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EV registrations exceed 2% of overall US market share in December

23 February 2021

Though still a sliver of new vehicle sales, electric vehicle (EV) registrations achieved a record 1.8% share of the overall US light vehicle market in 2020, and in December reached a monthly record of 2.5% market share, according to analysis from IHS Markit.

When it comes to retail purchases - which excludes fleets - EVs accounted for 2.8% of new vehicle registrations in December, more than triple EVs' retail share of three years ago, IHS Markit said.

The increase coincides with recent automakers' announcements of substantial investments in electrification, it added.

"Consumer acceptance of [EVs] is increasing, though at a modest pace, and now is at record levels," said Tom Libby, associate director of industry analysis.

EVs' overall US market share rose while total registrations fell across the industry in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and IHS Markit expects that to continue in 2021.

10% by 2025

Sales of EVs are set to exceed a 3.5% overall market share in 2021 and climb to a more than 10% share in 2025, due to broader product offerings, according to IHS Markit. More than 100 new EV options are expected to launch between 2021 and 2025.

Repeat buyers also are critical to growth, and IHS Markit expects EV owner loyalty to continue to rise. More than half of EV households that return to the new vehicle market acquire another, up "substantially" from prior years. IHS Markit has been tracking automotive loyalty for 25 years.

"Record high EV loyalty rates imply consumer acceptance for the entire electric vehicle concept," Libby said.

However, he said there are "significant contrasts in EV adoption across different regions of the country, led by the two coasts."

EV market share is highest in the Western Region, where 4.8% of all new vehicles registered are electric, and the San Francisco market area's EV market share of 11% "far exceeds" any other major market area in the West.

Second to the West is the Northeast, with a 1.6% EV market share, and New York City's 2% EV market share is "driving the Northeast," IHS Markit said.

In the Southeast, 1.1% of 2020 new vehicle registrations were EVs, but the District of Columbia reached a 2.5% EV market share. The Southwest Region saw an EV share of 0.9% in 2020, though within the region, Austin achieved a 2.1% EV market share. The Midwest had the smallest EV market share last year at 0.8%, with Chicago the top market area in the region at 1.5% market share.

Original reporting by Donna Harris, OPIS

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