Electric vehicle volumes are rising in the US – with a 60% increase in registrations in the first quarter of the year – while the country’s auto market shrank by 18% as ongoing parts shortages limited inventories.
According to Experian, US consumers registered 158,689 EVs between January and March. With EV volumes rising and automakers selling fewer fossil fuel vehicles, EVs captured 4.6% of the market in the first quarter.
Tesla took four of the top 10 places, and the brand’s Model Y, Model 3 and Model S took the top three, according to a report by Automotive News. The Ford Mustang Mach-E finished in fourth place, while Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6 were fifth and sixth respectively. (Experian reports registration data because Tesla doesn’t disclose US-only sales and other automakers don’t disclose sales of EV versions of certain models.)
None of the recent entrants, including Rivian or Lucid, broke into the top 10, although that’s not surprising. Both companies have only recently started production of their first vehicles, which are expensive enough to limit the size of their potential market.
But as those companies and other major companies like Volkswagen and GM begin to ramp up production, consumers will soon be able to choose from a range of models at different price points.
That will certainly bring even more profits for EVs – and even more opportunities for startups to take advantage of the growth.
The most obvious winners in all of this are battery technology startups. Venture capitalists and private equity firms have followed automakers’ growing commitments to electrification closely and have invested money in promising companies. Over the past five years, they have made nearly 1,700 investments in battery-powered startups totaling $42 billion, according to a Marketingwithanoy/PitchBook analysis. Three quarters of those deals have been closed in the past two years.