As more and more electric vehicles hit the market, it would be reasonable to assume that sales of EVs would be rising consistently. However, according to new figures, that’s not the case.
The Los Angeles Times reports that while 45 new all-electric and plug-in hybrids debuted in the U.S. last year, just 325,000 EVs and plug-in hybrids were sold across the nation in 2019, a fall of 6.8 per cent from the 349,000 of the year prior. Numbers regarding how many EVs were sold in California last year aren’t available quite yet.
“The number of battery-electric models available more than doubled last year, but EV sales didn’t budge much. That’s troubling,” the head of the automotive practice at consulting firm AlixPartners, Mark Wakefield said.
A number of factors could explain this. For starters, it seems as though range anxiety remains a serious cause for concern among consumers. In addition, electric vehicles remain more expensive than their ICE-powered rivals and with some of the government’s generous subsidies ending for many of the market’s best-selling EVs, buyers are feeling the pinch. What’s more, gas prices remain low and stable.
Then there’s Tesla. The car manufacturer has created a lifestyle brand and its models are often considered as the quintessential electric car. Sales of the Model 3 jumped by 14 per cent in 2019 in the U.S. and more than doubled globally to 300,600.
Many so-called ‘Tesla killers’ have hit the market recently but failed to sell. The Jaguar I-Pace, for example, shifted just 2,594 units in the U.S. last year while the Audi e-tron registered just 5,369 sales. Cheaper alternatives like the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro also aren’t selling particularly well either, shifting 3,600 and less than 1,000 units respectively.
Will these trends change? Automakers would certainly hope so as they are investing billions of dollars into developing new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. In the meantime, it seems as though Tesla will retain its stranglehold on the EV market.