Leading Indicator for BEVs?

Leading Indicator for BEVs?

We may be witnessing the birth of a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) leading sales indicator.

First quarter BEV sales as a percentage of all light vehicle sales, were 1.00%. This was less than the 1.4% achieved by BEVs for all of 2018. 

Second quarter BEV sales lagged even further behind with sales, as a percentage of all light vehicle sales, of only 0.80%.

While two quarters do not create a trend, they do warrant continued scrutiny.

Are BEV sales in the US really falling behind?

At first blush, the 77% increase in second quarter sales over the prior year would seem to say no.

Additionally, PHEV sales fell far behind 2018 YTD sales.

The 35% decline in PHEV sales also affected the comparison of total PHEV and BEV year over year sales.

It would appear there is a trend where BEVs are replacing PHEVs.

This is likely the result of less range anxiety as the range of newer BEVs increases, combined with an increase in the number of recharging stations.

If so, we can expect PHEV sales will continue to falter. They could have been a flash in the pan.

News from China and Europe is somewhat different.

China has removed or altered subsidies for BEVs which could affect BEV sales, while Europe is forcing a transition to BEVs to comply with Europe’s obsession with cutting CO2 emissions.

There could be a bifurcation of the world market for BEVs, with Europe becoming increasingly dependent on BEVs, while the US allows market forces to determine how rapidly BEVs increase their market share.

China will remain an enigma until it’s clear how sincere their government is on adhering to the Paris Accord. Until now, China’s motivations regarding BEVs have been the reduction of smog in its largest cities with lip-service being paid to CO2 reductions.

Stay tuned.

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