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Tesla's US Market Share of EVs Drops Significantly In 2017 Despite Model 3

Despite the new Model 3 arriving in Late June, Tesla's US market share of electric vehicles has been dropping.

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Tesla, Inc.'s market share in the U.S. automotive market is in decline. Torque News analyzed sales data of U.S. electric vehicles and the data show a significant decline over the past year. This is primarily due to new entries into the market of extended range electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which make up the majority of the electric vehicle market overall. However, the new Chevy Bolt battery-electric vehicle is also making a big impact on Tesla's declining share of the now-established EV market.

U.S. EV Market Snapshot

Now in its eighth calendar year, the modern American electric vehicle market started in late 2010. The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt were the first two EVs to become established in the U.S. EV market. By 2012, there were nine models from seven manufacturers for EV buyers to choose from.

28 EV Models

Over the next three years, the number of EVs grew to 28 models and every major automaker was in the game. Most had multiple models for sale, though in limited U.S. sub-markets. By 2017, the EV market had matured and sales peaked in the U.S. at nearly 160,000 electric vehicles sold. Though still a tiny percentage of the overall car market, EVs had become a viable green car choice for many who could either ante up big bucks for a Tesla, or deal with short EV range operation.

Tesla's EV Market Share Decline in 2017

In 2016, Tesla's vehicle sales of 47,119 units accounted for 30% of the 158,614 EVs sold in the U.S. market. Tesla's cars were number one and number three overall at the end of 2016, clearly leading the small U.S. EV auto segment. However, through the first seven months of 2017, Tesla's market share has plunged by about a quarter. Through the end of July, Tesla had sold a total of 23,245 Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles according to Inside EVs. The total EV market in the U.S. accounted for 104,863 units according to the same source.

Thus, Tesla's market share has dropped to 22%. The Model S is now in a virtual tie for first place with the Chevy Volt and the Model X dropped to fourth place behind the Toyota Prius Prime and Chevy Volt. The Chevy Bolt is in fifth place with sales of nearly 10,000 units and showing the steepest growth curve of the leading EV sellers in 2017.

Tesla Model 3 Sales About to Explode?
By the end of 2017, things could swing back in Tesla's direction. Whether that happens depends entirely on Tesla's Model 3 production. With hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for its new model, which ranges in price from about $35K to about $55K, only Tesla's limits on production capacity can hold it back from a strong showing among the EV sales leaders.

Tesla promises a steep ramp through the remaining four months (plus August) of this year. However, to break into the top three overall in sales for 2017 Tesla will have to deliver (not just produce) about 22,000 Model 3s. In July, Tesla delivered 30.

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