Sales of electrified vehicles skyrocketed during the second quarter this year, rising 201.1% compared with the year-ago period.
According to Kelley Blue Book, pure EV purchases exceeded 100,000 for the quarter, marking the first time that’s happened. Additionally, hybrids — including plug-in hybrids — added another 250,000-plus units to the electrified vehicle tally for the quarter.
The demand for these vehicles is increasing as gas prices remain above the $3 mark. AAA reported prices at the pump are 40% higher now than they were at this time last year when COVID-19-related travel restrictions were in place.
More sales means a larger market share, Cox Automotive analysts noted. Electrified vehicle sales accounted for 8.5% of total sales in Q2, up from 7.8% in Q1 and 4.2% in Q2 2020.
Why EVs are gaining in popularity
AAA noted when gas prices rise so do sales of more efficient vehicles. According to a Cox Automotive poll, 30% of consumers are “extremely likely or very likely” to consider buying an electrified vehicle for the next vehicle.
That 30% is significantly higher than what is typical, given that EV consideration usually hovers in the 5% to 7% range according to Kelley Blue Book’s ongoing Brand Watch study.
“While low inventory could impact the market’s current trajectory, it’s still safe to say that 2021 will be a record-setting year for electrified vehicles in the United States — and we’re confident that 2022 will beat 2021,” said Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book.
“Automakers continue to release more electrified vehicles, whether hybrid versions of established nameplates or all-new electrified models. Car buyers are increasingly attracted to these options. The electrified market is currently dominated by hybrids and plug-ins, but automakers’ future plans favor pure electric vehicles. The progress may be slow, but the path is set.”
More options means more sales
For so long, the options in the EV market were limited to expensive with limited range, i.e. Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, or more expensive with better range, i.e. the Tesla line-up and Chevrolet Bolt. In the last year, that’s changed.
The Leaf is still around and its range is less than any Tesla and the new Bolt, but there are now options from Hyundai, Kia and, perhaps most successfully, Ford. The Mustang Mach-E has been a success for the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker.
In fact, the new EV, which made its debut last fall, is reportedly responsible for Tesla’s drop in EV market share. In Q2, Tesla’s share of the EV segment in the United States stood at 64%, down from 71% in Q1 and 83% a year earlier, Cox revealed.However, it’s also been joined by Hyundai’s battery-electric offerings: the Kona and Ioniq. The Kia Niro made some inroads in the last year as well. For those with a bigger budget, the Porsche Taycan as well as Panamera provide options too.