Speed Bumps Slow EV Progress in 2024

There are signs that the industry has gotten ahead of buyers.

January 30, 2024

The auto industry’s movement towards the production of EVs has been hit by setbacks in the first weeks of 2024, creating more uncertainty as a flood of new battery-powered models is hitting showrooms, according to the Wall Street Journal.

There are signs the industry’s push has gotten ahead of buyers, according to the Journal.

A string of unwelcomed news in the last weeks, such as Tesla warning of notably lower growth this year, leaving investors with few answers on how it will slow its profit-margin erosion, and Hertz announcing plans to sell 20,000 EVs to reinvest in gas-powered cars citing customer demand and high repair costs, has put a damper on the EV outlook.

The Journal reported anecdotal evidence that new technology enthusiasts have mostly already purchased their EV vehicles, leaving shoppers who are more skeptical. St. Louis-area car dealer Brad Sowers told the Journal, “There’s still buzz, but I’m not seeing people ready to replace their Kia Telluride or Chevy Tahoe—that big SUV they use to take kids to hockey—with an EV.”

Although a record 1.2 million EVs were sold in the United States last year, per data from industry research firm Kelley Blue Book, a slowdown beyond Tesla is very real, reported Business Insider.

EV sales surged 40% year over year in the last three months of 2023—a "strong result by any measure," as Kelley Blue Book noted. However, it's lower than both the 49% rise in the third quarter and a 52% increase in the last three months of 2022.

Aran Waid, senior analyst at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said growth in EV sales globally was continuing but that it had "fallen short of automaker expectations."

Read about how convenience retailers are evolving in Norway, where almost 80% of new vehicles sold were electric in 2022, in “EV Observations From Norway.”