While sales of new vehicles declined 13.4% year over year in Q3 due primarily to low inventory and high prices, sales of electrified vehicles jumped by nearly 60%, according to an analysis by Kelley Blue Book released Oct. 20. In fact, more than a million electrified vehicles have been sold so far in 2021.
Sales of electrified vehicles – the combined total of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and plug-in hybrids – accounted for 10.4% of total vehicle sales in Q3, according to Kelley Blue Book, which is an all-time high. In the same period a year ago, electrified vehicles accounted for only 5.5% of total sales.
The growth of electrified vehicle sales in the U.S. is a result of more product availability and wider consumer acceptance. For the most part, two companies are in the driver’s seat when it comes to electrified vehicles: Tesla and Toyota.
On the EV front, new players, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E and VW ID.4, are enjoying early success, but the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are still the leading players. In total, Tesla’s share of the EV market in Q3 jumped back above 70% after falling to 64% in Q2. The Tesla Model Y is the industry’s best-selling EV, accounting for nearly 40% of total EV sales.
Toyota has long dominated the market when it comes to hybrid powertrains, and its leadership today is unquestionable. Through the first nine months of 2021, more than 24% of combined Toyota and Lexus sales have been hybrid vehicles. More than 60% of all hybrid-electric vehicles sold industry-wide in Q3 came from Toyota Motor Company, a position nearly as dominant as Tesla.
As we enter the fourth quarter, tight inventory and high prices continue to be the central story in the new-vehicle market. Electrified vehicle growth, however, should not be overlooked. Through the end of September, more than one million electrified vehicles have been sold in the U.S., double the volume year-to-date in 2020. In Q3, 1 in 10 vehicles sold came equipped with a significant battery pack. We are indeed now firmly in an electrified decade when battery technology will play a key role in the industry’s development and, ultimately, consumer satisfaction.