November Electric Vehicle Sales In US Strengthen, Up Almost 20%

DEC 3 2015 BY JAY COLE 44

The All-New 2016 Edition Of The Chevrolet Volt Enjoyed Its First Full Month On The Market In The US (well, at least in 11 states anyway)

The All-New 2016 Edition Of The Chevrolet Volt Enjoyed Its First Full Month On The Market In The US (well, at least in 11 states anyway)

It has been a long time since we could summarize that the plug-in sales in the United States were”strengthening.”  Yet here we are…and none too soon.

Tesla Was Busy Churning Out As Many Model S Sedans Ahead Of the Model X Retail Deliveries And Year End

Tesla Was Busy Churning Out As Many Model S Sedans Ahead Of the Model X Retail Deliveries And Year End

November saw an estimated 10,568 plug-ins sold, which was the best monthly result since this past May (~11,540), but was also 10% better* than a year ago’s return.

On an adjusted basis, sales were up 19.1% in November due to just 23 selling days this year, versus 25 in the year ago period.

While not all of the anticipated new plug-in models arrived in November, the month did foreshadow more good news ahead as the 2016 Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model X all actually delivered some copies during the month; albeit only token amounts for the LEAF and Model X – ahead of much higher volumes planned for December.

For the second month in a row, the duo of the Tesla Model S and Chevrolet Volt lead the way, with the Model S eclipsing the 3,000 unit mark for the first time this year in our estimation.

For the 2014′ s best selling EV, the Nissan LEAF – it dropped to just 1,054 sales, the EV’s worst result since the dawn of time February 2013.  Unfortunately, the new 30 kWh/107 mile 2016 edition arrived with just a handful of selling days left in the month.

Hyundai Sonata PHEV Arrived In November

Hyundai Sonata PHEV Arrived In November

Also of interest:  For each of the past 5 months a new plug-in offering has hit US shores; and for November that plug-in was the Hyundai Sonata PHV (details), with 27 miles of EPA rated range.

With any luck, the Audi A3 e-tron will finally escape its holding pen next month (a holding pattern the model has been in since October) and make it 6 consecutive months of new offerings for the US in December.

Additionally:  The Toyota Mirai sold 23 copies in November, after selling 34 in its debut month.  The Mirai is not included in our sales chart however as it is limited to only plug-in vehicles.

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

Some other Points of Interest from November

Audi Has Been Giving Out Test Drives With The A3 e-tron In The US - But Not Actually Delivering Them (Image: InsideEVs/ Michael Beinenson)

Audi Has Been Giving Out Test Drives Of The A3 Sportback e-tron For Some Time Now In The US – But Not Actually Delivering Them (Image: InsideEVs/ Michael Beinenson)

Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. Tesla Motors* – 3,205
  2. GM – 2,213
  3. Ford – 1,676
  4. Nissan – 1,054
  5. BMW – 1,008

Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In November*

  1. BEV – ~5,910 – 56%
  2. PHEV – ~4,658 – 44%

New 2015 Highs Set In November By Model (previous 2015 high in brackets)

  • Tesla Model S* – 3,200 (2,800)
  • Smart ED – 178 (109)
  • BMW X5 xDrive40e – 167 (118), new all-time high
  • Hyundai Sonata PHV – 15 (first month)
  • Volvo XC90 T8 PHV– 7 (4), new all-time high

(*) estimated/Tesla North America

The full monthly recap by individual plug-in can be found on our Monthly Scorecard here

Categories: Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Sales, Smart, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo


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44 Comments on "November Electric Vehicle Sales In US Strengthen, Up Almost 20%"

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Solid numbers for this month. I still think that the year end total will be off from last years high but I don’t think it will be much.

We need over 17,000 in sales in December to beat last year. I don’t see it happening.

Just wish a normal income of 60K could buy one of these nice cars. but we just can’t justify the cost and tax bill that accompanies it… the numbers are just not reasonable.

It still just stuns me that Tesla has continued these numbers – I laughed years ago about the price of the stratosphere cars was that high because the manufacturers Knew that they’d be lucky to sell 5000 of them, all that R&D for something that people outside of sunny CA would never lay eyes on.

Since you guys have so many numbers to pour over, exactly how many Other ~$100k cars were sold by the competing mfg’s? Well North of 40k $100k cars per annum is Still inconceivable (yes, it means what I think it does) to folks with gray on der roof.

I agree. Tesla has proven to have massive demand vs the size of their addressable market.

I think you’re underestimating the size of Tesla’s addressable market. There are over 10 million households in the U.S. with $1 million or more in investable assets, excluding the value of their primary residence.

Optimum time to buy one too considering how low interest rates are. It makes it easier to extend payments. I think the uptick with subside if interest rates rise too quickly or too much, although most express doubts that that will happen.
Another consideration is that these high end customers are usually very discerning buyers and tend to be in the know. A lot of Tesla’s are sold to tech guys.

@sven, from your link:
“The average age among the millionaires was 62, suggesting most have built up their nest eggs over a lifetime. Among those worth $25 million or more, the average age was 65, but most are still working—1 in 5 owns or started their own company, and 70 percent work more than 40 hours a week. Two-thirds are part of dual-income households.

I may or may not fit several above categories, but at That Age, $100k is still a body blow — my first(best) HOUSE, now owned by my daughter, cost Half that – $55k 1500 sq ft brick full basement nice neighborhood still.

Humbly offer, a $50k car is a Ni-ice Car in my (new) neighborhood, Still.. (fwiw, I Did reserve a MX but cancelled it for the then cancelled 60D. working on a 70D -a better value- but August took All available funds for ridiculous bargains.. Thanks China)

Instead of taking all of the people who could possible write a check for the ASP of a Model S. I think it is more appropriate to look at the volume of vehicles in the same class (sedan) and ASP (~$95k) as the Model S.

If you look at the market share they have taken there, it is very impressive. Granted they have brought in some buyers that would have never purchased something in the category previously.

Most folks who buy $100K cars don’t actually have to fork out $100K in cash. They trade in a few year old Mercedes or BMW worth $50K or whatever. They usually don’t take the bus to the dealership and show up with no trade-in.

Heck, even folks who buy $30K or even $20K brand new cars usually show up with some form of equity. Either a trade-in, or cash from selling their car, or a check from an insurance company.

Tesla is eating the other large luxury car companies alive. Jaguars sales are down something like 50% (or so I have heard)


You are correct, Jaguar sales and even the sales of other luxury vehicles are taken by Tesla.

Mercedes S Class sales is down 35%
Audi A8 sales is down 37%
Lexus LS sales is down 32%.

Presuming those drops are correct… I can’t hardly wait for mass market ICE to start dropping off the same way. Maybe GM is seeing the luxury market annihilation and trying to get to the mass market pole position with the Volt n Bolt n Spark trio. (And did I hear something like: the follow-on to Spark will be an electric Sonic?) Seems like the VIA Motors example ably demonstrates how a PHEV or Voltec-like drive system can work wonders in pickups and vans, and probably SUV/CUVs.

Yes and no.

The S Class sales are down in 2015 compared to 2014 all time highs were they trounced Model S in North America. This year Model S will beat S Class in North America, come within striking distance in Europe but lag far behind in China/Asia.

Audi A8 is a laggard.

Lexus LS’s overwhelmingly most important market is California. That is where Model S is strongest. So Lexus LS is taking Model S growth on the chin.

Porsche Panamera has also been hammered.

BMW 7 Series not so much. It will be interesting to see how well the new 7 Series does because BMW spent a google amount of cash to upgrade it.

can you imagine the sales numbers once the Tesla model 3 is available? EVen the ramping up of the model X will double their numbers.

Tesla is taking over car sales all over the world. The Super Chargers are growing very fast and are the best sales tool ever invented.


Tesla sells well because it is the same price as the luxury gas cars in its class. If you are going to spend $70K to $100K on a fancy car, then the ICE cars just can’t compete.

The gas cars spew toxic pollution, require oil changes, require fill-ups, require smog checks, have a lurching transmission, make more noise, vibrate much more, require more maintenance, can’t be filled up at home, can’t drive in the carpool lane, don’t have great acceleration, etc.

The EV provides much more true luxury with their clean, quiet, vibration-free, lurch-free driving.

Looks like Tesla sold 1/2 the Electric vehicles.

The tally of 10,568 is #2 in this year after May high. Selling this much in Fall with low gas prices is a good news.

Tesla has a commanding 6,000 + unit lead over #2 Leaf in 2015-YTD sales.

I am sure Nissan can also sell this many Leaf’s if their dealers also put the same effort as Tesla’s dealers.

Tesla Model-S has more interior space than most big sedans if you include its Frunk space.

If I made a little bit more money I would buy a Model S in a heart beat. Once CPO versions of the non performance versions of the dual motor cars start showing up I will be very tempted to pickup one of those.

I think that is true for a LOT of people. And if they Model 3 looks good, can be supercharged, and has 200+ miles of range . . . they are gonna get a LOT of pre-orders.

The second 2 of those criteria are a given. Looks are TBD and subjective. I will put a deposit down either way, but I did lease a LEAF (tech over looks).

It will probably be a toss up between LEAF 2.0 and Model 3, but I will want to have my spot in line for the Model 3 regardless.

Based upon what I watched happen to used Roadster prices, get your CPO Model S purchase done BEFORE Tesla rolls out the Model 3.

I was watching as used Roadster prices dropped into the $40’s, and was seriously looking at pulling the trigger with just a bit more price drop. Then the Model S hit the streets, and the prices of Roadsters blasted up $10-20,000 and still haven’t gotten back down to where they were before.

The supply of Model S’s was just so limited, and demand for anything Tesla was so high, that prices went way up and stayed there.

I’m betting the same thing will happen when the Model 3 goes into production. We’ll see the bottom on used or CPO Model S’s dip briefly into the $40’s, before going right back up into the 50’s and 60’s like they are now.

Tesla does not have dealers it has stores.

It makes a big difference when selling EVs.

Dealers really want the profit center of servicing ICEv.

So Tesla will have to sell 12K cars next month for EVs to match last year.

This will be the first year of lower EV sales. We’ll have to spin this real hard for the next 18 months to keep any public interest alive until the 200 mile “affordable” EVs arrive.

This is even more amazing when you consider that the number of models available has gone up every year. There are four times as many to choose from than five years ago.

Where are all the people who say EV sales have nothing to do with gasoline prices?

Exactly. You can get a loaded Prius for the after tax credit price of the new 200 mile EVs right now. They can’t give them away. What is it about EVs that will get people to buy these cars when they won’t buy a Prius? If they were concerned about CO2, they would be buying the Prius instead of trucks and SUVs, and saving almost as much CO2 right now as an EV.

Other than a handful of tech geeks, nobody cares what is under the hood.

Meh. Even in worst areas, most folks aren’t stuck buying their electricity from the grid, so grid averages really don’t matter.

Put up your own solar, wind, or buy from a solar or wind collective, WindSource, etc and leave the grid and that Prius in the dustbin of history.

Right now the number of EV owners who install solar is already quite significant, and those who install solar typically install MUCH more solar capacity than they need to offset charging their EV.

The net impact of EV + Solar puts even that graphic to shame.

“Where are all the people who say EV sales have nothing to do with gasoline prices?”

They are all quiet sobbing somewhere else… Or one will occasionally post an older study from 2014…

Face it, gas price matters. I support EVs, but this is the biggest problem that EV supporters are denying. Denial don’t help the situation.

Let us push for “better roads”, “infrastructure plan to create jobs” by “increasing gasoline tax”! I will probably be shot if I ever run for office under that slogan…

Since there has been no recent increase in gas prices, this uptick is a fairly clear indication that gas prices aren’t the primary reason plug-in sales have declined so far this year. The fact that global EV sales are accelerating despite relatively low oil prices and that most of the U.S. decline can be traced to two models in the process of generational updates tends to fully chuck the idea out the window.

MMF — The reality is that we are in a legislative backlash cycle. Short of a complete turn-around in current US political trends, the only direction that laws are going to go is backwards from here. One political party is actively working at chipping away at what green legislation we have, a little at a time.

The future of the EV now lies in the hands of car makers. They have to now follow the lead of Tesla, and simply make cars that are better than their ICE counterparts, at a price that is competitive with their ICE counterparts in their class.

I’ve driven 27,000 hard city miles in my Chevy Volt… used 26 gallons of gas. It uses the same amount of electricity as my refrigerator… that’s what my wattmeter indicates.. it’s costing me less than 3cents per mile to run… that includes maintenance.
Only one oil change and two trips to the gas station in 3 years! No Prius comes close and I paid $22,900 for my Volt.. a coworker who has told me he made a mistake paid $28,000 for his Prius. I have not had a single problem with my Volt. CO2 is not a pollutant… you breath out CO2… it makes plants grow.

And infinite more compared to 10 years ago.

Beginning techology changes always have huge numbers, but that doesnt mean the numbers are good. See imiev sales in and total yoy for example…

How come VIA sales are not tracked Jay?

Wait, VIA has deliveries now? So they are now in serial production, not just demo vehicles?

What is Tesla’s 3200 based upon? That’s way higher than previous months, yet their lead time between orders and actual deliveries has significantly declined without a corresponding increase in production, which suggests demand is declining…

And then there’s the Model X – more than two months past the official debut, and the production line remains on hold.

The extra assembly line that was added for Model X was supposedly a hybrid X/S line. I am guessing that line is spitting out Ss right now while waiting for the last production issues with X to get sorted.

Assembly may no longer be the limiting factor for production volume. It could be paint or stamping now, who knows.

What percentage of the total car market is this?

Somewhere between 2% and 5% it happens that everybody knows about EVs. From that moment on mainstream is coming 🙂

Why are the A3 in a holding pattern??

admitted !

We leased a Mercedes Benz B Class Electric in May as our second car for commute + local trips. I am not surprised at the low sales of this car- I haven’t seen another one in the DC/Virginia area .. But it is a really great car to drive. The car is built like a tank – the max I drove on a single charge is 90 miles with 19 to spare! The cargo space is 17 cft ~almost double the BMW 325 space! This means the stroller, picnicking baskets and everything fits in nice. Plenty of legroom & lots of safety features including radar based adaptive cruise.