More than a million EV units were purchased by Americans in a single year for the first time ever in 2023, as electric vehicles continue to win a steadily larger share of the U.S. market according to recent research.
Data presented in the “Zero-Emission Vehicles Factbook” by BloombergNEF shows that EV sales accounted for about 7 percent of total vehicle purchases in the USA this year, setting new records.
U.S. EV sales still lag global sales of electric vehicles, which edged upward from 14 percent in 2022 to 15 percent in 2023. The biggest drivers of battery-electric vehicle sales remain China and, to a somewhat lesser degree, Europe, Nevertheless, American purchases of zero-emission vehicles reached 8.8 percent in 2023’s first half.
Overall, 22 million EVs are currently being driven in China, while 12 million are on the road in Europe, primarily in France and Germany, but with Italy and other countries catching up. The electric passenger car fleet in the USA is now about 5.1 million vehicles strong, putting it in third place, but with a 300-percent increase since 2020.
While Q4 data isn’t yet available, Q3 2023 saw record quarterly EV sales in the United States. Americans bought more than 313,000 electric vehicles during July, August, and September of this year. Quarterly sales were up noticeably from last year, with electric models accounting for 6.1 percent of sales in Q3 2022 and 7.9 percent of all sales during Q3 2023.
Several factors are helping to drive EV adoption, including the greatly increased number of available models, which now include SUVs and pickups along with crossovers. The incentives offered by the Inflation Reduction Act have also assisted with sweetening the deal for American vehicle buyers.
The million-EV milestone for the year, which counts only pure battery-electric vehicles and not plug-in hybrids or other partially electrified vehicles, lends addition credence to a summer 2022 analyst prediction that electric vehicle adoption has reached a tipping point in the U.S.
In that particular Bloomberg study, 5 percent of overall light-vehicle sales was noted as the likely pivotal number beyond which mass adoption would pick up significant momentum, based on statistical analysis of smartphone adoption.