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Turning point for electric cars could come as US sales numbers start to climb


  • Consumer electric vehicles have been available in the United States for more than a decade, but we’ve seen only small, incremental changes in sales for most of that time.
  • In the first three months of 2022, however, electric vehicle registrations increased by 60%, even as the overall market was down 18%.
  • With big EV sales comes big responsibility for charging stations, and figuring out how to provide public charging options to all these new EV drivers is an ongoing concern.

    American car buyers seem to have discovered the electric car. After a decade of slow but steady sales growth, U.S. electric vehicle registrations jumped 60% in the first quarter of 2022, even as overall new car registrations fell 18%. This is the latest indication that the acceptance of domestic electric vehicles may have recently passed an important but invisible milestone.

    The sharp increase in electric vehicle registrations at the start of this year means that the share of electric vehicles in the overall market has reached an all-time high of 4.6%. While places like Norway — where more than 86% of all new vehicle sales were electric in March — may laugh at that number, EV advocates know change happens slowly, then suddenly, or something. thing like that.

    One of the main reasons we’re seeing more electric vehicles in people’s driveways is the explosion of exciting new models, from the Ford F-150 Lightning to the Kia EV6 to the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Experian calculated that there were 158,689 new electric vehicle registrations in the first three months of the year. The big winners were electric vehicles from Tesla (up 59% to 113,882 new registrations), Kia (up more than eight times to 8,450), Ford (up 91% to 7,407) and Hyundai (up more than 300% to 6,964), according to Automotive News. These sales, along with other EVs (the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen ID.4 were both in the top 10), drove the segment to that all-time high of 4.6%, meaning a total of 3.4 million new cars were registered in the last quarter.

    More electric vehicles on the road might sound like good news, but some people see danger ahead, especially when it comes to public charging. Despite the fact that most EV charging happens at home, it’s not a solution for everyone, which means public charging needs to be readily available to some in order to keep increasing the number of electric vehicles sold. The centuries-old story of chicken versus egg remains alive and well in the world of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with history in the Los Angeles Times last month saying that DC fast-charging station operators need eight to 10 charging sessions a day to get a “decent return”, but if you also need to have enough fast chargers available for the drivers are not faced with too much waiting time. Finding the balance, especially with soaring electric vehicle sales, could prove difficult.

    Supply chain issues plaguing the auto industry may impact cars sold, as some automakers must make production decisions on which models to build or not based on the supply of semi-automatic chips. -conductors or other components in short supply. If you allow a little speculation, the fact that EVs are gaining more public attention and the higher starting prices of many EVs could be two potential reasons for automakers to prioritize EVs over internal combustion engine vehicles.

    Automotive News notes that it and Experian used the registration data to get a clearer picture of electric vehicle sales in the United States, since, for example, Tesla does not release sales numbers. Other industry analysts have slightly different numbers for EV sales at the start of 2022, but they all show significant increases over last year. Cox Automotive’s estimate of EV market share for the first quarter of 2022, for example, was 5.2% versus 2.5% in 2021. Whatever the exact numbers, there’s definitely something going on. the low.

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