us know your guess in the comment section.
Top Months for U.S. EV Sales to Date (estimated):
- December 2018 – 49,900
- September 2018 – 44,544
- November 2018 – 42,588
- August 2018 – 36,347
- October 2018 – 34,074
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 March 2019
Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:
- Tesla* – 14,625
- General Motors* – 3,399
- Toyota* – 1,820
- Honda – 1,416
- BMW Group – 1,147
Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In March*
- BEV – 19,455
- PHEV – 8,132
*Based on estimates due to the lack of U.S. monthly sales reporting by Tesla and GM, as well as Toyota Prius (Prime) and BMW i3 (BEV + REx) splits, and multiple automakers refusing to provide information related to individual EV sales.
|2019 U.S. EV SALES||JAN||FEB||MAR||APR||MAY||JUN||JUL||AUG||SEP||OCT||NOV||DEC||TOTAL|
|Tesla Model 3*||6500||5750||10175||22,425|
|Chevrolet Bolt EV*||925||1225||2166||4,316|
|Toyota Prius Prime*||1123||1205||1820||4,148|
|Tesla Model X*||775||900||2175||3,850|
|Honda Clarity PHEV*||1192||1213||1311||3,716|
|Tesla Model S*||725||625||2275||3,625|
|Ford Fusion Energi||557||573||611||1,741|
|Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid**||436||589||383||1,408|
|Kia Niro PHEV*||279||505||230||1,014|
|BMW i3 (BEV + REx)||255||350||359||964|
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||133||157||341||631|
|Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid*||150||160||195||505|
|Audi A3 Sportback e-tron*||175||210||45||430|
|Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV*||95||105||155||355|
|Mercedes GLC 350e*||74||72||175||321|
|Volvo XC60 PHEV*||90||100||125||315|
|Mercedes GLE 550e*||92||95||110||297|
|Porsche Cayenne S-E*||65||95||115||275|
|Honda Clarity BEV*||78||68||92||238|
|Hyundai IONIQ PHEV*||73||54||94||221|
|Mini Countryman SE PHEV*||50||63||45||158|
|Hyundai Kona Electric*||0||16||127||143|
|BMWX5 xDrive 40e*||71||38||26||135|
|Volvo S90 T8 PHEV*||35||45||55||135|
|Hyundai IONIQ EV*||34||32||28||94|
|Hyundai Sonata PHEV*||4||71||7||82|
|Kia Optima PHEV*||30||11||8||49|
|Cadillac CT6 PHEV*||8||1||3||12|
|Kia Soul EV*||0||1||2||3|
|2019 U.S. Sales Totals||16,715||16,864||27,587||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||61,166|
|2018 U.S. Sales Totals||12,009||16,845||26,443||19,623||24,307||25,029||29,598||36,347||44,544||34,074||42,588||49,900||361,307|
|2019 Worldwide Sales*||159,468||111,541||271,009|
|2018 Worldwide Sales*||82,000||81,000||141,000||128,450||159,346||160,894||144,975||175,362||206,500||214,800||237,553||286,367||2,018,247|
Above - 2019 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.