EV registrations are cool for once-hot brands as Tesla dominates

Experian registration data for January to May reflects the more difficult climate, especially for EV brands that grew rapidly last year but have failed to maintain the momentum.

Because not all automakers report their EV sales by model and region, including Tesla, the new registration data serves as a reliable proxy to compare brands and identify trends.

One of last year’s best performers, the Ford Mustang Mach-E compact crossover, saw sales fall in the first five months of the year compared with the same period last year.

For full-year 2022, new Mustang Mach-E registrations grew by 50 percent to 38,469 from a year earlier. But in the first five months of 2023, they fell by 29 percent to 10,948. Ford reduced Mustang Mach-E prices earlier this year after Tesla slashed the sticker for its Model Y competitor.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning pickup, which was launched last year, is still growing sales and remains the bestselling electric pickup in the US, according to Experian data. F-150 Lightning registrations rose to 8,800 in the January-to-May period compared to 361 in the same period last year when Ford was still leaning in production.

As a brand, Ford grew its EV registrations by 30 percent through May and was the No. 3 EV brands after Tesla and Chevrolet, with 22,425. But its growth pace was well below the 68 percent number for the EV market as a whole this year and significantly behind its 2022 growth pace of 120 percent, Experian said.

Ford’s EV share in the January-to-May period fell to 5 percent from 6.5 percent a year earlier. The numbers include new registrations for Ford’s electric Transit van.

While the Mach-E qualifies for half the maximum federal tax incentive for purchases, or $3,750, Tesla’s Model Y qualifies for the full $7,500. Buyers may not be able to claim full credit, depending on income limits and other factors.

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