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Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Tesla was once known as the only major electric vehicle (EV) automaker on the market. Then, the Chevrolet Bolt EV was released in 2017 and knocked Tesla out of the park, offering 200 horsepower, 266 lb-ft of torque, a 25 mile all-electric range (AER), and a total driving rang of 238 miles on a fully charged battery. All that for a fraction of the price ($37,495 vs $100,000+ for the Model X). Now that automakers are starting to enter their own EVs into the auto market, Tesla’s share of all EV sales is slipping. There is one small issue, though.
"Although some month-to-month volatility is to be expected, a closer look at the barriers to EV adoption shows that many new-vehicle shoppers are becoming more adamant about their decision to not consider an EV," - J.D. Power
Okay, this is a problem, and it’s one that has plagued EVs sales from the very beginning. Unless using an app like PlugShare, consumers don’t know when an EV Charging Station is available, let alone find one. They’re slowly popping up, with many hidden away in the middle of a shopping center, but until EV Charging Stations are as prevalent as gas stations, there will still be a sample of the population holding back, wary that they could end up stranded without a place to charge up. This won’t be the case forever, though.
In November 2021, the House passed the biggest U.S. infrastructure package, an investment of $7.5 billion to help build a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the country. This will, of course, take some time, but even gasoline giants like Shell are taking an interest in the construction of an electric vehicle charging network, making large investments all over the world. Volkswagen and General Motors announced a joint venture to build more EV charging stations, and Mercedes-Benz is investing billions of dollars to build 10,000 fast-charging stations across North America, Europe, and China. So, all is not lost just yet.
Electric vehicles (EVs), such as all-electric cars and trucks, made up 7-percent of the U.S. light-vehicle market in the first quarter of sales for 2023. According to new-vehicle registration data from Experian, there were a total of 257,507 EVs registered during the first quarter of 2023, an uptick of 63-percent. Of that 257k, 40-percent came from buyers of EVs from legacy brands and recent industry startups, like Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagen, Rivian, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. Based on these automakers rise in EV popularity, Chevrolet took 7.7 percent of the EV market with its Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, Ford came in third place with 13,362 EV registrations, Volkswagen increased EV sales by 244-percent, Mercedes-Benz and BMW's EV market share increased to 2.8 percent each, and California-based Rivian Automotive had 7,134 registrations – a fairly large increase from 704 units in 2022. Let’s not also forget the Hyundai Motor Group and the Kia Corp Plan S Strategy to obtain a 6.6-percent global EV market share.
The changes to the Inflation Reduction Act are sure to change these numbers over the course of 2023, now that the $7500 federal tax credit is ineligible for a number of automakers. Unless the battery components of an EV were mostly assembled or made in North America; and sourced materials from U.S. entities, were processed in the U.S. (or in a country where the U.S. has a free-trade agreement), or from materials that were recycled in North America, then the federal tax credit is gone. It’s all about supporting American business and the economy, and although that is all good and well for the country, it’s ticking off a lot of people. Kia has plans to combat this by offering a $7500 discount and new finance options for EVs in its lineup like the Kia EV6, but it’s only a pebble in a large pond. More automakers will surely find their own ways to combat the changes in the Inflation Reduction Act, in effect until 2032. After all, just about every major automaker had plans to release more EVs between now and 2030.
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