EV sales growth outpacing the rest of the auto industry

The news: The electric vehicles (EVs) push is gaining traction—sales of plug-in electrics doubled in the first half of 2021 YoY, per The Wall Street Journal. This growth outpaced the 29% increase for total vehicle sales, according to research from Wards Intelligence. Tesla propelled most of the EV gains, with US sales rising 78% through June. Carmakers like Ford and Volkswagen also helped move the needle with their recent EV model releases.

More on this: EVs made up 3% of the total US vehicle sales—a record for the segment. Increased driving ranges, more body styles, and a wider price range are key factors sparking consumer interest.

The higher overall cost for EVs and dearth of charging stations are still huge obstacles to wider EV adoption, but change is in the air:

  • Tesla may open up its EV supercharger network to other carmakers by the end of the year. While the recent tweet from CEO Elon Musk did not provide specifics, unlocking the Tesla charger network could help drive more EV sales and boost Tesla’s profits.
  • Car manufacturers like Volvo and Mercedes-Benz pledged to go all-electric within the next decade, and other manufacturers promised to convert some of their segments into all-electric vehicles.

The big takeaway: The EV shift is picking up speed, albeit conservatively. While Tesla has been the poster child for EVs, the widening selection of all-electric vehicles, like Ford’s F-150 and Mustang Mach-E and VW’s ID.4 SUV, are slowly pushing the segment into the mainstream. But the outlook is not all rosy—lithium shortages, battery scarcity, and the unrelenting chip shortage will hold back EV sales.

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