US EV Registrations Surge For Q1 2022, Largely Driven By Tesla

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A recent article at CarScoops gives us some great news about EV sales so far in 2022! According to Experian, 158,689 EVs were registered in the United States in January through March of this year.

As you’d expect, Tesla took most of these sales, with an estimated 113,882 vehicles coming from the company. Everyone else was late to the party, of course, so Tesla is going to be king of that hill for a while to come.

Kia came in at #2, selling 8,450 vehicles during the same time period. The launch of the EV6, an attractive and capable EV that isn’t an compliance car, propelled them to that spot (even if it is small compared to Tesla). The Niro EV, a shared platform vehicle available as an ICE, hybrid, or BEV, also had strong sales during the first quarter, which didn’t hurt.

As we covered in another article, Ford’s sales were also strong for the quarter, putting them up there with Kia. 7,407 Mustang Mach-E vehicles got registered in the States, and the first F-150 Lightnings (54 of them) also made it into the tally. Once again, this isn’t huge compared to Tesla, but it does show strong improvement for Ford.

Other companies contributing thousands of vehicles to the overall count include Hyundai (on a shared platform with the EV6) as well as Nissan and Volkswagen. GM didn’t do so hot (Bolt EV fire recalls are still plaguing the company), and other automakers like Rivian and Polestar made a showing, but not much of one yet. These other companies don’t have any high-volume vehicles yet, but their numbers should get bigger soon.

Eagle-eyed readers will probably notice that these numbers don’t align perfectly with EV manufacturer sales numbers. Why? Because they’re based on registration estimates by a credit reporting agency. They should be pretty close to the actual number of vehicles that hit the road, though.

What We Can Learn From This

The obvious gorilla in the room in Tesla here. To ignore that would be silly, as it is still dominating the EV sales scene by any measure. Tesla is a trusted source for electric vehicles, has a generally positive (but not perfect) reputation, and is an established player now. That’s not changing any time soon.

Looking at the rest of the field gives us a good idea of who’s up and coming and who’s struggling. For Kia to jump up so quickly shows us that there’s still plenty of room for rapid change in the field right now, as it’s relatively new in car years. Kia was a smaller player with mostly compliance cars, but its first dedicated BEV with reasonable capability is a smash hit. Ford is staying strong, but definitely needs to up its game more (and this is probably happening as we speak with F-150 Lightning sales actually starting this quarter).

GM, well, it has some grand plans, but it’s in a tough spot that probably doesn’t really reflect its real role in the market right now. Whether the company can come out strong with the Bolt recall complete and new Ultium models hitting the market is going to show us what its near-term future looks like. Keep an eye on GM.

I’d also keep an eye on Rivian. It has a solid product that many people are interested in, and it’s still pretty early in the game for them to really use these numbers as a valid comparison. It’s important to note that Rivian’s sales for Q1 are still many times higher than F-150 Lightning sales, so they shouldn’t be dismissed at all. Whole year figures are going to give us a much better idea later of where the pickup truck race really stands.

Featured image by Zach Shahan/CleanTechnica

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1954 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba