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October 15, 2019
U.S. EV Sales Down 21 percent in Third Quarter
Source: EV Hub
Total U.S. EV sales for 2019 are 0.5 percent higher than sales through the third quarter of 2018. Some months this year have brought encouraging sales numbers, but it has all been downhill since June for the U.S. EV market. While September brought U.S. EV sales closer to the peak reached in June, the market has lost more ground than it has gained. EV sales have declined for three months in a row compared to sales from a year ago; EV sales fell 10 percent in July and 24 percent in August. Despite a monthly sales increase from 26,570 vehicles in July to 33,128 vehicles in September, EV sales for September are still almost 26 percent lower compared to 2018. The September numbers rounded out a weak third quarter, resulting in a 21 percent decline in U.S. EV sales compared to the third quarter in 2018.

The Tesla Model 3 continues to lead the market with 44,000 vehicles sold in the third quarter, more than half of the total sales for the quarter. Despite its continued dominance, even the Model 3 saw a dip in third quarter performance with sales figures down almost 19 percent compared to last year. Beyond Tesla, the only vehicles with more than 1,000 monthly units sold for the majority of 2019 are the Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Bolt, and Nissan Leaf. The Prius Prime was the second-highest selling EV in the third quarter at 7,100 vehicles sold.

A vast sea of makes and models sits well outside of the top four picture. Vehicles like the Hyundai Kona that received considerable fanfare early in the year have yet to make a significant impact on the market. This is likely due to limited production throughout the year resulting in the Kona EV being among the ten least available EVs on the market with only 13 states offering it. In the luxury segment, newly introduced “Tesla killers” including the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron have yet to come close to the Model X’s average of 1,500 monthly vehicle sales through the third quarter.

Tesla saw yet another wave of tax credit phase-outs at the beginning of July, which, along with other market forces, likely contributed to declining sales. While there are many reasons behind shifting Tesla sales, including a focus on international markets for a significant portion of the year, U.S. sales across all Tesla models plummeted between July and August with a 40 percent, 55 percent, and 44 percent sales decline for the Model 3, Model X, and Model S, respectively. Despite this drop, Tesla reported another record-breaking quarter for global vehicle deliveries with more than 97,000 vehicles delivered.

The EV market has significant ground to cover if it is to emerge from this slump. The fourth quarter of 2018 was the strongest quarter for EV sales on record with almost 120 percent growth over the final quarter in 2017 and average monthly vehicle sales above 42,000. A huge portion of the end-of-year growth in 2018 was attributable to the ramping up of Model 3 production, and no new, game-changing vehicles are expected to enter the market for the remainder of this year. Automakers continue to look for policy levers to advance their EV investment strategies and appear determined to work with EV market leaders like California to accelerate the push for electrification. 
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EV Hub News

Michigan Awards $4.2 million in VW Settlement Money for Electric School Buses

On September 12, 2019, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced an award of roughly $4.2 million to go towards the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation Electric School Bus Pilot Project. The first buses are expected to be in operation by Fall 2019 and will be deployed in areas that suffer disproportionate air pollution burdens. The buses will also be equipped with technology to enable bi-directional vehicle-to-grid power exchange. 

This pilot program represents the first school bus award made by the state through the VW Settlement funds. Michigan is only the fifth state to use settlement funds to invest in electric school buses. This award more than doubles the $4 million of VW Settlement funds invested in this technology to date. Read More Here

California Energy Commission Approves $95 Million for EV Charging and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure

On September 11, 2019, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced the approval of $95 million in new investments to go towards clean transportation programs throughout the state. The investments will contribute to CEC’s Clean Transportation Program that seeks to accelerate progress towards the state’s climate and clean transportation goals.

The $62.7 million being invested in EV charging infrastructure increases the state’s total public funding for EV charging to almost $200 million according to the Public Funding Awards dashboardRead More Here

Washington State Launches $2.25 Million Charging Infrastructure Program for Government Agencies

On September 4, 2019, the Washington State Department of Ecology announced a new round of VW Settlement funding targeting state and local government facilities. The program seeks to accelerate EV adoption in both public and private vehicle fleets throughout the state by expanding access to public charging sited at government facilities

Overall, 15 percent of the state’s total funds, roughly $16 million, is available to expand the charging network. Read More Here

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Upcoming Events

At Forth's October networking event, speakers will discuss strategies to educate consumers and dealers about EVs. They will also cover different strategies to get cars to the consumers and to engage dealers in making the electric car jump. The guest speaker Hieu Le, Campaign Representative at Sierra Club, will discuss results from the current Rev Up EV campaign – a nationwide study on the consumer experience of electric vehicle shopping. Read More Here

October 16th @ 4pm PDT

The emergence of electric scooters into the roadways has changed the landscape of first and last mile transportation in cities. At this webinar, Forth's Sr. Director of Public Affairs and Policy will be joined by guest speakers to discuss current policies around micromobility guidelines and how city and state regulations can create safe streets while meeting sustainability, safety, and economic goals. Read More Here

November 12th @ 10am PDT

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