EV sales in the third quarter of 2023 achieved record-setting levels in the USA, surpassing the 300,000 quarterly sales level for the first time with a total of 313,086 all-electric vehicles sold according to Cox Automotive and Kelley Blue Book research, a 48.9 percent surge year-over-year.
Despite a recent poll suggesting the majority of Americans aren’t interested in acquiring an electric vehicle as their next automotive purchase, EV sales climbed to 7.9 percent of all vehicle purchases during Q3 2023 compared to 6.1 percent in Q3 2022, Cox revealed.
Another upcoming “first” for electric vehicles in the U.S. is the likelihood of sales surpassing one million units sometime in November. Consumers purchased slightly more than 873,000 EVs during the year’s first nine months. These figures indicate electric vehicle sales have quadrupled in just three years, with 2020 being the first year when sales passed 250,000 units.
Americans are buying more EVs for several reasons. The number of models available and the variety of body styles have both increased sharply, with 14 more electric nameplates currently on offer than in Q3 2022. Supply has also grown, while average prices are on a downtrend, making the vehicles more attractive. Tesla has led the way in this regard by dropping prices about 25 percent.
GM remains a fairly small player in the EV market at this stage, though its presence in the market is also increasing. Data shows electric vehicles accounting for 8.5 percent of Cadillac, 3.6 percent of Chevy, and 0.8 percent of GMC Q3 sales. Statistically insignificant numbers of the freshly launched Chevy Blazer EV and Chevy Silverado EV were also sold.
While Tesla’s sales rose 19.5 percent year-over-year for the quarter, the market share of Elon Musk’s company is shrinking rapidly as competitors roll out their offerings. Tesla reached its lowest-ever American market share of 50 percent during July, August, and September. Both Asian and European carmakers saw their EV sales take off as they introduced new electric models to the U.S.
Many of the foreign automakers saw triple-digit growth in sales, though this is mostly because they sold only a handful of vehicles last year. Mazda and Nissan both saw growth in excess of 300 percent. The biggest gainer in percentage terms was Volvo, growing its sales by 654 percent from 542 to 4,087 electric vehicles.
Cox concludes that the same pattern should hold over the next several years, with the number of available EV models growing exponentially while consumer purchases increase in linear fashion.