US EV Sales Charted: Market Share Increases To 1.4% In September

OCT 6 2017 BY MARK KANE 38

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – September 2017

September 2017 was the second best month to date for plug-in electric vehicle sales in the United States (full report here), with roughly 21,325 deliveries being made.  As one might expect, the month also brought one of the highest market shares for the segment at of 1.4%.

Put another way, about 1 in every 70 new vehicles sold in the US last month came with the plug.

The stellar performance last month also enabled the US to cross the milestone of 700,000 plug-in sales since the start of this generation of EVs.

More than 62% of September sales were all-electric cars, lead by the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X and Chevrolet Bolt EV.

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – September 2017

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – September 2017

The top six models in September managed to reach four digit results:

  • Tesla Model S*4,860
  • Tesla Model X*3,120
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV – 2,632
  • Toyota Prius Prime – 1,899
  • Chevrolet Volt – 1,453
  • Nissan LEAF – 1,055

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

We should also note some of the relative newcomers that are assisting with the gains.  First up, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which has seen 7 consecutive months of gains, culminating with a new record of 2,632 deliveries last month:

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

Toyota Prius Prime almost set new a record in September, and surely could go much higher if inventory would allow (perhaps by November it will); but most importantly, the Prime share inside the Prius family is now at its highest level – 20.5%.

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

And here is Top 10 for the year after nine months:

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – September 2017

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38 Comments on "US EV Sales Charted: Market Share Increases To 1.4% In September"

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Light trucks are a big share of vehicle sales. It would be nice to see market share without trucks included.


Knock off about 8 million vehicles ytd.

Back of napkin around 4% not including light duty vehicles classifies as trucks. Pickups, crossovers, vans, etc…

But then if you exclude SUV’s and trucks on one side you should exclude Model X on the EV side too.

Is that 1.4% of vehicle sales, or 1.4% of car sales? Big difference, since trucks (and maybe SUVs?) wouldn’t be included in the second number.

1.4% of all light vehicles sales (cars, trucks, utility vehicles, etc)

I think they should keep the tax credit until the market share hits 5% (or insert whatever percentage you want), but not based on 200K per manufacturer. Too much of a benefit to the laggards.


+1 +1 +1

I’d say 10%.

Why not make it permanent? What is the basis of any incentive? To kick-start an industry. Not keep it alive for years to come.

I would like to see a $3000 rebate applied at purchase time, rather than a tax credit which not everyone can use.

When I leased my Leaf in 2012, Nissan took the subsidy and treated it as a discount on my car. It had no tax implications for me.

The ease of the transaction sealed the deal for me, since I was afraid of not qualifying for the tax allowance.

This isn’t happening anymore. They are cutting the pass through of the 7500 due to the high depreciation of the EVs. You can’t see that level of “cap cost reduction” in current leases. The thing to do now is have your dealership register it and then re-sell it for 7500 less. However, this is “illegal” in terms of the tax credit verbiage. The credit is not intended for someone who intends to “resell” the vehicle.

The tax credit is “broken”. It should be an on-the-spot rebate that a dealership could take for you and you can benefit – no matter if you can use the FTC (Federal Tax Credit) or not.

Ford is still doing this – offering $10,000 off the top for a Focus Electric lease.

And yet it’s still a poor value.

On the other hand, the laggards are entering a saturated market space, and their offerings could use some help getting traction.

I guess the thinking is that the market leaders have taken most of the risk, in exchange for early market share.

They don’t deserve help after sitting on the sidelines. It’s not fair to the leaders who are creating the supply chains and eating all of that expense to have the laggards come along and take advantage of those cost reductions at the expense of others investment. The credits should be one large bucket for all manufactures and those who lead get the advantages, the laggards can go out of business for all I care.

Damn straight.

The incentives should go to the trail-blazers, the ones actually taking the risks; not the Johnny-come-latelies following a much safer, well-worn path.

100%? 😉

Even better would be if they could add a permanent minimum $7500 tax on every polluting vehicle.

Given the storm damage in Houston and few other places, the market share may decrease a bi going forward a few months.

30% plug-in sales growth for 2017 over 2016 is pretty good. I was expecting this for all the years prior from 2015-2017, but 2015 was a dud with negative growth.

2015 was a dud because there were very new and compelling products introduced – and several states pulled generous incentives (like GA – where sales dropped something like 80%)

sorry – no new compelling products introduced

Agree that it was a soft-introduction year. folks waiting (and waiting) on Model X, next-gen Volt pending, etc. Today, my own Gen-1 Volt still delivers enough that even with the Bolt on the street, I have nothing in these new models to replace the benefits seen in the original Volt design. It’s no-compromises approach to driving electrically locally for up to 45+ miles and 40mpg along the highway using 100,000+ “gaschargers” for the occasional trip is hard to beat.

The Volt is a Frankenstein that will continue to decline in market share.

Lousy gas mileage and poor electric range, the worst of both worlds. Plus all the complexity of a gas and EV rolled into one.

The press release below is exactly why you will see several traditional ICE manufacturers go out of business…They will be the Nokia and Blackberry of the auto industry….late to change — then it’s too late.

UAW presses Ford to protect factory jobs amid EV push
The UAW is talking with Ford Motor Co. about ways to avoid layoffs as the automaker builds more electric vehicles, a senior union official told Reuters. Ford told investors it planned to slash $14 billion in costs over the next five years and shift investments away from internal combustion engines and sedans to develop more trucks, plus electric and hybrid cars. (Automotive News)

Ford. Make a good looking, performing electric Pickup truck. Do stuff like the Bollinger B1/B2. Do it right, they won’t have to lay anyone off.

Oh, the hard part though. Making it affordable without losing money. That’s the hard part.

EVs are now solidly past 1%. The next big milestone is passing 3.5%, which was the highest percentage hybrids ever got in the US.

After that, the big milestone is 10%. That’s when they start to become more than a curiosity and more mainstream.


Do we have the market-share for how many EV buses are purchased vs. traditional ones?

Isn’t it something like 100 buses out of like 30 000 sales or so?

While good, the Prime’s 20.5% of all Prius branded sales is not as impressive if you consider that sales of the Prius hybrid variants are off ~40% from Sept 2016. It’s as much the success of the Prime as it is the death of the standard hybrids.

Until they can produce Primes to satisfy the demand we will not see what percentage of sales it will have.

Death of standard hybrids? Really?

So, why are HEV sales up 8.4% year-to-date compared to 2016?

Prius is down because it’s not the favorite of the chic environmental crowd anymore, it is extremely ugly, and the market continues to shift out of sedans and into crossovers. Look at the success of the RAV4 Hybrid. Also, what future is there for Prius when Camry Hybrid fuel economy is nearly as good.

Combined with hybrids 30k+ Electrified drivetrains now account for over 3.5% of all vehicles sold in september.

If you exclude pickups for which there is not yet a electrified competitor. EV/PHEV/HEVs would now represent over 5% of purchases.

Another good month with Canada EV sales over 1% as well.

But as usual, it is carried almost entirely by GM and Tesla.

Bolt sold another 227 and the Volt another 482. The Volt has become one of GMs better selling products in canada the past few years.

It’s great to see the increasing US market share for plug-ins to 1.4% in September
California plug-in market share was 4.8% in Q1 2017. Tesla alone had 0.9% Q1 market share in California.