Peak EV Month 2: EV Sales Decline For Second Straight Month in China and U.S.
Electric vehicle sales have peaked and have begun to decline. The decline is not localized but is being manifested in both the Chinese and also the American vehicle markets. July was the first month of the decline. Bloomberg, crediting Sanford C. Bernstein, in reporting that in July global EV sales by 14% to approximately 128,000 units. This is unusual in that it is the first-ever reported monthly decline in sales for EVs.
Chinese Market EV Sales Decline In July and August
Multiple outlets have reported that China's electric vehicles, called NEVs in that market, declined in both July and August. The August decline was larger. The decline is not a technicality based on selling days or some other anomaly. Rather, the Chinese market EV sales declined by double-digits. Many analysts are linking China's EV subsidies to the declines. However, the Chinese market for vehicles, in general, is sluggish and may have reached a temporary plateau. EVs are heavily incentivized by China and there are presently proposals being considered to increase mandates for EVs in China. China is likely to employ both the carrot and the stick to meet its goals for EVs.
American EV Market
The American EV market has a single successful model, the premium/performance Tesla Model 3. However, the Model 3 has declined by about 40% compared to its late 2018 run rate in the U.S. Tesla says that its allocation of Model 3 cars for overseas markets is the cause of this decline. However, Tesla continues to add new sales promotion incentives to spur buyers to action. Generally, Tesla's biggest months are the third of the quarter. So September will be a very interesting month of reporting for Tesla watchers. As Tesla fans know, the company holds its sales results until forced to release the data in SEC filings. In September of 2018, Tesla delivered 22,250 Model 3 cars.
Overall, Tesla's sales have slumped meaningfully. Both the Model S and Model X are also well off their prior monthly sales rate in the U.S.
EV Fans Focus On Other Topics
EV advocacy publications and the fans on forums have been focusing on other topics. One is the new Porsche Taycan EV. This vehicle, like every Porsche, will be an extremely low-volume vehicle. Sales may approach a few hundred per month. Unicorns like this earn top-billing on EV-focused websites as fans debate how poorly the new Porsche will fare against other brands' offerings, generally Teslas. Click-bait sites roll out the tired "Tesla-killer" headlines. And nobody talks about the abject failure of affordable battery-electric vehicles in America now nearly ten years since the Nissan Leaf debuted. Not a single affordable BEV is maintaining a 1,000 per month sales rate in the U.S. anymore.
For more details and background on the recent sales and deliveries of electric vehicles, please see our story, U.S. Electric Vehicle Sales Decline In July - Affordable EVs Down Across The Board.
In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.