The US electric vehicle market continues to grow — despite many headlines implying the contrary. In the 4th quarter, sales of full battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) were up 29% compared to sales in the 4th quarter of 2022. Compared to the 4th quarter of 2021, sales were up 122%.
The market continues to diversify as well, with more electric models joining the market every quarter. In fact, every quarter in the past two years — since Q4 2021 — has included at least one new BEV model.
Naturally, though, some are much more popular than others, and despite all of this growth and expansion, Tesla continues to hold true dominance over the market. In the 4th quarter of 2023, Tesla accounted for 56% of all BEV sales in the country.
The model that has been biggest growth driver in the past few years — by far — has been the Tesla Model Y. After that, the Chevy Bolt, the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian’s models, the Hyundai IONIQ 5, and the Volkswagen ID.4 have been big growth drivers. If you add the volume sales growth of all of those models together for the 4th quarter of 2023 compared to the 4th quarter of 2021, they contributed slightly more volume growth than the Model Y.
If you look at brand share of the US EV market in the 4th quarter, it is indeed Ford, Rivian, Mercedes, Chevy, Hyundai, and Volkswagen that follow Tesla as the leading brands in the market, in that order. Looking at auto groups instead, the leaders are Tesla, Ford, GM, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai–Kia, Rivian, and Mercedes — in that order.
Looking at the big picture over the past 4 years in the 4th quarter, you can see how sales have grown and grown and grown, whether those are overall BEV sales, Tesla sales, or non-Tesla BEV sales.
Zooming in a bit at model changes year over year in the 4th quarter, we can see that the Cadillac LYRIQ and Hummer EV had phenomenal growth in percentage terms, but that was due to them starting from tiny amounts in Q4 2022.
If you remove those two models, you can get a better look at the change in the other models. The Mercedes EQB, which has been ramping up quarter after quarter since it hit the market in Q3 2023, grew an impressive 446%. The Subaru Solterra also had strong growth, but it arrived on the market in Q4 2023, so that’s to be expected. Though, like the EQB, it has ramped up sales every quarter since it was introduced. Overall, that’s the story — several new EV models have been getting introduced and then have been ramping up sales. That’s a big part of why the market has been growing how it has.
Going back one year further, we have a similar issue as above with the Hummer EV, but then also with the Chevy Bolt and Hyundai IONIQ 5 — they were starting from such small sales quarters that growth was enormous in volume terms.
Cutting those three models out, this is what we see:
As you can see there, so few models were on the market just two years ago that we don’t have much to compare to! The ID.4 is up nicely, a few Tesla models are up nicely, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E is up nicely. (Ignore headlines about EV sales drooping.) Tesla Model 3 sales were down slightly, but much of that has to be attributed to the Model Y taking over and people waiting for the new Model 3 Highland. The Porsche Taycan, unfortunately, took a bit of a tumble, but, again, I’d attribute that to so much new competition. And the Nissan LEAF dropped a large 68%, but really, it’s not competitive these days. There are too many other better options in its price range.
Lastly, here’s a chart showing volume changes:
There are several good models at the top there, but also noteworthy is just how long the tail of EV models looks. We’re finally starting to get a market that looks a little diverse. Maybe it’s not Chinese or European levels, but it’s something! Let’s rejoice.
For more fun, see an interactive version of one of the charts from above here:
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Latest CleanTechnica TV Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.