EVs and hybrids now make up 16% of US light-duty vehicle sales – this is who’s buying them

Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery EVs collectively accounted for 16% of US light-duty vehicle sales in the second quarter of 2023, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

EV sales are on the rise in the US

The EIA, which reviewed data from Wards Intelligence, also notes that inversely, sales have also decreased for gas and diesel vehicles.

US EV sales growth was largely down to new manufacturer offerings across different market segments – more on that later – although current models also made up some of the jump in sales.

Manufacturers reduced the number of ICE vehicle models from 318 to 297 between 2021 and Q2 2023, and they increased the number of battery-electric models from 34 to 55. (The EIA categorizes a single vehicle model as including one nameplate and all the available trim levels associated with that nameplate.)

It was the luxury vehicle market that captured 18% of total new vehicle sales in Q2 2023, up from 14% in 2020, and most of the EV uptake is taking place in in the luxury segment. Automakers canceled 17 luxury ICE vehicle models and added 19 luxury EV models between 2021 and Q2 2023.

Battery-electric vehicles now account for 20% of all available luxury models, compared with 7% of non-luxury models.

Electrek’s Take

Automakers know that luxury is the market segment in which to sell EVs: The EIA says it’s because luxury vehicle market buyers are more willing to pay EV price premiums than non-luxury market buyers.

It also noted that “in Q2 2023, battery-electric vehicles accounted for 32% of total luxury sales and a little over 1% of non-luxury sales.”

Those percentages really shine a light on the US EV market segment sales disparity. If the US is to reach the goal set by the Biden administration to have 50% of all new US vehicle sales be electric by 2030, then automakers are going to need to figure out how to attract more non-luxury market buyers. The automakers will also need to work to get dealerships singing from the same songsheet.

Read more: In a first, renewables beat coal in the US power sector in 2022


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