Electric vehicle sales rise as manufacturers add models

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 497 views 

Electric and hybrid vehicles comprised 16% of U.S. light-duty vehicle sales in the second quarter of 2023, according to data from Wards Intelligence. In Arkansas, slightly more than 1% of all vehicles registered in the state are electric or hybrid vehicles.

A recent U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicle sales have risen as sales have declined for non-hybrid gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles. Following are the total U.S. vehicle sales percentages for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles: 7.2%, 1.7% and 6.7%, respectively.

The increase in hybrid and electric vehicle sales was attributed to new manufacturer offerings across market segments, but existing models also accounted for some of the rise. Between 2021 and the second quarter of 2023, manufacturers decreased the number of non-hybrid internal combustion engine vehicle models from 318 to 297. Meanwhile, they increased the number of battery-electric models from 34 to 55. A single vehicle model includes one nameplate and all the vehicle trim levels related to the nameplate.

Most of the shift toward battery-electric models is in the luxury segment. Between 2021 and the second quarter of 2023, manufacturers removed 17 luxury non-hybrid internal combustion engine models and added 19 luxury battery-electric models. Luxury vehicles accounted for 18% of total new vehicle sales in the second quarter, up from 14% in 2020.

Battery-electric vehicles account for 20% of all available luxury models and 7% of non-luxury models. According to the EIA, model availability is an indicator of consumer acceptance within a market segment. In the second quarter of 2023, battery-electric vehicles comprised 32% of total luxury sales and more than 1% of non-luxury sales. Luxury vehicle buyers are more willing to pay electric-vehicle price premiums than non-luxury market buyers.

Scott Hardin, spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, said Pulaski County has the largest number of electric vehicles registered in Arkansas. Benton County has the second-most, and Washington County is third.

Currently, 4,584 electric and 34,332 hybrid vehicles are registered in Arkansas, Hardin said. That’s up 53% from the 2,997 electric vehicles registered at the end of May 2022 and up 25% from the 27,441 hybrid vehicles registered at that time.

“We surpassed 4,000 fully electric vehicles earlier this year,” Hardin said. “While a 53% increase in fully electric vehicles is certainly notable, the top three vehicles registered in Arkansas remain trucks (Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra). We have about 2.8 million passenger vehicles registered in the state, and 38,916 of those are electric or hybrid vehicles.”