Last month Tesla delivered in the U.S. an estimated 3,100 of its Model S and among alternative energy cars only the Toyota Prius sold more.
The popular Prius saw a healthy 8,287 sales, but other than Toyota’s usually high-flying performer, no plug-in or regular hybrid surpassed Tesla’s luxury performance electric car.
Sales are estimated for the California automaker, thus mildly varying estimates have been reported for the Model S, but America’s next-best electrified car was the Prius c hybrid with 2,601 November sales, and the Model S surely surpassed that.
With Volkswagen down due to the diesel scandal, its cars like the Jetta TDI which might have sold competitively were out of the running, and Tesla easily sailed to second place among all alternative energy passenger vehicles.
It bears repeating that Model S is a phenomenon given its price from mid 70s to double that.
And, November’s results constitute the latest feather in the cap for the car that already ranks number one this year among plug-in electrified vehicles.
Tesla’s 3,100 or so U.S. November sales handily surpassed the two other plug-in cars in the U.S. top-three, namely, the second-overall for the year Nissan Leaf with its 1,054 sales in November, and the third-overall Chevy Volt with its 1,980.
Both the Leaf and Volt are significantly down year over year – Leaf by 41.2 percent and Volt by 23.3 percent. The Model S is up by an estimated 56.3 percent.
Year-to-date, the Model S has racked up 22,900 U.S. sales. The formerly number one Leaf has sold 15,922 through November and the Volt has delivered 13,279 – though it’s accelerating now with generation two 2016 models being delivered in 11 U.S. states.
The closer-to-mainstream priced Leaf and Volt have had sales hobbled in part because revised models were expected – Leaf a 30-kilowatt-hour battery upgrade, and Volt a complete revision – whereas Tesla has continually updated the Model S.
The Model S was launched in mid 2012, the Leaf and Volt were introduced at the end of 2010, but Tesla has since brought along all-wheel-drive, Autopilot, and extremely fast “insane” and “ludicrous” speed options, among other updates.
But as ahead as it is, Tesla is having to stretch to make its 50,000-52,000 global 2015 sales goal.
As of the end of its third quarter it had reported 33,174 worldwide sales and another 3,500 were estimated for October.
Globally, it needed 13,326 sales entering November. With November now behind us, and one month to go it will be close.
Since Tesla sales figures are elusive in several markets around the world even at the best of times, we do not yet have an estimate of how far Tesla now might have to go.
And, whether it makes the goal or not may not matter in the big picture, though what ripples its final tally might send through the stock price will remain to be seen.
In any case, Tesla is the top selling plug-in car in America, and is on track to finish well ahead of all others.