Electric vehicles likely will make up a bigger chunk of retail auto sales in 2021, which is also the first year car buyers will have the choice of all three of the most popular car styles to pick from an all-electric lineup.
That’s from analysts at Edmunds, who said their data shows that EV sales are expected to make up 2.5% of U.S. retail sales in 2021, from 1.9% in 2020.
The year is “shaping up to be a pivotal year for growth in the EV sector” after years of false starts, said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmunds.
Tesla last week said it expects sales growth of 50% a year on average in future years, and that sales are likely to grow at a faster clip in 2021. The company ended 2020 selling slightly under half a million vehicles, within its goal despite pandemic-related factory stoppages and shortages.
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Tesla and GM report their sales quarterly, and are next slated to report first-quarter sales in early April. This week several auto makers are expected to report their January sales.
Chinese EV makers such as Nio Inc. reported earlier in week skyrocketing sales, albeit from low starting points. Li Auto Inc. said earlier Tuesday that its January deliveries grew more than fourfold from a year ago.
This year, car shoppers will be able to choose from a more diverse lineup of electric vehicles, and “given that the new presidential administration has pledged its support for electrification, the U.S. is likely to see incentive programs targeted at fostering the growth of this technology further,” Caldwell said.
According to Edmunds, 30 EVs from 21 brands will be available for sale this year, compared with 17 vehicles from 12 brands in 2020. For the first time, cars, SUVs and pickup trucks will be available, whereas there were no electric pickups for sale last year.
SUVs and pickup trucks have been the preferred body styles in the U.S. for years, and by offering these as electric vehicles auto makers are likely to have “a much better shot of recapturing some of the EV buyers who they’ve lost now that they can offer larger, more utilitarian electric vehicles,” Edmunds said.