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Data Point

Electrified Vehicle Growth Energized in Q1

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Article Highlights

  1. Electrified vehicles accounted for 7.8% of the total Q1 2021 sales, up from 4.8% in the same period last year.
  2. Electrified vehicle sales growth far outpaced industry growth, with EV volume growing by 44.8%, reaching nearly 100,000 sales in the quarter, a record.
  3. Hybrids outpaced both the market and pure EVs, doubling sales to more than 200,000 in the quarter.

Q1 2021 was big for electrified vehicles. In all, electrified vehicles – the combined total of EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids – accounted for 7.8% of the total sales last quarter, up from 4.8% in the same period one year ago. 

Electrified vehicle sales growth far outpaced industry growth, with EV volume growing by 44.8%, reaching nearly 100,000 sales in the quarter, a record. Hybrids outpaced both the market and pure EVs, doubling sales to more than 200,000 in the quarter. The overall market was up 11.4% in Q1. 

 Q1 2021Q1 2020Y-O-Y Increase 
 EVs 98,83268,24744.82%
 HEVs / PHEVs 205,561100,332104.88%
 Total Electrified 304,393168,57980.56%
 Total Market 3,907,738 3,509,299 11.35%
Total % Electrified7.79%4.80%62.15%

Revised 04/29/2021

The electric vehicle market is dominated by Tesla, which sold an estimated 69,300 vehicles in Q1 and remains the only automaker in the U.S. with an EV-only lineup. Tesla accounted for 71% of total EV sales, still the leading position but dropped from 83% in Q1 2020.

The Tesla Model Y is the best-selling EV in the U.S. Model Y growth, however, seems to be impacting Model 3 sales, which were down more than 50% year over year last quarter. The Chevy Bolt was No. 3 on the EV list, with nearly 10,000 sales in the quarter. Ford Mustang Mach-E came in at No. 4, outselling both the Tesla Model S and Model X. 

While sales of EVs are beginning to take off, hybrid sales are on a rocket ride. In fact, sales of hybrids and plug-in hybrids jumped by 105% in Q1. Toyota, a hybrid pioneer, delivered most of that growth, selling 124,449 electrified vehicles in Q1, up from 49,576 in Q1 2020. Rapid growth indeed: Nearly 25% of the new Toyotas leaving dealerships are now hybrids. The popular Sienna minivan is hybrid only, and in Q1, Toyota sold more RAV4 Hybrids than Kia sold Sportages. Toyota’s strategy is to offer a variety of electrified vehicles and not focus solely on EVs. The hybrid side of the equation is performing well. Toyota will unveil two new EVs in the U.S. next year.

In all, the market has more than 60 hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles now. Honda is No.2 with more than 22,000 hybrids sold in Q1. Honda’s electrified tally was 7.1% of its total Q1 sales volume, up from 3.5% in Q1 2020. Ford is close as the No. 3 player with more than 18,000 hybrids sold, including 7,176 F-Series pickups. Volvo’s electrified vehicles accounted for 11.5% of its total sales in Q1. As we’ve noted before, battery sales are booming.