Electric vehicle charging station in Washington
EV sales are increasing in the US, with data revealing that 664,104 EV units were sold in the nation as of July 1st (a 56% increase). Reuters

Recent data has revealed a large increase in the amount of US EV sales. Despite this, the electric vehicle market in the country continues to trail significantly behind Europe.

Urban Science has just announced highlights from its midyear 2023 Automotive Franchise Activity Report (FAR), with the report from the consultancy firm tracking data from the automotive retail network in the US for the first six months of the year. It focuses on the number of vehicle sales and dealerships in the US, with a particular focus on EVs.

The data shows that 664,104 EV units were sold in the US as of July 1st – a 56 per cent increase over the same timeframe in 2022. This represents nine per cent of the market share for total vehicle shares, increasing from seven per cent for the same period from the year before.

Annual US EV sales look set to break one million for the first time. Based on current data, the company projects an excess of 1.3 million units to be sold by the year's end.

However, the US market continues to compare unfavourably to Europe.

Figures from earlier in the year put sales of EVs in Europe at 21 per cent of the market sector, which compares to just nine per cent in the US. In the UK there has been an electrification boom, with the market share as high as 54 per cent for Quarter 2 of this year.

The only encouraging sign is that the growth of US EV sales – at least for entirely battery-operated models- is faster than in Europe.

When it comes to the overall number of plug-in electric vehicles on the road, the US is also lagging behind. The most recent figures for 2022 found that only 1.2 per cent of vehicles in the US were electric, compared to 2.7 per cent in France, 2.8 per cent in the UK, and 3.85 per cent in Germany.

The new figures will be of interest to the Biden administration.

In April, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced its goal that EVs account for two out of every three new vehicles sold in the country by 2032. This is part of an ambitious strategy to cut vehicle emissions by 56 per cent.

Elsewhere, the Urban Science report revealed continued stability for the US automotive retail network through the first six months of 2023.

There was a 13 per cent rise in new-vehicle sales – primarily driven by electric vehicle (EV) adoption, along with not-retail sales, such as government fleets and corporate acquisitions.

As of July 1, 2023, there were 23 more dealerships (rooftops) in the US compared to the same date in 2022.

The FAR is compiled annually from a list of current new-vehicle dealership and franchise information for all car and light truck brands in the United States. In recent years it has focused on EVs.

In 2022, the country with the highest amount of EV sales was China, with almost six million new vehicles sold at 30 per cent of the market share The Chinese government has recently outlined EV sales as an important part of its growth strategy.

Norway is the country which has the highest percentage of electric vehicles on the road.