Electric Vehicle Status Report, 9 Months 2018

Electric Vehicle Status Report, 9 Months 2018

The third quarter showed a significant increase in the sale of Battery-Powered Vehicles (BEVs), which was probably the result of Tesla’s push to build its Model 3.

Another significant change was the drop in the sale of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs).

The table shows sales of HEVs, BEVs, and PHEVs for the first nine months of 2018.

(Sales data is from Electric Drive Transportation Association and MarkLines Automotive Industry Portal.)
(HEV sales for the months of July, August and September are averages of total sales for the third quarter.)

While the increase in BEVs sold in the third quarter was significant, i.e., 169% compared with the 3rd quarter of 2017, BEVs remained a tiny percentage of all light vehicle sales in the United States at 1.12%.

It’s not clear why HEV sales declined 26% during the third quarter.

Other automobile manufacturers have announced a slew of BEV models to be introduced over the next five years.

As was shown in the article of the Factory of the Future, all existing automobile manufacturers can utilize robots in the same manner as has Tesla, so Tesla has no advantage in that respect. See, Manufacturing a Car is Easy

How many of these newly announced BEVs will be built in volume remains to be seen.

The market for BEVs, and also Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), is being supported by government actions, especially in China and Europe. The Chinese market has also produced golf cart-sized BEVs, using Li-ion or lead-acid batteries. These, while meeting China’s desire to promote electric vehicles, could be misleading if their sales numbers are included in reports of BEVs sold. It’s doubtful these BEVs meet normal safety standards for light vehicles, such as crash tests and airbags.

While the third quarter was a significant success story for battery-powered vehicles (BEVs), we will have to wait and see whether the momentum can be sustained in the fourth quarter and into 2019.


    • Fuel cell vehicles use a fuel cell pack to generate electricity rather than using batteries. (These vehicles are experimental and are not included in the above data.)
    • BEVs are vehicles powered entirely by battery power. 
    • PHEVs use the battery to travel the first 35 miles, then switch to an internal combustion engine to extend its range.  
    • HEVs are essentially battery-assisted vehicles that use the internal combustion engine to power the car. Batteries don’t provide the motive power for the vehicle.

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4 Replies to “Electric Vehicle Status Report, 9 Months 2018”

  1. Donn,
    Please comment on the UN report (IPCC). You may want to check out a recent Forbes article that references the NIPCC.

    • Thanks.
      The latest IPCC report, with the Summary for Policy Makers just recently released, continues to overstate the potential for temperature rise, and continues to warn of climate-induced disasters.
      The historical record continues to demonstrate that there is no linkage between climate change and disasters.
      My recent article Johnny One Note about flooding in Passau Germany demonstrated this. My other recent article Hothouse Earth: Are You Afraid Yet? also discussed why there is no reason to fear climate change .. at least as presented by the IPCC.
      The charts in the brochure, We Have Nothing to Fear from CO2, show that there were many times in the past 10,000 years where temperatures were higher than today. The brochure also has charts showing that the IPCC reports have overstated warming. The brochure is available free in pdf format from my website.
      The most recent scientific reports, not from the IPCC, show that the sensitivity of temperature to atmospheric CO2 concentrations is closer to 1 degree than to the 7 degrees F constantly touted by the media. Doctor Curry and the Apollo TRCS Group established the temperature sensitivity at 1.2 degrees or below 1 degree, respectively. Temperature sensitivity is the amount that temperatures could rise with a doubling of atmospheric CO2. It should also be noted that increased CO2 levels increase the greening of the Earth with better crops being the result.
      Finally, it’s important to recognize that the Summary For Policy Makers is written largely by political appointees, not scientists. In the past, some scientists quit the IPCC because they disagreed with the politically derived Summary for Policy Makers.

  2. Donn, Have you or others done the math to compare the carbon footprint of BEV’s vs. internal combustion vehicles? Since they both ultimately need fossil fuel generated energy, is there a significant difference between them?

    • I don’t know whether others have compared the carbon footprints between BEVs and ICE vehicles, though they probably have.
      I will publish an article during the next week or so that will indirectly address that question.
      It’s clear there is a difference, but that shouldn’t be the driving force behind BEVs.

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