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Power Transportation United States Technology

Tesla Still On Top In US Electric Vehicle Sales, GM Close Behind (arstechnica.com) 105

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Americans bought more electric vehicles in September than any other month this year. According to Inside EV's monthly sales report, 21,325 battery EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs found homes last month. That's 20 percent more than this time last year and the second highest number ever. 2017 looks like it will be a record year; a total of 159,614 EVs were sold, a figure that should easily be eclipsed by the end of October. Tesla leads the pack, thanks to healthy increases in both Model S and Model X sales this month. Tesla may suffer some good-natured teasing about frequently missed deadlines, but you could set your watch by the regularity of its quarter-ending jump in deliveries. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, the Model S will remain the best-selling EV for the third year running. Like the overall trend, sales for the startup EV maker are up compared to last year, and even if the Model 3 continues to frustrate, we expect it to break the 50,000 car barrier by year-end.

General Motors is the only other company within reach of Tesla, whether we're talking about range or sales volume. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is now on sale in all 50 states and finding traction -- 2,632 sold in September and more than 14,000 on the road in 2017 so far. That still only gets it to fifth overall on the score chart, and there are three months left to go. The Chevy Volt, the Bolt's plug-in hybrid EV stablemate, is still the second-most popular EV among American buyers, but its sales have leveled off for the last few months. Toyota is the only other OEM to make the top five, less than 300 units behind the Volt.

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Tesla Still On Top In US Electric Vehicle Sales, GM Close Behind

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  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @07:19PM (#55318791)

    When we bought our last new vehicle in 2016 we were willing to consider electrics, but basically there were no four door 100% electrics with conventional styling that had the range we we wanted and the cost we could bear. Ford had a hatchback that had acceptable styling but its range was too low. Tesla's Model S was far too expensive even as a used car. Basically everyone else's styling was stupid, with unnecessary panels that only existed to say, "look at me, I'm an electric!"

    I guess I'm in the minority since I like wide, long, low vehicles rather than tall narrow vehicles, but if car makers would offer 100% electric variants of their conventionally-styled combustion-engine models, where styling changes are relatively conservative, we might be more inclined. Weird styling and this one-upsmanship of it is just gaudy.

    • by TWX ( 665546 )

      I suppose I add that I think Ford's was actually a two-door. Fiat has a 500e, but apparently it's only sold and supported in California since its only reason to exist is to satisfy California emissions laws, they have no interest in wider sales even though it actually has good visual appeal.

    • by crow ( 16139 )

      Yup. Even if the shape of the vehicle is fairly normal, they seem to always add weird "electric" colors to make it look different. BMW is the worst at the weird colors. Nissan just does it with their logo, so it's not as obvious as others.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        Eh, the Leaf's headlights are the straw that breaks the camel's back for me. I've heard their assertion that the headlights act to make the airflow over the mirrors less problematic, but they're just so ugly...

        • Lumpy headlights are now very common for aero reasons. They are easier to shape than the metalwork, so you can put sharp aerodynamic details on them (like vortex generators, to break up the airflow passing over the mirrors) cheaply. It's not just the Leaf.

    • You could have waited a year and bought an Ioniq. That looks and drives like a normal car, according to reviewers. It also has a lifetime battery warranty.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        We could not have waited a year. We bought a new vehicle when the old one no longer suited our needs. We saw the need coming and had spent the better part of a year researching. When we made our choice it was the best fit for that time, and luckily that choice, made before we had kids, was also a good choice after having a child.

    • i like my tesla. it starts and runs. chevy, ford and dodge are so yesterday. you have to invest to profit.
    • There is are reasons they don't offer an electric version of a conventional vehicle but a major one would be that the directly comparison becomes possible between electric/non-electric. When people can look at the price jump to go from gas to electric, the extra cost becomes hard to justify. I suspect this was a problem for Honda when they offered hybrid versions of the Civic and Accord.

  • Why isn't the simple piece of data on how much of overall sales this is included? A quick search tells me about 1.5M cars per month, or in other words, 99% of buyers are still choosing ICE vehicles. I guess this is why we're hearing talk of banning ICE.. if left to the freedom of the people, it's clear what the choice is.
    • It is purely a technology issue. When battery prices halve again EVs will start to dominate sales.

      A decade ago the carbon problem seemed unsolvable. How could we survive without such a basic commodity. It would be massively expensive.

      But, just in time (or maybe just too late) the technology of PV solar became practical. It now looks like Trump is right to ignore the Paris accord, because it will simply become irrelevant as people move to renewables for price reasons. (And the Paris accord was a toothle

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Likely it will still be some what economically safe to buy an infernal combustion engine, right up to 2020 beyond that resale losses would become difficult, so still adamant for infernal combustion, buying second hand would be smarter. From 2020 on electrics will start to have real impact on sales and that includes resale impact. A lot depends upon how long you keep a car, the longer the more questionable the infernal combustion choice, keep you car a decade and that is real problematical as to when to make

    • Don't worry, we will never ban the ICE. It will die a natural death. The way incandescent bulbs are dying. Do you still have the trove of 1000 incandescents you stashed in the basement because you bought the hype Obama is going to take away your precious incandescents?
      • No, I switched to all LED.They all died within 5 years.Sure, I'll buy more LEDs because I like the color, but their marketing of them "Lasts 10,000,000 hours: is a complete lie.
        • Weird. I've only had two LED bulb failures, both of them replaced under warranty.

          • similar here - compact fluorescents were terrible, but I switched my entire house over to LED and haven't had a failure yet...

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        > Do you still have the trove of 1000 incandescents

        Nope. Living in the desert cured me of the idea of using light bulbs that waste most of their energy trying to be little space heaters.

    • See what is happening to incandescents? [eia.gov] Same thing will happen to ICE. You will buy an electric car in your lifetime, mark my word.
      • I have nothing against electric vehicles. I hope I do buy one, because that would mean they are cheaper and better than ICE vehicles. Ford didn't replace the horse and buggy because he offered a crappier solution for transportation, it was better and cheaper. Let's face facts, the real reason is the ridiculous amount of time it takes to recharge an electric vs. refueling a gas engine. And the range in that short time is far superior.. for it's intended task, at our current point in time, it is a far bet
        • by MouseR ( 3264 )

          They are already cheaper when you calculate the entire cost of ownership over the period of the EV's warranty (typically 8 years).

          No brake pads to replace until well after 100,000miles, no oil changes, no fluctuating gas price fill ups, no waiting in miserable weather for minutes on end to fill up every week (or more depending on car and guzzling rate).

          My Gen2 Volt costs 1.59$CAD per every full charge of ~90km range average for 9 months of the year, and ~65km in dire winter.

          I'm currently at +3400km on the s

          • Ah, but you are excluding the cost of maintaining the roads, excluding (as far as I know) every manufacturer is losing or at best not making a profit on the electrics. Also when you did your calculation did you add back the federal incentive in your cost calc? That is 7500 and would buy alot of gas. The problem is if everyone buys an electric, there cannot be a 7500 rebate, there has to be some way to maintain roads (probably by a 5c/mile tax on your electric) and manufacturers have to make a profit as ther

            • by MouseR ( 3264 )

              The day the federal incentive (or your location's equivalent—here provincial) can no longer pay for itself will be a win for everyone.

              There are other ways to finance the roads. But that's beside the point I'm answering: EVs are, today, cheaper to operate when you factor everything.

              • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

                EVs are cheap crap. They are the modern equivalent of cheap crappy ICE econoboxes. They are a menace to the driver. This is more important to some of us than whether or not we think we're "saving a buck".

                Not everything is about being a mindless cheapskate.

                For some things quality matters. (Actually it should matter all the time but that's a different flame fest)

      • You can already buy a sub-$1K electric car today.
        • by ranton ( 36917 )

          You can already buy a sub-$1K electric car today.

          But my kids' Power Wheels have trouble reaching highways speeds.

    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      I guess this is why we're hearing talk of banning ICE

      It's easy for a government today to say "we'll ban ICE" by some far off due in the future. It makes them look green without having to actually do anything today.

  • Volt and system (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DCFusor ( 1763438 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @07:39PM (#55318875) Homepage
    My 2012 Volt integrates nicely with my off-grid solar system. It's never been charged from the grid. No, I don't drive all day every day - it's used to run my errand loop - but in a very rural place (26.5 mi round trip for beer and munchies for example).
    While it voids the warranty, I added a 1.5 kw inverter to its 12volt system (which has a 175 amp switcher from the main Li battery) so it can also back up my homestead in times of need (thick snow on the solar panels for example) - even if it has to run its amazingly efficient engine - it's a generator that is able to get to the store to be refilled, and no spilled gas or issues with starting - meant to be in the weather. I've only used it like that once to prove I wired it up right, but it's nice to know it's there.
    I'm showing 224 lifetime mpg on the thing as I try and keep my trips in it to the range - which is consistently around 10 miles more than they claimed, at least in summer time. In winter, the heater is a pig...it's about the one time a gasoline car makes sense, as you capture your waste heat to heat the cabin.
  • I thought Elon was delusional and full of shit and no way he would ever get Telsa Motors to a sustainable business model.

    No, really. I read it here on /. over and over again. So it must be true.

    • I thought Elon was delusional and full of shit and no way he would ever get Telsa Motors to a sustainable business model.

      Tesla is still losing money hand over fist, and Elon is nowhere near hitting his production targets for the Model 3. It remains to be seen how long Tesla will last.

  • This is good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @08:07PM (#55318951)

    Whenever Tesla is mentioned, it always brings out the financial trading guys who do nothing but praise or shit on the company because of their own money interests. I think it's important that everyone remember that the entire point of Tesla Motors was to show that electric vehicles were viable and to hopefully get the ball rolling with moving society to electric vehicles. The fact that other companies are being forced to throw their hat in the ring shows that there is a real demand for electric vehicles. Nothing is ever done perfectly on the first try (or generation of vehicles in this case) but we're progressing toward a sustainable automotive option which is extremely important. Yes, not all sources of electricity are sustainable but we're marking progress in that area too.

    There is still hope, we can still salvage this planet before the ecosystem goes pear-shaped, even if we have to drag the people in denial, kicking and screaming with us.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's interesting that they have to include hybrids in GM's numbers to make this story work, otherwise their EV sales look pathetic and are way behind rivals like Nissan.

  • Haven't bought an electric yet, but a couple of things are making them more attractive for our family.

    #1, I live in an area where you have a lot of highways with HOV lanes. During rush hour in the morning and evening, it's often the case that the whole interstate is clogged up except that far left HOV lane, that's traveling along near the speed limit. Electric cars are allowed to drive in the HOV lanes legally at these times, even if you have no occupants other than yourself as the driver. The idea I could

    • Ditto. I drive 45 miles every day. Sometimes 70. I have a garage where it can charge.
      3-4 times a year I drive to a location where I will need to charge to get home again.
      Sadly, around here in Denmark, our anti-green goverment have added the taxes back on EVs. So we will after a few years have a 150% on EVs too, like reqular cars.
      Right now it is "only" 40% tax.
      And so, Chevy/Opel, won't even bother to sell the Bolt here(as the Ampera-e). I would have bought it if I could buy it at the old price without anythi

    • I previously leased a BEV for my daughters (but one of them crashed it). I replaced it with a 2013 Volt (Gen 1) for $11,000. Both daughters specifically requested a PHEV rather than a BEV because they wanted the flexibility to do longer trips without having to worry about how they were going to charge the car back up. It's worked out well because 99% of their driving falls within the electric range of the vehicle (it consistently gets 45-50 miles before running out of charge).

      I put a dryer outlet in the gar

  • would we still get daily updates on them, or would /. switch to daily updates on GM?
  • Easy to miss the fact that this article only considers US manufacturers. The body of the article seems to suggest that GM and Telstra are the only horses in the race. Not only does that exclude a great deal of manufacturers in a highly global market, it happens to exclude the leader. In fact, Renault-Nissan sells more EVs and PHEVs overall, and they also sell the most popular EV [forbes.com].
  • When Tesla came on the scene I thought, what is this? What is point of making a $100,000 EV? You might sell a few to left-leaning celebs but the potential mass market for EVs is earthy, practical-minded former hippies like myself. What you need to make for us is a cheap vehicle to get from point A to point B without pollution, not a flashy status symbol. How wrong I was. Now mass-market EVs are plentiful, you can easily get a used one for under $10K, but the mass market itself has yet to materialize and
  • and the fact insurance adjustment can take a while expect October to outshine September. Yes it has a bit to do with a shift in mindset, it also has a LOT to do with shit-tons of cars with water up to the windshields in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

  • by Terje Mathisen ( 128806 ) on Friday October 06, 2017 @01:21PM (#55323065)

    Last month both VW (e-Golf) and Tesla (S+X) sold more than 2000 EVs here:

    https://electrek.co/2017/10/06... [electrek.co]

    Currently EVs sell more than plug-in hybrids and both of them outsell diesel or gasoline ICE cars.

    We are definitely on target for the planned 2025 date when all new vehicles should be either pure EVs or plug-in hybrids with some serious range in battery-only modus.

    The reasons are not to hard to explain: Due to Norway's extremely high vehicle taxes which are waived for EVs, a low-end Tesla like my S70D cost far less than any car, of any make, that is capable of similar acceleration. At the high end a Model S P100DL costs just 50% of the starting price (before options) of an Audi R8 Coupe, and that Audi is a second slower from 0 to 100 km/hr.

    We also get a reduced road tax, no toll road fees, access to bus lanes, free parking and free public charging. I save 59 NOK (almost USD 8) in toll fees every day just on the morning drive to my office, so my monthly cost (inlcuding appreciation) is actually lower than for my previous car, a Skoda Octavia 4x4 diesel.

    Terje

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