The share of electric vehicles in new vehicle sales in the US was close to 6% in 2022. At the end of 2022, there were over 50 electric vehicle models available for purchase on the US retail market. The market leader in the US is Tesla, but other brands are also starting to get some significant traction. I recently traveled to the US and spent some time near Orlando and Jacksonville in Florida; San Jose, California; Manhattan, NY; and New Jersey. I also drove with a friend of mine for about 3 and a half hours on I-95 to Jacksonville and was constantly on the lookout for EVs on the interstate. Throughout my travels, I was always on the lookout for battery-electric vehicles on the road and around parking lots. These days, one doesn’t really have to look hard to bump into EVs, unlike a decade ago or so when one would have to go on a treasure hunt to find some EVs.
With close to 50 electric vehicle modes now available in the US, I was really curious as to how many of these models I would bump into without looking hard for them or going to a dealership showroom. What was consistent throughout my trip was the clear fact that this is the home of Tesla. There are Teslas everywhere. In the San Jose and San Francisco area, Teslas were really prominent. It’s like if you close your eyes and spin around and then you point in any direction and then stop, by the time you open your eyes, chances are pretty high you will point towards a Tesla. I also spotted a lot of Teslas in all the places I visited as well, although they didn’t appear to be as many as in the California areas I visited. Which Teslas did I see? Well, most of them. I saw Model S, 3, X, and Y, both old and new models, standard range models, long range models, and performance models as well as Plaid models.
So, which other EV models did I spot? In all the places I visited, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 stood out as well. It seems to be a popular EV. The old Hyundai Kona EV also made some cameo appearances. Ford Mustang Mach-Es also were relatively easy to spot, and BMW i4s also seem to have a following. I was really excited to see a Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV. I really like this one and hopefully one day when I land on a pile of cash I can get one. It’s a Mercedes and it’s electric! I also spotted some BMW iXs and some of Audi’s e-tron variants. The second-generation Nissan Leaf, the BMW i3, and Kia e-Niros were also relatively easy to spot. In San Francisco, I also spotted one of Waymo’s Jaguar i-PACE SUVs, which was pretty cool. It just drove past us on the highway.
The one thing that really stood out for me was the models I did not see. I had been hoping to see these models, but it turns out I didn’t get to see them in all those places. In all the cities I visited, I didn’t see any Ford F-150 Lightnings, I didn’t see any Rivians, and I didn’t see any Lucid Airs. Could it be because they are not yet so common? Maybe I will see some next time. I didn’t go out of my way to look for particular EVs, as I wanted to get a sense of how EV adoption is going just by having a look at cars going by or parked at places I stopped at.
Image by Remeredzai
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