Are electric cars a fad or here to stay?
Electric vehicles have become increasingly popular, not only in the U.S. but also around the world. Teslas are the most in demand, dominating over a quarter of the worldwide market share. But with any innovation comes new problems. A lack of charging stations makes long-distance travel with electric vehicles in the U.S. difficult — not to mention all the oil displacement. In this article, we’ll share the most recent electric vehicle (EV) industry statistics you need to know, and look at whether these trendy, eco-friendly vehicles are here to stay.
New to the world of electric vehicles? Check out our handy guide to the most common abbreviations you’ll see in the light vehicle market.
|Category||What they produce||Includes|
|Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs)||No tailpipe emissions of pollutants/greenhouse gasses||Some PHEVs, BEVs, and FCEVs|
|Electric Vehicles (EVs)||Depends on type||PHEVs, BEVs|
|Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs)||No tailpipe emissions of pollutants/greenhouse gasses||n/a|
|Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs or HEVs)||Depends on what fuel it’s using||n/a|
|Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)||Water vapor||n/a|
|Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEs)||Tailpipe emissions||n/a|
In 2021, there were 6.6 million global EV sales, a 121 percent increase from 2020. In the past decade, more than 16.9 million electric vehicles have been sold, an increase of nearly 85,000 percent. On average, EV sales increase worldwide by 110 percent per year, with the largest increase occurring between 2010 and 2011, when 531 percent more EVs were sold in the latter year. As of January 2023, 2022 data was not yet available.
Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. as well as abroad. From 2000 to 2021, total EV sales in the U.S. increased by 15,214 percent, with an average year-over-year increase of 37 percent. We’ve come a long way from 2000, when less than 10,000 EVs were sold, with 1.4 million EVs sold in 2021.1
California has the highest number of EVs registered. They make up nearly 40 percent of all registered EV vehicles in the U.S. You might think that’s because California is the most populated state. California’s population is definitely a factor in the Golden State’s outsize representation of EVs, but, as of 2020, California only held 13 percent of all private and commercial vehicle registrations in the country.
Florida, on the other hand, has a proportional representation of electric vehicles per registered vehicles, accounting for 7 percent of both electric vehicles registered and the total number of vehicles registered, according to Federal Highway Administration data.2
|State||Electric vehicle registrations as of December 31, 2021||Percentage of total vehicle registrations|
|Hawaii||14,220||Less than 1%|
|Connecticut||13,350||Less than 1%|
|Tennessee||12,160||Less than 1%|
|Indiana||10,360||Less than 1%|
|Missouri||10,050||Less than 1%|
|Wisconsin||9,330||Less than 1%|
|South Carolina||7,440||Less than 1%|
|Oklahoma||7,080||Less than 1%|
|Alabama||4,750||Less than 1%|
|Kansas||4,500||Less than 1%|
|Kentucky||4,220||Less than 1%|
|New Mexico||4,150||Less than 1%|
|New Hampshire||4,000||Less than 1%|
|District of Columbia||3,700||Less than 1%|
|Iowa||3,660||Less than 1%|
|Idaho||3,500||Less than 1%|
|Vermont||3,370||Less than 1%|
|Louisiana||3,180||Less than 1%|
|Maine||3,040||Less than 1%|
|Delaware||3,010||Less than 1%|
|Nebraska||2,710||Less than 1%|
|Rhode Island||2,550||Less than 1%|
|Arkansas||2,390||Less than 1%|
|Montana||1,650||Less than 1%|
|Mississippi||1,310||Less than 1%|
|Alaska||1,290||Less than 1%|
|West Virginia||1,010||Less than 1%|
|South Dakota||680||Less than 1%|
|Wyoming||510||Less than 1%|
|North Dakota||380||Less than 1%|
So, why are electric vehicles so popular in California? It may be because of CARB ZEV, the Zero-Emission Vehicle Program from the California Air Resources Board’s Advance Clean Car package.
First adapted in 1990, the program aims to improve air quality and diminish the emissions of greenhouse gasses by reducing the amount of smog-causing pollutants from passenger vehicles. Other states with high electric vehicle registration rates have since adopted this program, too, such as New York and Massachusetts.3
Tesla is no longer the most popular EV manufacturer in the world. In 2021, it sold nearly 1 million electric vehicles, compared to less than 600,000 sold by the second-largest EV manufacturer, BYD. However, by the end of 2022, BYD surpassed Tesla, accounting for 18 percent of the market share compared to 13 percent.4
|Brand||Number of electric vehicles sold in 2022||Percentage of 2022 market share|
Not surprisingly, the most-purchased all-electric vehicle in 2019 was a Tesla — specifically, the Model 3, which accounted for 65 percent of the EV market in the U.S. When you consider plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) that use both electricity and gas, the Tesla Model 3 still reigns supreme, with nearly half of the total EV market share in the U.S., according to the most recent data available.5
|Vehicle||Type||Number of sales in 2019||Percentage of total EV sales in 2019|
|Tesla Model 3||EV||154,840||49%|
|Tesla Model X||EV||19,425||6%|
|Tesla Model S||EV||15,090||5%|
|Honda Clarity Plug-In||PHEV||10,728||3%|
|Ford Fusion Energi||PHEV||7,476||2%|
|Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid||PHEV||5,811||2%|
|BMW 5-Series Plug-In||PHEV||5,442||2%|
|Kia Niro Plug-In||PHEV||4,051||1%|
|Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In||PHEV||2,810||1%|
|Mercedes GLC 350e Hybrid||PHEV||2,459||1%|
|Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid||PHEV||1,958||1%|
|Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In||PHEV||1,765||1%|
|Hyundai Kona Electric||EV||1,721||1%|
|Volvo XC60 Plug-In||PHEV||1,682||1%|
With the Biden administration’s plan to have 50 percent of vehicles sold be electric by 2030, invest in more charging infrastructure, and create more stringent targets for fleet emissions, McKinsey predicts that 65 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. will be electric by that year. The consulting firm further predicts that other states will follow California’s adoption of CARB ZEV, leading to more EVs and more ports to charge them at.6
In terms of the number of sales worldwide, there are two different predictions for the future.
One consequence of increased EV adoption is oil displacement — decreased demand for oil. While you might assume that decreased demand would cause the price of oil to drop as the invisible hand of the market adjusts, Bloomberg predicts that prices will stay elevated and volatile with decreasing investments in a new supply of oil.
From 2010 to 2021, EVs displaced 235 million units (barrels of oil) worldwide, and in the U.S. alone, over 83 million barrels. Year over year, the world saw an average increase of 85 percent more oil barrels displaced, with the largest jump occurring between 2010 and 2011.8 This correlates with the largest increase in EV sales worldwide.
|Number of barrels of displaced oil per year||China||Europe||India||U.S.||Rest of the world|
Another consequence of EV adoption is lost tax revenue for the sale of liquid fuels, which some people fear may lead to an energy crisis.
A significant factor that limits EV sales is a lack of publicly available charging stations. Most people with EVs don’t drive them on long trips, as there may not be enough charging stations on their route to support longer rides. However, the number of charging stations is increasing, which should correlate with more EV sales.
As of 2021, China had the highest number of charging stations, with more than 1 million. The U.S. was second with 114,000, about one-tenth of China’s supply. Of course, these numbers don’t take into account the number of licensed drivers per population, so they don’t consider how many charging stations may be necessary.
|Country||Number of charging stations in 2021|
Along with the highest number of EV registrations, California also has the highest number of charging ports in the U.S., according to data from EV Adoption.9 There are more than 34,000 ports throughout the state. However, when you take into account the ratio of charging stations per EV, California actually ranks second to last, with 27 EVs for every charging port.
The state with the worst ratio is New Jersey, which has 41 EVs for every charging port. So while the adoption of EVs is high in these states, the charging infrastructure has not caught up with the sales.
|State||Total number of EVs as of 9/21/21||Total number of ports as of 9/21/21||Number of EVs for every charging port|
|District of Columbia||6,133||671||9|
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Wyoming has four EVs for every charging station. That said, there are only just over 700 EVs in the state.
If you’ve ever shopped for electric vehicle insurance, you may have noticed higher costs than you’d find when insuring non-EVs. Electric cars are more expensive to insure due to their specialized features and replacement parts, such as electric batteries. As a result, you may need to take them to specialized repair shops. You can expect to pay about 15 percent more for electric vehicle insurance, with an average annual cost of $2,426 compared to $2,071 across all vehicle types, according to AutoInsurance.com data.
One thing the world can agree on is the rising popularity of electric vehicles. No matter the country, sales are increasing year over year, and governments are investing more in charging infrastructure, which will increase adoption even more. Hopefully, this adoption will reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses and pollutants, making the air more breathable for us all. Explore more auto insurance research like this for further insights.
For data on the cost of auto insurance, we depend on our own proprietary data gained from over 20 years of experience in the auto insurance market. Additionally, our research term analyzed data from third-party sources, including the following:
Hybrid-Electric, Plug-in Hybrid-Electric and Electric Vehicle Sales. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. (2023).
State Motor-Vehicle Registrations – 2020. U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. (2022, Jun).
Zero-Emission Vehicle Program. California Air Resources Board. (2023).
BYD #1 In World In Plugin Vehicle Sales In 2022. CleanTechnica. (2023, Feb 7).
U.S. Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sales by Model. Transportation Research Center at Argonne National Laboratory. (2018).
Why the automotive future is electric. McKinsey & Company. (2021, Sep 7).
Global EV Data Explorer. International Energy Agency. (2022, May 23).
Oil demand from road transport by scenario. BloombergNEF. (2022).
Charging Stations by State. EVAdoption. (2021, Sep 31).