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Tesla Tops EV Charts Despite Production Delays

Tesla

Tesla’s Model 3 was the top-selling electric vehicle in the United States for the first quarter of 2018. And while another rival managed to steal one spot, Tesla still gets three out of five.

Investors who have been losing their patience over missed production goals may take heart in some stellar numbers.

In the first three months of 2018, Tesla delivered over 8,000 Model 3s and the only EV that’s threatening one of the Top 5 slots is the Toyota Prius, with slightly different estimates putting it at either second or third place,

(Click to enlarge)

Source: CleanTechnica

The figures represent a decent jump in sales year-over-year.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: CleanTechnica

But for the month of March alone, Toyota’s Prius was the king of the electric road:

(Click to enlarge)

Source: CleanTechnica

Last month marked a record for U.S. sales of electric vehicles with an estimated grand total of 26,373 sold.

Here’s the EV line up as we start off Q2, and what to expect going forward:

#1 Tesla’s Model 3

Tesla reported that Model 3 deliveries totaled 8,180 in the first quarter of 2018, up from 1,550 cars delivered in the last quarter of 2017. The Model 3 had a breakout last month with the sale of an estimated 3,820 units. 

Although Tesla's production ramp up for its Model 3 is running behind schedule, remember it took less than a year for the company to go from its first 30 Model 3 deliveries last summer to a production rate of 2,000 units per week. The company said it expects to achieve a weekly production rate for Model 3 of 5,000 units per week by the end of the second quarter.

(Click to enlarge)

If Tesla can maintain current or even speed up its production rate, it will surpass its Q1 results next quarter, and there is no other EV that is expected to catch up, though the Toyota Prius is the closest.

Last month, Tesla also announced that it’s started receiving orders from Canada.

According to Tesla, Q1 production totaled 34,494 vehicles—representing a 40 percent increase from Q4 and “by far the most production quarter in Tesla history”. Of those, 9,766 were Model 3s.

#2 Tesla Model S

According to Clean Technica data estimates, Tesla sold 6,730 of its Model S vehicles in the first quarter of this year. And Tesla itself says that of the quarter’s 29,980 deliveries, 11,730 were Model S. On 3 April, Tesla said that over the coming seven days alone they would produce 2,000 Model S and X EVs. 

Carsalesbase.com data shows the Model S sales total for Q1 2018 at 5,300:

(Click to enlarge)

But let’s not split hairs. This would have given the Toyota Prius second place, but there’s no denying this is still very much a Tesla playing field.

(Click to enlarge)

#3 Toyota Prius Prime

With a total of 6,468 sales in Q1, the Toyota Prius Prime is closing in on the Model 3, and possibly the Model S and remains the most affordable EV out there, with a starting price tag of $27,000.

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In February, nearly every third Prius sold was the plug-in hybrid version. So far, Prius Prime has been able to achieve growth year-over-year every month since it’s been on the market. And that is either in spite of or because of tanking overall Prius sales.

Due to federal income-tax credits, the Prime is cheaper than the standard Prius—plus, it just looks a lot better.

(Click to enlarge)

#4 Tesla Model X

According to Clean Technica data estimates, some 4,500 Model X EVs were sold in Q1 2018, while carsalesbase.com puts the figure at 4,400—still fourth place.

Tesla says that 4,060 Model S and X vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of Q1, a figure that is 68 percent higher than at the end of Q4 2017.

(Click to enlarge)

#5 Chevrolet Bolt

With 4,375 units sold in Q1, GM’s Bolt production doesn't appear to be coming even close desired levels, despite its head start over Tesla's Model 3. True, the Q1 sales represent an 81-percent increase over the total for the same quarter last year, but it’s still below sales levels recorded by GM in Q4 2017.  

Last month, GM announced it would ramp up Bolt production but the details remain vague. The previous ramp-up target was around 30,000 vehicles per year.

(Click to enlarge)

Last year, GM announced an expansion of its electric car plans to add 2 new EVs based on the Bolt platform within the next 18 months and then 18 more electric vehicles on new platforms within the next 5 years.

By Fred Dunkley for Safehaven.com

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