Apr 7, 2023 - Business

Twin Cities sees bump in electric vehicle registrations

Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Axios Visuals

Electric vehicles accounted for 4.3% of new monthly vehicle registrations in the Twin Cities area in January 2023 — up from 1.4% in January 2022.

  • Tesla Model Y was the most popular model, with 141 registered, followed by Chevrolet Bolt (59) and Tesla Model 3 (56).

The big picture: Nationally, EVs accounted for 7% of new vehicle registrations in January, up from 4.1% a year ago.

  • The growth is another sign that the EV transition is gaining momentum.

Reality check: EVs' share of the road remains small. Less than 1% of the 279 million cars, pickup trucks and vans on American roads are electric.

What's next: Federal officials are reworking existing tax credits for consumers who buy electric vehicles, while Minnesota legislators are considering adding a new state-specific tax break.

Yes, but: Few of today's EVs are expected to meet the new standards, which are aimed at helping bolster U.S. manufacturing and reduce reliance on China, when the list of qualifying vehicles for the federal program is announced next month.

  • People racing to snag the $7,500 federal tax break before the rules get stricter may find EVs in short supply due to supply chain issues and a price war triggered by Tesla price cuts.

What they're saying: Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association president President Scott Lambert told Axios that local dealers are seeing interest grow as people get more comfortable with the technology. Some buyers were motivated to make the switch before the credits change, he said.

  • But "range anxiety" and concerns about charging at home remain barriers for others.

Of note: EV inventory requirements for dealerships are at the center of a lawsuit the MADA filed challenging the state's "Clean Cars" greenhouse gas emission standards.

  • The Minnesota Court of Appeals sided with Gov. Tim Walz's administration and upheld the rules in January. MADA is appealing the decision.

The bottom line: EVs aren't just for early adopters anymore.

  • But it could still be decades before they rule the road given concerns over cost, supply and charging station access.

More coverage: 7 key lessons Joann learned on her 1,500-mile electric car road trip

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