EVs outsold stick shifts last quarter and we can all go home




November 12, 2019 09:45 AM

EVs outsold stick shifts last quarter and we can all go home

JD Power numbers have EV market share at 1.9 percent and manual transmissions at 1.1 percent.

Jake Lingeman



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The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S now offers a manual.

Of every 100 vehicles sold in the United States in the third quarter of 2019, just two (actually 1.9) were electric. That’s a sad showing for the future of transportation. What’s sadder? Only one person out of that 100 bought a car with a manual transmission, according to J.D. Power.
That’s for two reasons that are sort of related. One, many of the cheap compacts that feature manual transmissions have been canceled — cars like the Ford Focus. Second, the other group of cars that come with stick shifts are of a more special variety. Everyone can’t own a Mazda Miata, or a Chevrolet Corvette (the last one) or a Subaru WRX, though the latter is a do-everything car.
“(Manual transmissions) have been on a nearly century-long decline, and while no rational person thinks the trend will ever reverse, it was interesting to note that only this year, after nearly a decade in market, EVs were able to surpass last century’s dying technology,” said Tyson Jominy, vice president, PIN Consulting of the Data and Analytics Division at J.D. Power, in an email to Driving.


Your stick-shift 2020 Porsche 911 is available to order (with a couple caveats)

What does this mean? Both EVs and manuals make up an extremely low percentage of purchases. But manuals are on the way down, and EVs are on the way up. Only one-third of buyers took a manual in the sporty Toyota 86. Even fewer took one in a Corolla hatch (15 percent) according to CarBuzz. The Mini brand only sells about 10 percent of its cars with manual gears. The Mazda Miata soft top is the lone bright spot. A full 76 percent take a manual in that car, though that drops to about half in the hardtop RF.
It’s not all bad news. The new Porsche 911 Carrera S is getting a manual next year; the dual-clutch automatic came first. It’s a no-cost option there, and it does come with a few extras. So, it’s not all bad news. Over at Ford’s SEMA display, the Blue Oval introduced a 900-hp electric Mustang concept, complete with a six-speed. We also recently drove a stick-shift Volkswagen Jetta S that was just lovely.
So, manuals ARE still around, and probably better and more robust than ever. They’re just harder to find.

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