Kirsten Von Busch, product marketing director at Experian, detailed the consumer behavior of EV buyers recently at the National Auto Auction Association Convention in Chicago.  -  Photo: Martin Romjue / Bobit

Kirsten Von Busch, product marketing director at Experian, detailed the consumer behavior of EV buyers recently at the National Auto Auction Association Convention in Chicago.

Photo: Martin Romjue / Bobit

Despite the crosswinds now facing the electric vehicle sector, 2023 is shaping up to be one for the green vehicle record books.

It’s been a year of spiking interest in EVs and commercial activity across the U.S., and while still a small percentage of ground transportation, EVs show the potential of growing at a measured if not always meteoric pace.

An industry specialist with Experian recently presented an overview of the national EV market, signaling which new electric vehicles buyers prefer and will eventually end up downstream in the used vehicle markets.

EVs Gain Deeper Crust Slice of the U.S. Vehicle Fleet

As of today, there are a total of 286 million cars and light-duty trucks in the U.S. with 2.7 million of them electric vehicles or 1% of the total, said Kirsten Von Busch, product marketing director for Experian, during a session at the National Auto Auction Association convention held in late September in Chicago.

About 850,000 new EVs were registered in the 12 months before September, comprising about 7.5% of all new retail-purchased EV registrations. At the end of 2022, EV registrations were 6%, up from 5% in the spring of that year.

“A staggering number of EVs are entering the market,” Von Busch said. Luxury EVs comprise 77% of the market, and non-luxury EVs, 23%. Within the luxury EV market, Tesla holds the largest share at 82%.

When looking at all electrified vehicles, which include hybrids and PHEVs, new registrations are about 18% of the market. When factoring in electric taxis and rental vehicles, the total number of EV registrations exceeds 900,000.

From September 2022 to September 2023, used EV registrations reached 169,000, less than 1% of total used vehicle registrations, she said.

Stats & Facts About Electrification in the U.S.

Von Busch presented a slide show of stats providing deeper insights into the EV market:

New EV retail registrations by segment:

  • Cars: 29%
  • CUVs 22%
  • Pickups: 4%
  • SUVs .26%
  • Vans: .08%
  • Sports cars: 1.48%

The top new EV retail registrations by make and model are:

  1. Tesla: 63.8%
  2. Ford: 6.7%
  3. Chevrolet: 4.6%

EV Models with 3%+ market share:

  • Tesla Model Y: 31.2%
  • Tesla Model 3: 25.4%
  • Ford Mustang Mach E: 5.2%
  • Tesla Model X: 4.3%
  • Tesla Model S: 4.1%
  • Chevrolet Bolt EUV: 3.2%
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5: 3.2%

EV Happening Hot Spots

As expected, California leads in new EV registrations, with highest concentrations in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, followed by New York, Washington, D.C./Baltimore, Seattle and San Diego, Tampa and Orlando, Sacramento, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago and Dallas, and Phoenix.

The fastest growing EV designated market areas (DMAs) based on five-year YOY growth:

  1. Tucson, Arizona
  2. Colorado Springs
  3. Orlando, Florida
  4. Oklahoma City
  5. Las Vegas, Nevada
  6. Reno, Nevada
  7. Virginia Beach/Norfolk, Virginia
  8. Cleveland, Ohio
  9. San Antonio, Texas
  10. Greensboro, North Carolina

This provides clues as to where EVs will be coming into downstream auctions in future years, Von Busch said.

In the non-luxury segment of EVs September to September, the following major automakers garnered these market shares:

  • Chevrolet: 24%
  • Ford 24%
  • VW: 16%
  • Hyundai 15%
  • Kia 9%

Among specific models, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV and Bolt get 23% market share, with the VW ID.4 at 16%; Ford Mustang Mach E, 16%; Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck, 8%; and Nissan Leaf at 4%.

Related Article: Setbacks Emerge for EVs

Non-luxury EV buyers are being found in places not readily assumed to be EV-friendly.

“The long-held myth about people not buying EVs in mountains and dry climates is not true,” Von Busch said, citing stats from Recurrent which tracks EV uptake in great depth and detail. “From a heat map perspective, climate affects range, but people in those areas are buying EVs. No one is debating that temperature has an impact on range.”

Who Are EV Buyers?

In sizing up characteristics of typical EV buyers, Von Busch pointed out:

  • 85% of EV owners also own a gas vehicle in their households.
  • 11% also have a hybrid vehicle.
  • 4% of U.S. households run only EVs.

A higher percentage of Millennials (b.1982-1996) and Gen X (b.1965-1981) are buying EVs when compared to overall vehicles.

Fewer members of Gen Z (b.1997-2011), Baby Boomers (b.1946-1964), and Silent generation (b.1925-1945) are buying EVs as a percentage of total registrations.

Percentage breakdowns of new EVs bought by the generations in 2022:

  • Silent: 2.1%
  • Boomers: 20.6%
  • Gen. X: 37.5%
  • Millennials: 34.4%
  • Gen Z: 5%

Among EV buyers, the motives are shifting more from gaining the newest technology to advancing eco- and environmental preservation, Von Busch said.

More info from Experian Automotive Market Insights: EV Resource Center page which includes an EV Year in Review Infographic for 2022

About the author
Martin Romjue

Martin Romjue

Managing Editor of Fleet Group, Charged Fleet Editor, Vehicle Remarketing Editor

Martin Romjue is the managing editor of the Fleet Trucking & Transportation Group, where he is also editor of Charged Fleet and Vehicle Remarketing digital brands. He previously worked as lead editor of Bobit-owned Luxury, Coach & Transportation (LCT) Magazine and LCTmag.com from 2008-2020.

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