Electric cars seem immune to the downturn as US sales jump 66% in the second quarter of 2021

A cursory glance at the economy could be a daunting experience right now. Prices for cars, trucks and SUVs continue to rise amid low inventory levels. One silver lining however has emerged and that is in the way electric vehicles continue to gain traction in the market.

New data shows that the electric vehicle segment grew by 66.4% during the second quarter, from 118,235 units in the second quarter of 2021 to 196,788 in the second quarter of 2022. The increase is even greater for the first semester, as electric vehicle sales increased from 216,927 units in H1 2021 to 370,726 in H1 2022, up 75.7%.

The Cox Automotive study details the growth in several ways, but let’s focus on this total growth number first. No other segment has come close. In fact, overall, the new vehicle sales market is down 20% compared to the same period in 2021.

Even hybrids and plug-in hybrids have lost ground. Year-over-year, this segment fell 10.2%. Some of this drop is the result of production slowdowns, but it seems to indicate that with rising fuel prices, some consumers would rather ditch gas altogether in favor of all-electric if possible. Interestingly, the top-selling PHEV during the quarter was the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, although Toyota and its luxury brand, Lexus, accounted for around 55% of all hybrids sold in the first half of 2022.

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The huge jump in electric vehicle sales has been largely supported by new models. Last year, there were 19 different electric vehicles on sale in America. This year, that number has grown to 33, and these new models were responsible for nearly 30,000 new sales in the second quarter. It also helps that the Chevrolet Bolt is finally back on sale after a long hiatus that began late last year.

In fact, the total number of electric vehicle sales, 196,788, is a new all-time high and not far behind the total hybrid sales (245,204) over the same period. It wouldn’t surprise us if it overtakes the hybrid segment by the end of the year.

Finally, the sales figures for electric vehicles become even more impressive once you consider that they are far from cheap. The average price of an EV in June was $66,000. That’s considerably higher than the overall market average and, as Cox points out, it’s much more closely aligned with luxury vehicle prices.

Tesla leads the way (and the sales chart)

As for Q2 2022 top sellers, the most popular EV was the Tesla Model Y at 59,822, followed by another Tesla, the Model 3 at 54,620 units. In third position but with a notable difference with the two Teslas, we find Ford’s Mustang Mach-E with 10,941 deliveries followed by the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with 7,448 and the Kia EV6 with 7,287 units.

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