Industry Updates

Over Half a Million EVs Have Been Sold in the First Half of 2023

Laurance Yap
August 17, 2023
Electric car sales are up 62 percent in the first half of 2023, with Tesla once again dominating the sales charts. What are the top-selling electric cars and EV brands? Read on to find out.
Electric car parking sign

EV Sales Increase by 62 Percent

The growth of the electric car sales continues to be strong, according to data released by Experian and reported on in industry magazine Automotive News. During the first half of 2023 – from January 1 to June 30 – the number of BEVs registered totaled 546,551, an increase of 62 percent over the prior year. Overall, electric cars made up 7.1 percent of the total market, up from 4.9 percent during the same period in 2022, and 3.1 percent in 2021.

 Volkswagen ID.4: 1 on a city street

What Are the Best-Selling Electric Cars?

As you would expect, Tesla remains the dominant EV player in the market. The California-based company sold 329,608 vehicles in the first half of 2023, up 44 percent over the same period in 2022. That number also gives Tesla over 60 percent market share – a dominant figure, but lower than a year ago, when its share was 67.6 percent. Tesla’s market share has been in slow decline for a couple of years now, as other EV start-ups and legacy manufacturers introduce new models that compete with its popular Model Y, Model 3, Model S and Model X.

Indeed, the number of non-Tesla electric car registrations, which totaled almost 220,000, was nearly double the number of non-Tesla EVs sold in the first half of 2022. Almost 40 percent of EVs sold are now made by other manufacturers.

Price cuts instituted at the end of 2022 and in the first few months of 2023 drove sales of the Tesla Model Y crossover to new heights – nearly doubling its sales compared to the first half of 2022. The best-selling models, in order, were:

  • Tesla Model Y: 201,434 vehicles sold
  • Tesla Model 3: 108,604 vehicles sold, up 12 percent
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV/EUV: 34,140 vehicles sold, up 415 percent
  • Volkswagen ID.4: 16,619 vehicles sold, up 250 percent
  • BMW i4, 11,165 vehicles sold

It is interesting to note the effect that the changed tax incentive structure has had on electric car sales. Hyundai, which has previously been one of the strongest players in EV sales, has dropped out of the top-five list as the popular Ioniq models no longer qualify for tax credits. However, the Volkswagen ID.4, now made in the U.S., does, and sales have shot up significantly. Plus, the Chevy Bolt, America’s least-expensive EV, is made in the U.S. and uses locally-sourced battery components – making it very inexpensive to purchase once incentives are included. Both top-selling Tesla models qualify for the $7,500 tax rebate, presuming customers meet income restrictions.

Rivian R1S car side profile

What are the Best-Selling EV Brands?

When looking at the 10 best-selling EV brands, there is a greater mix, reflecting how many models some manufacturers have introduced. Tesla continues to be the dominant player, with almost 10 times the sales of number-two Chevrolet; but other brands are making significant sales gains. Interestingly, Kia’s EVs sales dropped by over a quarter, reflecting the effect of the lack of tax rebates available on its Korean-made models, as well as a lack of supply of the well-reviewed EV6 model.

Electric car charging

Are Electric Car Sales Slowing Down?

One cautionary note is that electric cars’ 7.1 percent market share at the end of June was no higher than at the end of January, suggesting that the sales boom in EVs may be slowing.

That’s corroborated by reports suggesting that dealer inventories of EVs are increasing, as are discounts available to consumers. Many EVs previously eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit no longer qualify (though they do if you lease), which has slowed demand – compounded by higher interest rates and general economic uncertainty.

Front view of a Tesla Model 3 driving through canyon roads

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