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The U.S. electric vehicle industry - statistics & facts

The electric vehicle (EV) market in the United States broke records in 2021, estimated at just under 607,600 light electric vehicle sales. This was approximately 83 percent more than in 2018—the year which marked the beginning of a strong demand for Tesla’s Model 3. The sedan is one of the best-selling electric vehicles on the U.S. market to date.

Competition picks up steam

Tesla continues to dominate the U.S. EV market with an estimated 302,000 electric vehicles sold in the United States in 2021. However, competition is beginning to gain momentum, and manufacturers such as General Motors are continuing to add new EV models into their range of vehicles offered. Chevrolet’s Bolt made it into the list of best-selling electric vehicle models in 2021. The model recorded its second largest sales volume that year, just under its sales in 2017—the year the model launched. General Motors intends to only sell zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and was already one of the global plug-in EV market leaders in 2021.

While Tesla dominated the plug-in electric vehicle market in 2021, it was also followed closely by the Volkswagen Group, whose worldwide electric vehicle sales soared that same year. Overall, manufacturers were looking to increase their research and development expenditure, with electric mobility at the forefront of their investments. This was in part motivated by the U.S. government’s commitment to half of all vehicle sales to be zero emission by 2030.

Low market accessibility discourages consumers

In the U.S., the minimum annual average fuel cost of all-electric light-duty vehicles was around 550 U.S. dollars cheaper than gasoline vehicles in 2021, and 1,150 U.S. dollars more affordable than diesel internal combustion engine vehicles. Despite this fuel affordability, one of the main challenges of EV ownership is accessibility for the consumer with issues such as licensing fees which were still regularly higher for electric vehicles than standard ICE vehicles in key U.S. states. This contributed to making EVs an unreachable market for consumers, with only one-fifth of all 50 states considered accessible.

Around 13 out of 20 consumers perceive the overall cost of electric vehicles to be worse than the cost of gas-powered vehicles, along with reliability and driving experience. Younger generations—Millennials and Generation Z—were reported most likely to buy an electric vehicle compared to Generation X and Baby Boomers; however, a large amount of U.S. car owners were between 50 and 74 years old, well outside the main demographic interested in EVs. Better consumer education could offer a means of overcoming this hurdle: Over half of survey respondents with good previous knowledge of electric vehicles reported being very or somewhat likely to purchase a car from this segment.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 40 most important statistics relating to "Electric vehicles in the United States".

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