By - Jim Vess

EV sales set a record in 2018, almost doubling the number of electric vehicles sold

Energize Weekly, January 16, 2019

Electric vehicle (EV) sales soared in 2018, surpassing record-breaking 2017 by 81 percent with 361,307 vehicles sold, according to Inside EVs, a market-tracking website.

December also set a monthly record with 49,900 plug-in vehicles sold, nearly double the number sold in December 2017.

Each of the last three months of 2018 posted a record, beating the previous month starting with 34,075 sales in October.

Still, EV sales represented only 1 percent of the overall auto market.

“Much of the increase in sales was due to new models becoming available,” David Reichmuth, senior engineer for clean vehicles at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), wrote in an analysis. “Tesla led the way with the more affordable Model 3.”

Indeed, Tesla drove the sales explosion, with its models accounting for 53 percent of all sales, led by nearly 140,000 Model 3s. The Tesla Model X and Model S had about 52,000 sales—more than the next two automakers, Toyota and Honda, combined.

“It’s been a solid year for EV sales as a whole, even though most of the progress was made by a single automaker,” Inside EVs said. “The months of August, September, October, and November racked up sales figures that more than doubled those of last year.”

The second bestselling EV was the Toyota Prius Prime with 27,595 sales. After the Tesla models and Toyota, Honda’s Clarity PHEV was the next top seller with 18,602 in sales, making it the fifth bestselling model.

Following close behind were two General Motors Chevy models, the Volt in sixth place with 18,306 sales and Bolt EV in seventh with 18,019 sales. “After a strong November, the automaker had exhausted inventory, which resulted in very weak December 2018 U.S. plug-in sales,” Inside EVs said.

Among the luxury EVs, after Tesla models the BMW 530e posted the best numbers, selling 8,664 autos in 2018. After setting a record in November, Inside EVs said, “the automaker pushed even harder in December and broke its own record, selling some 1,363 5 Series plug-ins.” The 530e finished 2018 in the ninth spot.

The UCS’s Reichmuth noted that BMW was particularly successful at selling its autos in California, the country’s largest EV market, with the 530e accounting for 16 percent of all BMW sales in the state

Battery EVs made up two-thirds of the sales, and plug-in hybrids are third.

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