January 2018 Sales

January 2018 plug-in vehicle sales were significantly down, which is normal for January. There were two exceptions: The Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model 3.

In a repeat of last couple of month’s posts, the chart shown below, shows my Volt and Bolt EV sales by month, over the last four-plus years. I sold three plug-in vehicles in January 2018, which is WAY outside norms. Usually, January sales are slow because everyone is focused on getting the Federal Income Tax Credit in November and December of the previous year. Before this year, I’d only sold one Volt in January and one in February, and that was only for the year 2017. Before that, I’d never sold a plug-in in either month! That red bar in January, in the chart below shows how different January 2018 was for me (in plug-ins, anyway…)My Plug-Ins by MonthIn total vehicle sales, January 2018 was typical. I sold 4 units. In January 2015 and 2017, I sold 4 vehicles. In January 2016, my vehicle sales totaled 10, of many different types. Traffic was terrible that January, but sales were good.

The Bolt EV, in just seven months has become my 3rd highest volume vehicle, surpassing the Corvette. In the chart below, you can see that, in the six months they were available in Texas, my Bolt EV sales totaled 37 units. My best year, in Silverados (2015), was 25 units and my best Volt year (2016, when the 2nd generation first became available) was 27 unitsVehicle Sales By Model & Year Sold

In the chart below, the January downturn in plug-in sales is obvious. The Leaf (light blue line) barely budged upward and the Model 3 (dark purple line that starts in July 2017) jumped up significantly.January 2018 EV Sales NumbersOnce again, I am going to point out the beginning of the adoption curves. The curve taking off the fastest continues to be the Chevy Bolt EV. Last month, its adoption curve has started to turn downward, toward the rest of the pack, but almost every other adoption curve did the same. It will be interesting to see how the new Leaf, i3 and Honda Clarity compete this year. The foremost dark purple line is the Tesla Model 3. January sales helped its adoption start to look like the Bolt EV. Those two models have been seen as major competitors, so the coming year should be interesting to watch.Bolt EV ZoomHere are the January 2018 sales figures, compared to the previous month:

  • Chevy Volt: DOWN 63% (713 vs. 1,937)
  • Chevy Bolt EV: DOWN 64% (1,177 vs. 3,227)
  • Nissan Leaf: UP 47% (150 vs. 102) **new model announced
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOWN 38% (1,496 vs. 2,420)
  • Tesla Model S: DOWN 84% (800 vs. 4,975) **estimated
  • Tesla Model X: DOWN 79% (700 vs. 3,300) **estimated
  • BMW i3: DOWN 43% (382 vs. 672) **new model announced
  • Ford Fusion Energi: DOWN 27% (640 vs. 875)
  • Ford C-Max Energy: DOWN 46% (234 vs. 436) **end of model announced
  • Tesla Model 3: UP 77% (1,875 vs. 1,060)

In January, the average price of gasoline rose from $2.47 per gallon, at the start of the month, to $2.59 at month’s end. Gasoline started out around $2.47 per gallon and remained about the same through the ninth. After that it rose steadily, to $2.55 on the 17th. After a minor dip, over four days, it then rose to the end of the month.My Sales By MonthMy four January 2018 sales were comprised of two Bolt EVs, one Volt, and one Malibu.

Vehicle Sales By ModelBy vehicle type, my lifetime sales are 28% plug-ins, 20% SUVs, 19% pickups, 15% sports cars. The rest are sedans & vans (18%).

Plug-in sales, compared to the same month a year ago, were mostly down, with only two models showing an increase and both were new or revamped models: Bolt EV and the Prius Prime.

  • Chevy Volt: DOWN 56% (713 vs. 1,611) **Bolt EV effect?
  • Chevy Bolt EV: UP 1% (1,177 vs. 1,162)
  • Nissan Leaf: DOWN 81% (150 vs. 772) **new model announced
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOWN 8% (1,496 vs. 1,641)
  • Tesla Model S: DOWN 11% (800 vs. 900)
  • Tesla Model X: DOWN 7% (700 vs. 750)
  • BMW i3: UNCHANGED (382 vs. 382)
  • Ford Fusion Energi: UP 6% (640 vs. 606)
  • Ford C-Max Energi: DOWN 51% (234 vs. 473)
  • Tesla Model 3: (was not available in December 2016)

4 thoughts on “January 2018 Sales

  1. Nice article Buzz. The Model 3 will be near vertical for a few years to deliver the 450k backlog.. will be interesting to watch these sales

    • Model 3 sales will only do that if Tesla can get it together SOON on their production issues. If they don’t, Tesla is toast. Reservations will disappear because people will be tired of waiting, the tax credit starts drying up soon, and the economy (and car sales ) will hit a downturn eventually.

    • We went and checked out the Model 3 last week in Southlake. It was very nice!

      We’ve had 3 plug-ins and they’ve all been Chevys. My wife is looking into the the Model 3 and the Gen-2 Volt. She would like to upgrade her 2013 Volt by the end of the year or early next year, before the tax credit expires for both automakers. But the staffer at the gallery said he expected the “base” 35k Model 3 to not be available until late Q4 at earliest. Most likely Q1 of next year.

      We will see if Tesla can deliver it in time for our needs. (We’d be willing to settle for a 4,500 rebate during the phase out period. ) But a lot of those 400,000 reservationists were hoping for the 35k model. I wonder how long people are willing to wait?

  2. Buzz, please consider doing an article about what EV models to expect in the next two years from all manufacturers including the Chinese.

    Can we expect to see Chinese EVs for sale here in the next two years?

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