The 2016 electric car sales are in, and Tesla had its best year to date. For the second straight year, Model S was America’s best-selling plug-in car with 29,421 deliveries, according to InsideEVs. Model X placed third in the segment with 18,223 sales. Altogether, the Palo Alto-based electric vehicle company smashed its total from 2015 (25,416) by nearly 90% with over 47,000 sales. If there was a cherry missing from the sundae, it was coming up short of the annual sales record Nissan Leaf set in 2014.
Tesla reported mostly good news in its fourth-quarter production and delivery note. Besides producing 83,992 automobiles (62% better, year over year), the automaker only barely missed its sales target (80,000) with 76,230 global deliveries. In a company statement, Tesla cited the complications with Autopilot for late-year production challenges. Demand remained strong, so we expect few to dwell on the sales miss.
No automaker besides Nissan ever broke 30,000 before, so Tesla easily crushed the all-time U.S. mark with its two vehicles combined. (Globally, China’s BYD holds the annual EV sales mark.) Model S also broke its own record for monthly sales with 5,850 in December. The only EV record left standing in America is the single-vehicle annual sales total Leaf managed in a different era for plug-ins.