Electric vehicles (EVs), once thought of as an industry outlier, have demonstrated their staying power, with new EV registrations growing more than 250% over the last five years. According to Experian’s Automotive Consumer Trends Report: Q2 2022there are more than 1.7 million EVs in operation in the US today (compared with more than 400,000 EVs in Q2 2018). This number may seem small compared to the 284 million vehicles on the road, but data shows it is growing exponentially. Additionally, new EV registrations continue to ramp up, comprising 5.7% of all new vehicle registrations in Q2 2022, up from 1.5% in Q2 2018.
In addition to the growth of new EV registrations over the past five years, the data also shows the types of EVs consumers prefer is shifting, partly due to more models being introduced. For example, SUVs comprised just 17.84% of new EV registrations in Q2 2018, with sedans making up 81.89%. However, in Q2 2022 SUVs made up 59%, followed by sedans at 35.77% and sports cars at 3.28%.
“The types of electric vehicles consumers are gravitating towards mirrors that of the larger automotive industry, with the obvious exception of pick-ups due to limited availability. We can attribute part of the allure of electric vehicles to the newer variety of makes and models available,” said John Howard, Experian’s director of product management for automotive. “Leveraging this kind of data and trends can help all auto industry players understand the landscape and make informed decisions as we move to a more electric market.”
Multiple markets see significant EV growth
California still makes up the largest share of retail EV registrations at 36.6%, but there are other markets beginning to show significant growth. For example, Tucson, Arizona shows a growth rate of more than 82% year-over-year as of Q2 20221. Other markets with notable year-over-year growth rates include Orlando, Florida at 77%, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at 75% growth.
As growth continues in various markets, it is helpful to understand which consumers are most likely to purchase an EV. One way is to identify what kinds of vehicles consumers drive directly before purchasing an EV—their “transition” vehicle. The data shows consumers who drive a plug-in hybrid are more likely to transition to an EV, with 23.5% of plug-in hybrid owners selecting an EV as their next vehicle. In contrast, only 3.2% of gasoline vehicle drivers and 8.8% of gas hybrid drivers opted for EVs as their next vehicle.
“EVs are beginning to defy the stereotypes, because registrations aren’t just happening on the coasts, it’s expanding nationwide,” Howard continued. “Leveraging data that highlights trends like plug-in hybrids serving as a transitional vehicle will be essential knowledge for OEMs and dealers as more models are introduced and the automotive landscape continues to change.”