Tesla led 2023 US EV registrations, but Rivian, Hyundai catch on


New EV registrations in the US were up 23% in December as adoption continues to grow. Although Tesla’s 11% growth lagged behind the market, the automaker still dominated with 56% of US EV registrations in 2023. Meanwhile, several smaller players, including Hyundai and Rivian, saw promising growth.

The US electric vehicle market is still growing

Despite some media claims that electric car sales are “falling,” EV registrations rose 23%, accounting for a near-record of 8.8% of the US light vehicle market in December 2023.

For the full year, new EV registrations were up 52% year-over-year (YOY), with 7.7% of the market. That’s up from 5.7% in 2022.

According to new data from S&P Global (via Automotive News), Tesla had 69,932 new registrations in December, up 11% YOY. All Tesla Models saw growth in December, except the Model 3, which fell 22% to 18,252. The drop was likely due to buyers waiting for the new Model 3 (pictured below), which launched last month.

Ford had 8,149 new EV registrations in December, up 13% YOY. The Mustang Mach-E was its top-seller (+16%), followed by the F-150 Lightning (+23%). Registrations of Ford’s E-Transit fell 42%.

As Chevy phases out the current Bolt EV, registrations of the electric car fell 32%. However, the brand still placed third with 63,659 EV registrations in 2023 or 5.6% of the market.

New Tesla Model 3 (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

Tesla still led US EV registrations in 2023

Tesla still dominated the market in 2023 with 642,496 registrations, or 56.2% of the market. The Model Y continued its hot streak with 385,180 registrations last year, up 72% from 2022. S&P Global said Tesla’s Model Y was the fifth best-selling vehicle (EV or gas) in the US behind Ford, Chevy, and Ram pickups and the Toyota RAV4.

Rank Model 2023 US EV registrations % of market
1 Tesla 642,496 56.2%
2 Ford 69,163 6%
3 Chevrolet 63,659 5.6%
4 Hyundai 51,411 4.5%
5 Rivian 46,319 4%
6 BMW 42,997 3.8%
7 Mercedes-Benz 38,320 3.3%
8 Volkswagen 37,040 3.2%
9 Kia 30,868 2.7%
10 Audi 24,700 2.2%
2023 US electric vehicle registrations (Source: S&P Global)

Ford edged out GM for second with 69,163 new EV registrations in the US in 2023. Meanwhile, smaller brands, including Hyundai and Rivian, saw promising growth.

Hyundai was fourth with 51,411 registrations, or 4.5% of the market, followed by Rivian in fifth with 46,319.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 (left) and IONIQ 6 (right) at Tesla Supercharger (Source: Hyundai)

The report notes Hyundai’s December registrations were strong at 3,327, up 62% YOY. The growth was led by the IONIQ 5, IONIQ 6, and Kona Electric.

Rivian also had a strong December with 5,832 registrations (+73%) led by the R1S. The growth was enough for the EV maker to claim 4% of the market in 2023.

Rivian R1S (Source: Rivian)

Luxury brands BWM (42,997), Mercedes-Benz (38,320), and Audi (24,700) all showed growth in EV registrations last year.

While American automakers Ford and GM have scaled back EV investments, overseas rivals and startups like Rivian are taking advantage. Hyundai expects to open its first EV and battery plant in the US later this year, enabling its vehicles to qualify for the $7,500 IRA tax credit.

Rivian R2 first look (Source: Rivian)

Meanwhile, Rivian is unveiling its next-gen R2 model next month, which will be a more compact, lower-cost EV. The EV maker opened the R2 website this week, teasing the model for the first time.

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