US BEV Sales Up 143% Over Q3 2021

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US full electric vehicle (BEV) sales continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Despite all the hype about “weak” electric vehicle demand and sales, they are actually strong and growing.

Compared to Q3 2021, BEV sales in Q3 2023 were up 143%. Compared to Q3 2022, BEV sales in Q3 2023 were up 44%.

Looking at the change in volume, BEV sales increased by 90,246 units year over year in the third quarter, and they increased by 173,377 sales compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Overall, US BEV sales were 7.5% of overall US auto sales according to our calculations.

Sales were led by the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3 (of course), with those two models accounting for 50% of the country’s BEV sales. The Chevy Bolt rose to the occasion to snatch the bronze medal, just barely ahead of Rivian’s total. The best competitor to the Tesla Model Y, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, grabbed the 5th place position. And then a couple of solid small crossovers took the 6th and 7th spots — the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the Volkswagen ID.4. They were the only remaining models to get over 10,000 sales in the quarter. Here’s the full ranking chart:

Looking at percentage change by model, you get some funky results year over year because deliveries were just getting rolling in Q3 2022 for some models (resulting in dramatic percentage growth in Q3 2023).

If you look at growth on a volume basis, you get the Tesla Model Y seeing the most growth by far (note, though, that this is an informed estimate rather than official US stats from Tesla). Rivian took the silver medal in this case, followed by two Hyundai models, the IONIQ 5 and the IONIQ 6 (a new model in 2023).

Going back further, to Q3 2021, the biggest growers in terms of percentage growth were the Chevy Bolt (251%), Ford Mustang Mach-E (152%), Tesla Model Y (90%), and Volkswagen ID.4 (77%).

In terms of volume growth, the Tesla Model Y was again far in the lead, and Rivian again took the silver medal. In this case, though, the Tesla Model 3 took third place and the Hyundai IONIQ 5 got bumped down to 4th.

Overall, you can see in this last chart that BEV sales have been up dramatically year after year in the third quarter. One thing that stands out this year, though, is that non-Tesla BEV sales grew so much in Q3 2023 that they narrowly surpassed Tesla sales from Q3 2022. So, you might say non-Tesla BEV sales are catching up! Well, they are just one year behind now. But the data also shows that they are fewer than 30,000 sales behind Tesla instead of 60,000 sales behind it. Tesla sales are strong every year — they go from one record-shattering total to another. However, I do wonder how much more they can grow in 2024 without a big boost from a new model. The Cybertruck will be on the scene, but it seems that Elon Musk is not expected high-volume production and sales for a while. And Elon is normally optimistic on timelines. Can non-Tesla BEV sales catch up to Tesla sales by Q3 2024?

The following are interactive versions of the charts above (just note that they are best viewed on the big screen of a laptop or desktop computer).

What are your thoughts on these numbers, charts, and trends?


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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