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100% Electric Vehicles

2016 Electric Car Sales Predictions

2016 looks like it will be an interesting year for electric car sales. We have some significantly upgraded versions of the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt, as well as several new entrants to the market — such as the Tesla Model X, the Chevy Bolt later this year, the Volvo XC90 T8, the Volvo S90 T8, the Hyundai IONIQ, and heck, maybe even the BMW i5 and electric Aston Martin Rapide (I know, I’m dreaming there).

BMW i8 eDrive Tech Now In The BMW X5 With eDrive

Image: Screenshot of BMW video

At the end of 2015, we saw the BMW X5 xDrive 40e come in with some fairly strong numbers, LEAF sales still down a great deal from their highs earlier in the year, Chevy Volt sales ramping up but still not stellar, BMW i3 sales looking quite solid, and Tesla Model S sales crushing it. Which of those trends will transfer into the new year, and hold throughout the year?

I’m very curious to see the discussions and projections that get dropped in the comments under this article, and I’ll stick my neck out there to kick things off with projections regarding US sales.

Starting with BMW, I’ll take a guess that…

  • BMW i3 sales will average ~900 a month in 2016
  • BMW i8 sales ~500
  • BMW X5 xDrive 40e sales ~700.
vw e-golf

Photo by Volkswagen

Heading over to Audi & Volkswagen, I’ll project…

  • ~700 a month for the A3 e-tron
  • ~400 for the VW e-Golf.

I think Nissan will still suffer to regain strong sales of the LEAF, due to the Chevy Bolt being around the corner…

  • the LEAF will = ~1,000 a month is my wild guess.


I think Ford will continue to see solid but not spectacular sales of its plug-in hybrid models…

  • Ford Fusion Energi ~900
  • Ford C-MAX Energi ~700.
2016 Chevy volt

Photographer unknown

I think GM will have a great year with…

  • ~3300 Chevy Volts sold a month, on average
  • ~2000 Chevy Bolts a month once the car is on the market for a full month (assuming that happens in 2016), with some supply limitations initially, but not too much so.

Regarding the big dog, I’ll project Tesla hit…

  • ~1700 Model S sedans per month (just in the US, remember)
  • ~1700 Model X SUVs per month.

I think Tesla will remain a bit supply limited.

I don’t feel comfortable projecting Volvo or Hyundai sales until I have a better sense of how widely these companies look to sell their vehicles (or if they will be very limited compliance cars). I also have little interest in projecting sales for various other compliance cars, like the Kia Soul EV and Fiat 500e. I realize I included Volkswagen and Audi’s seemingly compliance cars, but I’m hoping these will be spread a little more widely in 2016… admittedly, more hoping than expecting.

But that’s it for my intro — what do you think US electric car sales will look like in 2016?!

Written By

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, SCTY, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB. After years of covering solar and EVs, he simply had a lot of faith in these companies and felt like they were good companies to invest in as a portion of his retirement strategy. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.


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