US EV Sales Up 143%, Walmart Electric Semis, & Cheap Electric Vehicles — Top Cleantech News

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The past week or two has included several original CleanTechnica reports that I think are especially noteworthy and fun to look through — otherwise, I wouldn’t spend so much time making them. There were also some hot news stories and some enticing takes on what is to come. Let’s dive in.

1. First of all, US full electric vehicle (BEV) sales were up 143% in the 3rd quarter of 2023 compared to the 3rd quarter of 2021. Anyone who tells you the BEV market isn’t growing or demand isn’t strong is either uninformed or biased — don’t be fooled! The Tesla Model Y and Model 3 still dominate sales, accounting for 50% of US BEV sales, but there were also notable performances from the Chevy Bolt, Rivian’s EVs, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Hyundai IONIQ 5, and the Volkswagen ID.4.

2. Actually, if you look at sales from a relative basis (which often makes more sense), the story changes a bit. Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Porsche lead the charge in terms of percentage of their auto sales that are BEV sales. In fact, though, these four brands were the only brands that were above the 10% marker in the USA.

If you look at the same thing from an OEM/auto group perspective, Volkswagen Group (12.1%) and Mercedes (11.6%) come out on top as the only companies above 10%.

I love the charts above for understanding what’s going on on a regular basis, but it’s still useful at times to focus more on which brands/groups see the most volume sales overall. Doing that, Tesla, Ford, Hyundai, Chevrolet, and Rivian rise to the top.

3. One may think the whole auto industry is up a lot and discount BEV sales growth, but the US auto industry is actually still down 8% compared to 2019, and it’s just up 16% compared to last year (in all cases here, I’m comparing Q3).

4. While Tesla is quite dominant in the US BEV market and several other markets, its avenues for massive vehicle sales growth are tight and narrowing. However … the Tesla Optimus bot may bust open the growth ceiling for Tesla again. I’m convinced it will.

5. One CleanTechnica reader highlighted two huge milestones in the EV world: Tesla just recently passed 5 million cumulative sales and China passed 20 million cumulative EV sales.

6. Overall, a recent BloombergNEF report on electric vehicles found yet again that EV sales have been growing faster than BloombergNEF, Exxon, BP, OPEC, and others have been forecasting. Who would’ve thought? (Oh yeah, most CleanTechnica readers!)

7. Part of this strong EV sales growth is because electric vehicle prices have gotten much closer to conventional vehicle prices. The “EV premium” has dropped from more than 30% to less than 10% in the past year!

8 & 9. As two examples of how competitive EVs are getting, we’ve recently published stories on how you could get a Ford F-150 Lightning for just $37,000 in Colorado and could get a Tesla Model 3 for just $20,000 in New Jersey. Both stories come with some footnotes, but those low prices are uplifting nonetheless.

10. The unfortunate news is that just 10 BEV models will qualify for the full US EV tax credit ($7,500) starting in January 2024. That’s going to hurt EV competitiveness and demand for a bit in the first half of 2024.

11. I don’t know how to create a segue for this one, but the new “golden battery” the Zeekr 007 will use, and its superfast charging that can add 500 km (311 miles) of driving range in 15 minutes, is a big step forward in EV batteries. Kudos to Zeekr for getting it done and leading the way yet again.

12. Returning to that recent BloombergNEF report on electric vehicles, the team found that BEVs are already cutting oil demand by about 1.8 million models per day. What’s especially interesting here, though, is that electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers have been cutting oil us more than electric cars or trucks!

13. Speaking of electric two-wheelers, I love this 248-mile electric cargo bike! Anyone getting that bike for Christmas is a lucky dude or gal!

14. Last but not least, Walmart has adopted its first three electric semi truck trailers. The retail giant plans to have a 100% electric fleet eventually. Sooner rather than later would be great!

That’s my list of the 14 biggest stories of the past couple of weeks. Which stories or op-eds would you put on the list?

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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.

Zachary Shahan has 7292 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan