US Electric Car Sales -- 14 Highlights From August −

US Electric Car Sales — 14 Highlights From August

Published on September 4th, 2016 | by

September 4th, 2016 by

 This article is simultaneously being published on CleanTechnica and on our Electric Car Sales page.

Numbers are in, and not a great deal has changed in the US electric car market since July, but it is always fun to look at the numbers and pick out some highlights.

Here are 10 key highlights for this month’s report:

  1. While Tesla’s numbers aren’t official (they’re the estimate of an average for the quarter based on various Tesla forecasts and statements), according to the August estimate and GM’s official figures, the Chevy Volt was the #1 best-selling electric car in the US in August.
  2. Chevy Volt sales seem steady at around 2,000 sales per month, a big jump over last year’s numbers (predictably) and basically at the top of the EV pack.
  3. BMW i3 sales have been doing much better in the past couple of months compared to the beginning of the year, with a notable 1,013 sales.
  4. The BMW X5 xDrive 40e had a record 876 sales in August — not too shabby (even if it’s about half of estimated Tesla Model X sales).
  5. The Ford Energi models continue to pull in ~2,000 sales per month, which basically matches the Volt and is a significant jump over last year’s numbers, highlighting either better consumer awareness, a better job from Ford and dealers pushing these cars, greater production capacity (I think this is unlikely to be the factor, since I don’t think production capacity was limited previously), or some combination of those factors.
  6. Nissan LEAF sales seem to be holding at around 1,000 sales per month, despite the impending arrival of the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.
  7. Most electric models on the market are obviously compliance cars — they see low sales because they aren’t available in most markets, the parent automakers don’t do much to push them, and they perhaps aren’t as competitive as the most popular electric cars on the market.
  8. Overall, plug-in car sales were up 20% in August (compared to August 2015).
  9. Overall, plug-in car sales were up 22% for the year through August.
  10. 100% electric cars were up 13% in August.
  11. 100% electric cars were up 7% in the first 8 months of the year.
  12. The four findings directly above, and especially the latter two, are particularly interesting to me since the Chevy Bolt (a much better electric car than anything currently on the market in its price range) is about to arrive and the Tesla Model 3 is just ~1 year away — despite this, electric car sales (on the whole) haven’t dropped. Granted, this is in large part due to the introduction of the Tesla Model X (which is in a completely different class than these cars) and the second-generation Chevy Volt (which is a plug-in hybrid rather than a fully electric car).
  13. Plug-in hybrid cars were up 30% in August.
  14. Plug-in hybrid cars were up 45% in the first 8 months of the year.

Do you have any other thoughts from these numbers?

US EV Sales 2016 - Aug US EV Sales 2016 - August


 

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About the Author

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.
  • Przemysław Lib

    Please do not split Tesla number evenly by 3…

    They push cars to Europe/Asia in the first & second month of the quarter, and push USA sales in the last. All because of delivery times, and pushing for counting deliveries in the same quarter as production.

    Tesla estimates divided by 3 do not represent it (when focusing on just USA).

    • Why do you think Tesla doesn’t report monthly sales figures. It has long been claimed it’s because of this unbalanced shipment method, which would lead to all kinds of crazy media articles.

      The point is to show relatively accurate demand relative to other vehicles, and using a roller-coaster method of estimating warps that, even if it’s technically more accurate.

      That’s why I do it this way. 5000 Teslas one month and 500 the next is just going to create confusion.

  • jstack6

    As the US market grows we may see less subsidies for OIL and Fracking. Then like Europe the cost of gas and diesel will rise to it’s real level and sales will really take off. EVen with record low gas prices the market is growing very fast.