US Plug-In Electric Car Sales Charted: January 2019

FEB 4 2019 BY MARK KANE 16

January was shy compared to the late months of 2018

U.S. car sales in January 2019 are estimated at over 1.14 million, which means it decreased by about 1%. In such circumstances, the plug-in electric car segment – which improved by almost 43% to 17,109 – is growing super fast. Sure, it could be better (in fact it was the slowest growth in almost a year), but it would be a sin to not appreciate such a result.

The market share increased by about half year-over-year to around 1.5%. We expect that both sales and market share growth will continue on up.

U.S. Plug-In Car Sales – January 2019

January is usually a slow month. One of the reasons is the federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchasing a plug-in car, which is available after the particular year ends – you need to wait a year to receive it right now. On the other hand, if you know more or less your taxes in the late part of the year, you can purchase a plug-in car, and recover the credit in a few months.

The other reason is that some manufacturers (like Tesla, which is also the biggest player in BEVs) notes the best results usually at the end of a particular quarter. Currently, Tesla shifted its production more towards Europe, and lost half of the federal tax credit for its customers (up to $3,750 now).

The Tesla Model 3 remains the top choice for those who decided to purchase a plug-in electric car – we estimate that around 6,500 were delivered.

In January, the LOL chart reveals a slower pace of growth of the Tesla Model 3 – but enough to overtake the Tesla Model S (148,046 M3 to 144,767 MS). The #1 Chevrolet Volt is now within range for February (152,819).

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16 Comments on "US Plug-In Electric Car Sales Charted: January 2019"

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So the Volt was being sold for 8 years 2011-2019, with 152k sold and a March RIP date, while the Model 3 is still ramping production and has been on sale for only 18 months or so. It gives you the difference between just paying lip service to something and actually going all in.
To total production run of the Model 3 will be something more akin to 10 million, after it has had it’s run.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

If and only if Tesla can bring down costs and sell the SR.

Sure it will help get there faster, but the Model 3 could get there without it.

Lip services? GM wanted to sell 45K/year and buyers never showed up.

Pricks like you keep hating on GM certainly don’t help the cases. There are more people willing to show up to buy Tesla than the Volt despite the fact that Volt won just as much if not more awards than each of the Tesla models.

Ultimately, it is about image and brand loyalty. Haters like you certainly don’t help the case.

Yes, I call you out since you have been consistently hating GM the last 8 years here non-stop.

Have you driven a Volt? I have, and therefore I know why it didn’t sell….

I own a Volt. So, I know. If it doesn’t sell, then it isn’t GM that doesn’t want to it, but rather people NOT wanting to buy it.

I also knows how well a Volt drives and it sure beats the pants of that POS Prius in terms of driving dynamic. It drives great!

The interesting thing is that the Honda Clarity PHEV is selling better than the Prius. There is a market, but GM just couldn’t sell enough to satisfy the bean counters.

Someone will do a thorough forensic analysis of why the Volt didn’t sell. But I bet it has less to do with pricks than it does with a lack of advertising, lack of dealer support and lack of GM explaining why the Volt makes sense. The general decline of sedans in an SUV/CUV/Pickup world didn’t help either.

People don’t pay attention to awards, but they do have an emotional reaction to cars. The Volt never inspired much emotion. The Volt was an example of a company trying to go half way. Now, don’t get me wrong; the half way was done with excellence. But it was a compromise when a whole lot of consumers don’t understand compromise.

So Tesla didn’t go “all in” on the Model S or X, then?

Lot of people taking potshots at the #1 selling EV in US history. If the Volt was a “failure,” what does that say about everything that isn’t the Model 3?

Do Not Read Between The Lines

LOL Chart!

maybe time to add “Honda Clarity PHEV” to the cumulative sales chart

Solid idea!

I agree about the Honda Clarity PHEV, but as a Volt owner, it is kind of sad to see an inferior PHEV hit the chart and start to climb it, right about the time the all time US sales leader, the Volt, is put out to pasture.
GM has decided to throw out an engineering masterpiece. Instead of putting the EREV tech into a CUV, or a slightly larger car, they are simply ignoring it.

I gotta agree with your view.My 2015 Volt has been the most satisfying vehicle I have ever owned.If Only..The public had understood the concept of Voltech and all the misinformation had been eliminated.

The Volt was a great affordable solution when it was originally designed in 2008-2010, and batteries were cubic $. In 2018 with battery costs having been cut by 3x-4x, it’s time to go full electric. (I own a Volt, it’s been great, but I’m ready to go full BEV.)

That said, there’s no excuse for GM not having spread Voltec to essentially every model they make in the intervening years. It is a superior driving experience vs. a slushbox.

no get rid of all hybrids. If it takes in a fossil fuel get rid of it. Lets compare apples to apples.