• Plug-In EVs
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Battery Electric Vehicles
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles

PEV Sales Overview for 1H 2019

Raquel Soat
Aug 13, 2019

EVs 4

In the first half (1H) of 2019, US plug-in EV (PEV) sales totaled over 148,000, with June reaching over 37,000 sales—the fourth highest PEV sales month in US history. From 1H 2018, sales in 1H 2019 increased nearly 20%, and monthly June 2019 sales increased 50% compared to June 2018. Despite an overall increase in sales growth, 2018 still holds 4 of the 5 highest US PEV sales months, however, all of the records occurred in the second half of 2018. It is likely we will see more record-breaking sales months and higher sales growth year-over-year in the second half of 2019.

PEV Sales, US Markets: 1H 2019

1H 2019 US PEV Sales

(Source: Navigant Research)

Model 3 Is the Strongest Player in the EV Market

The name of the EV game is the Tesla Model 3, with over 67,000 deliveries in the US through 1H 2019. The Model 3 accounts for 45% of total US PEV sales, and when the Model S and Model X are included, Tesla accounts for 56% of total US PEV sales. When compared to total US light duty vehicle sales through 1H 2019, Tesla accounts for only 1% of sales and PEVs account for only 1.8%. Tesla’s growth is promising, but the EV market as a whole only makes up a small percentage of the total US market.

The Toyota Prius Prime continues to be the best-selling plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV), with over 8,600 units sold through 1H 2019. In 2018, Toyota sold over 27,000 units, and nearly 14,000 of those units sold in 1H 2018. It is likely the Prius Prime will not exceed its sales numbers from 2018 if the model continues on its current trajectory. With the exception of the Chevy Volt (which was discontinued by the automaker in November 2018), this does not appear to be the trend for other top-selling PHEVs. Most PHEVs seem to be on track to meet or exceed last year’s sales, including the Honda Clarity Electric and BMW 530e xDrive.

The BEV/PHEV Sales Split 

Looking at the split between battery EVs (BEVs) and PHEVs, BEVs made up 71% of US PEV sales in 1H 2019. The split is similar to the 2018 BEV/PHEV split—68% and 32%, respectively. Though there are more PHEV models available on the market, these vehicles typically sell at lower rates than BEVs. Lower PHEV sales are a product of cost and branding—PHEVs typically qualify for fewer subsidies relative to BEVs and fall somewhere in the middle on environmental and technological capabilities. 

Navigant Research anticipates a continuation of this trend toward higher BEV adoption. Vehicle ranges are expected to continue increasing, especially as battery prices decline and range anxiety is reduced (one of the leading barriers to PEV adoption). Additionally, as more BEV models come to the market, particularly in the light-truck segment (i.e., SUVs, and pickup trucks), BEV sales are likely to increase even further.