A Record 123,000 Plug-In EVs Were Sold Worldwide In September

2 weeks ago by Mark Kane 29

World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars – 2017 September (data source: EV Sales Blog)

Global plug-in electric vehicle sales increased to record levels in September, tallying some ~122,860 deliveries (up 55%), and obliterating the old high-water mark of about 105,000.

The YTD worldwide total (after nine months) now stands at roughly 766,000 after nine months, which is roughly equal to the amount of plug-ins that sold in calendar year 2016.

Tesla Model S

With the last 3 month of the year known to be the ‘hot selling season’ for plug-in vehicles, it’s expected that at least 1.1-1.2 million will be sold in 2017.

The big news is that the Tesla Model S has once again become the best selling plug-in after its normal September rush (being the end of a fiscal quarter), placing it just ahead of the Toyota Prius Prime (aka Prius Plug-In in places not the US). Model S deliveries were estimated around 8,100!

With that said, the Tesla’s lead on the top is very thin, as a Chinese newcomer looks to put everyone in the rear-view mirror in Q3. The BAIC EC-Series sold some 9,143 copies in September, and it wasn’t a ‘end of quarter’ loaded number, that was just straight monthly demand (~6,700 were also sold the month prior).

The Chevrolet Volt‘s sales descent continued in September, and the model now finds itself in 10th this month, and will disappear in October … just as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV recently did; that is, short of a serious Q4 selling surge in the US this Fall.


A great result not only from the Model S, but also the Model X (6,123), shot Tesla ahead of competition when it came to net manufacturers deliveries with 14,348 units moved in September, and 73,227 so far this year.  (update: Tesla adjusted/specifically tallied 2017 sales for all its models at 73,214)

Second and third place went to: BYD (with nearly 11,800 sales) and BMW (10,099).   Given BYD’s government-induced sales slump at the beginning of the year, and the company’s 4 consecutive months of ~11,000 plug-in sales, BYD is still the runaway favorite for sales champion at year’s end.

Among other competitors, BAIC is strong (and gaining fast) in fourth place.

World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars – 2017 September (data source: EV Sales Blog)

Our thanks to EV Sales Blog for tallying up and estimating the individual sales by OEM.

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29 responses to "A Record 123,000 Plug-In EVs Were Sold Worldwide In September"

  1. Benz says:

    Top 3 in 2018:

    Tesla Model 3
    Nissan Leaf
    Toyota Prius Prime

    1. Mikael says:

      That seems possible and one of the most likely scenarios.

      1. Miggy says:

        Will the number ten spot currently held by the GM Volt be replace by the GM Bolt or something else?
        Either way it will be replaced.

        1. kimmi says:

          Doubt it, Bolt is in #13 and it would have to jump deliveries in a way it hasn’t so far.

          Most likely will be the #11 BYD e5, but the #12 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV could also have a shot.

        2. Mikael says:

          The Bolt is maybe already past the Volt. We’ll see when all the numbers are reported for October but it will be really close.

          End of the year December always comes with surprises and odd numbers but if there were two regular months left it could hold on to that 10th spot.

          But the BYD e5 or Outlander will probably take that spot in the end as the EV-sales guru Jose said.

          Closest ones hunting behind those are the chinese models Geely Emgrand EV and the JAC iEV6S .

    2. Bret says:

      It seems more likely that BYD or BAIC will be in the Top 3.

      1. Yogurt says:

        BYD sales are spread out over multiple models so the will not even make the top five of model sales…
        It is possible for them to make number one for manufacture sales but probably not likely…

      2. Benz says:

        Plug-In models of BYD and BAIC will not be in the top 3 in 2018, because they will not be sold globally in 2018. Probably only in China.

        The Tesla Model 3, the Nissan Leaf and the Toyota Prius Prime will be sold in many countries.

    3. Yogurt says:

      Nissan is running out of Leafs to sell due to the model changeover so they will drop positions not gain…
      BAIC could very well end up in the number 1 spot with three months of sales figures left to add in and I dont beleive it has even been on sale for the full calander year…

      1. Benz says:

        My comment was regarding 2018.

  2. Daniel says:

    Terrific data collection effort, Jose!!!

  3. Magnus H says:

    There’s a total of about 80 million cars sold every year.

    1. Jens says:

      Yes, but don’t forget that world wide sales of EVs are doubling every 1.5 years. 3 or 4 doublings more and it is game over for ICE.

      1. Daniel says:

        Talk about Moore’s law, huh 😉

        1. Jim J Fox says:

          Officially to be renamed “MUSK’S LAW”

      2. Yogurt says:

        Yes the end of the ICE age will be here in no time at all…
        No ICE cars, no ice in greenland, no ice in the artic, no ice in the antartic…
        Well maybe not that dratsic but bad…

      3. Magnus H says:

        Maybe it has so far, yes. There’s nothing to say it wont slow down or speed up.

        Still, to give som perspective it’s a very small part of world wide sales.

        1. Someone out there says:

          It’s a meaningless perspective if you don’t account for rate of change

  4. Don Zenga says:

    BAIC EC180 is a car to watch as it is setting sales records with 9,000+ last month and this is probably the 1st car to hit such a high #.

    If oil prices increase, the EV sales will increase even faster.

  5. Nix says:

    The Chinese car makers are at the brink of having their numbers go through the roof. Given their growth rate, and the hopes that the Chinese gov’t doesn’t screw up sales again in 2018, the chances of really incredible numbers is very high.

    Good to see. Wish it was America.

  6. Alexander says:

    There will be significant headwinds in the US, if Congress abolishes the tax rebate.

  7. John says:

    Pathetic numbers. Should be at least 10x that.

  8. Mike says:

    At what point do EV sales begin to really impact the price of oii? These are cumulative loss in petroloium demand so at some point oil producers won’t be able to cut production quickly enough to maintain prices. I bet that leads to some serious disruption.

    1. Mikael says:

      Probably when oil demand stalls. So far the oil business has been going strong because they are pointing at growing demand for another few decades at least.

      IF this EV trend continues to grow fast then we might hit that spot by 2030. If you are super optimistic it might even be a year or two before that.

      Then all investors run and desperation will spread like wildfire.

  9. Benz says:

    We need Plug-In models that will be sold globally so that a million deliveries in a year will be a possibility.

    1. Mikael says:

      A million for a specific model per year? That will not happen anytime soon. A plug-in F150 or Corolla might be able to do that someday.

      1. Benz says:

        Yes, an affordable and practical EV.

        For €25,000 and with 250 km of range.

        That will be good enough, I think.

      2. Samwise says:

        I actually think it will turn up pretty quickly, but what it will be is a small hatchback with plugin hybrid drive train.

        The current Nissan Note e-Power is the second top selling car in Japan (68,441 so far this year) and it looks like it will unseat the Prius next year. It’s also a very easy platform to convert to a very good plugin which it will probably do within a few years, that will be a very appealing vehicle to a lot of the world.

        The Corrolla is actually a pretty good bet as well, there is already a hybrid model that is selling well, but Toyota has shown some reluctance to add a plug to anything no matter how good it would be.

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