Aug 10, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Projecting electric car sales is getting trickier

U.S. passenger EV sales forecast
Data: Rystad Energy; Note: Includes battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

The Capitol Hill energy deal creates headwinds and tailwinds for the growing adoption of electric cars in the U.S. — and analysts are just starting to grapple with the complexities.

Driving the news: The legislation greatly expands EV purchase subsidies but also ties them to strict sourcing requirements for battery materials.

The big picture: "The incentives will undoubtedly boost EV adoption and help consumers who have been priced out of purchasing an EV to date," Rystad analyst James Ley said in a note.

  • The firm finds that the expanded credits and recent EV announcements from automakers "significantly increase" the chances that U.S. sales follow the "high case" in the chart above.

Yes, but: Susan Zou, another Rystad analyst, notes the bill signals an effort to cut battery supply chain reliance on China, but adds that automakers will face challenges to comply with the minerals, processing and component rules.

  • Price limits on vehicles eligible for credits will also exclude many models and, as Axios' Nathan Bomey reports, EV sticker prices are climbing.
  • Ford announced Tuesday that it's raising the price of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup by about $6,000 to $8,500, depending on the model, to a starting price of about $47,000 to $97,000.
  • The announcement follows recent EV price increases by several other brands, including Tesla, Rivian, Lucid and GMC. Go deeper.

What's next: In the near term, there's a potential dearth of eligible cars. Now I'll turn things over to Axios' Joann Muller, who reports...

  • If you're thinking of buying an electric car anytime soon, you'd better place your order before President Biden signs the Democrats' big climate, tax and health care package into law — which could happen as soon as this weekend.

Go deeper: If you want an electric car, buy one this week

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