How Many Electric Cars Are In The United States? (2021 – 2022) – 68 Electric Car Statistics You’ll Be Buzzing For

Just 25 years ago, you might have thought an electric car was a glorified go-kart. Can battery power really compete with gasoline to get us going?

But we’ve seen a sea-change in electric vehicles – and now they have the range and power to compete with traditional, fossil-fuel burning cars.

Electric Car Charging

As climate change has us watching our carbon footprints, electric vehicles are a chance to tread softly. And the rise of companies like Tesla, combined with powerful tax incentives, has caused the electric car industry to boom.

But as with any new technology, there’s resistance and a whole lot of misinformation. But the stats don’t lie: electric car statistics reveal the truth about the meteoric rise of electric vehicles.

If you’re charged up for electric car statistics, here are the key takeaways at a glance:

Key Insights:

  • Over 2 million electric vehicles have been sold in the United States.
  • But electric cars still make up just 1% of cars on our roads.
  • 46% of Americans remain unlikely to consider an electric car for their next vehicle.
  • But the market for electric vehicles still doubled in 2021.
  • Tesla’s market share for electric vehicles is 66.3%
  • On average, an electric vehicle costs $10,108 more than a standard vehicle.
  • But running an EV for 200,000 miles could save you $4,380 compared to a gasoline-powered car.

Electric cars get us from A to B without the CO2. Here are 70 electric car statistics to get you powered up.

68 Electric Car Statistics You’ll Be Buzzing For

Are fossil fuels really going the way of the dinosaurs? Let’s take a journey into the world of electric car statistics.

How Many Electric Cars Are There In The United States?

Over 2 million electric cars have been sold in the United States and the market for electric vehicles has grown by an astonishing 19,000% since 2010. In 2021, 310,000 electric vehicles were sold in America – mostly in California. Despite this growth, electric vehicles still make up just 1 in 100 cars on the road.

There are still major reservations in Americans’ minds about electric vehicles. But that hasn’t stopped the electric vehicle market from surging as this emerging technology is grasped by early adopters.

Electric Cars in the USA
  • In America alone, 322,000 electric vehicles were sold in 2020. That’s almost 900 every day.
  • And the market kept growing: the first six months of 2021 saw 310,000 electric vehicles sold in the US.
  • One-third of these (110,000) were sold in California alone.
  • Since 2010, annual sales of electric vehicles have grown a staggering 19,000%.
  • Despite this, electric vehicles make up just 1%, or one in every one hundred, vehicles on the road in America.
  • Electric vehicle sales are growing faster than any other vehicle market: in 2021, the market for new vehicles grew 36%, but the market for electric vehicles doubled!
  • And over 2 million electric vehicles have been sold in the US to date.
  • And it’s expected that by 2030, California alone will have 4 million electric cars on the roads.
  • Despite Tesla’s dominance of the market, the Toyota Camry is the best-selling EV in America.
  • Tesla’s Model 3 is the 4th most popular electric car in America, after the Camry, the Honda Accord, and the Honda Civic.

When Were Electric Cars Invented?

Electric cars might seem like the future, but they aren’t a new invention. The very first electric vehicles were built in 1884 by English inventor Thomas Parker. He built a range of battery-powered cars and trams, but because petrol and diesel engines were more efficient, they never became widespread.

Electric vehicles are a new thing right, and we have Elon Musk to thank for them. Wrong – EVs (electric vehicles) have been around for a lot longer than you’d think…

  • The first electric car was built way back in 1884!
  • English inventor Thomas Parker built several battery-powered cars and trams in the 1880s.
  • And a fleet of electric taxis ran in London, England in the 1890s.
  • But improvements in petrol and diesel technology rendered electric cars redundant… until now.
  • The first electric car to be produced in the modern era was the GM EV1. It came to market in 1996.
  • The EV1 was developed in response to California laws encouraging zero-emissions vehicles.
  • And it was powered by a lead-acid battery with a range of up to 100 miles.
  • And Tesla hit the scene in 2008 with the Roadster.
  • Tesla’s Roadster had a range of almost 200 miles and a top speed of 125mph!
  • And Tesla Roadsters were marketed and sold in 30 countries. The future of electric cars had arrived.

America’s gas-guzzling habits lead to broad opposition to phasing out gas-powered vehicles: the majority of Americans (51%) oppose a complete shift to electric vehicles. However, three out of four Americans would consider choosing an electric car for their next vehicle purchase.

Electric cars might have been around a while, but they’re far from universally accepted. Attitudes to electric vehicles remain mixed in the gas-guzzling USA.

Attitudes to Electric Cars
  • 51% of Americans oppose the phasing-out of gas-powered vehicles.
  • 47% approve of phasing out gas vehicles, while 4% are in the middle of the road.
  • 46% of Americans are either “not very” or “not at all” likely to consider an electric car for their next vehicle.
  • But for 39% of Americans, an EV could be on the cards.
  • 7% of American adults currently own an electric vehicle.
  • Three out of four (72%) EV owners would consider an electric car for their next vehicle.
  • 30% of Americans say they’re well informed about electric vehicles.
  • But 39% of them wouldn’t consider buying one.

Do More Young People Buy Electric Cars?

Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to favor an electric vehicle. 47% of Millenials and 42% of Generation Z are considering an electric vehicle compared to just 32% of Boomers.

So it is up to the next generation to save the climate? Let’s take a look at how age affects your attitude towards an electric vehicle.

  • Both Millennials (aged between 26 and 42) and Generation Z (aged 16 – 25) are more likely than the average American to consider an electric vehicle.
  • 42% of Gen Z and 47% of Millenials would consider an electric car.
  • Just 39% of those aged 43 – 57 would consider an electric vehicle.
  • And amongst Boomers (58 – 67) and older, less than one in three (32%) would consider an electric car for their next vehicle.
  • As of 2022, there’s still no demographic that’s more likely to prefer an electric vehicle than a gas-powered option.

Why Are Electric Cars Unpopular?

Two-thirds of Americans agree that electric vehicles are better for the environment, but people distrust their reliability and value. One-third (34%) of Americans think a gas-powered vehicle will be more reliable, while two-thirds (66%) think a gas-powered vehicle will be cheaper.

So, despite an unwillingness to consider electric cars amongst the American population, most people accept they’re better for the environment. But are they put off by the perceived cost of these vehicles?

  • Two-thirds of Americans (67%) agree that electric vehicles are better for the environment than gas- and diesel-powered motors.
  • And 7% of Americans actually think electric vehicles are worse for the environment… the less said about that the better.
  • Most adults in America (49%) think an electric vehicle is no less reliable than a petrol one.
  • But a significant 34% – one in three – think an electric vehicle will be less reliable. Just 7% think electric is more reliable than gas.
  • And 66% of Americans think that electric vehicles are more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts.

Are Electric Vehicles More Expensive?

Electric cars are, on average, more expensive. The average EV costs over $56,000 – around $10,000 more expensive than the average gas-powered vehicle. However, with tax breaks of up to $7,500 available on electric vehicles and cheaper running costs to consider, electric cars can be cheaper in the long run.

66% of Americans think that an electric vehicle will be more expensive than a standard car. Are they right? Well, it depends if you’re thinking short-term or long…

The Cost of Electric Vehicles
  • The average fuel cost of an electric vehicle is around $550 cheaper than a gasoline vehicle.
  • And it’s around $1150 cheaper than a diesel vehicle.
  • Electric vehicles have saved 500 million gallons of gasoline to date.
  • However, licensing fees for EVs tend to be higher. In Georgia, it costs $320 more to register an electric car than a standard vehicle.
  • These fees are higher to recoup lost taxes for the state as EV owners don’t buy gas.
  • In Rhode Island and Louisiana, however, licensing fees are the same for electric and standard vehicles.
  • And electric vehicles are, on average, more expensive to purchase: by almost $10,000!
  • The average cost of an electric vehicle is $56,437, while the average cost of a standard vehicle in the US is $46,329.
  • But there are tax breaks of up to $7,500 available on the purchase of electric vehicles.
  • And the base price for a Nissan Leaf is just $29,990.
  • When you work it out, electric vehicles are cheaper over the course of their lifespan.
  • An electric small SUV costs $0.4508 per mile, compared to $0.4727 per mile for a gas-powered SUV.
  • Saving 2 cents per mile might not sound like a lot, but that could save you $3000 over 150,000 miles. And you’d be saving the planet too.
  • And based on traveling 200,000 miles, a standard vehicle could cost $94,540 while an EV would total $90,160. That’s a difference of $4,380.

Which Country Has The Most Electric Cars?

Electric car usage is highest in Scandinavia, with Norway, Iceland, and Sweden topping the list for electric car purchases. In 2019, 58% of new cars bought in Norway were electric vehicles.

Saving the planet requires a global movement. Let’s see how electric cars are being adopted around the world.

Electric Cars Around the World
  • Norway has the highest EV usage in the world. In 2019, a whopping 58% of new cars were electric.
  • Iceland (18%) and Sweden (11%) were second and third for EV purchases.
  • Electric vehicle usage is growing fastest in China. The market lept by 66% in 2019.
  • And China wants one in five vehicles sold to be electric by 2025.
  • In Europe, the market grew 35% whilst in the US it grew 22% in the same timeframe.
  • In the United Kingdom, a new electric car is registered every nine minutes – that’s 160 every day.
  • The Netherlands has the most charging points per capita with one charging point for every 459 people.
  • And by 2024 the global market for electric vehicles is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%.

Which Electric Car Company Is The Biggest?

In 2022, Tesla has the largest market share of any electric vehicle company, making it the biggest manufacturer of electric cars. Tesla has 14% of the EV market share and 2.59% of the automobile market as a whole.

Before Elon Musk set about conquering space, he first conquered the electric vehicle market. Tesla is leading the market in electric vehicles – let’s take a closer look at their road to glory.

Tesla's Road to World Domination
  • Between 2008 and 2012, 2,450 Tesla Roadsters were sold.
  • That’s 50 every month.
  • And by 2018, Tesla’s Model 3 was causing a surge in the market for electric vehicles.
  • In 2020, Tesla sold 439,760 units of the Model 3, taking the total to 800,000 vehicles sold.
  • And in 2021, Tesla sold almost a million electric vehicles globally (936,172 to be exact).
  • Those sales led to an 87% increase in Tesla’s profits between 2020 and 2021.
  • As of 2022, Tesla has the largest market share of any EV car company.
  • And Tesla has a 2.59% share of the automobile market as a whole.

Wrapping Up

While electric cars make up a small proportion of the vehicles on the road, the market is growing at an accelerating rate.

Yep, in the electric vehicle market, the pedal really is on the metal.

Whilst EVs might seem expensive, and as Americans, we still aren’t convinced of the benefits, I think the long-term upsides of electric vehicles will soon be swaying consumers.

And trends amongst the next generation show that there’s going to be no slowing down with electric cars.

Time to hit the road – so get charging.


Sources:

  • The U.S. electric vehicle industry – statistics & facts. Retrieved from Statista
  • Electric vehicles get mixed reception from American consumers. Retrieved from Power Search Center
  • A Brief History and Evolution of Electric Cars. Retrieved from Interesting Engineering
  • How Many Electric Cars Are on the Road in the United States?. Retrieved from Treehugger
  • Here’s whether it’s actually cheaper to switch to an electric vehicle or not—and how the costs break down. Retrieved from CNBC

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Robert Muñoz

I’m Robert, a US-based auto electrician, auto mechanic, trained engineer and fanatic about all things motor vehicle. After studying engineering in college I returned to my original passion - car mechanics - and I ran a garage for a number of years serving my local community. Through my garage, I got involved in numerous road safety campaigns in my local area until eventually, I decided to share what I've learned with the world. Know more about me... You can follow me on LinkedIn.

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