Tesla remains the undisputed leader of electric vehicle (EV) sales in the US for 2019, delivering an expected nine per cent increase in sale over the previous year, even as the failure of rival car makers to keep pace meant a fall in the overall market.
The latest data on sales to date, and estimates for November and December, published by EV-Volumes shows that total EV sales in 2019 – both plug ins and full electric – will be around 337,000, down more than four per cent from 359,000 in 2018.
Tesla boosted its aggregate numbers, even after the massive ramp up of Model 3 EVs in 2018, and Hyundai, Audi, Volkswagen, Jaguar and Daimler also reported increases. But others – including the biggest car makers – were hit by falls.
“2018 had exceptional growth and nearly all of it was created by just one new entry, the Tesla Model-3. Achieving the 2017-18 growth for another year is hardly possible,” said the authors of the report and the overall market.
The increases from other car makers were largely thanks to the introduction of newer models – the Hyundai Kona EV, the Audi e-tron, the VW e-Golf, the Mercedes GLC PHEV and the Jaguar I-Pace.
All of the “big three” – General Motors, Ford and FCA – saw losses attributed to a dragging of feet according to EV-Volumes.
Japanese carmakers Nissan, Toyota and Honda have also failed to respond to the market, with sales of Nissan’s new 62kWh Leaf still lacking liquid-cooled batter technology, Toyota offering only the ageing Prius PHEV and Honda’s Clarity PHEV sales declining early.
GM’s Volt, of which it ended production two weeks ahead of schedule in February, finally reached the 200,000 unit limit imposing a halving of the $US7,500 ($A11,033) federal tax credit, while Ford only has the Fusion PHEV on the market after dropping the Focus EV and C-Max PHEV.
EV-Volumes expects a rebound in overall numbers in 2020, when both the Model Y and now also the Mustang Mach E are due for release.
“The situation will change a lot in 2020, with a broad based increase from new models with high sales potential,” write EV-Volumes authors.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.