Tesla Continues Strong Lead, But Competition Grows
While the economy appears to have hit a speed bump, electric vehicle sales continue to soar as more vehicles enter the market and automakers are trying to keep up with demand. Pure EV sales set a record–for the first half of 2022 are up 66% compared to last year in a market that overall is down 20%. Total EV sales for January-June total was 315,023, according to Cox Automotive. The total involves some estimates since several companies either don’t break out individual model sales (Tesla) or differentiate sales of EVs from other models with the same name (several automakers).
Here’s the breakout of the top 10 EVs in sales:
- Tesla Model Y 108,000
- Tesla Model 3 90,100
- Tesla Model S 20,300
- Ford Mustang Mach-E 17,675
- Hyundai Ioniq 5 13,692
- Kia EV6 12,568
- Tesla Model X 10,300
- Nissan Leaf 7,622
- Chevrolet Bolt EV/EUV 7,303
- Rivian R1T/R1S 5.694
It shouldn’t be surprising when you scan the list of EVs (particularly the down-list models where there are several Audis and BMWs as well as the pricey GMC Hummer), but the average sales price for an EV during the first half of the year was $66,000, according to Kelly Blue Book. That’s significantly higher than the overall average vehicle sale price, which has risen to $46,000.
While pure EV sales were up compared to last year, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), hybrids (HEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) were down. The best-selling plug-in hybrid was the Jeep Wrangler 4xe while hybrids were dominated by Toyota/Lexus models that took 55% of that market segment.
Leaf to Leave?
The rumor this week, traced to unnamed sources inside Nissan, was that the Nissan Leaf, the first and long-time leader (until Tesla cranked up Model 3 production) was that the Leaf would disappear from the market when the current model reached the end of its lifecycle. Though still a solid seller (and well-represented on the used EV market), the Leaf has been eclipsed by new models with longer ranges and flashier pedigrees. It would be a shame if it disappeared, but even more of a shame if the reason is Nissan is allocating its diminishing resources to non-EV projects.
One bright spot for the Leaf may be that the tightening economic situation may redirect more attention by EV buyers to the relative “bargains” of the EV world such as the Leaf and Chevy Bolt. In the meantime, our message to Nissan is–it’s 2022, what else have you got besides the Leaf and the long-promised (but still not on the market according to sales reports) Ariya?
Where Do We Go From Here?
Electric vehicles are trending for a variety of reasons. Yes, one of those is they are just trendy, but more significantly they have proven themselves in the real world. They are not science experiments or beta testing projects (with some exceptions that we won’t go into), but functional vehicles that work at whatever task is thrown their way–from hauling people (still waiting on a full electric minivan, Chrysler) to lighting up your house in a power outage (thank you, Ford Lightning). EVs now have a track record as fun-to-drive, low maintenance vehicles. Sharpen your pencils and you’ll find the total cost of ownership over the typical vehicle’s life looks better than an internal combustion engine, even with a higher initial purchase price for the EV.
Based on that and the slew of new EVs coming on the market in the next few years, I think the trajectory of the EV market (5.6% of the total market for the first half of 2022) will continue, even with a recession. I believe that because a recession will heighten buyers sense of practicality and electric vehicles are the most practical choice out there. There are still a few niches to fill, but I’m confident that among the 100+ new models we’ll see over the next few years, vehicle choice will broaden and no one will be able to say–“Oh, I’d buy an EV, but they don’t make X model.” The early indicator for this is scattered throughout the extended sales chart–three electric pickup models are on the market and struggling to keep up with demand–the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV. And more are coming.
These are exciting times and we’ll be tracking them all here at Clean Fleet Report. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know every time we’ve tracked down the latest news.