Principal contributor: Michael Dwyer
Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicle sales in the United States have increased in recent years as sales have decreased for non-hybrid gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles. In the second quarter of 2023 (2Q23), hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicles collectively accounted for 16% of light-duty vehicle sales in the United States, according to data from Wards Intelligence.
A large portion of the sales increase was due to new manufacturer offerings across different market segments, although existing models also accounted for some of the increase in sales. Manufacturers reduced the number of non-hybrid internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle models from 318 to 297 between 2021 and 2Q23, and they increased the number of battery-electric models from 34 to 55. In this context, a single vehicle model includes one nameplate and all the available trim levels associated with that nameplate.
The luxury vehicle market captured 18% of total new vehicle sales in 2Q23, up from 14% in 2020. Most of the shift toward battery-electric models is in the luxury segment. Manufacturers removed 17 luxury non-hybrid ICE vehicle models and added 19 luxury battery-electric models between 2021 and 2Q23.
Battery-electric vehicles now account for 20% of all available luxury models, compared with 7% of non-luxury models. Model availability is an indicator of consumer acceptance within a market segment. In 2Q23, battery-electric vehicles accounted for 32% of total luxury sales and a little over 1% of non-luxury sales. Market segment sales data indicate luxury-vehicle buyers are more willing to pay electric-vehicle price premiums than non-luxury market buyers.