That Was the Year That Was
Recapping 2022—the Turning Point for EVs
We’re at it again already. CES is cranking up this week so there’s not much time to waste thinking about the past year. We’ll posit that it was a great one for our portion of the automotive world. Electric cars reached new sales peaks in China, the U.S. and Europe. The number of available models is expanding exponentially. The infrastructure is growing. It was a turning point for EVs.
More specifically, Tesla, in spite of hiccups throughout its command chain and ground operations, continues to set the mark for other EV automakers. When the numbers are announced this week it will fall just short of hitting its goal of 50% year-over-year vehicle delivery growth with a bit under 1.4 million EVs, paced by the worldwide hit Model Y.
Other EV startups like Lucid, Rivian and Polestar are moving forward in a tough market, but the biggest noise is coming from traditional automakers demonstrating their commitment to electrification with competitive new models, led by the Ford F-150 Lightning. Taking its best-selling model and rethinking it as an EV was a big stroke for Ford, but (again, those hiccups) it appears to be paying off. SUV EVs are taking the market by storm as models appear throughout the diverse market, walking away with accolades as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 did with Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year award.
The Clean Fleet Report Report Card
Clean Fleet Report has been growing along with the market. We published our 2,000th article this year.
We took to the road to report on most of the new EVs hitting the market, as well as plug-in hybrids, fuel cell electric vehicles, hybrids and the best of the legacy internal combustion engine models. We had some clear favorites, including the new Kia EV6 GT and the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, according to our Road Test Editor John Faulkner. Contributor Keith Turner took his video camera along to do his own comparison of some of six of the hottest EVs on the market. Our testers had similar (best in class) feelings about the new 2023 Toyota Prius and the 2022 BMW i4 M50.
I started out the year with the expectation that the number of EV models with expand incredibly, which it did, though as the year ended I realized much of the volume sales may now slide into 2023 if the economy rebounds. Tallies of EV models by brand (this was done at the end of the last quarter in October 2022) showed Tesla still dominating sales, but with increasing shares being taken by Ford, Kia, Hyundai, BMW, Polestar, Rivian, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi and Nissan. Volvo, Lucid, Porsche and Jaguar had low sales while Mini, Genesis, Toyota and Subaru were just beginning their sales. We’re looking forward to later this month reporting on the full-year sales and expect it to be eye-opening—well over a half million.
The scenario was playing out as expected as EV sales became normalized in many places around the globe, including the state’s a California, Washington, Florida and Texas in the U.S.
Looking to 2023
We’re enthused about 2023 and the years following. We see increased interest in EVs and broadening recognition of the performance and economic superiority of the technology. While the luxury end of market has been well-served so far, we expect to see more models filling in on the affordable end this coming year.
For our part, we’re looking forward to dozens of new and upgraded models in 2023. We’re also looking to engage with others at conferences targeting on advancing technology and support systems for EVs, like the upcoming EV Charging Summit in Las Vegas on March 29-31. It’s the place for those involved in building the ecosystem that will support EV ubiquity to meet and move things forward.
We’ll also continue our involvement with the Western Automotive Journalists and Motor Press Guild to maintain and grow our relationships with automakers and other automotive journalists and keep an eye on new developments. We’ll hit auto shows and automaker programs to bring you the latest news as it happens. Of course, we’d also love to hear from you about how we’re doing, what you think we should be doing and how we can better serve your information needs. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re glad to have you aboard.