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US EV Market To Cross Million-Unit Mark in 2023 As Demand Slows

Research firm Atlas Public Policy predicts that sales of electric vehicles in the United States will clock in at 1.3-1.4 million units in the current year, marking the first time ever EV sales in the country have crossed the 1-million mark, the Associated Press reports. 

If that estimate turns out to be accurate, it will mean 9% of new car sales in 2023 are electric compared to 7.3% in 2022.

Several factors have helped boost EV sales in the current year. First off, EV market leader Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), cut prices for its popular brands several times throughout the year. This forced other EV makers to follow suit as the battle for EV market share heats up. Further, these companies are offering greater incentives on their models while dealers are discounting more deeply as EV supply builds up. 

Further cuts have come courtesy of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which has increased tax credits for buyers by $3,750 or $7,500, depending on certain requirements.

Meanwhile, EV battery costs have continued their long-term downtrend as critical thanks to the cost of critical battery materials such as lithium falling dramatically. 

After hitting an all-time high of CNY 595,000 per tonne ($81,360 per tonne) in November 2022, lithium carbonate prices in China have cratered to the worst level in two years at CNY 133,500 per tonne ($18,810 per tonne) in the current month, good for more a 75%% correction.

Although those numbers show that the U.S. has made significant progress in its electrification drive, it’s still far behind China, Germany and Norway. According to a June report by Bloomberg New Finance, EV sales in the first six months of 2023 reached 33% of new car sales in China; 35% in Germany and 90% in Norway.

However, there remains an inventory problem, with EV stockpiles up 506% from a year ago, while electric vehicles linger on lots for long periods of time, according to an October report from CarGurus, signaling slowing demand. 

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By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

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