LOS ANGELES — Electric vehicle sales reached new heights during the first of the year.
Between January and March, EV sales were up 76% compared with a year earlier, according to a new electrified light-vehicle sales report from Kelley Blue Book released Wednesday.
EV sales notched the increase even as new vehicle sales overall dropped 15.7%, hampered by global supply chain problems and an ongoing computer chip shortage that has constricted vehicle availability. Driven, in part, by high gas prices, EVs made up 5.2% of new vehicle sales in the first quarter, compared with 2.5% a year ago.
Increased availability is also helping spur sales. More than 32 electric vehicle models are now on the market, compared with 18 last year. New entrants include the BMW iX, GMC Hummer, Ford F-150 Lightning, Kia EV6, Lucid Air and Rivian R1T.
The Kelley Blue Book report came out the same day that Tesla reported a record quarterly profit. The Texas-based car company said its sales jumped almost 80% to $18.76 billion during the first quarter, beating analyst expectations. Tesla made about 930,000 EVs in 2021 and is targeting a 50% production increase annually.
The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are the bestselling EVs in the U.S. Tesla’s share of the EV market increased to 75% during the first quarter compared with 70% a year ago. The Model Y alone accounted for 38.2% of EV sales during the first quarter, while the Model 3 made up 21%. The Chevy Bolt (9.1%), Ford Mustang Mach-E (6.7%) and Tesla Model X (6.2%) round out the top five.
The Toyota RAV4 (18.69%), Toyota Sienna (8.48%), Toyota Highlander (7%), Honda CR-V (6.19%) and Honda Accord (5.33%) topped the list for bestselling hybrids.