EV market share stalls just as they help US vehicles become heaviest ever
Automakers that sell their vehicles in the US seem to be approaching their electric models in the same way they do gas-powered cars, making them big and heavy, with huge batteries. The electric Hummer or Escalade, for instance, were announced with battery packs that break the 200 kWh capacity barrier, while the Rivian R1T or Ford F-150 Lightning batteries are way north of 100 kWh on average.
Just the GMC Hummer EV's steel-clad battery pack alone weighs 2,818 lbs, for instance, as much as a smaller gas-powered car. The renewed appetite for larger cars and the added battery weight of electric vehicles has added 175 pounds to the average weight of a vehicle in the US just since 2020, for a record 4,329 pounds in 2022, according to the EPA.
The interest in purchasing an electric vehicle seems to be tapering off somewhat, however, as, after a breakneck pace of growth, in the first half of 2023 the EV market share remained flat at 7.1%. For comparison, the share of electric vehicle sales in the US grew from 3.1% in 2021 to 5.6% in 2022, despite the record high Tesla car prices, or the lack of the US$7,500 new EV tax credit that kicked in this January.
Analysts cite high EV prices for the lack of market share growth this year, as most early adopters seem to have already grabbed one, while the average consumer in the US seems to still be on the fence about electric vehicles. There are more EV makers with more cars vying for the user's attention now, too, but their mass market sub-US$25,000 models reportedly won't start trickling down before 2025, Tesla Model 2 including, so in the meantime the lull in EV market share growth may continue.
As for which EV maker sold the most cars in the first half of the year, it's predictably Tesla with a 60% market share, followed by Chevrolet at a faraway second 6.2%, Ford at 5.1%, Hyundai with 3.8%, and the dynamic German duo of BMW and Mercedes sitting at 3.3% share each. Volkswagen at 3%, Rivian at 2.8%, KIA at 2.5%, and Audi at 1.8% round up the top 10 EV sellers in the US, but if the Hyundai/KIA conglomerate is taken as a single entity, it immediately shoots up to second place for the most popular EV maker in the US, just after Tesla.