US electric vehicle sales continue to be driven primarily by the Tesla Model 3. Sales for July actually declined 10.8% in 2019 versus July 2018. Sales estimates from the InsideEVs Sales Scorecard for July were 26,395 in 2019, a decline of 3,203 units from 29,598 in 2018.
On the positive side, however, YTD, sales were up 13.8% driven by increasing sales of the Tesla Model 3. So far in 2019, monthly YOY sales have been on quite a rollercoaster ride, ranging from a June high 51.1% increase over June of 2018, to July’s decrease of 10.8%.
This up and down sales growth should likely fall into a tighter range the rest of 2019 as Model 3 sales will likely track more closely to its sales levels in the second half of 2018. Though matching the 22,000+ and 25,000+ sales volume for September and December respectively, could be a tall order.
Top 8 Selling EVs in the US
Of the top 8 selling EVs in the US, YTD only the Honda Clarity PHEV has a lower trailing 3 months sales level versus the YTD average. The Tesla Model 3, however, is averaging roughly 4,600 more sales the last 3 months versus the YTD monthly average.
Eight vehicles, or 18.6% of the total 43 currently available EVs in the US, account for nearly than 79% of all EV sales YTD in 2019. This 80/20 trend, also known as the Pareto Principle, has been a consistent pattern for years with a few EV models accounting for the majority of EV sales.
Tesla Continues Its US Dominance
Sales of Tesla models continue to dominate the electric vehicle market in the US with the company’s three BEVs accounting for nearly 57% of all EV sales. This market share dominance is pretty impressive when you consider there are 40 other EVs that comprise the other 43% of sales. This is of course due mostly to the continuing strong sales of the Model 3. However, year to date, the Model S and X have combined for an estimated 10.5% of the US market.
How Are the Recent EV Entrants to the US Market Selling?
While still early, only the Audi e-tron is seeing any significant sales volume averaging around 750 units per month for May through July. The Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro BEVs remain poor sellers, though likely due to lack of supply rather than weak consumer interest.
Chevrolet Bolt vs. Hyundai Kona Electric vs. Kia Niro EV
While only available in the US market for a few months, the award-winning Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV are so far being outsold 11 and 16 (respectively) to 1 by the Chevrolet Bolt. Why? Supply. The Kona and Niro BEVs should be outselling the Bolt, but Hyundai/Kia simply have not made their BEVs widely available.
US EV Sales By Sales Volume Range: Jan-July 2019
YTD, 30 EVs currently available in the US average less than 500 units per month and comprise only 15% of total US EV sales. 16 of those average less than 100 units per month. Those numbers make you wonder why an automaker even continues to sell those vehicles, unless the primary purpose is simply to gain electric vehicle manufacturing and sales experience?
The problem in the US is not that consumers do not want electric vehicles. As the success of the Tesla Model 3 has proven, if an EV has adequate range, convenient and ample access to fast charging stations, and is priced competitively – consumers will buy an EV in significant volume.
Unfortunately for US consumers, in recent years only two automakers have been serious about selling electric vehicles – Tesla of course, and to a lesser extent General Motors. But with GM discontinuing sales of its popular and well-received Chevrolet Volt PHEV, and doing nothing to make the Bolt more competitive – it has left Tesla as the only automaker that is truly serious about trying to sell electric vehicles in the US.
We can only hope that Ford’s unnamed “Mustang-inspired” crossover and Volkswagen’s I.D. CROZZ will be competitive with the Tesla Model Y – and finally produce some serious competition in a few years and more than one high-volume selling EV in the US.