In November, California reportedly crossed the 500,000 threshold for electric vehicles sold in the state since 2010. Months of strong US sales in 2018, preceded by a strong 2017, are starting to show a trend: electric vehicles are selling well, especially in places where there are strong monetary and non-monetary incentives to buy them.
According to Veloz—a group of electric vehicle industry stakeholders that includes GM, Honda, Nissan, Pacific Gas & Electric, Uber, and Lyft, among others—electric vehicle sales in California hit a cumulative 512,717 since 2010.
“Overall, this year has seen exponential growth in electric car sales,” Veloz wrote. “Electric cars accounted for 7.1 percent of California car sales in the first three quarters of the year, with fully electric, zero-emission car sales outpacing plug-in hybrid sales 4.1 percent to 3 percent respectively.” Veloz’s data tallies not just fully battery-electric vehicles but also plug-in hybrids as well as the much rarer fuel cell vehicles. The group gets its data (PDF) from the blogs InsideEVs and HybridCars.com as well as a market-research firm called Baum & Associates and estimates from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
According to data from InsideEVs, the Tesla Model 3 was the top-selling electric vehicle model in the US in November. In November alone, 18,650 of those vehicles were sold in the US.
To its credit, Veloz’s press release isn’t too self-congratulatory. The group writes, “Veloz recognizes that, while electric car sales are increasing at a rapid clip, it is not happening fast enough to achieve the deep cuts in emissions that the state needs to achieve to protect people’s health and curb negative impacts on the environment.”
Still, if we’re not where we need to be to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from driving, the data shows a positive trend. Just two years ago, in 2016, the International Energy Agency estimated that there were 2 million electric cars on the road in total, around the world. This year, Tesla officially sold 200,000 vehicles, which triggered reductions in the $7,500 federal tax credit that was offered to spur EV sales.