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BEV sales passed new milestone in the U.S. in 2023; state adoption varies

Zachary Visconti

Jan 8, 2024

New data shows that the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market continued to grow in the U.S. last year, while adoption rates varied from one state to the next.

U.S. BEV sales reached a milestone of 1.1 million units in 2023, according to data shared by Cox Automotive in a webcast on Monday. The figure, as presented in the webcast by Cox Director of Industry Insights Stephanie Valdez Streaty, represents roughly 8 percent of overall automotive sales for the year and a 46 percent increase year over year.

“2023 was the year of the EV, with many bumps and zigzags along the way,” Streaty said during the webcast. “The market has experienced its share of challenges. Some new electric models have flown off the lots, while others linger far longer. However, the EV market is growing.”

Along with the full-year sales, Cox said that BEV sales were up roughly 0.8 percent in Q4 from the previous quarter, and the firm expects continued growth going into 2024 and the coming years.

Tesla remained the BEV market leader in 2023, with a total of 654,888 units sold in the U.S. for a 25.4 percent increase year over year. The BEV maker also saw a total market share of 4.2 percent, leading automakers like Volkswagen, Subaru, BMW, and a number of others.

Additional OEMs that saw significant gains included overall market leader General Motors (GM), with a 14.1 percent sales increase year over year, and Honda, which saw a 33 percent jump in sales from 2022.

Considering both hybrid and BEV powertrains, EV market share landed around 16 percent last year, and Cox is expecting this combined share to jump to 24 percent in 2024, and to 31 percent in 2025. In those years alone, the market is set to gain 70 new EV models which are expected to help give momentum to the continued rise in market share.

Still, Streaty also pointed out that EV adoption rates vary from state to state, with those on the West Coast generally leading the charge. She also notes that the sales adoption numbers come from S&P registration data, and a lag in reporting these numbers means the following details are only through October 2023, rather than the full year.

While states like California and Washington boasted EV share rates of 21.1 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively, others lagged well behind the national standard of around 7.4 percent through October. States such as West Virginia and North Dakota saw EV adoption rates as low as 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Cox plans to release its larger EV report later this week, including more full-year 2023 sales details for BEVs in the U.S. You can also see the firm’s full set of presentation slides from the Monday webcast here.

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