U.S. Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Surge In July


July plug-in sales blow the roof off.

We estimate a total of 29,514 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in July, compared to last year’s 15,540 and last month’s 25,019. Based on automakers’ sales reports and our estimates, 153,666 plug-in cars have been delivered through the end of July 2018. Needless to say, it was the best month of all time by leaps and bounds!

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

  1. July 2018 – 29,514
  2. March 2018 – 26,373
  3. December 2017 – 26,107
  4. June 2018 – 25,019
  5. December 2016 – 24,785

The Tesla Model 3 topped our chart by a landslide, with 14,250 estimated deliveries. This makes it seven months in a row that the Model 3 has been the EV sales leader. At 38,082 sold so far this year, it more than doubles the No. 2 seller (Toyota Prius Prime at 16,239 on the year). It also accounts for nearly half of all EV sales in the U.S. for July.

Disclaimer/Historical accuracy: We’ve adjusted Tesla Model 3 delivery estimates down ~3% for Q2 2018 due to new information confirming deliveries to Canada, which was previously unavailable (August 10, 2018).

If you include the Model S and Model X (3rd and 4th on the year, respectively), Tesla delivered an estimated 16,775 vehicles last month, which heartily exceeds half of all electric cars sold for the month. For the year as a whole, Tesla has sold 60,952 vehicles in the U.S. out of a total of some ~154,000 overall EV sales to date. Soon, the automaker should be accounting for over half of all electric vehicles sold for 2018.

The Model 3 also topped multiple premium vehicles in combined U.S. sales and found a home in the top 10 for all passenger car sales on our shores. Whether or not you’re a Tesla fan, this is truly incredible news for EV market share and adoption.

Not surprisingly, the Toyota Prius Prime lands in the two-spot for the month, regardless of numbers being down from previous months, at 1,984.

The Chevrolet Volt passes its EV stablemate to grab up the third-place position for July based on our estimates (1,475) and snags the fifth position for the year thus far. Chevrolet Bolt sales were up a touch to 1,175 to put the Bolt in the seventh spot for June and the sixth place for 2018.

The Honda Clarity PHEV and Nissan LEAF were the only other vehicles to sell over 1,000 copies in July, landing the cars in the 7th and 8th positions on our sales chart. LEAF sales dropped from last month and last year, totaling 1,149 for July 2018. The Clarity keeps pushing along with an estimated 1,440 Plug-in Hybrids delivered last month.

We’ll leave you with some other final data points and another look at our completed sales chart.

Other Statistical Points of Interest from July 2018

Top Manufacturers Of Plug-In Vehicles:

  1. Tesla* – 16,775
  2. General Motors* – 2,676
  3. Toyota – 1,984
  4. BMW Group – 1,859
  5. Honda – 1,615 (including a handful of FCVs)
  6. Nissan –  1,149

Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In July*

  1. BEV – 20,111
  2. PHEV – 9,403

*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).

Tesla Model 31875248538203750600059021425038,082
Toyota Prius Prime149620502922262629242237198416,239
Tesla Model S80011253375125015202750120012,020
Tesla Model X7009752825102514502550132510,850
Chevrolet Volt*713983178213251675133614759,289
Chevrolet Bolt EV11771424177412751125108311759,033
Honda Clarity PHEV*594881106110491639144514408,109
Nissan LEAF  150895150011711576136711497,808
Ford Fusion Energi6407947827427406045224,824
BMW 530e*2244136895187299425364,051
BMW i3 (BEV + REx)  3826239925034245804643,968
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid**3754504804256507104503,540
BMWX5 xDrive 40e*2615966275634993214313,298
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV3003233732732973903502,306
Fiat 500e**  2102352852152502252201,640
Kia Niro PHEV*1552462271202182812251,472
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron*1451992141892672382201,472
Volvo XC60 PHEV*1091551671412142261851,197
Hyundai IONIQ PHEV*221782181802171431801,138
Mercedes C350e*291722081581661761651,074
Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid*12493362751681951,026
BMW 330e*1011422021661501381061,005
Mini Countryman SE PHEV*12710074106163211210991
Kia Soul EV11516315715213357130907
Volkswagen e-Golf  178198164128763218794
Porsche Cayenne S-E*113121197265591215782
Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV*991069390126133115762
Kia Optima PHEV*86103156142988390758
smart ED  849010380110126103696
Honda Clarity BEV203104485237126120690
Mercedes GLE 550e*447018193837585631
Ford C-Max Energi234142105571864566
Ford Focus Electric  707313783885046547
Hyundai Sonata PHEV*52547838676260411
BMW i832394757644572356
Mercedes GLC 350e*55759646660311
Hyundai IONIQ EV493607324735233
Volvo S90 T8 PHEV*27295229303530232
BMW 740e*18233160171640205
Cadillac CT6 PHEV*6241742301826163
Mercedes B250e  4049337300132
Mercedes S550e*13311977858
2018 U.S. Sales Totals12,04916,84526,37319,55624,31025,01929,514153,666
2017 U.S. Sales Totals11,00412,37518,54213,36716,59617,04615,54016,51421,24214,31517,17826,107199,826
2018 Worldwide Sales*82,00081,000141,000128,450159,346157,933749.729

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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57 Comments on "U.S. Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Surge In July"

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(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Only one product “Surged”.
Most others sales dropped.

Well there are still very few options in the EV market, which is probably the main constraint on demand. When more manufacturers produce something like the Tesla Model 3 – they will take off. When they get serious in a few years and Toyota start making BEVs, the Japanese manufacturers will blow all the others (including Tesla) out the water, as nobody else can manufacture cars of the same value and quality as they do.

The issue is that Toyota and others will not commit enough resources early enough so they will be trailing. Tesla will most probably leap frog all other manufacturers due to this, barring some political upset changing how this plays out, I see Tesla becoming one of the largest companies in the world. They are taking over energy and car markets.

Dima, Toyota might have been able to pull it off if they had started concentrating on BEV’s 4 or 5 years ago. But it is going to take them nearly that long to catch up to Tesla now. BEV’s aren’t as simple as taking out an engine and inserting a motor and battery pack. The game is Tesla’s to lose for the next year, maybe two.
GM doesn’t want to fight for plug in market share, Ford doesn’t want to fight at all, Honda is barely in the plug in game, BMW is too expensive to be selling BEV’s in large numbers, VW BEV’s are not even starting to show up in the US until late next year. Hyundai/Kia is just dipping their toes in the water, Nissan is a well meaning joke… Who else is there but Tesla?

Outside of China, it is Tesla all alone, leading the field, 8 lengths ahead of every other horse in the race.

Unfortunately a BEV is really not much different from a PHEV or normal hybrid. So Toyota can play the laggered and still probably catch up at any time. Look at the sales of Prius Prime even though the Chevy Volt and Honda Clarity are better in nearly every way. Toyota has spent more than a decade establishing Prius as the quintessential green car, and many buyers simply don’t know any better.

The Model 3 is not even competing there because it is simply too expensive.

There’s a little more to it than you imply. Adding sufficient battery capacity to say the Toyota Prius would be at the expense of interior cargo or passenger space. Only a car designed with a big traction battery can compete as a credible BEV. Toyota would have to design a true BEV from scratch like anyone else, which would take just as long.

BEV’s need thermal management of the battery while Hybrids don’t.

Toyota are hopelessly behind the BEV race due to their insistence at making hybrids only.

Jean-Pierre is right. Toyota just doesn’t have a platform that lends itself to electrification. The Volt is compromised by its large T-shaped pack. The Bolt is more modern, much like a Tesla, with the pack under the cabin. Toyota is going to have lame short ranged plug ins and those cars will be looked at as being fatally compromised by anyone that knows anything about plug in cars.


The correct spelling is “blah”.

Meh has replaced blah

Not that it’s an actual improvement

I will never buy another Toyota

Nice story BTW


My thoughts as well. Excluding Teslas, EV sales are down from June, and essentially flat vs. July 17. This is while in most European and East Asian countries there are huge year-over-year jumps rather consistently for the last couple of years, and even accelerating in 2018 – with or without Tesla’s help.

The US EV scene has become a one-company show, or more precisely a one-man show. Americans have come to see EVs through the ups and downs of Elon Musk, for better or for worse.

Honestly it’s pretty much for worse. It means EVs as a whole are not catching on. Honestly who even knows how many Model 3 buyers are getting it because it’s an EV. We certainly know some are not.

If the Model 3 buzz doesn’t spread to other EVs, especially more affordable ones, then it’s really an unfortunate setback. This really isn’t the trajectory I was hoping for. I knew TM3 would be in the lead (once they actually managed to make them in sufficient numbers), but I was hoping for some halo effect spreading to the rest of the EV market. Maybe the more pessimistic projections were correct after all, at least for the US.

Yup. Maybe it’s time for IEV to separate Tesla from others in reporting, because it’s become Tesla sales chart.

I think it’s perfect the way it is currently.

Let everyone see just how pathetic almost all the other manufacturers are.

So close to 30,000. Hoping that other manufacturers will start to push out vehicles and chase the Model 3.

And cannabilize their LICE sales, don’t count on it outside of the somewhat chastened Germans and Jaguar all of them battery constrained.

On the top ten selling passenger cars list – you can really see how Japanese cars are dominating. When Toyota and Honda get into BEVs, they’re going to dominate.

Yup, the Model 3 was the top American-branded passenger car last month. Pretty amazing.

Totally expected more than amazing…

To be fair the big 3 have largely stopped even making passenger cars.

Yep, just how GM dominated in the 1990s. Toyota is like GM in the day, they aren’t really focusing on where the market is about to go. Toyota and Honda aren’t going to dominate anything. More likely Hyundai/Kia will overtake them. Tesla will be dominant US company.

Hyundai/Kia already have better tech and cars then Coyota/Honda/Nissan.

By the end of the year, Tesla may contribute nearly 3/4 of all plug-in sales. At that point, most other manufacturers results will be practically irrelevant. From now on out the more interesting chart will be Tesla vs. the rest of passenger car sales. Maybe IEV should add a monthly post on that.

Once the $35,000 base version comes out next year it will be interesting to see if/how it affects sales of Honda and Toyota’s models.

Even if Honda and Toyota got serious about EVs, it would take them years to build up enough battery capacity to catch up with where Tesla is today. We can see what a hard time the Koreans and Germans have finding enough battery supply and they aren’t even producing huge numbers yet. I don’t see anyone being able to catch up with Tesla because of this issue, except maybe some Chinese manufacturers like BYD, who have their own battery supply.

Brining up battery factories seems to take about two years. It doesn’t matter whether car makers have their own production, or order from external suppliers — either way, the issue is planning for a sufficient amount two years in advance.

None of the Chinese makers seems to have a problem with that, despite only BYD having their own battery production.

I am tired of having all that hybrid junk in there.
At least we need a pure electric table.
Too lazy to create it myself monthly,

We will eventually move to that. At this point, we cover anything with a plug. We’ve made it much more clear on the chart which cars are BEVs and we provide the market share in the recap. Everything will eventually move toward BEVs, but we’re not there yet. In order to push adoption, PHEVs are a necessary step and still the only option for many people. All in good time for sure! I agree that that is surely the direction it needs to be headed. Thank you!

I suggest that, like every month! Nobody pays attention to me!

Maybe if I was nice about it….

Scratch that, I don’t know how to be nice…

No matter how much or little importance different people give to PHEV sales, I think it would be preferable to track them in a separate table, since the sales dynamics of PHEV models generally seem to be a different story from BEV sales. I don’t get the impression that most buyers set out to buy some sort of plug-in, and only then decide whether it will be BEV or PHEV. It makes little sense IMHO to say for example that plug-in sales went up by 50%, but the BEV share rose from 50% to 75% — it’s much more intuitive to say that PHEV sales stagnated, while BEV sales doubled…

I wonder when the time comes when only BEV sales are tracked? Will it be 2 years from now or earlier?

Oops, instead of replying to Hauer, I’ve created a new post.
My bad.

Sadly – only Tesla has a real BEV on the market — the others are poor attempts to meet specific quotas, etc…. It will be interesting to see how Jaguar does with their new iPace as it is getting there (no charging network tho!) GM needs to cut the Bolt price by at least $5k to be competitive with the Leaf and other pretenders.

If The model 3 can consistently put up 15K sales per month in the US — others will take more notice. I can tell you – everyone I take for a ride wants one!

I think others have taken notice already. That’s why BMW and Mercedes are scrambling to deliver some BEV options to their faithful.

Go Tesla.

Not sure why you don’t think the Chevy Bolt is a “real BEV”. Model3 is sexier looking and has better automation but as a BEV the Bolt is pretty good with its 250 + mile range. In real world driving the difference in the charging network has not made much difference. Pretty good distribution of CCS charging stations along the east coast. Trip from DC to Asheville NC quite practical. It does however take much longer than a ICE trip because you need an hour stop for lunch and recharging

however the Bolt is only practical for home owners, living in a city with only street parking makes it impractical to own a BEV without fast charging.

I have a Bolt and the LG drivetrain is excellent but the pathetically slow dcfc speed makes it painful to drive outside its range.

Oh, and the painful seats make also make it difficult to drive long distance.

While I agree about most others, the Leaf is not trying to meet specific quotas for all I know.

When will plug-ins surpass traditional hybrids?

If a traditional hybrid is a PHEV and a plug in is a BEV then I would say July 2018.

I can’t find out how many total small vehicles were assembled in the US for any month or year. I’d like to see how this compares to Tesla production in US. This would include GM, Ford, BMW, Toyota, VW etc.

Well 23 different models reached at least 1,000 sold so far this year. It took until December 2017 for 24 models reached 1,000. More EV’s are being sold Musk has dragged the rest of the world to produce EV’s.
Sorry Einhorn if you thing your shorts have a manufacturing defect. I thing you have them on backwards. Hahahaha

TM3 is now becoming what Prius was 10-15 years ago. Toyota was selling tens of thousands more than their competition in the hybird market, and even going head-to-head with standard sedans. That is now where Model 3 is headed.

TM3 is almost doubling the production of the Prius at its prime (so to speak). 2000 – 2016 1,643,000 Prius’ were sold that averages 8,600 a month. At over 14,000 sold last month that is almost twice what the Prius was selling in an average month. That is significant.


Another data point might be the drop of Prius Prime sales in July as TM3 numbers significantly increased. We need to wait for August and September results to determine whether this is an on-going trend.

I think we need to wait until the backlog clears to make any real comparisons. There has been a lot of pent up demand for the model 3 due to the snow production ramp. It remains to be seen what actual demand will be once the wait-list has been cleared.

Unfortunately that’s not good at all. Look how little hybrids sans Prius have caught on.

The Tesla Model 3 will be the only EV model of which more than 100,000 copies will have been delivered in 2018. First time 5 figure annual total number of deliveries of an EV model.

And what will happen in 2019?
Tesla Model 3 will be on top again, with more than 300,000 deliveries.
Nissan Leaf: for the first time a 100,000+ annual total.
And at least one EV model in China will reach that 100,000 milestone as well.

As from 2020 things will start to go crazy. During the next decade a transformation will take place.

Actually not sure about a single model reaching 100,000 a year in China… Unlike the rest of the world, they just have so many different competitive options available.

I’m not sure they’re going to hit 100000 this year. It looks like they’re finally being produced in large numbers, but we’re running out of months. I think it’s going to go down to the wire.

They would easily 100,000 even if they failed to ramp up at all beyond the July rate.

Good news/bad news. The good is Tesla sales. The bad is that Tesla would not have left the others in the dust if the field of BEVs was not so pathetic.

Didn’t you get the message from the shorters. BMW, Mercedes, Bolt, Nissan, etc. rada,rada are gonna eat Tesla’s lunch.

My (unofficial) survey is to count the number of M3’s* I see on the road during my daily commute in Silicon Valley (yes, not part of the real world, I know). I have been running 5 of them each way. This morning I counted 8. It’ll be above 10 real soon now.

*Yes, I know Mercedes has an M3. I say they change their model number.

Tesla is the only EV automaker that is really serious . All others are compliance makers. I think they should stop the incentive for any that don’t grow and produce big numbers. How else can we make it really fair for all automakers?

The EV market is becoming increasingly supply limited. Only one manufacturer is seriously trying to ramp up production to meet demand. No prizes for guessing who 🙂

That is true, unfortunately. I think GM could have made the Bolt a bit more attractive by a slightly different front end, but chose not to. The poor quality interior was probably intentional as well. Save $100 and turn the car into an uncomfortable beast on a longer road trip. I have seen videos of guys pulling the leather off the front seats and putting a simple foam sheet into the front seat of the Bolt and claiming it is considerably more comfortable after doing so. That is pathetic.

I agree, driving north on I-5 from Orange County to Santa Clarita in Southern CA (about 1hr drive), we normally saw two Tesla car carriers heading into Los Angeles. Driving the same route 8/18, we were seeing a Tesla carrier about every 15 minutes. Some had M3 only while two had mix of models. Also, in Los Angeles, Tesla has stopped delivering at the SCs, now all deliveries are in Marina Del Rey only. This is probably to increase delivery speed and to relieve congestion at the SCs.