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5.6% of New Cars Were Electric Last Quarter

A Tesla Model 3 drives on a wet road. We see the car from a rear quarter angle, facing to our left and driving away from us. It is medium blue and kicking up water from its tires.Americans bought fewer new cars in the second quarter as supply chain problems pushed prices up, and consumer sentiment led us all to start tightening our belts. New car sales in the second quarter of 2022 were down more than 20% from 2021 figures. But sales of one type of car are growing.

Fully 5.6% of the cars Americans bought last quarter were electric vehicles (EVs).

Sales of battery-powered electric vehicles — pure EVs — jumped to 196,788, a record high and a 13% increase from Q1.

Electrified vehicles — EVs plus hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fuel-cell vehicles — made up 12.6% of new car sales. That’s a nearly 13% jump from one year ago.

Tesla continued to dominate, not just in EV sales but luxury car sales in the second quarter. Since the end of last year, Tesla has outsold all established luxury car builders, including BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz.

But the brand’s hold on the EV market is slipping. Sixty-six percent of the new EVs Americans bought last quarter were Tesla products. That’s down 9% from first quarter numbers.

The reason? New competition. In the second quarter of 2022, there were 33 models of EVs that made at least one sale in the U.S. Last year, there were just 19 in the second quarter.

Hyundai’s new Ioniq 5 EV made a splash of an entry into the market. Hyundai sold more than 7,000 Ioniq 5 models — perhaps enough to vault the car into the top four best-selling EVs this year if that pace keeps up.

Electric trucks are also a growing part of the EV balance. Americans bought more than 45,000 of them last quarter, with the introduction of the Ford F-150 Lightning lighting a sales fuse.

Toyota’s grip on the hybrid market is almost as intense as Tesla’s hold on EVs. Roughly 55% of the hybrids Americans bought last quarter were Toyota or Lexus products. Ford came in a distant second, at 11.7%.

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