Some of the recent darlings of the EV market, including Kia and Rivian Automotive, are off to a slow start this year due to supply chain issues and the loss of the federal EV tax incentive because of tougher eligibility rules.
Overall, new EV registrations grew 72 percent in the January to April period, according to Experian, driven primarily by Tesla, with 52 percent growth and a 60.8 percent share of the electric-car market. Non-Tesla brands split the rest of the EV market among 24 marques.
But not all makers are enjoying the EV sales surge evenly. And some promising players remained saddled with supply and demand issues. Among the EV stragglers: Nissan, Porsche, Cadillac and Lucid Motors.
“You have a lot of factors pushing against EV sales at this point, including interest rates, inflation, the loss of incentives for many import brands and a creeping malaise driven by economic concerns,” said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.
Some EVs still offer a strong value, such as the sub-$30,000 Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla’s recently discounted Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover. But pricier electric vehicles, along with mainstream models that don’t get the EV incentive, are seeing headwinds, Brauer said.
“Every other EV is facing a tougher buying climate than we had three to six months ago. Electric cars are still a new, unfamiliar and relatively expensive proposition for most car shoppers,” Brauer said.
Registration data for the first four months of the year shows Rivian averaging just over 2,300 units a month of its highly acclaimed R1T pickup and R1S crossover combined. Rivian has a production goal of 50,000 vehicles this year, including delivery vans it makes for Amazon.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in May that the production ramp of R1 vehicles from the automaker’s Normal, Ill., factory is accelerating to meet its order backlog. Rivian has struggled with manufacturing issues since launching the plant in 2021 amid supply chain issues caused, in part, by the pandemic.
“We continue to ramp,” Scaringe said. “This is a core focus.”
“You’re going to see quarter over quarter, more and more production units coming out and, along with that, the business is really starting to achieve its clear path to profitability,” Scaringe said on Instagram in response to user questions.
Rivian said in an email that it does not comment on production and delivery outside of its quarterly reports. The company’s stock price is down by about half over the past 12 months.
Rivian held a one-day sales event at its factory on June 17 to reduce stock of some configurations of the R1T, reported Crain’s Chicago Businessan affiliate of Automotive News.