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USA Plug-in Vehicle Sales for Q2 and Year to Date

The 2nd quarter of 2017 finished with a sales increase of 29 % compared to Q2 of 2016. Together with the Q1 result of +51 %, the January to June tally now stands at +38 %. Over 89 000 plug-in vehicles were delivered so far, in 2017, 52 % were pure electric (BEV) and 48 % were plug-in hybrids. The plug-in share of the total light vehicle market was 1,1 % for the 1st half of 2017, compared to 0,8 % in H1 of 2016.

Much of the growth over 2016 can be attributed to the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the new Toyota Prius Prime, on sale since November 2016. Monthly volumes are nearly on par with the Chevrolet Volt now, which leads the sales ranking for the second quarter. For the entire 2017 H1, Tesla retains the 1st position for, both, Model S and OEM totals.

We reduce our outlook of for the complete 2017 to 240 000 units (was 250k), as it appears that the long awaited Tesla Model 3 will likely have fewer deliveries to customers than assumed in the previous round. This means that by the end of 2017, 780 000 Plug-ins will be in the total US vehicle population.

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Prius Prime boosts PHEV share

PHEVs gained 4 % in the mix, versus 2016. This reasons is a surge in Prius Prime sales, which became the #2 plug-in vehicle for the quarter, selling only 23 units less than the #1 Chevy Volt EREV (Extended Range EV). The Prius is soon to be challenged by the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV, equally frugal, a 5-seater (Prime has 4) and much easier on the eye than the polarising Prius styling. The best is yet to come: Its base price could be as much as 5400$ lower, taking the announced UK pricing as a reference.

Despite the current trend towards PHEVs, we deem this to be temporary, until more affordable long range BEVs, like the Tesla Model 3 and the next Nissan Leaf become available.

As a footnote, fuel cell vehicle vehicle sales were 1022 units during 2017; this was 4 times more than H1 of 2016. 70% of sales are Toyota Mirai and 200 units were added by the Honda Clarity this year.

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Tesla Model-3 Production Started

When this is written, Tesla has produced their first production units of the long awaited Model-3 and plans a handover party for 30  customers on 28th of July. The latest CEO tweet on ramp-up says 100 units in August, 1500 in September and 5000 per week by the end of the year. Usually very well informed Electrek predicts 30 - 40 000 units Model-3 to be delivered during 2017. The weekly rate is to reach 8000 units in 2018, means that annual capacity is 350 - 400 000 units. Well needed, as Tesla should sit on at least half a million reservations, globally, by now.

As around 50 % of Tesla production usually stays in the US, the Model-3 is likely to re-shape the US car market, with unseen growth rates and shares for plug-ins, in the coming years.

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