Electric vehicle sales in the United States are surging, nearly doubling from a year ago. This trend is eroding the long-held belief that drivers aren’t ready for electric vehicles, prompting some analysts to rethink their forecasts.
Tyson Jominy, who serves as the vice president in charge of the data and analytics at the J.D. Power, a worldwide consumer intelligence company headquartered in Michigan, said, “We used to have a lot of pretty definitive estimates.” “We had to blow those up since adoption is moving at a much faster pace.” Electric vehicles accounted for around 2% of total car sales last year. According to current figures, that number surged to about 5% of light-duty cars such as sedans and SUVs and more than 20% of all passenger vehicle sales this summer (Climatewire, September 24).
However, supporters fear that without stronger state and federal policies, higher EV adoption rates could stall, jeopardizing President Biden’s objective of decarbonizing the industry by 2050. Nonetheless, the recent growth in sales is noteworthy, owing to a variety of vehicle types across manufacturers, improved customer awareness, and government backing, among other factors.
“EV sales are really exploding,” stated Ryan Gallentine, who works as the policy director at the Advanced Energy Economy. “When you see automakers establishing EV-only assembly factories and announcing new battery manufacturing facilities, it tells me they’re putting their future on electric vehicles.”
Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation unveiled plans this week to invest $11.4 billion in new manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and Tennessee to produce electric vehicles and the batteries which power them (Energywire, September 28). By 2030, the business, together with GM, Stellantis, and others, expects 40 to 50 percent of automobile sales to be electric, which is consistent with the Biden administration’s strategy. Transportation is the major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, accounting for 29% of total emissions. The majority of the heat-trapping gases are released by automobiles.
According to analysts, the spike in EV demand is due in part to the introduction of new models. “Consumer choice has skyrocketed,” said Chris Harto, a Consumer Reports senior transportation as well as energy policy expert. “Until one year or two earlier, if you needed an EV, you had to acquire a small vehicle, which isn’t very popular even for gasoline cars.”
SUVs account for just under 60% of all car sales in the United States. So, unless drivers desired a little electric vehicle or a high-priced Tesla, they were not lucky. That isn’t the case now. Smaller crossovers, such as the Volkswagen ID.4 and the future Hyundai Ioniq 5, are available. More midsize crossovers, such as the Toyota bZ4X, are coming. Ford also aims to introduce larger SUVs in 2023, including electrified versions of the Lincoln Aviator and Explorer.