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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Tesla's stock was up over 7% in premarket trading this morning after it reported record deliveries in the year's first quarter on Friday. But it's not the only manufacturer seeing sales increases this year.

Why it matters: Even as gasoline-powered sales return from the pandemic, cars with plugs are going faster, albeit from a much smaller base.

  • "It’s clear EV sales, both in the U.S. and globally, are increasing on a percentage basis faster than traditional internal combustion vehicles," iSeeCars.com analyst Karl Brauer tells Axios.
  • "Multiple automakers have introduced high-volume models in the past 12 months, with Tesla’s Model Y and Ford’s Mach-E being two prime examples," he said in an email.

Driving the news: Tesla beat analysts' expectations with 184,800 deliveries.

The full EV sector's Q1 tallies are still emerging, though Tesla is the leading player.

But individual company figures and a Morgan Stanley research note have some noteworthy numbers.

  • Over 181,000 fully electric vehicles were sold worldwide in February, which is up 138% compared to February 2020, per Morgan Stanley and data partner EV-Volumes. And January's numbers were even higher.
  • Several major automakers saw increases, including Ford, thanks to the initial deliveries of its new Mustang Mach-E.
  • Ford said in a separate release that it sold 6,614 in the U.S. despite what amounts to a cameo on dealer lots so far.
  • GM reported that U.S. Q1 sales of its Bolt EV are up over 50% compared to last year.

The intrigue: Higher figures are likely in part related to the pandemic, but that alone doesn't account for the acceleration.

Its full effects were not apparent in early 2020, and unlike internal combustion models, EV sales actually rose last year.

But, but, but: EVs still represent a very small (but rising!) fraction of total sales, and the U.S. lags behind China and Europe.

  • Per Morgan Stanley, fully electric cars were 2.3% of U.S. sales in February, compared to 6.3% in Europe and 7.9% in China.
  • U.S. manufacturers face battery supply chain challenges.
  • And the global chip shortage is affecting the overall industry, threatening production and sales.

What's next: A fuller picture of global Q1 EV sales will emerge in the coming days.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Texas nonprofit got massive border contract after hiring Biden official

Migrants attempting to enter the United States from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo: David Peinado/Xinhua via Getty Images

A Texas nonprofit that recently hired a Biden transition official got a contract worth as much as $530 million to help manage the influx of migrant children at the southern border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The contract is by far the largest ever awarded to Family Endeavors. It's potentially worth more than 12 times the group's most recently reported annual budget — a sign of the demand the new work will place on its operations.

6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: $1 million ad buy defends Georgia law to business critics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A leading conservative group is targeting the business community with a seven-figure ad buy on CNBC and local TV defending Georgia's new voting law from its corporate critics, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: By focusing on the C-suite through a network it watches, Heritage Action for America is offering a rejoinder to some companies — even Major League Baseball — after they waded so prominently into politics.

Advocates, Democrats plan to push major pot reform

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Advocates and lawmakers favoring marijuana reform are trying to capitalize on the social justice movement and COVID-19 economic rebound to legalize and normalize the use of pot.

Why it matters: The supporters are also trying to take advantage of polls showing broad public support — and get ahead of the reality Democrats could lose their control of Congress after the midterm elections next year.