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Best-selling electric vehicles, and when Tesla Model 3 will be # 1?


Posted on December 25, 2018 |
by Jose Pontes

December 25, 2018 from Jose Pontes

Few people asked me: "Is Tesla Model 3 the best-selling EV?"

My answer is: Yes, it's the best-selling EV of 2018, with over 100,000 units sold.

Okay, but what about the seller of all time? Who is she most often EV globally? Nissan Leaf? And who will be in two years? Model 3?

Then I had to check the numbers.

With 5 million plug-ins already sold in October last year, best-selling models are beginning to reach a significant number in the automotive world. While the Tesla 3 models (~ 103,000 units) and the BAIC EC series (~ 150,000) are a real rage, it's a fact that both nameplates are still brand new, with California at 16 months and the Chinese model is not much older in 23 months .

As such, the first 3 positions are in the hands of older models, and the youngest is # 3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. That model is a few months since the celebration of its 6th birthday.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV CleanTechnica test drive

In the lead, we have the Nissan Leaf, which, despite the overall bad press, is doing its job in an effective way, it counts nearly 376,000 units sold. The original version with frog versions has reached 300,000 units.

Not bad, huh?

# 2 Tesla Model S continues to sell sales, with 254,000 ever made, and it will still take some time for his younger brother and sister Model 3 to reach it.

The reliable value Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (179,000 units) is relatively new in number three, with the Japanese SUV recently surpassing the Chevrolet Volt.

It's been the days when the expanded hatchback was big in the plug-in scene. It was the best-selling plug for the electric vehicle (PEV) in 2012, and the runner-up in 2011 and 2013.

So, today's question is answered. As for the next two years, things get complicated …

While we can predict more or less how the early picture of 2021 will be for hereditary carmakers, the Chinese wave of producers is too unpredictable to know how it will work for two years.

And in connection with Tesla, things are still uncertain, because every week (if not every day) there is something new. Sometimes it seems that Tesla's fate has been written by some writers of Mexican-Novella writers, so it has turned so much and turns.

But let's do a futurology exercise.

In order to be on this podium at all times by the beginning of 2021, the model should continuously sell over 10,000 units per month. By then, there will be several models that will be sold above that threshold, but most will be fresh names, without enough lagging to pull them into units with 500,000 units needed to be on the podium.

Looking at the current carriers on the podium, we can already exclude the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Until then, there should not have been more than 300,000 units, even if there were enough requirements to go further, the restrictions on Mitsubishi production (battery restrictions) would have prevented this from increasing sales of more than 10,000 units per month.

Regarding the "S" model, due to the high price and internal competition of its model 3 younger brother, the total number at the beginning of 2021 should be about 380,000 units, but since Tesla is concerned, there are too many factors (China, production constraints , new specifications, etc.), which add uncertainty about its performance. But more on that later, when we discuss the model 3 …

And then we have the Nissan Leaf. Having already exceeded the 10,000 shipments per month per month with a 40kWh version, there are several reasons to doubt that the arrival of the 60kWh version will move the Japanese hatchback to regular 10,000+ units / monthly performances once it arrives.

So, we could see that Lif hit about 650,000-700,000 units by 1 January 2021.

Now the current gear changers, BAIC EC-series and Tesla Model 3, the only two name plates that provide a 5-digit / monthly performance without sweat.

The Chinese EB should end this year with around 180,000 units, but BAIC's city car will face some windmills in the future, as increased competition – namely, the convincing BYD Yuan – should steal certain sales from it in the long run, so I bet that sales of the name of the board should stabilize about 130,000 units a year, which will end by 2020 with about 440,000 units.

So, now we have two (Leaf and EC-Series) of the three podium players until the beginning of 2021.

What about an elephant in the room and a leitmotif for this article?

There are so many factors that can change the fate and success of Model 3, which I had to do two different scenarios, Bull One and Bear One.

In the scenario Bull – no doubt, the one for which Tesla fans will get accustomed – can expect close to 30,000 deliveries in December, thanks to a production rate of 7,000 / week, which means that the model 3 will end in 2018 with about 150,000 units on the streets .

For 2019, with 7000 / week as base and gradual pad during the year, aided by the start of production in Gigafactory 3 in China later in the year, production should reach about 400,000 units. It assumes that demand continues to be higher than supply, largely thanks to the arrival of the standard range at the end of the second quarter and the success of the car in Europe and China, where it will profit from low / non-existent tariffs for car imports.

This will allow Model 3 to surpass Nissan Leaf as the most common EV in the world by Q4 2019.

By 2020, the model 3 will be built the previous year, reaching approximately 600,000 units. Assuming the demand remains strong, thanks to the word of mouth and the success of the Standard Model 3 range in Europe and China, the model can reach one million units on the road before the end of the year.

As for the bearish script, the favorite of TSLA shorts, the model 3 will put an end to 2018 with 145,000 units, as Tesla did not reach a production rate of 7,000 / week at a consistent level.

For 2019, in this scenario, Tesla's demand problems begin to appear in North America, and the Standard Range version is only available in Q3. Europe and China are not enough to compensate for the backlog of demand, especially in China, where the US / China tariff war seriously hurt demand from Model 3 – only 1,000 sales a month. Meanwhile, Gigafactory 3 suffered from delay, with volume production just expected in 2020.

With the more appealing and advanced Y model presented in 2019, the model 3 already faces some kind of internal competition, with many potential customers prefering to wait for the upcoming SUV.

All these failures have made the company reduce the production of the Model 3 to about 190,000 units a year, making the saloon finish 2019 with 335,000 deliveries at all times, under the evergreen Nissan Leaf.

By 2020, thanks to the launch of the extensive production of Gigafactory 3 in China and the standard range of deliveries in Europe, the model 3 reached 300,000 registers, but the long-term success of the board is limited by the success of the Y model that tramples the production space of its older brother.

So, by 1 January 2021, about 635,000 models 3 will be made in this scenario, which will not be enough to remove the aging of the Nissan Leaf of # 1, especially with the Japanese car that has a much improved generation in 2021 . words, do not expect the Leaf to leave the throne any time soon.

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Tags: Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Nissan, Nissan Leaf, Tesla, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S

for the author

Jose Pontes Always interested in the automotive industry, especially in electric cars, Jose oversaw the sales evolutions of the plug-in via the EV Sales blog in 2012, allowing him to get a professional look at where they are now in the EV and where they are headed for the future . The EV Sales blog has become a source for people interested in selling electric cars around the world. Continuing his work and expertise, Jose is now a partner in EV-Volumes and works with the Alternative Fuel Observatory in Europe on issues related to EV sales.

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