US EV Market Grows To Seventeen Models With BMW i3; Market Shares Of Past Leaders Shrinking


Visual Impact of the New Models entering the Market

Visual Impact of the New Models entering the Market

Looking at data alone makes it difficult to process all that is going on with the EV market, but a quick glance at the EV pie graph is a bit revealing.

With April 2014 adding the BMW i3, the pie will then be split between seven major EVs (Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, Ford Fusion and C-Max Energi and Toyota PHV) and ten minor EVs, which we like to call the “B Division” for a total of seventeen.  The pie graph also helps explain why we are starting to call this the B Division. This does not imply a “B” quality, the graph simply shows that ten of the seventeen are small percentage players in the market.  (You can check out all the monthly results in chart form here)

The above graph is a tally of Q1 totals with a slight increase for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Smart ED as well as a conservative approximation of the upcoming BMW i3 market share heading into Q2.

The  percentages of each model are deliberately omitted in that they are unknown, especially for the BMW i3. Including the seventeenth player as part of the mix in this graph helps understand that eventually some of the primary players will give up market share as additional players enter the field. There have been instances such as the entry of the Tesla Model S into the luxury sector where the market expanded taking next to zero from existing EV markets. Up until now, most new entries have been able to at least expand the market partially without gaining notable shares from existing EV models.

Though each year the total number of EVs continue to grow, the number of choices is taking its toll on some of the models most notably the Chevy Volt. The award winning Chevy Volt will continue to be a major player, but one can’t help but notice the sales that are given up to the Ford Fusion and C-Max Energi models as well as to the anticipation of the BMW i3.

The pie grows

The pie grows each year in size and slices

Viewing the past years through the pie graph also helps explain how we go to today’s offerings.

2011 basically consisted of two players, the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF with a minor showing of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

2012 added two more major players with the Toyota Plug-in Prius and the Tesla Model S entering in  Q4.  Also 2012 saw three  players to the “B Division” with the Ford Focus and limited market Toyota Rav 4, and Honda Fit.

2013 expanded the major players to six by adding the Ford Fusion and C-Max Energi. 2013 also added four more  players to the “B Division” including the Honda Accord, Smart ED, and limited market Fiat 500e, and Chevy Spark.

2014 has most likely expanded the majors once again with April’s addition of the BMW i3 and has added  two more “B Division” players in the Porche Panamera S E-Hybrid, and Cadillac ELR.

2015 will slice the pie again five more times with the BMW i8, Mercedes Benz B Class (although a limited/regional roll-out will start in the 2nd half of 2014) , Kia Soul EV, Tesla Model X, and VW e-Golf entering between Q4 of 2014 and the start of 2015. With five additional EVs entering the field we can count on two likely outcomes. The additions will help increase the number of overall EVs sold and/or some of the existing players will give up some market share to the new players.

What players do you see giving way to these models in 2015?

Beyond 2015 There will be some exits from the game such as the Honda Fit. For those who survive the next couple of years will most certainly see the introduction of another expansion to the pie and that is SUV and crossover EVs. Such models will include the Tesla Model X, Mitsubishi Outlander, Audi Q8 E-Tron, possible Chevrolet Voltaic platform,  and many more.

2017 -2018 The Tesla Effect Many events will happen around this period of time, but one that is awaited by almost the entire existing EV community is the Gen III or Model E Tesla. Short analysis, the EV pie explodes.

Looking forward, The EV market share looks bright and is far from seeing the end to expansion of the pie. The current #1, #2, and #4 US vehicles are trucks, Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Dodge Ram respectively. The truck market will greatly expand the pie without taking from existing EV models. See Via Motors here for a peak into the future. Truck owners do love their torque. Wait till they experience an EV drivetrain ….


Categories: BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Sales, Tesla, Toyota


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27 Comments on "US EV Market Grows To Seventeen Models With BMW i3; Market Shares Of Past Leaders Shrinking"

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mmmmmmmm…. Pie. Now I’m hungry.

The cool thing, is that 100% of all of these EV sales have been eating into the gas car pie. Even if that slice is still very small so far, it is growing with all these new additions.

Also important:
losing market share is not automatically losing sales.

As more players enter the market, market share is automatically lost from those already there, but that is not a problem:
smaller percentage of pie can mean more pie if the pie has gotten bigger!


There were people that argued that the EV market is limited to a small niche of eco minded hippies with too much money. The fact that more models led to an increase in sales of the existing ones proves them wrong.

More choice is a signal of a maturing market, and consumers have picked that up. And of course the Model S has been a great halo car, drawing a lot of attention to EV’s and helping the others sell more too.

which is their main official goal!

It really annoys me when people said:
“this new ev will be bad for Tesla!!!”

Only if it is a bad product, because it would cast a bad light on evs!

Musk openly said in a interview that he expected Tesla to fail, hoping it would start the transition.
If market share is lost because more evs are sold, not terrible;
the goal is to make the pie huge (and the ice pie shrink to nothing).

Interesting chart.

But it looks like the Focus and RAV4 are backwards on the 1st Qtr Chart. Focus is at 406 with RAV4 at 237 but the RAV 4 has a larger piece of the pie.

Does the Fit EV still count? I thought they stopped building them.

Also, you might want to clarify that is the Plug-in Prius not the Prius.

And this should be “plug-in cars” not EVs, IMHO. I think calling PHEVs “EVs” is a bit confusing.

Leaf share actually increased from 2012 to 2013.

I still believe plug-in sales this year will be about aggregate-growth off 35% over 2013 (not 50% as many want). With growing model choice, this means lower market “pie” for everyone. Never a good thing in a small market to get less pie. Hopefully growth in 2015 pickes up and each companies can sell more and grow the demand accordingly.

Many of us EV buyers did so after 2-3 years of research, waiting, planning and so on. EVs will grow when people go into a dealership and instead of buying the latest ICE car, look at and choose an EV over it. Dealers are critical in helping this to happen. Nissan and Chevy dealers fall very short of helping spur the sales in general. A few very enthusiastic Volt sellers have helped keep that program alive but barely. If Chevy shops were incentivized to push the Volt and service them, as they seemed to be back in 2011, then things would look up for the forthcoming Volt-II in 2016. Some Nissan dealerships will not stock Leafs.

Isn’t the Outlander coming in 2015?


OPEC is going down!

OPEC hasn’t had any real power for years. Their power rested in increasing production to dissuade people from switching to alternatives or cutting back production to raise prices. But they can’t really increase production since they are all producing pretty much at full tilt (with the exception of Saudi Arabia). And they can’t really cut production because they are all addicted to the money. When they try to impose quotas, member nations just cheat. OPEC has had little power for many years.

“With five additional EVs entering the field we can count on two likely outcomes. The additions will help increase the number of overall EVs sold and/or some of the existing players will give up some market share to the new players.”

I would suggest that that some existing players giving up some market share is more than just “likely”. 🙂

What I found most interesting in this article(and we all know it is true)is that everyone is waiting for the Model E to come on the scene and take over the family/affordable EV market. How can it be true that we have or will have 10 manufacturers or more, some of which have had a head start, and yet all we think about is the next Tesla model? Wow, kudos to Tesla for simply inciting that kind of interest. You would think that the major players would be jumping at the chance to offer a comparable car to compete with the Model E. Maybe(probaby)they are, but they seem content to suggest 200 mile range car in the future. But there is litle more said than that. Why is it that Tesla can generate this kind of enthusiasm and yet not even have a mid level EV to sell yet? Talk about brand loyalty!!! GM, Ford(I am leaving Nissan out of this as they have committed to EV’s in a big way)and others, your less than enthusiastic stance on EV’s is clearly helping Tesla. It’s as if Tesla is the new “Frigidaire” or “Kleenex”. Those younger readers may not understand, but… Read more »

The gap needs to be filled. We have lots of 80 mile range cars and then we have the 200 mile range Model S but there is a massive gap in the middle. The RAV4 is kinda in the middle but it is a low-production California-only compliance car. We need some EVs in the 100, 120, 140, 160 mile ranges.