There’s no doubt about it: President Biden has supported the transition to electric vehicles in several important ways. He’s been the most EV-supportive president since Obama by a wide margin. (Yes, I know there was only one president between the two of them.) The U.S. EV tax credit gets most of the headlines — in part because it’s so complicated since it also acts as gigantic industrial reshoring policy — but initiatives to build out a lot more EV charging infrastructure are a very significant part of these EV efforts.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s NEVI (National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure) program is already stimulating growth of the country’s EV charging infrastructure, but it will have the vast majority of its impact in years to come. In any case, EV charging stations pop up every day, and the Biden administration is now eager to highlight this and take at least some of the credit for them.
“With more Americans choosing to drive EVs, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is building out a reliable and interoperable nationwide EV charging network — an undertaking never before seen in the United States. Today, the U.S. has close to 170,000 public EV chargers — a 75% increase since POTUS took office with nearly 900 new chargers coming online per week,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said today. Would most of those EV chargers exist if not for Biden’s policies. Possibly — the EV market was going to grow anyway — but there’s no denying Biden’s policies are pro-EV and helping EVs considerably.
Aside from chargers, the DOE also highlighted the growth of EVs themselves. “Today, I’m delighted to celebrate a milestone for American consumers and manufacturers: In 2023, more than 1.4 million electric vehicles were sold in the United States — a 50% increase in one year. And since President Biden took office, EV sales have more than quadrupled, with more than four million EVs on the road,” Granholm added. Again, the EV market was going to grow anyway, but there’s also no doubt that Biden’s and Democrats’ policies supported electric vehicles and helped sales grow faster. How much faster is incalculable and anyone’s guess.
We actually don’t have full stats for U.S. EV sales in 2023 yet, as a few automakers haven’t yet published their numbers. (That would be Mercedes, Lucid, and Porsche — not to mention brands that don’t report their numbers clearly at all and for which we need to estimate sales, most notably Tesla and Volvo.) However, we already know that 2023 sales of fully electric vehicles (BEVs) shot well past 2022’s record figures. In 2022, the U.S. had more than 760,000 BEV sales, far more than the 460,000+ sales of 2021, but in 2023, without the remaining figures from the three brands mentioned above, the tally has already passed 1.1 million. (Note that the DOE’s mention of 1.4 million electric vehicles includes plug-in hybrids as well as BEVs.)
Tesla is far and away the leader of the U.S. EV market, providing well above 50% of the country’s BEV sales for the past several years. It seems that trend continued in 2023. GM came in second and then Ford in third.
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