US EV Sales Charted: Market Share Above 1% For Sixth Month In A Row In October

2 weeks ago by Mark Kane 35

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – October 2017

October plug-in sales in the US didn’t disappoint, and after some rather flat results in Octobers past, electric vehicle sales shot up 32%, to roughly 14,598 deliveries.

Market share stood at ~1.1%, the sixth consecutive month above 1%.

For the year, more than 157,000 plug-in cars have been sold (30% more than a year ago).

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – October 2017

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – October 2017

Notwithstanding the still positive results, it could have yet been better.  Much better.

According to Tesla‘s original “S-Curve” estimates, some 1,500+ Model 3s were have to be produced in September, and about 5,000 in October, which would have translated into a lot more deliveries than the couple hundred that were actually made.  However, the company has faced some production “bottlenecks” and nothing even close to those numbers were produced, leading the company to guide to a delay of some ~3 months on earlier production expectations.

Also, Nissan didn’t properly schedule the introduction of the new 2018 LEAF to coincide with the end of the original model.  So, while the 2018 LEAF production was ready in Oppama, Japan to start delivering cars on October 1st, the company’s US/Smyrna, TN plant won’t be ready to supply volume deliveries earlier than January…leaving a ~3+ month inventory gap between the 2017 and 2018 LEAF.

Combined, a solid ~5,000+ sales were left on the table over expectations, meaning that October ‘should have’ been up up more like 75% (not that we can’t live with 33%).

Moving on.

The best selling electric car in the US last month was Chevrolet Bolt EV (2,781), which also moved up to the 2nd spot after ten months on the yearly list – passing both the Tesla Model X and Chevrolet Volt.  The Bolt EV has seen its sales grow in eight consecutive months – chart below.

Chevrolet Bolt EV sales in U.S. – October 2017

At the same time, Toyota Prius Prime sales kept strong with 1,626 deliveries (2nd best in the US in October), especially compared to overall Prius sales which have been falling. In October, the plug-in hybrid version netted a record 21.1% of the total Prius family.

Toyota Prius Prime sales in U.S. – October 2017

And here is Top 10 selling models for the year after ten months:

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – October 2017

Editor’s note:  all the individual sales for every plug-in model sold in October (and all-time) can be found on our Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard.

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35 responses to "US EV Sales Charted: Market Share Above 1% For Sixth Month In A Row In October"

  1. ffbj says:

    It should really get a bump next year, perhaps double to over 2% with the new Leaf, Model 3, coming out and continuing sales of the Bolt, Prius Prime.

    If Tesla really gets rolling, which is doubtful, as they keep scaling back, then they could produce more cars than were sold as plugins this year in the U.S.
    5k a week x 50 wks =250k
    (incredible, but not very likely).
    I lay down that they make 92k of them, Model 3, next year. Pass the Bolt in total sales in July, when the Bolt plant is shutdown again, for an extended period.

    1. Asak says:

      I think you’re being way too pessimistic on the Bolt.

      If EV sales keep growing and if the Bolt in particular keeps increasing then rather than cut production, GM could easily double production. There’s a lot of pent up demand in Canada and overseas for the Bolt/Ampera E.

      1. jahav says:

        Since GM sold Opel, Ampera E in EU is a corpse. Bolt EV will be sold in minimal quantities required by a contract between Gm and PSA.

        1. Jeff Songster says:

          exactly right, GM has been gradually trying to kill demand for Bolt. They are less and less interested in an immediate success. More interested in slowing the march towards EVs. They told Europe to back off… they told China that consumers should get choice not incentives or mandates (even while tasting and choking on the air they attempt to breathe through masks). It is clear that GM wants to have their cake while eating it.

    2. mx says:

      Tesla guidance, they will start producing the lower cost Model 3’s first half of next year, second half will bring the Performance models and Dual Motor options.

      1. Jeff Songster says:

        It is possible that Tesla could still get couple thousand out before the end of the year… and ramping quickly once the bottlenecks are worked out. Hopefully no new ones will appear. They are pushing the limits and are of course at risk because of it. But on multiple occasions they have delivered. Here’s hoping that they succeed!

  2. vdiv says:

    Twice as many hybrids were sold (29,451) as plugins.
    Total light duty vehicles sales of 1,348,625.

    Long, long way to go 🙁

    1. ziv says:

      I think plug in hybrids are worth differentiating from non-plug in hybrids. The Volt and the Plug In Prius are in a different class from the standard Prius and the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
      And BEV’s aren’t synonymous with plug ins since a lot of plug ins aren’t BEV’s.
      I think that Hybrids are different from PHEV’s and from BEV’s. Using the word hybrid loosely kind of falsely lessens the worth of PHEV’s.
      But I have to admit I couldn’t figure where you got the 29,451 figure so I could be talking out of my … hand.

      1. vdiv says:

        By hybrids I mean non-plugins, and by plugins I mean plugin hybrids and BEVs.

        1. Ziv says:

          Then I was responding to your post based on my own misunderstanding. My apologies.
          I didn’t equate plug ins with EVs, which I should have, since that is exactly what I argued a minute ago below…

  3. unlucky says:

    Plug-ins are over 1% market share. EVs aren’t.

    PHEVs are great, but we have to understand they aren’t EVs. Your Porsche e-Hybrid or BMW i8 turns on the ICE at the drop of a hat (or the pedal).

    1. Ricardo says:

      No, you’re right, PHEVs aren’t EVs. Phev stands for Plug-in Hybrid Enough of this already Vehicle

      1. SparkEV says:

        Drop the E and call them PHV, problem solved.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Yeah I forgot that it’s the combustion engine that uses the electricity from the plug.

          All those Volt owners that run over 90% of their miles on electricity alone, it’s amazing how that gas engine can run on electricity too. How do those pistons fire?

          /sarc

          *Eye roll*

    2. Viktor says:

      BEV wish stands for battery electric vehicle and are only using electricity from battery but EV or electric vehicle is a name for both BEV and PHEV so the article is right.

      1. unlucky says:

        A hybrid electric vehicle is an electric vehicle like a vice president is a president.

        It’s almost an electric vehicle but it’s not an electric vehicle.

        Some nouns are composed of a base noun and a modifier which roughly means “akin to” or “similar to but not quite”. This is the case for a PHEV. It’s a hybrid of an EV and an ICE car. It’s not an EV.

        1. guyinacar says:

          Again? This BEV nonsense again?

          Boorishness Entitlement Vehicle (BEV). There. Fixed that for ya.

          It’s about the other 99%, guys. BEV smugness is profoundly unattractive to me or to the 99% of new car buyers (to say nothing of used). Worse, that attitude may be the only thing people remember about BEVs in the coming years, when the Federal incentives fade and the Model S starts to look old – like the then-iconic and “futuristic” Fords we saw in Robocop (Taurus) and Jurassic Park (Explorer). They don’t seem so cool now, when the survivors are rusty and dented. The 2017 BEV purist attitude will only make the bulk of BEVs seem rusty, dented, and socially tedious. Give it a rest. You’re hurting your cause.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Well said.

          2. unlucky says:

            I don’t get how you got to smug.

            It’s about calling things by the right name.

            See where I said PHEVs are great? I meant it. I’m not hurting any cause.

            But if we’re going to talk about EVs we should be talking about vehicles that run on electricity. Always. Not sometimes.

            A PHEV is a hybrid of an EV and an ICE car. It’s not an EV.

            1. Ziv says:

              When you try to exclude PHEVs like the Volt and the PriPrime from using the EV moniker, it LOOKS like you are saying they aren’t good enough to deserve the EV title, despite the fact that the Volt can go 95% of its miles on electricity with no compromises. Mine is at 96% for instance.
              You may not intend for your posts to appear to be belittling PHEV’s, but that is how they look. And right now, for a lot of us, the best EV for our lifestyle is a PHEV. This has been beat to death over the years, and I doubt this will change your mind, but I figured hearing it from a PHEV owner would at least give you an idea of how it looks from over here. I hear you, but I think you are way wrong.

              1. unlucky says:

                They do not qualify for the EV title. If you read that is being not as good somehow then you are the one holding some kind of bias.

                If it doesn’t run on electricity all the time it’s not an EV. PHEVs hare hybrids of EVs and ICE cars. A PHEV cannot be the best EV for your lifestyle because it isn’t an EV. But it might be the car for your lifestyle. You decide on that.

                That’s what I said and what I meant. I’m not going to change my mind any more than I’m going to suddenly say a vice president is a president.

                You decide what to buy, I’m not here to tell you what to buy.

        2. vdiv says:

          So then hybrids are not ICE cars? They are “almost” like them?

          1. unlucky says:

            Hybrids are a hybrid of an ICE car and an electric car.

            A pluot is a hybrid of a plum and an apricot. It’s not an apricot. It’s not a plum. It has attributes of both.

  4. Randy Bryan says:

    I would guess that Tesla has to make about 200k model 3s next year [2018] to clear enough money to fund Y development and gigafactory plans. All that while their fed tax credit fades away. It will be a hard year for them. But, my guess is that they are up to it.

    1. Some Guy says:

      What should fade away?
      Unless the credits are cancelled by US government, the current delay in M3 production will push the 200k sales mark in US beyound April 1st for sure. Thus, every Tesla vehicle delivered before September 30th will be eligible for the full credit. Depending how fast they ramp up Model 3 and manage export of S/X, they might be able to push the 200 k mark to July 1st 2018, thus making every sale in 2018 eigible for the full credit and partial credit for entire 2019.

      1. Hauer says:

        But now it looks like the Trumpaneros who rule the US will totally kill the 7500 by end of this year.

        1. Jeff Songster says:

          While I can’t feel sure that anyone in Washington cares anymore about doing the right thing for the environment… Plug in America is trying to lobby to keep the tax credit. Give them a hand if you feel strongly about preserving it.

  5. Leon says:

    Good plug-in sales are up. How about adding some places to plug them in?

    1. vdiv says:

      How about it? How many have you added? 🙂

      1. Jeff Songster says:

        Tesla is adding gobs of SuperChargers and Destination Chargers. They are the only really serious company in regards to charger infrastructure… it must be built out ASAP ahead of need as often as possible. Their navi system is very tightly woven with their network and they even offer adapters to the CHAdeMO chargers if you want even more security. Hopefully the other makers will step up their work with other charger nets and demonstrate their committment like only Tesla and Nissan (with initial investments in the other nets) have done so far.

  6. Mikael says:

    The US is doing 1%, Europe 2% and China 3%. Hopefully the US will do some catching up when the Model 3 ramps up (and other models being added and/or growing of course).

    1. Gasbag says:

      The Bay Area is over 10%.
      California is over 5%
      Honorable mentions for HI, WA, OR, and CO.

      The rest of the US is closer to 0.5%.
      The rest of the US sucks.

      1. vdiv says:

        The rest of the US needs our help. That’s what Jesus would say.

      2. Mikael says:

        The same for Europe would be Norway is closer to 50%, Iceland 25% (just one month, but it’s fun to use the highest number 😉 ), Sweden 7%.

        The rest of Europe sucks… 😛 (no, not really. but a number of markets could step it up).

  7. Mister G says:

    1% is pitiful we can do more.

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