The big electric vehicles sales stories these days are generally about the Tesla Model 3 walloping the competition. Nonetheless, we like to go back to our roots and explore overall electric vehicle growth at least once a quarter. The problem is that almost all of the positivity comes from Tesla.
As you can see above, several fully electric models saw their sales decline in the 4th quarter of 2018 versus the 4th quarter of 2017. Aside from the new models (Jaguar I-PACE and Honda Clarity EV), the only models that saw growth were the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and Nissan LEAF.
But they certainly did see a lot of growth.
Looking at the full year, it’s a similar story, but the BMW i3 saw slight growth and the Tesla Model S declined a bit. (Though, Tesla only publishes global figures, so our US figures are estimates and could well be a couple thousand off here or there.)
Admittedly, we don’t include sales data from Hyundai, Kia, and Fiat electric cars here — because they don’t publish or directly share their figures — but they are likely minimal and would not have notable influence on the overall EV sales results.
As noted last quarter, the top three electric vehicles — all from Tesla, of course — also happen to be the three safest car in the US, according to NHTSA safety test scores.
It is good to see semi-notable annual sales numbers like 14,715 and 18,019 from the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Bolt EV, but the Tesla Model 3 sees more sales in one month. Can Nissan and GM not do better and legitimately bring compelling, high-volume, mass-market electric cars to the stage? And what about the other automakers? …
The thing I keep wondering is, where are all those Tesla killers we were told about for years?
Any big surprises in 2019? Any hope for a company other than Tesla to have a blockbuster hit? Probably not.