Battery-Powered Vehicle 1Q Results

Battery-Powered Vehicle 1Q Results

Sales started slowly in 2019, but picked up in March.

Sales of BEVs increased over the first quarter of last year, while the sale of PHEVs declined year over year.

BEV sales, as a percentage of all light vehicle sales, were 1.02%. This was less than the 1.4% achieved by BEVs for all of 2018. 

Similarly, the total combined sales of PHEVs and BEVs for the first quarter of 1.54% was less than the 2.09% achieved for all of 2018.

While BEV sales were ahead of 1Q, 2018 sales, they were half of 4Q, 2018 sales. Have sales atalled?


While it’s not possible to reach any conclusions at this stage of battery-powered vehicle development, these results raise some important questions.

  1. Will BEVs remain a small niche in the US market, or will the introduction of another roughly 20 BEV models over the next year or so result in a breakthrough for BEVs in the US market?
  2. It appears as though BEV sales in China and Europe, where BEVs have strong government regulatory and financial support, are greater than in the US. Does this mean that governments must force the adoption of BEVs on the public?
  3. At what point will we have a clearer picture as to whether BEVs will severely impact the oil industry? DNV, for example, predicts peak oil by 2025, while Exxon Mobile predicts peak oil in 2040.
  4. Are BEVs an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary product? There’s every reason to believe that BEVs are inherently more energy efficient than cars powered by an internal combustion engine, but, if evolutionary, their adoption will be gradual, extending over many decades, rather than over a few years.

All in all, promoters of BEVs must be disappointed in results thus far this year.

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3 Replies to “Battery-Powered Vehicle 1Q Results”

  1. Donn,
    Thanks for an informative article.
    Given all the positive press and hype by the media every day and all the incentives provided by tax payers the 1.02% market penetration tells a story about the wisdom of the consumer.
    I hear financial “experts” on TV that project the demise of the Internal Combustion Engine and the oil companies every day.
    Given all the shortcomings and limitations of the electric car I fail to see how the total electric car given the technology limitations of the battery will be dominant in the near future.
    I don’t know one person who owns an electric car, possibly because living in the NE with cold winters and snow along with heavy traffic add to the handicaps and challenges.

    • Thanks. I think BEVs are going to take considerable time to go mainstream. Too many obstacles, including cost and lack of charging stations.