Report: Tesla leads U.S. electric vehicle sales for 2016

Electric vehicles are growing quickly here in the U.S. According to a report published by ChargePoint via Recode*, "Electric vehicle sales in the U.S. are higher than they’ve ever been... In the U.S. alone, 542,000 EVs have been sold to date. Put in context, that’s more than seven times the 73,000 EVs that were sold in the U.S. in 2012." However, there's only one U.S. auto manufacturer that produces only all-electric vehicles — Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA]. With Model S in its fourth year of production, and Model X ramping up this year, many wonder how the company would measure up to the EV industry as a whole in 2016.

Above: Tesla Model S (Instagram: jujuwanderer)

So how are Tesla's electric vehicle sales looking compared to the electric vehicles from the majors? In the U.S., according to estimates released by ChargePoint: "The Tesla Model S topped the chart [with 23,714] with the most vehicles sold between January and November 2016. In the second spot was Chevy Volt with more than 21,000 vehicles, followed by the Tesla Model X [with 14,540] and then the Ford Fusion. At the bottom of the list was the Toyota Prius Plug-in — only 52 were sold."


Above: Tesla Model S leads the pack at #1 with 23,714 units sold and the Model X placed at #4 with 14,540 units sold when looking at U.S. EV sales by Model January - November 2016; (Source: ChargePoint's reported estimates via Recode*)

And where are electric vehicles really taking off? It's reported that, it's "not just concentrated in places like California. While California is still in the lead as the state with the most EVs, Utah is the fastest growing and saw a 60 percent increase in EV registrations." Nevertheless, compared to other markets worldwide: "the U.S. is still one of the least uniform in its support for EV technology... Both the European Union and China are pushing forward the transition to battery-powered and electric vehicles while the U.S. is still seeing just a patchwork of support from states."


Above: A look at where electric vehicles are growing across the U.S. (Source: ChargePoint's reported estimates via Recode*)

What about the impact that Trump could have on electric vehicle growth? ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano explains, "that the federal government has been generally absent from [the EV movement]. They haven’t been funding [it]. It’s been largely the purview of the states aside from two factors: The $7,500 vehicle tax credit and the [vehicle fuel efficiency standards]." Romano concludes, "At the high end of the market, I don’t think the Tesla owner would change the ownership equation in their head if that [federal] credit would go away."


Above: Tesla Model X (Instagram: garage_507)

That said, is it gas prices that are driving EV sales? Not so much: "Interestingly, there is little direct correlation between the rise of gas prices and EV sales according to the report. In other words, the EV buyer isn’t just trying to avoid the cost of gas. Other than the cost savings and the environmental benefits, ChargePoint found that some consumers were looking for the most cutting-edge software hence the popularity of Teslas."


*Source: Recode