We publish EV sales reports for numerous countries every month, which is a fun way of tracking the transition to electric vehicles while examining who is leading and who is lagging. We don’t have complete EV sales numbers for the USA, since some automakers don’t report sales of some of their electric models. Though, based on estimates of Tesla US sales and the official sales numbers of electric models that automakers do report, fully electric vehicles accounted for 5% of US auto sales in the second quarter of 2022.
Naturally, that 5% figure is as high as it is because of fully electric automakers — Rivian, Lucid, and the true influencer and behemoth Tesla. Nonetheless, its a nice little marker for examining which legacy automakers are above that mark and which are below it. It turns out, though, that only two auto brands have more than 5% of their sales coming from electric vehicles. Porsche is leading the pack, as it has been for a long time, with 13% of its vehicle sales coming from the fully electric Porsche Taycan. Second is Audi, somewhat of a surprise, with 9.9% of its sales coming from electric models. The three core variations of the e-tron — the Audi e-tron, Audi e-tron Sportback, and Audi e-tron GT — combined for 4,777 sales in the 2nd quarter, while the overall auto brand had 48,049 sales in the USA.
The two high-volume automakers that did best got fairly close to 5%. Close cousins and business partners Kia and Hyundai actually tied in this metric, with both of them getting 4% of their sales (on the dot) from fully electric models. Actually, since Kia is still selling the Niro EV and Hyundai is still selling the Kona Electric, both of them are surely above 4% and may be around 5%. Or they could be just trickling out those models as they transition to selling dedicated EV models like the EV6 and IONIQ 5. We simply don’t know.
A sizable drop below those Korean brands we have two more high-volume auto brands, Ford and Volkswagen. I’ll admit that I drop a fair amount of virtual ink on their EV efforts due to the fact that I see them as some of the most serious now looking to become leaders in the EV industry and I like the approaches they’ve taken. Their current share of sales coming from electrics (2.9% for Ford and 2.1% for Volkswagen) are disappointing, but they’re also not surprising. You can offer the most popular, most exciting, most reserved EV on the market, but if you can’t produce many of them, you can’t sell many of them. (Side note: Ford F-150 Lightning sales began in the middle of the second quarter, in May.) There has been great demand for electric vehicles from Ford and Volkswagen, but production abilities are low and other markets are prioritized due to government regulations there (that would be Europe and China). I’m still hopeful (cautiously hopeful) that both brands will get big boosts in production in the next few years and try to compete with Porsche and Audi in this metric, but their current standing between 2% and 3% should be embarrassing to them.
You can examine the other brands with electric models in the chart above, but those are all very disappointing for the year 2022. They look more fitting for 2012. I’ll just close by suggesting that you not skip over Toyota just because the figure is 0%. If I added more decimal points, it could be 0.05% — rounding up — so I am indeed taking into account its electric sales. Toyota has definitely been a laggard in the EV transition for the past decade. It can only go up from here, now that it has the Toyota BZ4X on the market. But I can’t say that I’m expecting big things from the Japanese auto giant.
What are your thoughts on these numbers?
Note: This article has been updated to increase the Ford figure after adding Ford F-150 Lightning sales, and also to add footnotes to the charts.
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