EVs Continue Growth Unabated

There has been a lot written about the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) in recent years, and the importance of electric utilities being prepared for this growth, especially as it relates to having the generating capacity and the specific infrastructure in place to meet the growing demand for EV infrastructure charging of these vehicles.

Just how much of a demand is there these days for EVs and the related charging infrastructure? According to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicle sales in the U.S. have increased in recent years as sales have decreased for non-hybrid gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles. According to the EIA, using data from Wards Intelligence, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicles collectively accounted for 16 percent of light-duty vehicle sales in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2023 (2Q23).

A large portion of the sales increase was due to new manufacturer offerings across different market segments, although existing models also accounted for some of the increase in sales. Manufacturers reduced the number of non-hybrid internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle models from 318 to 297 between 2021 and 2Q23, and they increased the number of battery-electric models from 34 to 55. (In this context, a single vehicle model includes one nameplate and all the available trim levels associated with that nameplate.)

The luxury vehicle market captured 18 percent of total new vehicle sales in 2Q23, up from 14 percent in 2020. Most of the shift toward battery-electric models is in the luxury segment.
Manufacturers removed 17 luxury non-hybrid ICE vehicle models and added 19 luxury battery-electric models between 2021 and 2Q23. Battery-electric vehicles now account for 20 percent of all available luxury models, compared with seven percent of non-luxury models.

According to the EIA, model availability is an indicator of consumer acceptance within a market segment. In 2Q23, battery-electric vehicles accounted for 32 percent of total luxury sales and a little over one percent of non-luxury sales. Market segment sales data indicate that luxury-vehicle buyers are more willing to pay electric-vehicle price premiums than non-luxury market buyers are.

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