Global EV Sales For 2019: Maybe People Just Want Teslas

By Battery Power Online Staff

January 20, 2020 | With 2019 numbers coming in on auto sales in China and the US, the outlook for electric vehicles isn’t particularly bright, reports the LA Times.

“Despite the debut of 45 pure electric and plug-in hybrids in the United States last year, only 325,000 plug-in passenger vehicles were sold, down 6.8% from 349,000 in 2018, according to Edmunds,” writes Russ Mitchell. “That is just 2% of the 17 million vehicles of all types sold in the United States in 2019.”

In China, sales of “new energy vehicles”—including battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV)—declined 4% last year, though China’s overall auto market fell by twice that. China announced earlier this month that it would not be making significant cuts to subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEV) this year, according to Reuters. In the past, China has said it would phase out subsidies after 2020.

For car makers that have pledged increasing proportions of their fleets to electric vehicles in the future, this isn’t quite good news.

Why the disappointing numbers? The usual suspects are blamed: cost, range anxiety, style, and even gas prices—which are stable enough not to serve as an incentive to switch to electric.

The exception among the bad news is Tesla, which is enjoying stock growth and improved sales numbers (even if the company still isn’t quite making a profit). The LA Times has a theory: “Some analysts think buyers don’t necessarily want an electric car when they buy a Tesla—they primarily want a Tesla.”