Electric vehicle volumes are soaring in the United States – with registrations up 60% in the first quarter of the year – even as the country’s auto market contracted by 18% as continued shortages of parts limited inventories .
Between January and March, US consumers registered 158,689 electric vehicles, according to Experian. With electric vehicle volumes rising and automakers selling fewer fossil fuel vehicles, electric vehicles captured 4.6% of the market in the first quarter.
Tesla took four of the top 10 spots, and the brand’s Model Y, Model 3 and Model S swept the top three, according to a report from Automotive News. The Ford Mustang Mach-E took fourth place, and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6 finished fifth and sixth, respectively. (Experian reports registration data because Tesla doesn’t disclose U.S.-only sales numbers, and other automakers don’t detail sales of EV versions of certain models.)
None of the recent upstarts, including Rivian or Lucid, have made it into the top 10, although that’s hardly surprising. Both companies only recently started producing their first vehicles, which are expensive enough to limit the size of their potential market.
Yet, as these companies and other big companies like Volkswagen and GM begin to ramp up production, consumers will soon be able to choose from a range of models at various price points.
This will almost certainly lead to further gains for electric vehicles – and even more opportunities for startups to capitalize on the growth.
The most obvious winners in all of this will be battery technology startups. Venture capitalists and private equity firms have been closely monitoring automakers’ growing electrification commitments and lavishing cash on promising companies. Over the past five years, they’ve made nearly 1,700 investments in battery startups totaling $42 billion, according to a TechCrunch/PitchBook analysis. Three-quarters of these transactions were completed in the past two years.