November 2018 Narrowly Misses Top All-Time Month For U.S. EV Sales

DEC 5 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 34

While Tesla Model 3 sales didn’t surpass that of September, Model S, X, and other automakers’ sales rise up to elevate November.

Based on automakers’ sales reports and our estimates, we report a total of 44,148 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in November, compared to last year’s 17,178 and last month’s 34,094.  While it wasn’t the best month of all time, it only missed by a hair.

We didn’t really expect that the second month of the quarter would post such incredible numbers, especially with Model 3 sales at an estimated 3,600 units lower than September’s all-time high. As it turns out, Tesla sold a slew of Model S and Model X vehicles (likely due to the expiration of the U.S. federal EV tax credit). In addition, automaker’s like GM, Ford, and even FCA made compelling progress.

Five out of five months in 2018 have claimed a spot on our list of top months of all time for U.S. EV sales. In fact, the last five months are also the top five months, albeit not in calendar order. While we know full well that Tesla is the most substantial contributor to this new trend, numbers wouldn’t be where they are today without the respectable sales of the Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and Nissan LEAF. In November, the Ford Fusion Energi, BMW 530e, and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid also posted notable sales figures.

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

  1. September 2018 – 44,589
  2. November 2018 – 44,148
  3. August 2018 – 36,380 
  4. October 2018 – 34,094
  5. July 2018 – 29,514

The Tesla Model 3 tops our chart by leaps and bounds, with 114,532 estimated U.S. deliveries. This makes it 11 months in a row that the Model 3 has been the U.S. EV sales leader. We estimate Tesla sold some 18,650 Model 3s in the month of November.

Model S and Model X sales were up significantly in November, though the vehicles remain in the 3rd and 4th positions on the year, respectively. Overall, Tesla delivered an estimated 24,600 vehicles last month, which adds up to well over half of all EVs sold in the U.S. in November. Based on our estimates – for the year as a whole – Tesla has sold a whopping 159,027 vehicles in the U.S. out of a total of some ~312,877 overall EV sales to date. The automaker now officially accounts for over half of all electric vehicles sold in the U.S. for 2018.

Let’s take a closer look at the other top-selling electric vehicles in the U.S. this November:

The Toyota Prius Prime lands in the six-spot for the month and the second-place position for the year as a whole, with 2,312 deliveries in the U.S. in November.

The Chevrolet Volt surpasses the Chevrolet Bolt EV once again, after falling behind its stablemate in October. In addition, it remains ahead of the Bolt by over some 1,700 units for the year as a whole. Based on our estimates, the Volt lands in the second-place position for November, (3,930) and remains in the fifth position for the year thus far. Still, our research shows that Chevrolet Bolt sales were up considerably in November, at 3,025, slotting it in the four-spot on the month and maintaining its sixth place position for 2018 as a whole.

The Honda Clarity PHEV, Ford Fusion EnergiNissan LEAF,  and BMW 530e all sold over 1,000 copies in November as well. The Clarity PHEV sits in sixth place on the year, followed by the LEAF, 5 Series, and Fusion, respectively.

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 November 2018

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. Tesla* – 24,600
  2. General Motors* – 6,968
  3. BMW Group – 2,314
  4. Toyota – 2,312
  5. Honda – 1.903
  6. Ford – 1.132
  7. Nissan –  1,128

Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In November*

  1. BEV – 29,819
  2. PHEV – 14,329

*Based on estimates due to the lack of U.S. monthly sales reporting by Tesla and GM, as well as BMW i3 splits (BEV + REx), and multiple automakers refusing to reach out or reply related to individual EV sales.

2018 U.S. EV SALESJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDECTOTAL
Tesla Model 31875248538203750600059021425017800222501775018650114,532
Toyota Prius Prime 1496205029222626292422371984207122132001231224,836
Tesla Model S800112533751250152027501200262537501350275022,495
Tesla Model X70097528251025145025501325275039751225320022,000
Chevrolet Volt*71398317821325167513361475182521291475393018,648
Chevrolet Bolt EV1177142417741275112510831175122515492075302516,907
Honda Clarity PHEV*59488110611049163914451440149520281935185715,424
Nissan LEAF  15089515001171157613671149131515631234112813,048
BMW 530e*22441368951872994253674975673310127,301
Ford Fusion Energi64079478274274060452239648045311317,284
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid**3754504804256507104506546376238956,349
BMW i3 (BEV + REx)  3826239925034245804644184614244905,761
BMWX5 xDrive 40e*2615966275634993214312642252242134,224
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV3003233732732973903503663783093763,735
Kia Niro PHEV*1552462271202182812253463133236193,073
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron*1451992141892672382202402302101802,332
Fiat 500e**  21023528521525022522075941001482,057
Volvo XC60 PHEV*1091551671412142261852102151802252,027
BMW 330e*1011422021661501381061921952293731,994
Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid*12493362751681952002101702001,806
Mercedes C350e*291722081581661761651708275801,481
Hyundai IONIQ PHEV*2217821818021714318043111281361,456
Mini Countryman SE PHEV*12710074106163211210128140117741,450
Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV*9910693901261331151251201001301,237
Volkswagen e-Golf  1781981641287632183214622301,132
smart ED  84901038011012610310898951001,097
Kia Soul EV11516315715213357130331861611,080
Honda Clarity BEV20310448523712612075122116371,040
Porsche Cayenne S-E*11312119726559121545602535947
Kia Optima PHEV*8610315614298839039175179944
Mercedes GLE 550e*44701819383758590422835826
BMW i832394757644572675564133675
Ford C-Max Energi23414210557186441200582
Ford Focus Electric  7073137838850467401559
Hyundai Sonata PHEV*52547838676260201555456
Mercedes GLC 350e*5575964666065272024447
Volvo S90 T8 PHEV*2729522930353040453540392
Hyundai IONIQ EV49360732473521122134321
BMW 740e*1823316017164018254518311
Cadillac CT6 PHEV*624174230182623111213222
Jaguar I-Pace5165170
Mercedes B250e  40493373001010134
Mercedes S550e*1331197781085485
2018 U.S. Sales Totals12,04916,84526,37319,55624,31025,01929,51436,38044,58934,09444,148312,877
2017 U.S. Sales Totals11,00412,37518,54213,36716,59617,04615,54016,51421,24214,31517,17826,107199,826
2018 Worldwide Sales*82,00081,000141,000128,450159,346157,933144,975172,400200,500208,8001,467,404

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.

Categories: BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, Sales, Tesla, Toyota

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34 Comments on "November 2018 Narrowly Misses Top All-Time Month For U.S. EV Sales"

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Vexar

Wait, the Model 3 sold only 18650 last month? I thought they would at least sell 21700, given that’s their battery cell format.

Jason

Opportunity Cost: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_cost

Tesla selling 18,650 cars meant other car dealers / manufacturers lost out on 18,650 sales.

ModernMarvelFan

Maybe. There are people who otherwise wouldn’t have bought a new car… It is definitely loss for future sales.

Jason

@MMF – Model 3 are going for over $35K+ … that’s not pocket change (at least for me). Your argument would have merit if we were taking about $1 bubble gum.

When I was learning inventory cost, e.g. carrying cost vs stockout cost (cost of a missed sale due to inventory not being available), I never learned $35K+ cars had such high stockout costs as you implied in your comment.

Those 18,650 units are real sales, not make believe numbers and btw at a high hurdle rate, e.g. north of $35K. We’ll see how bad BMW’s passenger car sales did for November in the US as an example.

Jason

Found it here: https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/usa/article/attachment/T0287906EN_US/419884

BMW 3 series down 47.9% YoY for November 2018.

6,181 units sold for November 2017 & 3,218 units sold for November 2018, which MMF would like to argue was “maybe” a coincidence, e.g. pure randomness at work.

numberguru

Model 3 is making things difficult for 3 series, C-class and A4.

Steve

To be fair, there are a lot of potential BMW 3 series in a holding pattern waiting for the G20 redesign. I wouldn’t attribute that solely to Tesla

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Whoosh

Dudamus

I would imagine a lot of those sales are people trading in X and S models for the 3 that has a battery degradation warranty before the tax credits expire. The 18650 batteries are not holding up well.

Billy Gomes

what stands out to me, is 29,819 pure BEV’s were sold in the US in November, Tesla sold an estimated 24,600, or 82%. 55% of all EV’s sold. If that is not Market Dominance idk what is.

Get Real

Yes, something the shills, shorters and haters like to ignore as they push their anti-Tesla narratives.

ModernMarvelFan

That is a good and bad thing. When a single model dominate so much, it often “clips” a segment. Prius absolutely dominated the non-plugin hybrid market for decades and there is very little “incentives” left for anyone else to compete in the hybrid segment. So, the entire segment stagnated around 5% of the overall market.

Let us hope it is not the case with BEVs.

Dante

Well as GM and Ford back out of the sedan market, I’m sure Tesla will continue to ramp up production.

Emc2

I think this is just a temporary peak, once the Model 3 backlog is fulfilled will see what the long term demand for the Model 3 is. Prius like?

ffbj

No. You forgot the equals sign, and you forgot to use your mind.

ziv

E, the thing is that the 3 backlog is HUGE and the 3 wait list, though shrinking, is having deposits added nearly as fast as people are getting their 3’s. By the time Tesla fulfills the wait list for the 3, the Y won’t be that far from production. Tesla is riding a wave of pent up demand and it could be several years before they hit the shore. And even when that happens there will be ongoing demand for new S, X, 3 and Y’s.

Dudamus

There is no backlog or wait, you need to try to order your 3 and get it before the tax credits expire 12/31. or you can select from one of the inventory cars.

Ziv

The backlog and waitlist is for the base model. Which, unsurprisingly, is the most popular option for the 3, which right now is selling for an average price of $59,000. $35k vs. $59k. Pretty obvious why most of the people are waiting, they simply can’t afford the average 3 being sold now. The cheapest 3 available now is still $45k, (less $7500 for a net of $37.5k)which is a lot more than a lot of us want to spend on a car. Next quarter a 3 will cost $35,000 less $3,750 or a net of $31,250. $6250 is a lot of money for most people.

ffbj

That’s a horse of a different color.

TheWay

But there is a big difference though. Toyota was overall an established brand so them taking the hybrid segment meant little.

In comparison, Tesla is a new brand and unlike Toyota which simply made a prius and called it a day, Tesla will target all segments. This means other automakers can’t exactly ignore it that easily.

GW

And the Volt – while just a transition technology – is being cancelled before they have anything to replace it. So the numbers will continue to tilt even further in Tesla’s direction for the next two-three years.

ziv

I find it hard to believe that GM is throwing away their technology lead in EREV tech. It has been 8 years since the Volt rolled out and sales started. It boggles the imagination that in that time they haven’t built a battery that has around 20 kWh capacity that is located under the cabin instead of in a T module. The Volt with an under cabin pack would be so much roomier, the decrease in Aero would be small compared to all the gains. And/or build a Buick Encore using Voltec with a 45 mile AER… And GM closes plants that will limit their potential going forward. This is a mistake that takes several dozen Harvard MBA’s to even consider, let alone blunder into.

ModernMarvelFan

People are now in rush to buy GM PEVs before the full credits run out before end of the year.

Jan or first quarter may be one of the low quarter for all EVs…

Spoonman.

GM full credits stop in April.

Mark.ca

They timed the Volt death well…

Spoonman.

So is GM going to start incorporating the $7500 in its leases to maximize sales or no?

Get Real

Well since GM never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity regarding their PEVs I wouldn’t count on that.

Benz

The second half of 2018 has been tremendous for Plug-In sales in the US. Meaning that the last 5 months have all entered the list of the top 5 months. And December 2018 will also be entering the top 5.

March 2019 will probably be able to enter the top 5 as well.

How many months in 2019 will have a Plug-In sales total of more than 40,000?

fasterthanonecanimagine

2018 getting close to 1000 EVs / PHEVs sold per day 🙂

Ron M

Well it’s impossible to believe that December won’t be the number one All-Time month for EV sales. Question is will it be in the 50’s or 60’s.

numberguru

Over 60K for sure.

numberguru

Please provide EV market share number for November.

Ron M

I get 3.15% EV sales to over all light vehicle sales for November in the US.

Dudamus

Excellent news all those gas cars off the road. I also like to see that more and more Car brands are getting involved.