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US Electric Vehicle Market Growing, Yet Tesla Still Dominates

We don’t have US sales data for all electric vehicle models, since automakers don’t break out sales of electric and non-electric versions of the same model (example: gas-powered Hyundai Kona sales and Hyundai Kona EV sales are combined in Hyundai’s sales reports). However, increasingly, automakers are rolling out standalone electric models (examples: Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, Volkswagen ID.4) and phasing out the former electric models that shared a name and body style with gas-powered siblings. As a result, US EV sales reports are getting more interesting again.

Tesla has long accounted for about 60–80% of the US electric car market. With the EV sales data we have (below), the California Texas company’s 4 models accounted for 67.7% of sales in the second quarter of 2022, and 71.6% of sales in the first half of 2022. (Again, this is not including sales of electric vehicles we can’t track.) The Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3 are so far ahead of the pack that the chart looks faulty. Can we really be tracking the same timeframe? Of course we are. Without a doubt, their high sales are the most notable and exciting thing in the US EV market. However, they’re also well established, expected, and not really news. So, what’s more interesting to me is seeing how other popular, fun electric vehicles are doing. Let’s have a look.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E broke the 10,000 marker last quarter! Well, that would be more exciting if it was a monthly total rather than a quarterly one, but at least production and sales are growing. The Mach-E deserves to see 40,000+ sales a quarter in my opinion, but if it is ever going to get to that level, it’s clearly going to take a while. (Ford, get those battery contracts lined up!) Ford also began deliveries of the F-150 Lightning in the second quarter.

The second best non-Tesla electric model, behind three Tesla models, is the hot new Hyundai IONIQ 5. I’ve seen this car around town a few times now. It looks super cool. It looks futuristic, yet not in an annoying or obnoxious way. It’s just a cool car. So, it’s good to see that the IONIQ 5 has quickly risen to #2 among non-Teslas and is climbing up the ladder. I expect much more of a climb from this model.

Then you’ve got the Kia EV6. It’s got same story as the IONIQ 5, more or less. I see more of the EV6 in my area and do favor its look slightly (very slightly) over the look of the IONIQ 5, but the core thing I think about when I see it is that it’s one model in a fleet of fun, compelling new EVs that are helping to truly bring EVs to the mainstream.

The Chevy Bolt EV/EUV is just below the IONIQ 5, continuing to do its part in the small(ish), cheap(ish) portion of the auto industry. After the Bolt EV/EUV, the sales total dropped off a bit quickly. Aside from the Rivian R1T, no other model is on track to produce more than 20,000 vehicles in a year. That’s not uplifting!

Let’s look at the first half of the year as a whole. It’s a similar story to Q2 2022, but …

… if you look closely, you can see that Q2 sales of the Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, and of course Chevy Bolt EV/EUV and Rivian R1T are larger than half of H1 sales. That means sales are growing for these top non-Tesla electric vehicle models. That doesn’t mean Tesla isn’t still dominating the market. Tesla isn’t in any kind of threat. However, it does mean that the market is diversifying a bit, welcoming in a lot more compelling electric models and ramping up their production.

Also, overall, the Q2 sales of these 21 models above and below totaled 172,710, compared to 147,211 in Q1 2022. That’s growth of almost 25,000 sales.

The dream I hope to see become reality one day is that a few of these electric offerings rise to 100,000+ sales a year. One can dream!

Note: This article has been updated to add an estimate for Ford F-150 Lightning sales and to update Tesla estimates.

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