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Electric Cars in The United States

In the U.S., it is a known fact that Tesla carved out a solid niche as the leader of modern, cutting- edge cars as they own almost 79% of the electric car market. But apart from Tesla, luxury brands Audi, Jaguar, and Porsche have also added some competitive new models in this same playing field, as an intention to cut into Tesla’s electric car dominance. But with all these new introductions and Tesla selling almost 500,000 vehicles in 2020, will The United States automotive manufacturers lead the world’s EV industry?

Electric Car Recharging

The Evolution of EVs in US

The EV evolution in the US started with the Honda Insight. This plug-in EV came to the US market in 2010 and sold only 300 units. All-electric cars were not introduced to the market until the Tesla Model 3 which was only introduced the following year. This introduction was a lot more successful, with 10,000 units sold. That same year, 7,700 plug-in hybrids were sold, bringing EV sales to a total of 17,700 units, an impressive 5900% increase in just one year!  

By 2019, plug-in electric sales soared up to 327,000, which made up almost 2% of new light-duty vehicle sales for the year. Despite the earlier years where all-electric and plug-in hybrid sales were about the same, nearly three-quarter of all plug-in electric vehicle sales in 2019 were-all electric models. 

Tesla Model S

Forty-five models were sold in 2019, but the all-electric Tesla Model 3 was the most popular by far, with over 154,000 vehicles sold — or 47% of total plug-in electric sales. The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid was next, capturing 7% of plug-in electric sales.

In 2020, despite the overall automotive market being hit pretty bad due to the Covid-19 pandemic, electric vehicle sales in the US was up 11%, with Tesla owning nearly 80% of the U.S’ electric car market. This was pretty impressive as 2020 was the first year Tesla buyers did not have access to federal tax credit for electric vehicles, making other electric cars more competitive.

Federal Tax Credit

In the U.S. all electric and plug-in hybrid cars that were purchased in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit up to USD 7,500. The amount varies depending on the capacity of the battery that is used to power the vehicle. One thing to keep in mind, the federal tax credit is limited to the original buyer of a qualified EV or plug-in hybrid vehicle. 

Vehicles that Qualify for the Federal Tax Credit

Audi e-tron SUV USD 7,500
Audi e-tron Sportback USD 7,500
BMW i3 USD 7,500
Hyndai Ioniq Electric USD 7,500
Jaguar I-Pace USD 7,500
Nissan Leaf USD 7,500
Porsche Taycan USD 7,500
All new Tesla models USD 7,500

In the future, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF), EVs will take up 10% of global car sales in 2025, and it will just continue to rise to 28% in 2030, and 58% in 2040. According to BNEF, currently, EV’s make up 3% of car sales globally.  

They also predict that electric vehicles will make up of 31% of all cars on the road in 2040, making up of municipal buses (67%), two-wheeled vehicles (scooters, mopeds, motorcycles) (47%) and light commercial vehicles (24%). Currently, EVs make up of 33% of municipal busses,  30 % of two-wheeled vehicles and 2% of light commercial vehicles (2%). 

future of electric cars

In terms of gross vehicles usage, BNEF predicts that 500 million passenger EVs will be on the road globally by 2040, compared to a total passenger vehicle fleet of 1.6 billion. Unfortunately, there will still be petrol cars on the road compared to the EVs.

Will the U.S Take the Lead?

The largest current concern when it comes to electric cars in The United States today is the distance it covers. Though petrol cars are not able to travel a long distance without stopping, the general public expect an electric car to do so. The growth of the EV industry also depends on what these manufacturers do as this industry is not so much driven by demand but by supply. While there are so many EV cars to choose from in the US, people are not easily persuaded to hop on this electric bandwagon. The other concern that lies when it comes to transitioning to EV manufacturing is many will lose their jobs as there are simply fewer parts going into an EV.

But if the US manufacturers don’t move fast enough, they risk losing out to foreign car brands that are quickly picking up this trend like BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. These brands have been working on it for some time looking at how EVs are going to be part of the future of transportation.

Top US Produced Electric Cars

Though only time will tell who will lead this EV movement, here are some of the best electric cars that were manufactured in The United States.

Tesla Model S 

Tesla Model S has been around from 2012 and has not gotten many facelifts since its introduction. It has several updates to its hardware, its styling, and its performance but it is still one of the oldest EVs in the industry. It was the very first model to prove that electric vehicles could be fun-to-drive, eco-friendly, viable as everyday transportation, and even usable for long trips. The latest model, Plaid and Plaid+ will be powered by a 1020 horsepower from three onboard electric motors and are said to be able to go from 0 – 100 km in less than two seconds. Though this car is not officially sold in Malaysia, the price of this car here starts from RM 523,000 (USD 78,490). 

Porsche Taycan 

Porshe Taycan

Porsche’s first electric car is a sleek sports sedan that fully lives up to the brand’s high-performance reputation. The 2020 Porsche Taycan (pronounced tie-kahn) delivers incredible acceleration, precise handling, and aggressive styling. The Taycan is the first production electric car to use a two-speed transmission and an 800-volt electrical system, which allow for quicker acceleration and shorter recharge times, respectively. This car was created to be a direct competition to the Tesla Model S. The price of Porshe Taycan in Malaysia starts from RM 725,000 (USD 103,800)

Audi e-tron 

Audi e-tron is the brand’s first electric SUV built with Audi DNA. With ample space for everyday life, long-range capability, and exhilarating performance with quattro all-wheel drive, this is way more than an electric car. This mid-size luxury crossover SUV is powered by two electric motors, one at the front axle and the other at the rear. Together, they make a combined 355 horsepower and 414 lb-ft of torque. While this is an electric car, the Audi e-tron boosts the traditional SUV characteristics which is the ability to tow up to 1800 kg. In Malaysia, the Audi e-tron is sold for RM 489,000 (USD 65,900)

Volvo XC40 Recharge 

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is a fashionable yet practical all-electric car that is based on the petrol powered XC40 SUV.  It has a 75-kWh battery pack that powers a dual-motor powertrain with a total of 402-hp and standard all-wheel drive. With that much power, this Volvo is quick and can be driven for more than 300 km per charge, which is able to make it a direct competitor for the Audi e-tron.  This car is also capable of going from 0 to 100 km in just 4.7 seconds. The Volvo XC40 Recharge is sold in Malaysia and starts from RM 255,000 (USD 53,990). 

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Haziq Asyraf
Haziq Asyraf
A self-proclaimed foodie and gamer whose passion for food and games has recently extended to cars.
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