There are other factors at play as well.
Tesla cut prices across its lineup in mid-January to boost sales as it scales up U.S. vehicle production at its new factory in Austin, Texas. Chevrolet sharply cut the starting sticker price for its Bolt EV and larger Bolt EUV last year. And some EVs are being held back by production constraints, including the locally made Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer.
New-vehicle registration numbers do not perfectly track the sales data reported by automakers, but they provide a fair proxy since Tesla does not break out U.S. sales numbers. Some automakers also don’t break out EV sales by model.
Tesla’s Model Y crossover topped the EV chart in January with 28,833 new registrations, a 56 percent increase compared with a year earlier. The Model Y benefited from a $13,000 price cut, a $7,500 tax credit and strong availability, with production out of Tesla’s original factory in Fremont, Calif., and the plant in Texas that opened last year.
The Tesla Model 3 sedan was No. 2 on the list with 17,526 new registrations, for a 29 percent increase. The Model 3 received a smaller price cut in January. Together, the Model 3 and Model Y captured 53 percent of all EV registrations in January, down from 64 percent a year earlier as competition increased throughout 2022.
Chevrolet’s budget Bolt models captured two spots on the top 10 list — third place for the Bolt EUV with 4,928 registrations and eighth place for the Bolt EV with 2,526. Those numbers compare with just 15 new registrations combined in January 2022 when a battery issue led to a pause in Bolt sales.
Volkswagen’s ID4 came in fourth at 4,049 registrations compared with 1,153 for last year, an increase of 251 percent. VW’s U.S.-made crossover is available for the first time in a less-expensive standard-range model. For full-year 2022, the ID4 was in ninth place for EV registrations.
Ford’s Mustang Mach-E crossover dropped from third place for full-year 2022 to fifth place in January. Yet the Mach-E’s 3,286 registrations for the month were up 19 percent from a year earlier. For the first time, Ford had a second vehicle in the top 10, with the F-150 Lightning pickup in sixth place with 2,918 registrations, compared with zero in January 2022 before it had gone on sale.
But February and March registrations for the F-150 Lightning are expected to suffer, since production and deliveries were halted from mid-February to mid-March to correct a battery issue.
BMW’s i4 sedan also climbed the EV chart in January, coming in 10th with 1,650 registrations, compared with only 53 a year earlier. BMW captured 2.9 percent of EV share on registrations of 2,558 vehicles, compared with only 0.2 percent for full-year 2022. The brand had three EV models available in January — the i4 sedan, iX crossover and i7 sedan. All three are imported.
Rivian’s R1T pickup didn’t make January’s top 10 after coming in 10th for full-year 2022. The R1T had 1,536 registrations in January, while the brand’s R1S crossover had 717. The company has experienced production issues at its Normal, Ill., factory as it ramps up output. Rivian had a 2.6 percent share of the EV market in January.
Mercedes-Benz showed strong year-over-year growth, with January registrations more than tripling to 2,142, for a 2.4 percent share of the EV market.