New EVs registered in the US rose from 2.2% of all new vehicle registrations in Q1 2020 to more than 5.1% in Q1 2022. The first quarter of 2022 was another record quarter for Tesla by several measures, such as revenues, vehicle deliveries, operating profit, and an operating margin of over 19%.
For those of us watching from the consumer world, the big news, though, has been the ongoing popularity of the Tesla Model Y.
I own a Model Y. It’s a truly amazing vehicle. Every time a friend hops in the car, their comments are exclamations. “It’s so roomy.” “Wow — I can’t get over how quiet it is.” “Tell me, what’s it costing you to charge it? Filling up my gas tank is killing me.” “You paid what for this car?” “What’s regen?”
I’ve taken the Model Y (“Wiley”) to an Earth Day event at the local eco-center and answered questions about what it’s like to drive an EV. The response was fully positive and hopeful. It feels important to be part of the transition to zero-emissions transportation — and with such a cool car!
Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted during the Q1 2021 earnings call that the Model Y would “quite likely” be the world’s best-selling car in the future. It seems his vision is close to becoming reality. In February, the all-electric vehicle crossed the 500,000 sales mark.
My Model Y is so high tech, so innovative, that I felt upon my own delivery as if I was on a wave of something that would advance how I would live, work, and play.
The Model Y Numbers Speak for Themselves
Other automakers are boasting in the media about their upcoming threat to the Tesla EV dynasty. Then again, it’s been 5 years since Tesla started launching its mass-market Model 3 and Model Y. Together, the 3 and Y accounted for 62.8% of new EV registrations in the quarter, while Tesla’s 4 models together captured 71.7% of the EV market.
It is the Tesla Model Y, which is manufactured at two Tesla US factories, that accounted for nearly 1 out of every 3 new EVs registered in the US during Q1, 2022. Those numbers were released in the recent Experian Automotive quarterly roundup last week, which culled out state registration data.
According to Experian, EVs exceeded 5% of new vehicle registrations in the US in the first quarter. California led the pack, as usual, commanding nearly 38% of the new EVs registered nationally from January through March. Indeed, nearly 15% of new vehicle registrations in California in Q1 were fully electric, and 11.5% were hybrids. And Californians like their Teslas. Tesla Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles outsold all other vehicle models in California in the first quarter of 2022, even gas-powered models.
About 3.2% of all vehicles registered in the US in Q1 2022 were fully electric; 6.6% were hybrids.
From Q1 2020 to Q1 2022, Tesla enhanced its share of the entire US vehicle market from 1.4% up to 3.3%. Experian revealed that Tesla sold almost the same amount of “electrified” vehicles in the quarter as Toyota’s combined 11 Toyota plug-in hybrid, hybrid, and electric models.
Kia and Hyundai reached about 10% of the US EV market. Ford’s slow crawl to all-electric transportation is on, as the company grabbed nearly 5% of the EV market.
The Tesla Model Y Accolades Keep Coming
To celebrate Earth Day this year, the US News team has assembled a list of the best hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles on the market right now. The Model Y was the recipient of the US News “Best Luxury Electric SUV” award as it topped the list of best-selling EVs in the US in Q1 2022.
US News noted that Tesla is widely credited with bringing electric cars into the mainstream and recognized that Tesla models are still among the most popular, despite the rapid expansion of the segment. The Tesla Model Y was designated a top option, as it offers a strong range for the segment and can seat up to 7 passengers.
According to the EPA, a Tesla Model Y Long Range can travel up to 330 miles on a single charge. US News compared base trims among luxury electric SUVs and acknowledged that the Model Y range was exceeded only by the Model X. The bigger distinction between those two models is that the Model X currently has an MSRP of $114,990, while the Model Y Long Range starts at only $62,990. When plugged into a 240 volt power source, the Model Y will charge in approximately 11½ hours, according to the EPA.
“Despite the onslaught of new competitors,” US News stated, “the Tesla Model Y is one of the most capable and well-rounded luxury electric SUVs that you can buy at the moment.”
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The Tesla Model Y in Overview 2022
In the first quarter of 2022, Tesla produced over 305,000 vehicles and delivered over 310,000 vehicles, despite ongoing supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns. Together, the Model 3 and Model Y saw 291,189 vehicles produced, with 295,324 delivered.
Production at Gigafactory Berlin–Brandenburg started in March 2022, using nonstructural packs with 2170 cells for the start of production. Ultimately, Gigafactory Berlin–Brandenburg should be able to produce Model Ys using both structural packs with 4680 cells as well as non-structural packs with 2170 cells.
In April 2022, the company began Model Y deliveries from the new factory in Austin, Texas. At the Cyber Rodeo opening party, Tesla delivered the first vehicles with 4680 in-house made cells, single-piece front body castings, and structural battery packs. The company called this “an important milestone for our capacity growth efforts.” Later this year, the company expects Gigafactory Texas will be able to produce Model Ys using both structural packs with 4680 cells as well as non-structural packs with 2170 cells.
The company notes that the pace of production ramps in Austin and Berlin will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new product and manufacturing technologies in new locations and despite ongoing supply chain related challenges. Factory ramps take time, Tesla reminds us, and Gigafactory Austin and Gigafactory Berlin–Brandenburg will be no different. The company says it is making progress on the industrialization of Cybertruck, which is currently planned for Austin production subsequent to the Model Y ramp.
Final Thoughts on New EV Registrations
The data from Experian about new EVs registered in the US in Q1 shows that the total new car registrations through April decreased by about 20% year over year. During the same period, however, battery-electric vehicle registrations increased 53% year over year, taking 4.4% of the market. That market share was just 2.3% a year ago.
Premium brand registrations in the US, January–April 2022, as reported by Inside EVs, are as follows:
- Tesla: 139,338 (up 52%)
- BMW: 106,339 (down 6.4%), including 611 BEVs
- Lexus: 88,672 (down 18%)
- Mercedes–Benz: 83,358, including 2,641 EQS
- Audi: 51,011 (down 37%), “nearly 10%” BEVs