Since July, US sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) have been declining compared to the same month the previous year, according to sales statistics compiled by Inside EVs.
Much of this is attributable to Tesla. With the roll out of the Model 3 in 2018, Tesla’s sales and market share soared, with Tesla controlling nearly 60% of the US electric car market since last summer. However, the Model 3 hit steady state sales in July 2018, and year on year sales have been negative since then. September 2019 sales of the Model 3, for example, were 9% below that of a year earlier.
Moreover, sales of the Model X and Model S have fallen more steeply, down respectively 58% and 71% year on year in September. Without a new model to capture the public’s imagination, Tesla’s sales are likely to be flat to down overall for the indefinite future.
Were other manufacturers capturing the limelight, this might not matter. Unfortunately, the collective market share of the 40+ models offered by everyone other than Tesla amounts to only a bit over 40% of the market. Moreover, the non-Tesla market has seen sales below those of 2018 for every month since February, and down by about 20% on average. There is no indication that some great breakout is on its way.
Unless EVs can dramatically reduce their cost and substantially increase their range or reduce their recharging time, the US electric car market looks to be peaking — at under 2% of US light vehicle sales.