However, if it wasn't for the Tesla Model 3, EV sales would be dismal at best.
Based on automakers' sales reports and our estimates, we report a total of 28,386 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in May, compared to last year's 24,307 and last month's 21,255. While the increase is not huge, it's an increase nonetheless.
As usual, Tesla has accounted for much of the overall U.S. EV sales numbers for several months now. Meanwhile, some other EVs are seeing sales growth, while others are lackluster. In the first quarter of 2019, Tesla focused its efforts on global deliveries, though this quarter, it's clear that the focus has shifted back to domestic production and sales.
According to our researched estimates, Tesla sold 16,350 EVs in the U.S. in May 2019. Last May, that number added up to some 8,970. To put it in perspective, once again Tesla sales in May 2019 accounted for well over half of all plug-in sales (28,386) on our shores. According to our research, Tesla delivered 13,950 Model 3 sedans, 1,025 Model S vehicles, and 1,375 Model X crossovers in the U.S. this May.
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. However, in March and April, based on our estimates, Prime sales finally topped Clarity sales. In May, it appears the Prime shot way ahead.
Sadly, Toyota has stopped reporting Prius model splits, so we only have an estimate of Prime plug-ins delivered. According to our research, Toyota sold an impressive 1,915 Primes in the U.S. in May. While Honda sold a very low, automaker-reported 906 total Clarity vehicles last month. Thus, we estimate that only 816 were of the PHEV variety.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV, had a hot month, eclipsing the 1,000-mark by a decent number. In fact, Bolt deliveries are at 1,396, according to our research. In addition, other chart-toppers for May include the Nissan LEAF with 1,216 copies sold, as well as the Audi e-tron (at a whopping automaker reported 856), and the BMW 5 Series plug-in at and estimated 727.
So, it appears (and we can only cross our fingers) that next month, which is the end of Q2, will be the first month this year with the potential to join our top five list. Do you think it will happen? The number to beat is 34,074. We guess it ultimately depends on Tesla's choices surrounding global deliveries versus U.S. sales, but there's much more at play here. If Audi e-tron and Kia/Hyundai sales ramp up even a bit, we could be looking at a nice increase.
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. Just look at Tesla U.S. sales compared to all other OEMs. We're looking at some ridiculously crazy increases, to say the least.
Other Statistical Points of Interest from May 2019
Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:
- Tesla* – 16,350
- Toyota* – 1,914
- General Motors* – 1,804
- BMW Group – 1.439
- Honda – 898
Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In May*
- BEV – 20,884
- PHEV – 7,502
*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.