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Electric Vehicle Registrations In US Hit Record High In 2018

New registrations of fully electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States hit a record 208,000 cars in 2018, more than double the new registrations in 2017, business intelligence firm IHS Markit said in a new analysis.

Loyalty rates among EV owners also grew last year, as almost 55 percent of all new EV owners returned to buy or lease another EV in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from the 42 percent of new owners who returned to purchase an EV in the third quarter, IHS Markit said.  

“As more new models enter the market, we anticipate an even further increase in loyalty to these vehicles,” Tom Libby, loyalty principal at IHS Markit, said, commenting on the analysis.

Unsurprisingly, 59 percent of new EV registrations last year were in California and other states that have adopted zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards, IHS Markit said. California alone accounted for almost 46 percent of all new EV registrations in the U.S. last year with 95,000 EV registrations.

The other ZEV states that added to California to help drive EV registrations last year include Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, the intelligence firm noted.  

Going forward, IHS Markit expects that new EVs sales in the United States will exceed 350,000 units in 2020, accounting for 2 percent of America’s car fleet. Further out in time, in 2025, new EV sales in the U.S. are forecast to jump to more than 1.1 million for a market share of 7 percent.

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“While relatively successful models such as the Tesla Model 3 mature in the market, other traditional automakers will be rolling out not just one EV as we have seen in the past, but multiple models off dedicated EV platforms,” Devin Lindsay, IHS Markit powertrain analyst, said.

However, IHS Markit sees one potential great headwind for EV sales in the U.S.—an elimination or delay of California’s ZEV mandate by the federal government, as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EV market will grow in the United States and in the world, the analysis says, but adds that one thing is clear: “the internal combustion engine is not going away any time soon, with IHS Markit forecasters anticipating them to continue to dominate the global market until past 2030.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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