A new report from Kelley Blue Book indicates electric vehicle sales peaked in the United States in Q4 2021, accounting for 4.5 percent of all automobile sales in the final three months of the year. Despite widespread parts and chip shortages that plague the industry to this day, 2021 was the United States EV industry’s most successful year, with nearly 148,000 electrified units sold. Tesla led all manufacturers in the EV segment with 72 percent of all EV sales for the year.
The KBB report says nearly 500,000 fully-electric vehicles were purchased last year. However, it seems the entire landscape of the “electrified” category is picking up traction. Whether it would be a fully-electric car, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid, consumer data seems to show more emphasis on buying sustainable vehicle options. While fully-electric models are preferred for environmental reasons, KBB also includes plug-in and standard hybrid sales in its estimate of electrified vehicles sold, which amounts to nearly 1.5 million, it says.
“Electrified vehicle sales accounted for 9.7% of all sales in 2021, and in the fourth quarter, 11.8% of sales were electrified,” KBB said in the report. “Yet sales might have increased even more last year if inventory and supply issues had not been as problematic. For example, battery and production troubles all but eliminated Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV sales in the second half of the year, and hybrid-leader Toyota struggled with inventory throughout much of the fourth quarter.”
It is important to note that electrified vehicles include battery-electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
In the fully-electric segment, Tesla stayed atop the leaderboard in terms of market share, owning 72 percent of all EVs sold in 2021. Tesla owned 80 percent of the market share in 2020, but the company increased its overall delivery figures by 71 percent, delivering over 934,000 cars last year. Additionally, the loss of market share should not be considered a negative in Tesla’s eyes, given the company’s mission. Tesla continues to fend off competitors that emerge nearly every day. Q4 was especially potent, as 25 different EV models sold during the quarter, meaning there are plenty of options besides the four in Tesla’s lineup. Despite plenty of attractive options from other manufacturers, Tesla still remains the most purchased full-EV manufacturer in the market by a considerable margin.
According to a more in-depth analysis of the figures from KBB parent company Cox Automotive, the Model 3 was the second most popular EV in the country, being outsold only by the Model Y, which reached a whopping 39.1 percent of the total market share in the United States. The third-most-popular car in the U.S. automotive market for EVs was the Mustang Mach-E from Ford, accumulating 27,140 sales and 5.6 percent of the EV market share.
2021 presented encouraging figures for the growth of the EV sector in the U.S. It will be interesting to see what 2022 brings as more electrified models are set to hit the market before the year ends. The biggest catalyst to EV sales in the coming years could be the emerging EV pickup market, which will have new additions with the Ford F-150 Lightning in 2022, and Tesla Cybertruck and Chevrolet Silverado EV in 2023.
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