US Plug-In Electric Car Sales Charted: February 2019

MAR 12 2019 BY MARK KANE 15

Just barely edged out another year-over-year win.

February was really tough this year. Despite general progress on the automotive market, plug-in electric car sales in the U.S. barely exceed year-over-year growth. It would not make us happy if the string of 41 consecutive months of growth was broken.

In total, sales amounted to 17,239 (according to InsideEVs estimations and manufacturers reports), which is 2.3% more than a year ago. The low pace of growth is a result of weaker sales of many plug-in models that are retiring or awaiting updated/additional versions, losing part of the federal tax credit, as well as supply constraints of new models.

Market share increased slightly to almost 1.4% (compared to 1.3% in 2018) and hopefully in the near term we will back again above 2%.

Roughly 60% of sales in February were all-electric cars.

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – February 2019

Hopefully, we will be back at around 50,000 again soon:

The top-selling model was again the Tesla Model 3 – estimated at 5,750.

In February, the LOL chart once again reveals a slower pace of growth of the Tesla Model 3 – but nothing to worry about. Model 3 sales were focused on exports.

Moreover, Tesla Model 3 is now the #1 plug-in car (regardless of type BEV/PHEV) in cumulative sales, despite it being the newest on the chart (20 months old). The overall result is 153,796 (estimated), compared to 153,434 Chevrolet Volt (partially estimated)

With production of the Volt now ceased, the third place Tesla Model S at 145,567 is soon to be second best.

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15 Comments on "US Plug-In Electric Car Sales Charted: February 2019"

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@ Mark Kane

Thanks for posting all these great charts.

@ Mark Kane

Regarding the LOL chart:

I think that the vertical axis maximum of 160,000 units will have to be increased in order to be able to include the numbers of March 2019. Because that orange line is going to take off like a SpaceX rocket.

Nice analogy, exactly. Sales this year are going to surpass last year (even only considering US, never mind international)

Rocket launches are actually mostly horizontal. You head mostly vertical for a few dozen miles to get above the atmosphere, but then turn horizontal and start moving much quicker to enter an orbit. That’s why SpaceX doesn’t normally land back at the launch site – they normally land on a droneship ~600 miles off the coast even though the first stage goes less than 200 miles up.

I love the curve for the Model 3, talk about a breakout. The Leaf and i3 lines are disappointing. Started out strong and tapered off. Bolt might be doing the same. Model S, X, and Prime still look strong. This time next year the chart will show how weak the non Model 3 sales are.

Thanks for the plots.

Lower priced 3 will hurt sales of many plugins on the list.
Especially since Americans are not that fond of small hatchbacks.

i think you are confusing the Leaf line with the Ford c-max

Isn’t the Nissan Leaf #1 at 300,000+?

US only sales.

The Leaf had a 6 year head start. Give it another year and a half though before it’s globally dethroned by the Model 3…

Pretty sure it will take less than a year at this point…

Globally, the Leaf had just passed the 400,000 unit mark. US market is about 130,000.
The Model 3 is now the best selling plug-in electric car in U.S. history! My guess is the Model 3 will pass the Leaf as the world’s all-time best selling plug-in car in the second half of 2020, still a long way to go.

all the more puzzling why GM would kill off the Volt

I think that it is pretty obvious that GM was getting out of the sedan business because their profit per vehicle was below 20% and they wanted to concentrate on SUV’s, CUV’s and trucks which have a higher percentage of profit per vehicle. When they looked at a mere 10% or 12% profit on every Volt sold, there was no way it was going to live much longer.

You could add the Honda clarity next month.