If you're seeing more electrified vehicles on the road these days - it's not your imagination. All-electric and hybrid vehicle sales are up - and climbing fast - according to a new Kelley Blue Book report.
Auto sales are up across the board in 2021 compared to 2020, and while the market's seen growth in nearly every segment, KBB says no segment is growing faster than electrified vehicles. The segment includes pure electrics, hybrids and plug-in hybrids. KBB reports that new-vehicle demand is up across the board as the country emerges from the depths of last year's pandemic-ridden 2020, and while inventory-shortages and supply-chain issues, the general public's interest in EVs continues to grow.
Here's some of the data from Kelley Blue Book and Cox Automotive. According to analysis of Q2 2021 data from KBB - sales of electrified vehicles climbed 201.1% year-over-year - with a total of 375,000 combined EVs and hybrids sold. Of those - sales of pure electric vehicles surpassed 100,000 units in Q2, which is a first. Hybrid sales topped 250,000 units. When we look at total EV market share - it's doubled year-over-year. Electrified vehicle sales accounted for 8.5% of total sales in Q2, up from 7.8% in Q1 and 4.2% in Q2 2020. Cox Automotive also reports that the Chevrolet Bolt EV delivered a record second-quarter and first-half deliveries,
So why the growing demand for EVs? KBB points to increasing gas prices. Citing an AAA report that shows prices have risen 40% from the beginning of the year, KBB says research consistently shows that when prices are up, consumers start thinking about more efficient vehicles. KBB also cites a recent Cox Automotive 'quick poll' that found that 30% of consumers indicated they would either be "extremely likely or very likely" to consider an EV for their next purchase. KBB says that's significantly higher than what is typical. KBB"s ongoing Brand Watch study usually records a much lower percentage number, in the 5% to 7% range.
"While low inventory could impact the market's current trajectory, it's still safe to say that 2021 will be a record-setting year for electrified vehicles in the United States – and we're confident that 2022 will beat 2021," said Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book. "Automakers continue to release more electrified vehicles, whether hybrid versions of established nameplates or all-new electrified models. Car buyers are increasingly attracted to these options. The electrified market is currently dominated by hybrids and plug-ins, but automakers future plans favor pure electric vehicles. The progress may be slow, but the path is set."
The number of EVs and hybrid options continues to grow. In fact, some vehicles like the Toyota Sienna minivan are now offered as a hybrid-only. KBB says hybrids now account for roughly 25% of Toyota's total volume. Even off-roaders are going hybrid like the new Jeep Wrangler 4xe. Volvo rolls out its first dedicated all-electric vehicle, the Volvo C40, soon. Two of the most talked about EVs this year are the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4.
Things are also interesting where Tesla is concerned. KBB says while Tesla is still the dominant force in the market, its share in the market place is dropping, even as sales increase. Tesla's Model Y remains the best-selling EV on the market – one in three EVs sold is a Model Y – but as the months and quarters pass, Tesla represents a smaller piece of the growing EV market. You can see the decline in market share in the numbers. In Q2, KBB reports that Tesla's share of the EV segment in the U.S. stood at 64%, down from 71% in Q1 and 83% a year earlier.
Lea Malloy, assistant vice president of Research & Development for Cox Automotive Mobility, added, "We believe battery-powered vehicles will be the dominant form of transportation in the future. That day is still a long way off, but we're encouraged by the continual growth in interest in electrified vehicles. The current trajectory is an important wake-up call for the industry—we all need to be doing more to prepare for a future with more electrified vehicles."
To check out the updated 2021 Car Pro Guide to Electric Cars, click here.