UNCONFIRMED: Tesla Model 3 now the World's Best Selling EV*

UNCONFIRMED: Tesla Model 3 now the World's Best Selling EV*

*Since inception, global sales totaled over 400,000 Leafs by March 2019, making the Leaf the world's all-time best-selling highway-capable electric car.

Tesla is now #1.

Nissan's "throne" was built of straw and delay. 9 years. less than 40,000 sales per year, or less than 1/2 of 1% of Nissan's worldwide sales over that same period.

Here's what has done in the pretenders:

Lack of fast charging capabilities and/or

Lack of fast-charging network and/or

Lack of range and/or

Being significantly overpriced compared to their peers.

Long live "competition" like Rivian, who imagines something better than oil and gas and doesn't have a legacy to "support".

We need a clean break and the sooner these OEMs either go all-in or go gently into that good night, the better for humanity. Their half-hearted attempts provide fodder to the well-coordinated disinformation campaigns aligned against the rapid transition to sustainable energy.

Atom12 | 07. september 2019


jimglas | 07. september 2019

Somebody onse posted a video graphic of EV sales by company over time that really showed the accelerating trend of Tesla sales. It anybody has a link .....

SamO | 07. september 2019

Since this is a made up stat that Nissan loves to use to confuse the press, I’m glad it’s being wrenched from their grubby little paws.

Magic 8 Ball | 07. september 2019

@jimglas A brilliant piece of work by TexasBob.

rxlawdude | 07. september 2019

SamO +1

JAD | 07. september 2019

Great graphic, can't wait for the updated version and an international version.

jimglas | 07. september 2019

Thanks M8B!

don.lind | 07. september 2019

Ummm.... ok... I'm not getting it.

Your headline/subject SAYS that Tesla Model 3 is the "World's Best Selling EV"
But you link to what is essentially an advertisement for Nissan Leaf that says the Leaf is the World's Best Selling EV with 400K sold.

You link to nothing that backs up the statement that says Model 3 is the best selling EV.

I read an article to day saying that the Model 3 may never actually top the Leaf's lifetime "number sold" count.
I suspect it will. But that implies that it hasn't yet.

M8B's link to that cool graph is nice... but it shows that Tesla has sold (in the USA) about 200K Model S and X and roadsters up to the point where the Model 3 started selling in 2018. And since then, there's 250K more Tesla sales. In the USA. More in other countries, recently... but I doubt Model 3 itself is up to 400K sold yet. Is there a source?

So if the definition of "World's Best Selling EV" is "the EV with the most total sales," I think it's likely that Nissan Leaf is the correct answer.

So... what's the point here? Just asking. :-)
It's (as you say) UNCONFIRMED. And so far, it doesn't seem like it's true. Yeah?

Or is this a "they made up a claim, so we can, too" thing?

This is likely true, though: "Model 3 is the best selling EV in the world over the past two years"

ReD eXiLe ms us | 07. september 2019

don.lind: Check this link...

Just total up the number of Model 3 sales from each Quarterly Earnings Report. They are archived in PDF format for a year or so. If you need to check out Q3 2017 through Q2 2018, I'm sure someone else archives them online too.

SamO | 07. september 2019


don.lind | 08. september 2019

Thanks for the reference (and for the "no flames" response!) I'll go find the various reports and add up the numbers.
I would think Tesla would make an announcement if the numbers add up favorably.

don.lind | 08. september 2019

test response - keeps saying "Access Denied"... server issues?

don.lind | 08. september 2019

Anything over a couple of chars won't post (Access Denied).
Total Model 3 Deliveries 356,576 (including Q3 2019 estimate from Seeking Alpha).

don.lind | 08. september 2019

Here's the quarterly numbers, hopefully readable:
________M3 Deliveries


____Q3__80195 <--- estimate from Seeking Alpha

Total Model 3 Deliveries 356,576

don.lind | 08. september 2019

So the Total Deliveries for Model 3 (including the Seeking Alpha Q3 2019 estimate) is 356,576.
That's not quite to the 400,000 units sold that Nissan is claiming for the Leaf.
But if Q4 is anywhere near Q2 and Q3, that'll add another 80K to the total.

jimglas | 08. september 2019

Gina coming on line soon
Tezla is failing big time | 08. september 2019

@don.lind - Your Q3 number looks reasonable, but Seeking Alpha is renowned for made-up info. Not a source you can trust as anyone can post anything. Thanks for the lookup and totals.

Also on posting, I've found for reasons unknown it seems to dislike parentheses sometimes. I remove them from text and it then saves without a problem. Othertimes using parentheses works fine.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 08. september 2019

don.lind: Honestly, I do my best to provide 'no flame' responses, while others do their best to post incendiary claims. Your request was a reasonable one, the data is publicly available, so I assumed you were simply unaware of it. My default nature is to help people. I prefer to think that if a question is asked, then someone deserves an answer.

Tesla reports sales statistics quarterly. For several years multiple NaySayers, Skeptics, Contrarians, FUDsters, and Trolls intimated that 'there must be something wrong' or that 'Tesla must be hiding something' because they didn't report monthly sales 'like everyone else'. When queried on this, Elon Musk was consistent in saying, "Our sales are very small. Reporting monthly sales would cause people to jump to conclusions. It would be inappropriate to report monthly sales at this time."

Thing is, those who spoke of 'everyone else does' were falsely, purposely, overlooking Maserati, who likewise have not reported per model, per region, monthly sales of their cars. They also report quarterly and receive no flack, no blowback, because of it. Likely because ANALysts and 'journalists' know full well that their sales are 'very small'. That Maserati actually is the kind of company ANALysts had accused Tesla of being for years -- a boutique manufacturer of bespoke cars that are just 'Toys... for the RICH!' Acceptable for Maserati, apparently because they sell ICE vehicles, use 'independent franchised dealerships', and pay for advertising, three things that Tesla does NOT do.

Further, in recent years, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors have all switched to quarterly reporting of vehicle sales. Why? Doesn't really matter. But they also pretty much entirely abandoned the Fuel Efficient Midsize Passenger Car market about the same time. I find it interesting these changes took place after multiple decades of losing the monthly, quarterly, annual sales race of those types of cars first to Japanese manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, then to Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia. It was all they could do to post a few wins over Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Volkswagen among foreign automobile manufacturers. Yet, on their first try, Tesla was able to surpass all their individual sales of passenger car models in just ONE FULL YEAR of Model 3 sales to take the #5 position in overall passenger car sales during 2018. Did they chose to just give up an entire segment of the automotive market, then take their ball and go home rather than try to compete with Tesla, risk embarrassment at their hands? At least this way, there is no longer a monthly record of how many models from Ford, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Dodge, Chevrolet, or Buick are being regularly outsold by Tesla Model 3, right? Oh! Maybe that's why. Hmmm...

See, historically, the Detroit Big Three have always fought tooth & nail against building safer, smaller, more fuel efficient cars. They have fought against any and all regulatory requirements for zero emissions vehicles. And they have steadfastly declared that zero emissions electric cars were too expensive, would not sell, no one asked for them, no one wanted them, it would be 'too much of a hardship' to provide them. The existence and sales of the Tesla Model 3 prove all those points wrong. Oops?

ReD eXiLe ms us | 08. september 2019

Typographical Error Alert! I'll learn to proofread better one year, I'm sure. Until then...

That should have been...

"At least this way, there is no longer a monthly record of how many models from Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Chevrolet, Cadillac, or Buick are being regularly outsold by Tesla Model 3, right? Oh! Maybe that's why. Hmmm..."

don.lind | 09. september 2019

I suspect it was parens that were triggering the uncalled for access denied nonsense. Thanks for that hint. I had a part of my failing post that had parens and the parts I was finally able to successfully send didn't. And as a recently retired software dev, mishandling parens like that is dumb and the resulting misleading "access denied" error is unforgivable.

I know Seeking Alpha isn't great... But Tesla hasn't posted Q3 numbers yet. And Seeking Alpha did clearly say they didn't have final numbers for Canada and several other markets... it's what I could find.

Given the trajectory, it seem like nothing short of an asteroid strike on Fremont could keep the Model 3 from passing the Leaf in total units sold by the end of Q4.

kevin_rf | 09. september 2019

Don't joke like that, the San Andreas big one is long over due. We are talking CA.

Atom12 | 09. september 2019

@don.lind: "I know Seeking Alpha isn't great..."

Thanks! I just blew coffee out my nose.

Nexxus | 26. september 2019

Okay, if Nissan is claiming over 400K Leafs sold, why does Texas Bob's chart only show 135K cumulative to that same date? Also, since that is Nissan's only BEV, why wouldn't you consider all of Tesla's sales of the Old roadster, S, X, and 3 as cumulative anyway?

Nexxus | 26. september 2019

It doesn't have to be just the Model 3 to beat their overall sales.

SnowZA | 26. september 2019

@Nexxus Texas Bob's chart only shows US sales. Nissan's 400k number is world wide.

msmith55 | 26. september 2019

What really sets Tesla apart is the superior battery management system which results in longer battery life, typically twice the competition. Tesla maxed the battery life knowing this was critical to EV performance, while competition saved money on less capable systems.

Mike83 | 26. september 2019

The safest vehicle made is the Model 3 Tesla. How much is that worth?

SamO | 05. desember 2019


TabascoGuy | 05. desember 2019

SamO, take a look at the Model 3's filling up the lot(s) in China. It's kinda hard to believe so many so soon, but, it truly is a sight to behold.

jimglas | 05. desember 2019

Are those being built in China or transported from The US of A?

jimglas | 05. desember 2019

nevermind, helps to read the article .....

Joshan | 05. desember 2019

RTFA? /s

SamO | 05. desember 2019

I read that Chinese subsidies start on December 25, so I expect those stockpiled cars to be delivered soon

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi | 05. desember 2019

Great news for Tesla

bj | 06. desember 2019

OK, I know the internet is not the place for facts and data. But SamO's UNCONFIRMED claim that "Tesla Model 3 now the World's Best Selling EV" is fake news. Maybe SamO is confusing USA sales with worldwide sales, or comparing an apple with an orange. But the claim is wrong. And full marks to @don.lind for questioning and suspecting that something didn't add up.

SamO linked to Nissan's media statement from March when it reported it had sold 400,000 LEAFs worldwide, but then completely failed to provide any additional verification or source for the claim in the headline.

So here are the facts as we know them:

- On 5 March 2019, Nissan reported it had sold 400,000 LEAFs worldwide
- From 1 Jan to 31 Oct 2019, Nissan sold 58,909 LEAFs worldwide, an average of 194 per day
- As at 31 Oct 2019, Tesla had sold 376,936 Model 3s worldwide
- From 1 Jan to 31 Oct 2019, Tesla sold 221,274 Model 3s worldwide, an average of 728 per day

This data is from as reported in

Using these data points we can estimate where Nissan and Tesla are today, and at what point in time Model 3 may achieve the claim in the headline.

Based on the current sales rates, as at 7 December 2019, Nissan has sold about 454,000 LEAFs and Tesla has sold about 404,000 Model 3s.

So, noting that 454,000 is a larger number than 404,000, we can fairly confidently debunk the claim in the headline. But congratulations to Tesla to be only the second manufacturer to sell more than 400,000 of a particular model BEV!

Having said that, it is clear that Tesla is catching up very fast. If we extrapolate these sales rates, then Tesla Model 3 will overtake the Nissan LEAF as the world's best selling BEV on 9 March 2020 - or only about 3 months from now. But a full 6 months after SamO's UNCONFIRMED and unsubstantiated report.

Tesla's critics get smashed by many people here for fake news, fake data and fake conclusions. So please, don't descend to their level, even if you think the news is good.

bj | 06. desember 2019

And one more thing... based on the above, Tesla will be the first manufacturer to sell half a million units of a BEV model on 17 April 2020.

I would expect media statements from Tesla when it achieves both milestones.

Bighorn | 06. desember 2019

Depends on the metric, but it is currently leading the pack by a wide margin.

@SamO I didn’t know China celebrated Christmas.

Ross1 | 06. desember 2019

It will be onerous to make many deliveries in China berore Dec 31/ end Q4.

In any case Q4 will be possibly/probably over 100,000, a record at that.
So Q1 will reflect Chinese ramp and pent up deliveries. I wonder how many Chinese orders there are currently. (pun).
Therefore all next year should be Huge.

lbowroom | 06. desember 2019

Countries don’t celebrate holidays, people do

ReD eXiLe ms us | 06. desember 2019

bj: You did notice the word 'UNCONFIRMED' rather prominently beginning this thread's title, right?

Bighorn | 06. desember 2019

Don’t tell that to people in the Bible Belt.

bj | 10. desember 2019

@bighorn - "Depends on the metric"

Given the metric was stated in the thread heading, no. You can't change the goalposts, that's what Tesla's critics do.

bj | 10. desember 2019

@ReD eXiLe ms us - "You did notice the word 'UNCONFIRMED' rather prominently beginning this thread's title, right?"

Sure, and it was followed by a post that made the unqualified claim that "Tesla is now #1", expressed no doubt whatsoever that the milestone had been achieved, made no attempt to cite any references or verification for the claim, and quickly became a rant against Nissan, which sells BEVs in many more countries than Tesla does, and in two continents that Tesla doesn't serve at all.

You might think there's nothing wrong with that, but you and others here are very quick to rip into Tesla critics and doubters who don't get the basics right or fact-check. One rule for the critics, another for the fanbase?

It took less than 10 minutes of googling to establish the claim was very likely wrong, and about another 20 minutes to collect enough verified data points and do some 'math' to prove it wrong beyond any reasonable doubt. It wasn't hard.

SamO | 10. desember 2019

Tesla selling 400’000 EVs per year.

Nissan selling 60,000 per year.

Only a matter of time before unconfirmed is confirmed.

Nissan may avoid bankruptcy but I doubt it.

House of straw.

Varricks | 17. desember 2019

"Long live 'competition' like Rivian, who imagines something better than oil and gas and doesn't have a legacy to 'support'."

Rivian trucks were supposed to be in customers' hands this month.

andy.connor.e | 17. desember 2019

So far all i have seen is an article saying that Amazon invested in Rivian for a delivery van. So far i have not seen Rivian go any further than Faraday Future. | 17. desember 2019

Perhaps this is more useful:

#1 in the category, but #6 for all cars sold in USA for Q3

ODWms | 18. desember 2019

#1 for all premium cars.