How Many Electric Cars Are There in the United States? We Found Out

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Cars | March 15, 2024

Woman looking at a map of the United States with electric cars counts how many electric cars in the US.

Have you ever wondered how many electric cars in the US or how many electric vehicles are there in the United States?

Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency categorizes electric vehicles (EVs) as zero-emission cars, the fact remains that even electric cars produce emissions and some more than others.

It doesn’t matter which brand, the element that determines the emissions generated by an electric car is where the energy is sourced. If the electricity is generated by burning coal, the emissions of operation are higher than if the vehicle was charged with solar panels.

But as more and more people look for ways to reduce costs, the number of electric vehicles is growing. Currently, the administration estimates about 3 million of the cars in the U.S. are electric, which is approximately one percent of the total.

So, if you’ve ever asked yourself, how many electric cars are there in the United States, the complete guide can show you…and show you the true eco-cost of an EV. 

How Many Electric Cars in the US: How Many Electric Cars Are There in the United States?

If your planning a switch to a more environmentally friendly vehicle, your first question may be, how many electric cars in the U.S. 2022? They are popular in the country, and the purchases increase every year.

Reports indicate that the sales of EV’s almost doubled between 2020-2021 from 308,000 to over 600,000, and more than 56,000 were sold by companies in March this year.2

Cumulatively, manufacturers have sold over 2,500,000 battery and plug-in vehicles in the last 12 years.

There was a record 60% increase in EV registration in the first quarter of 2022, about 158,600, which is 4.6% of all new car registrations in the country. Interestingly, companies manufactured approximately 442,000 electric vehicles in 2022 alone.

What Is the Percentage of Electric Cars in US (2022)?

Using data from most auto brands and EV models, vehicle sales from the industry grew from 2.2% of total sales to 6.1% towards the end of 2022.

The percentage of electric cars in U.S. 2022 has tripled, and the number is expected to surge.

Bar graph illustration of the percentage of electric cars in the US from 3rd quarter of 2020 to 3rd quarter 2022.

Year Percentage of EVs out of all vehicles
2020 (Q3) 2.2%
2020 (Q4) 2.3%
2021 (Q1) 2.5%
2021 (Q2) 3.0%
2021 (Q3) 3.7%
2021 (Q4) 4.1%
2022 (Q1) 4.7%
2022 (Q2) 5.1%
2022 (Q3) 6.1%

What Is the Percentage of Electric Cars in the World?

Knowing what percentage of cars are electric (2022) helps you understand their adoption rate and allows manufacturers to plan for the future. Since it is a relatively new concept in the auto market, you can expect only a small fraction of them on the roads worldwide.

EVs account for about 2.2% of all vehicles manufactured, meaning that there is only one car for every 250 standard models.4 The rate is also small in the US, but the number is gradually increasing thanks to incentives like the California electric car rebate program and other favorable tax credits and breaks.

On the other hand, the percentage is higher in some countries based on factors like government support and the plug-in electric vehicle readiness index.

How Many Electric Cars Are on the Road in the US? Total Electric Cars in USA (Current Data)

Data indicates that companies sold more than 56,000 battery EVs in the United States in March alone.

It contributed to a 60% sale increase in the 1st quarter of the year, which was over 158 689 new registrations or 4.6% of all new purchases.

Months later, the numbers pumped to 196,700, a 13% increase totaling 442,000 EVs across all categories. Considering the purchases from the previous years, starting from 2010, the electric cars on US roads have risen to around 2,531,206 battery and plugin-hybrids.

How Many Electric Cars in the World 2021?

Global car sales rose by 38% in 2020 but doubled the following year, with China leading the pack in terms of markets and sales.

It registered more vehicle sales in 2021 than all other countries combined in the previous year.

Country Total 2021 sales
China 3,519,054
United States 631,152
Germany 695,657
France 322,043
United Kingdom 326,990
Norway 153,699
Italy 141,615
Sweden 138,771
South Korea 119,402
Netherlands 97,282
Other European countries 469,930
Remaining countries 313,129

Electric Cars Sold in US: US Electric Vehicle Sales 2022

There was a massive increase in the total electric vehicle sales in the US, but Tesla did the heavy lifting, responsible for over 100 000 units of sales.5

Car make Number of US sales in 2022
Tesla (Model Y) 159,834
Tesla (Model 3) 146,800
Tesla (Model X) 29,500
Ford Mustang Mach-E 28,089
Tesla (Model S) 23,924
Chevy Bolt EV/ EUV 22,012
Hyundai Ioniq 5 18,492
Kia EV6 17,564
Rivian R1T 12,278
Volkswagen 1D.4 11,072

How Many Electric Cars in the United States: How Many Electric Cars Are in the United States by Type?

While electric car sales generally increase, users prefer various electric vehicle models. Battery vehicle sales increased by 85%, plug-in hybrids grew by 138%, and hybrid versions increased by 73% in 2021.

The number of car sales in 2022 was also impressive, with most buyers opting for hybrid cars over the other types. While users bought 72,899 hybrids, 56,028 chose battery vehicles, while 16,871 wanted plug-ins.

Each electric vehicle comes in a unique design, and if you plan to invest in one, you want to consider all the ups and downsides of each.

You can choose based on brand, price point, convenience, and general usage.

What Is the Percentage of Electric Cars in US (2020 Stats)?

The percentage of electric cars in the country has been relatively low as companies are gradually adopting the manufacture of clean cars. Luckily, the entry of models like Tesla has contributed to increased sales and more of their presence on the roads.

New electric vehicle sales were around 2.4% in 2020, a rise from the previous year’s 2%. The number also doubled from 2020- 2021 as companies started producing more to meet the growing demand.

The rate has tripled to over 6% towards the end of 2022, and there is hope for more increase soon. More cities are embracing the adoption of electric cars and developing regulations and policies to advance the industry.

What Are the Best-Selling Electric Car Models in the US in 2021?

There are several considerations when choosing an electric vehicle to buy. Most first-timers check the car’s Model, price range, charging design, cargo space, and other personal preferences.

The following were the best-selling EV models in the United States in 2021 and their corresponding numbers.

Car Make Number of US Sales in 2021
Tesla (Model Y) 172,700
Tesla (Model 3) 128,600
Ford Mustang Mach-E 27,140
Chevy Bolt EV/ EUV 24,828
Volkswagen 1D.4 16,742
Nissan Leaf 14,239
Audi e-Tron 10,921
Porsche Taycan 9,419
Tesla (Model S) 9,100
Hyundai Kona 8,936

Electric Cars 2021: California Ranks Highest

The percentage of electric cars in California is the highest among the other states. The state accounts for over 40% of all electric cars sold, and the market is still expanding, with sales at 8% of all new vehicles bought.5

This impressive rate is attributed to the incentive programs in the region, which are the highest countrywide and are even higher than the government’s regulations. Thanks to California electric car rebate offering $7,000 and Clean Fuel Reward discounting of $1,500 upfront.

California’s electricity utilities also have incentives, ensuring that the vehicle is easy to maintain. Considering all these factors, you are likely to buy a Model 3 Tesla at only $25,000 in the state, which is way cheaper than in other states.

What Percent of Cars Are Electric?

Knowing what percentage of cars are electric in the world before investing in one, especially how many are available in your state, is vital. Vehicle manufacturing companies also need this data to strategize on their future projects.

Since the design is fairly new, the standard gasoline-powered cars flood the market, while EVs make only a tiny percentage.

Considering all the releases in the world against the total number of cars, only 2.2% of electric models exist.

However, the rate varies based on the country, with the number being very low in developing countries. Regions like China and the US boast better technologies and manufacturing skills, and their EV production percentage is relatively higher.

How Many Electric Cars in the US Are From Tesla?

Tesla is the electric vehicle industry’s major player registering more car sales than the total from all other manufacturers in 2020. Their numbers were about 79% of all new purchases in the United States, but the high cost is its main challenge.

Taking all the numbers from January to September 2022, all the models have the highest sales in the country and globally. Model Y has 159,834 sales, while Model 3 and Model X boast 146,800 and 29,500, respectively.

Buyers have many options from the 25 new makes in the market, and other legendary auto companies like Ford, GM, and Volkswagen are also manufacturing various designs.

Some of these brands’ goals are to gradually shift focus to EVs and stop manufacturing gas-powered vehicles.

How Many Teslas Have Been Sold So Far?

By October 2022, Tesla reported selling around 3 233 623 electric cars since it started operations in 2008. Its first vehicle model was the Lotus Elise-based car, the Tesla Roadster, while the original purely electric version was the Model S, created in 2012.

The luxury SUV Tesla X was later launched in 2015, while the more affordable version, the Model 3, came in 2017. After gradually making a name in the electric vehicle industry and becoming a giant, the number of sales in the world increased past the 3 million mark.

Its current capacity is a whopping one million in sales annually despite all the setbacks it has faced, including the ending of tax incentives in December 2019 and many finding the models quite pricey.3

How Many Tesla’s Are on the Road Today?

By the close of 2021, Tesla had more than 2,300,000 car sales, which is pretty remarkable for a manufacturer that is new to the industry, unlike other automotive companies present for decades.

By October 2022, the number had increased to over 3.2 million, giving you a perspective on how many cars must be on the roads worldwide.

While Tesla Model S and X have more than half a million sales, the Model 3 and Y stand at 1.8 million.

According to projections, there should be more than 2.5 million EVs globally by the end of 2022, with Musk estimating a record 4 million Teslas soon.

State With the Most Electric Cars in the US: Which State in the US Has the Most Number of Electric Cars?

EV sales by state 2022 show that more people are switching from gas-powered to electric vehicles. The number of registered electric cars in the United States rose between 2020- 2021 by 1.3 million.

However, the rate is mainly attributed to a few states with favorable incentives, like California.

In 2020, it had over 40% of all new electric vehicle sales in the country. It had about 563,070 electric vehicles by December 2021.

It now leads with approximately 5,694 vehicles registered for every 100,000 people, closely followed by Washington and Oregon with 4,279 and 4,013, respectively. The three are the standout states thanks to favorable programs by the government making electric vehicles more affordable.

Regions With the Highest Number of Electric Cars: Overview by State

Various legislative bodies support the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles.

The following are the top ten states with the highest EVs registered for every 100,000 people.

Bar graph illustration of the states in the US with the highest number of electric cars.

State Number of EVs per 100 000 Residents
California 5,694
Washington 4,279
Oregon 4,013
Vermont 3,470
Hawaii 3,295
Colorado 2,868
Maryland 2,817
Massachusetts 2,742
Arizona 2,589
Virginia 2,580

What Are the Global EV Sales 2022?

According to the electric vehicle sales statistics 2022, worldwide EV sales are steadily increasing.

Over 4 million PHEVs and BEVs have been delivered in the first two quarters of the year, which is a 62% rise, unlike in 2021.

PHEVs accounted for 27% of plug-in purchases in the first six months, as BEV sales increased by 75%. Before the end of 2020, the sales are expected to increase by 57% more than in 2021.

How Many Electric Vehicles in the US Have Been Sold Over the Years?

There has been a massive increase in how many electric cars are sold in the U.S. each year, thanks to the increased demand among drivers seeking cleaner vehicles.

More companies joined the market over the last decade and have contributed to the following high U.S. electric vehicle sales by year.

Year Estimated Number of EVs Sold in the US
2013 96,000
2014 120,000
2015 116,548
2016 159,139
2017 200,000
2018 361,307
2019 330,000
2020 308,000
2021 608,000

Why Is the Number of Electric Cars in US Low?

While US EV and clean energy growth have been steady over the years, the number of electric cars on the roads is still low at less than 6%, and there are certain factors to blame. Many find the price-point excessive and opt for cheaper gas-powered vehicles.

However, EVs save money you would spend on fuel and will be cheaper in the long run. They are also cheaper to maintain, but a lack of charging infrastructure and improper buyer education has derailed their adoption.1

Several states also have regulations preventing manufacturers from directly selling their vehicles, meaning they must overcome these barriers by setting up expensive dealerships to enter the market.

What Are the Brands of Electric Vehicles in the US?

There are various brands of electric vehicles worldwide, featuring modern production time, sleek designs, and, generally, high-performance products, as you can tell from how many electric cars in the US are sold annually.

The major industry players in the US include Tesla, Karma, Lucid, Brammo, Rivian, Faraday Future, Lordstown, Nikola, Canoo, and Drako Motors.

Each brand has a unique feature with some famous luxury or high-performance vehicles.

Besides these brands, you will also find other big names in various countries. For instance, China has NIO and Xpeng, Venturi is in France, and Polestar is in Sweden.

Tesla is, however, a massive brand worldwide, with high sales in various developed countries.

What Is the Revenue of Electric Car Companies in the US?

The electric car industry is growing rapidly due to increased demand. According to statistics, the market revenue may reach $49.07 billion by the close of 2022 and increase to $139.10 billion in the next five years.

The projections show that the industry will have a 23.17% growth rate from 2022- 2027.

The competition is also getting stiff among manufacturers, evidenced by the sales of the top electric car companies from January to May 2022.

Tesla accounted for about 13.6% of total sales in the time frame, followed by SAIC-GM-Wuling and BYD Ltd at 9.3% and 8.5%. Hyundai, Kia, and Geely-Volvo also performed well, tying at 6.2% of EV total sales.

Are All Cars Going Electric in the Future?

This time in history is one of the greatest turnarounds in transportation after Henry Ford’s revolution in the early 1900s. If you are wondering will all cars be electric by 2050, the world would need to start making the shift as early as now, given the trends from the last decade.

Governments and other bodies are pushing for the expansion of the electric vehicle industry using tax incentives, subsidies, and favorable regulations. In turn, the demand for PHEVs and BEVs is increasing, and there is a growing need to set up more charging infrastructure.

Industry observers have expressed hopes that all cars will be electric, especially now that global sales have read millions. Besides, manufacturers like Jaguar, General Motors, and Ford are optimistic that they will soon solely make electric cars.

However, the nagging, yet terrible eco-problems created by the batteries needed to run these cars presents a serious challenge.

In addition to the horrific mining practices needed, the disposal of the battery itself leeches dangerous toxic chemicals into the ground water.

What Will Be the Percentage of Electric Cars in U.S. By 2030?

One pressing question among drivers is, will all cars be electric by 2030? Commuting contributes to a large percentage of total global emissions, and governments are relentlessly advocating for switching to more environmentally friendly electric vehicles.

Many automotive companies are confident that most cars in their lines will be electric, and some have assured buyers that they will solely focus on them by 2030. If they deliver on their promises, chances are high that almost 50% of all cars produced by 2030 will be EVs.

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Electric Cars vs Gasoline?

Buyer education is critical, considering how many electric cars in the U.S. vs gas cars. People may not understand the impact of gas-powered cars on the environment, or there will be increased adoption of electric vehicles.

Operating costs and fuel economy of conventional vehicles are excessively high, and the worst part is how it affects the ecosystem. The total GHG emissions from an EV throughout its lifespan are generally lower in comparison, even after considering the carbon footprint of manufacturing.

EVs have the advantage considering the carbon footprint of electric cars vs gasoline, although they need more energy to manufacture their battery and the battery itself if an eco-nightmare. The gasoline car has a higher carbon footprint from manufacturing, powering, and usage, but only when the energy used to power it is green.

Are Zero-Emission Cars Worth Buying?

The downside of gas-powered electric vehicles is that they cause air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Luckily, electric cars are cleaner and safer for the environment, ideal for drivers keen on reducing their carbon footprints.

They have the added advantage of reduced fuel costs, and the latest designs are sleeker than conventional vehicles. They may have a higher purchase cost in most cases, but in the long run, they save a lot of money you would otherwise use on maintenance or powering using fossil fuels.

Your best bet is to consider all the vehicle’s features to find one that fits your needs and matches your preferences. You can go for dedicated EV brands like Tesla or any other automotive company.

The public now understands that commuting daily on gasoline vehicles is damaging to the environment, and there is no better alternative than going electric. They are cleaner, sleeker, and sometimes associated with luxury driving.

You can make a lasting impact on the environment by going for EVs, even for public transportation, and massively reduce your carbon footprint. Lobby groups and governments and advocating for it, and you can join other millions of users in helping save the planet.

Their demand in the country is increasing based on the reports of how many electric cars are there in the United States, and companies are releasing various makes for you to choose from based on your preference.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Many Electric Cars in the US?

How Many EVs Are on the Road in the US?

The number of electric vehicles you can spot on US roads has increased exponentially in the last decade. Given their rapid adoption as luxury and eco-friendly vehicles, statistics show that more than 2.5 million battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles are in use all over the country.

What Was the Percentage of Electric Cars in U.S. 2021?

Based on numerous statistics of electric vehicle sales, EVs in 2021 made up only 3% of all US car purchases, although the rate increased this year. Experts estimate that the index will reach 10% by 2025, and almost 30% by 2030, surpassing the 50% mark by 2050.

How Many Electric Cars in the US Are There in 2022?

Electric vehicle sales in the US were around 300 000 in 2020, doubled by the end of 2021, and by March 2022, users bought over 56 000 EVs, and the rates increased over the two other quarters.

So far, 56 028 BEVs, 16 871 plug-ins, and 72 899 hybrids sold in the US in three quarters of the year, with the numbers expected to surge by the end of December.

How Many Electric Cars in the World Are There?

China, the United States, and Germany are the leaders in electric vehicle purchases worldwide. The total number of sales increased globally from 2.2 million in 2018 to 5.6 million currently, which is a whopping 64% surge, and experts anticipate that the number will keep rising in the future.

What Percentage of Cars in the U.S. Are Electric?

By 2020, the total electric vehicle sales stood at only 2.4% of the total new purchases, while the rate was 2% in 2021. By now, the number has tripled to almost 6% as the year is closing, thanks to the high sales in the first three quarters.

What Are the Features of Cars With Lowest CO2 Emissions?

Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions and the best ones earn perfect EPA GHG scores of 10. Electric cars also don’t fully rely on fossil fuels which makes it possible for them to emit less than 200 g of CO2 for every mile you travel.

How Many Miles Can Electric Cars Go?

Each vehicle has a special design and battery capacity, depending on the type and brand.

The shortest drive to anticipate is 84 miles or 135 km, while some high-performance cars can reach 396 miles or 637 km, but on average, most cars can travel for about 190 miles/ 313 km on a charge.

What Do the US Electric Vehicle Organizations Do?

The Electric Vehicle Association, previously called the Electric Auto Association, is a major non-profit organization in North America that encourages people to switch to electric vehicles from conventional gas-powered alternatives.

It features more than 100 chapters in the region and boasts thousands of members, sensitizing the public about the numerous upsides of using electric vehicles.


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