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Plugin Vehicle Market Share Reaches Record 5.6% In USA, Tesla Dominates

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According to Atlas EV Hub, plugin vehicles hit a record 5.6% share of the automotive market in September, their greatest share of the market ever.

The chart Atlas EV Hub shared showed that September was the third best month in terms of volume sales, but the market share  result was well above the ~5% record of June. (Overall auto sales must have been quite low in September, at least relative to a few other high-EV-volume months earlier this year.)

The bar chart clearly shows that Tesla continues to dominate the US EV market. The large red portion of each bar represents Tesla sales.

Note that the data represented here include plugin hybrids as well as full battery-electric cars. Atlas EV Hub also spelled out that 61% of plugin vehicle sales were Tesla sales.

Atlas EV Hub also recently shared bar charts of the 4 top selling plugin vehicles, covering the period of Q1 2020 through Q3 2021. The top two plugin vehicles are the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y.

Tesla Model 3 sales have been booming lately, while Model Y sales have been consistently strong and stable for several quarters now.

How long until non-Tesla automakers supply at least 50% of the US market’s plugin vehicles? How long until Tesla is down to 30%?

Aside from brands and models, we can also take a brief look at geographic leadership. Offering little surprise, we can see that California leads the country not just in terms of total volume sales but also in terms of electric vehicle market share within its borders. In the 3rd quarter, 14% of new vehicle sales in the state were electric vehicle sales. (Note, again, that Atlas EV Hub is including all plugin vehicles under the “electric vehicle” umbrella.) DC comes in 2nd place, with 12% of its new vehicle sales coming from plugins. Then, as we see time and time again, the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii round out the list of EV leaders — Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii each at 9% plugin vehicle share.

I have to admit that I expected Florida to do better. It seems like EVs are everywhere in my area, and I know Florida is a volume leader when it comes to EV sales. However, apparently, my area is not representative and/or I’m overestimating how much EV adoption is picking up simply using my “eyeball test.”

Nevada’s position in 6th in that chart comes as a surprise, but perhaps proximity to California and a lot of cross-traffic has been helping to raise awareness in the Silver State. There’s no chance it’ll go take the gold from California any time soon (pun intended), but Nevada is certainly raising its profile in my mind here. You can also see nearby Colorado (8th) and Utah (13th) on this list of top states for EV market share.

Overall, 5.6% EV market share is higher than most of us have been assuming for the United States, but it clearly comes on the backs of just two very popular models and a few somewhat popular models. With electric pickup trucks hitting the market soon, and Ford ramping up its production of the Mustang Mach-E next year (thanks, Polish battery factory), will the US climb above 10% within a year?! That would be a welcome surprise.


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