Driving electric vehicle adoption

U.S. EV Sales Boomed for Most Automakers in Q1 2024

Kelley Blue Book said EV sales growth slowed to 2.6% in the U.S in the first quarter of 2024. EV sales in 2023 had outpaced 2022’s by an outstanding 46.4% in the same quarter. Because of this slowdown in overall sales, EV critics say electric vehicles are not selling. But that’s not true.

EV demand is still growing along with sales. It’s just happening more slowly, primarily due to a lack of charging and high EV prices. Chinese electric cars and the worry of brands like BYD coming to America have been described as a cause of the sales growth slowdown, but with new 100% tariffs they are not an issue yet as far as U.S. sales go, except for minor impacts by Polestar and Volvo, which is owned by China’s Geely.

According to Bloomberg, the reason for this dramatic sales growth slowdown is slow sales in Q1 from Tesla, Nissan, GM, and VW. Tesla sales growth reported a loss of 13.3%, VW a loss of 12.2%, and GM a loss of 20.5%. Nissan had a slight gain of 1.3%.

(Image: Hyundai)

Who Didn’t Do So Well?

Tesla’s layoff in April of 10% of its global workforce shocked the industry. Followed by the abrupt firing of its entire Supercharger team, shares took a 29% plunge in Q1. Tesla’s global vehicle deliveries fell by 8.5% in Q1, plus the previously mentioned sales growth loss of 13.3%.

GM had a bad start to 2024, at a loss of 20.5% in Q1. GM discontinued its most popular EV, the Chevy Bolt, for the 2024 model year, but it will return in 2025.

GM’s joint venture with LG Chem had some problems initially, delaying the Ultium rollout and mainly causing GM’s Q1 troubles. The deal between GM and LG Chem invested $18.78 billion. LG Chem is expected to supply over 500,000 tons of cathode materials, enough to power 5 million EVs. GM expects a strong EV resurgence, producing 200,000 to 300,000 EVs in 2024.

Nissan, although being an early EV leader with its Leaf, had weak growth of 1.3%. The company recently postponed a plan to build five new EVs in Canton, Mississippi. It is discontinuing the Leaf in the U.S. in 2025.

(Image: Ford)

Who Had a Booming Quarter?

Ford had a surprising sales growth, 86.1% — the highest Q1 sales growth of any EV maker. Ford has been quiet about new EV models, sticking to its Lightning pickup truck and sporty Mustang Mach-e. In April, Ford delayed production of its next-generation EVs at the BlueOval City EV campus in Tennessee until 2026.

GM’s Cadillac division reached an astounding 499.2% increase over Q1 2023. In 2024, it sold 5,800 Lyriq EVs, in contrast to 2023’s 968 sold. Cadillac also offers the super-high luxury Celestiq EV.

Hyundai Group sales boomed in Q1. IONIQ 5 sales were up 31%. The group’s EV sales in Q1 were 56.1%. Hyundai will invest $51 billion to ramp up production of its EVs. In October, the company plans to begin producing EVs in Georgia.

Rivian did well in Q1 with 58.8%. In April, it announced that its 100,000th EV rolled off the production line. In March, Rivian launched its electric SUV crossovers, the R2, R3, and R3X.

Mercedes EVs did very nicely in Q1 with 66.9%. It offers the EQB SUV, EQE Sedan and SUV, EQS Sedan and SUV, and EQS SUV Maybach (its top-of-the-line model, starting at $179,900).

BMW had an impressive 57.8% in Q1. BMW continues to electrify its lineup, with the BMW i4 available in four trim levels.

Toyota enjoyed 85.9% growth due to the rising popularity of hybrids. The company announced a $1.4 billion investment to produce an all-new BEV SUV at its Indiana location, part of its plan to introduce 30 new EVs by 2030.

(Image: Chevrolet)

What We Get To Look Forward To

The all-electric 2024 Chevrolet Equinox SUV is now for sale at a starting price of $41,900. The Equinox EV LT, with a starting MSRP of $34,995, will be available later in the year. GM’s electric Blazer is now for sale, as well as its Silverado and GMC Sierra electric pickups.

Honda is delivering the 2024 Acura ZDX and is planning to officially start EV production in its Ohio facilities in 2025.

CNN reported that Stellantis plans to offer an all-electric Jeep for close to $25,000 in the U.S. “very soon.”