Order Up: Nearly 1 Million Plug-ins Sold in America

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
order up nearly 1 million plug ins sold in america

Remember when McDonald’s used to put a running total of the “Billions Served” on its golden arches? EV makers may soon be able to do the same for their sales efforts. According to Wards Auto, total sales for plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles over the last ten years will soon reach the 1 million mark.

And, like McDonald’s, manufacturers of cars which run solely on electrons are all serving up variations on what’s essentially the same dish, but adding different ingredients here and there.

For simplicity sake, the industry publication winnowed down the timeframe in question to when the original Tesla Roadster burst onto the scene in 2008. This is not wholly unfair, given that projects like the GM EV1 were lease-only efforts when they were on the market. From that date through to the end of September 2018, nearly 957k plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles found their way into driveways and company fleets across the nation.

Unsurprisingly, Tesla makes up the lion’s share of BEV sales, given that company only peddles those types of cars. Having three models and a rabid fan base doesn’t hurt either, I’m sure. Since its launch six years ago, the company has delivered just over 132,000 examples of its slinky Model S sedan. It’s far-and-away the top seller.

Nissan, whose original frog-faced Leaf was recently restyled into something a normal person wouldn’t be embarrassed to drive, is close behind, delivering about 125,000 units.

PHEV fans have flocked to the Chevy Volt, purchasing 147,000 of the things since its launch in 2010. That is a sum outstripping even the plug-in variant of the Prius, a car whose nameplate is part of its marketing plan.

Using data compiled by the crew at InsideEVs, the Tesla Model 3 is demolishing all its BEV and PHEV competition in 2018, as least so far as outright sales are concerned, thanks to a strong push for production numbers in the second half of this year.

Tesla doesn’t release actual delivery numbers, leaving industry eggheads to make their best guess. They’re usually pretty close. The Model 3 has nearly quadruple the number of deliveries compared to its closest rival, the Prius Prime, at 78,132 units vs 20,532. All told, the American market has popped for 234,635 BEVs or PHEVs so far this year. That’s roughly 22 percent of global volume, as worldwide sales in 2018 of these machines crested the 1 million mark after the calendar flipped into October.

Like McDonald’s, there’s plenty of choice on the menu. There are a total of 42 BEVs/PHEVs on sale in the American market right now. And, like the digits on the golden arches, those sales numbers will likely go up at an increasingly rapid pace.

[Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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3 of 32 comments
  • Forward_look Forward_look on Oct 13, 2018

    Who is going to miss the gasoline tankers on the road? We already have power lines into every "gas" station already. I'm sure they wouldn't mind selling you electricity and having you browse the convenience store for an hour.

  • Forward_look Forward_look on Oct 14, 2018

    I have to drive 2200 miles in the next week and a half. I wonder how that would work with an electric.

  • Master Baiter It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. It will be interesting to see if demand for Ford’s EVs will match the production capacity they are putting on line.
  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.