U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales Sorted By Manufacturer

AUG 25 2015 BY MARK KANE 22

Tesla Model S Gets Assembled In Fremont, CA

Tesla Model S Gets Assembled In Fremont, CA

If you’ve ever wondered about plug-in electric car sales in US sorted by manufacturer, then we’ve got something special for you.

As it turns out, the top 2 manufacturers (GM and Nissan) delivered nearly 48% of all plug-in electric cars sold, while the top 5 delivered nearly 89%. The remaining 8 manufacturers hold over 11% of the total fleet of over 354,000.

The top 5 are still delivering nearly 4 plug-in cars per 5 sold. Tesla is selling the most in 2015, achieving over 20% market share in recent months.

  • GM (Chevrolet Volt & Spark EV, Cadillac ELR) – 85,793 (24.2%)
  • Nissan (LEAF) – 83,312 (23.5%)
  • Tesla Motors (Model S) – 50,800 (14.3%)
  • Ford (Focus Electric, Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi) – 50,306 (14.2%)
  • Toyota (Prius PHV and RAV4 EV) – 44,048 (12.4%)
  • others – 39,940 (11.3%)

Closest to the top 5 is now BMW at less than 13,000 (3.7%), but there is huge gap to Toyota. That should give Toyota plenty of time to introduce the new plug-in Prius before BMW reaches the top 5.

On the other hand, GM (new 2016 Volt), Nissan (2016 LEAF) and Tesla (Tesla Model X) should not only maintain 50% share, but maybe even expand it a little bit.

TOP 5 U.S. Plug-In Cars Manufacturers (U.S. by July 2015)

TOP 5 U.S. Plug-In Cars Manufacturer’s Market Share (U.S. by July 2015)

Categories: Sales


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22 Comments on "U.S. Plug-In Electric Car Sales Sorted By Manufacturer"

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NEW X-TREME GRAPHING! I like it. How’d you do this?

Excel spreadsheet graph

I can’t imagine why anyone would like a graphing technique which hides some of the data.

There is a perfectly good reason that graphs traditionally show data with lines, and not solid areas of opaque color. Lines don’t hide data. As you can plainly see on the graphs above, especially the second one, using solid colors can hide parts of the data.

This is an extreme case of a triumph of style over substance.


Nothing’s hidden, except for the background American Flag.

Uhh… you whiners don’t seem to understand what type of graphs these are. They are stack graphs… the overall plot is cumulative (added). No data is hidden.

The first graph shows absolute count of cars (added up). The top-most profile plots the total across all manufacturers (well, all those included in the graph) over time. The sub-profiles are the varioius sub-totals.

The second graph shows the same information as relative percentages of the total. The varying profiles plot the change in the percent share of each manufacturer over time.

Foo said:

“No data is hidden.”

Really? Then tell me what the data points for Ford for Dec 2010-Jul 2012 were. Or what the data points for Toyota for Dec 2010-Jan 2012 were.

Now, since I’ve been following the EV revolution for some years, I think I can provide the answer: Zero in all cases. But I shouldn’t have to guess. If the data is on the graph, then I should be able to see it.

Foo also said:

“…you whiners don’t seem to understand…”

Have you heard the expression “Hoist on your own petard”? :/

How do you want to see 0 in a graph that shows amount? 0 will always be invisible (line of 0 thickness).

Two issues with providing accumulated sales data as presented in this article:

1) not all manufactures had vehicles in the market for the timeline given; and some manufactures delivered EVs prior to this timeline (eg: Tesla, GM & Toyota delivered 1,000 of EVs between 1998 & 2010) … this makes all comparisons of numbers arbitrary (ie: a perspective opinion vs historical fact)
… better timeline would be from 2012 Q3, or Jan 2013 from where the top-3 manufactures had a continuous production run
2) the stacked graph picks up variations in volume of the lowest plots, greatly effecting apparent volume of sales of data stack above
… a much better plot choice would be parallel bar graph (separate bar for each manufacture, using same baseline reference)

It should probably still be stated somewhere, but all historical sales numbers and graphs are from the “2nd generation of mass-produced plug-in vehicles” in America…or in other words December of 2010.

Its not even the virtual handful that were built in the decade prior, but the 50k odd from the early 1900s that would really mess up any “true” all-time graph for the US.

That being said, I think the vast majority understand the new starting point, and the omission of previous sales is a forgiveable offense for sake of the graphs and charts, uh…not totally sucking to view, (=

Using solid colors where lines should be on graphs is, most definitely, totally sucking to view.

For example: What were Ford sales before August 2012? Why, we totally don’t know because that part of the data is totally covered up.

And I have no idea what the second graph is intended to represent. Is it monthly sales, or cumulative sales? We have no idea, because it’s not properly labeled.

Also, the top of the second graph is cut off, so it’s lacking in context.

Jay, I had hopes that the “extreme graphing” here was in the process of being toned down; there was at least one case in a previous article where a transparent color was used for one of the layers, so it was possible to see the line behind it. I’m disappointed to see a return to using the solid colors which hide some of the data.

Graphs should not be about providing eye-popping visual elements with day-glo colors to attract the eye of the casual Internet surfer. They should be about presenting data in a (literally) graphic fashion which makes it easy to comprehend.

Down off my soapbox now.

There really was no sales before August of 2012 for Ford, well they were a few negligible Focus EV notches…but too small to really appear on the grid (under 150) or to be relevant. Top half of second graph isn’t cutoff either, its a market share graph (hence the percentages)

The graphs are only there to express what is happening with the “top 5” automakers, so I think it is pretty straight-forward if you aren’t looking at it with a critical eye, I don’t think anyone is coming away baffled by them…but I hear what you are saying, you like the old school graphs, (=

I will say, personally I’m quite fond of seeing the graphs (and the sales numbers) taken a few different ways, so I have a sneaking suspicion they will continue, hehe

Jay Cole said:

“The graphs are only there to express what is happening with the ‘top 5’ automakers, so I think it is pretty straight-forward if you aren’t looking at it with a critical eye…”

If it was straightforward, then I wouldn’t be complaining. And if it’s that confusing to me, Jay, then I rather suspect it’s equally confusing to many or most of your readers.

A comment above uses the term “stack graph”. I wasn’t familiar with that term, but in context it does provide the clue I needed to understand how the data is being presented.

Googling “stack graph”, I find the following comment:

“While stacked graphs are helpful for conveying multiple levels of meaning simultaneously, they also have some drawbacks. Though it is fairly easy to interpret the values for the first bar or first strip in the graph, it can be difficult to judge the exact widths of any subsequent strips, or to compare the widths of two strips. If accuracy or comparisons are of primary importance, a line graph might be the better option.”

Indeed. A line graph is a better option because, y’know, it’s not confusing.

/sticks fingers in ears

la-la-la-la…I can’t hear you, (=

Horrible plot choice.

If you define ranking by the start of “where the top-3 manufacturers had a continuous production run” then starting in 2nd half of 2013 (which is the first half-year that Ford had its full product line of three vehicles on the market) then I get rankings like this –

2H 2013 #1 GM, #2 Nissan, #3 Ford, #4 Tesla
2014 (Full Year) #1 Nissan, #2 Ford, #3 GM, #4 Tesla
1H 2015 #1 Tesla, #2 Nissan, #3 Ford, #4 GM

Total over last 24 Months #1 Nissan, #2 GM, #3 Ford, #4 Tesla

Nice graphs. Good to see a variety of different styles to help see the data in a different light.

Thanks for the plots.

Jolies plottes!

Dear site authors.

Can we have data behind that graphs in csv form?

Maybe someone from us readers could propose some good theme for graphs that is not so… distracting but still good looking.

Lorsqu’il y a comparaison… il faut comparer des éléments de même nature.

Une hybride n’est pas une voiture électrique. Il faut dont comparer les hybrides entre elles et les pures électriques avec les pures électriques.

Les hybrides ne sont pas non plus des zéro-émission… elles consomment de l’essence et polluent.

Mélanger les deux fausse les résultats.


Where there is comparison … one must compare similar items.

A hybrid is not an electric car. Which must compare the hybrid between them and pure electric with electric pure.

Hybrids are not zero-emission … they consume gasoline and pollute.

Mix the two false results.

Jolie traduction!

There should be another article with separate charts, one for BEVs and one for any other with a gas tank.

Great graphs Jay! I have been doing similar charts fromthe InsideEVs scorecard data too for self education of Excel and for tracking the industry too. I am fond of the ‘radar’ style, but imagine the complaints you would get from those.

As for splitting out PHEV and BEV as suggested, that would be hard to do with the BMWi3 Rex option.

Keep up the great work.