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Electric Vehicle Sales For Q1 2024 Up As Toyota, BMW Shine

Photo Courtesy Toyota

Several global car brands shared good news on investor calls: Electric vehicle (EV) sales are going back up. After a small stagnation, Toyota, BMW, and, surprisingly, Mitsubishi showed increases in EV, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models. Additionally, more luxury EV brands are attracting attention, as new market research shows increased internet search activity for Lucid and Porsche. 

Toyota, criticized for its slower EV rollout, sold 565,098 units in quarter 1 (Q1).

The North American branch of the business said it sold 214,894 vehicles in the United States in March, a 21.8% increase in volume and daily selling rate. 

Lexus also sold 78,471 models, including many hybrid and plug-in hybrids. Toyota and Lexus offer 27 different zero-emissions models, and out of Toyota’s total Q1 sales, 17,382 were plug-in electric cars (battery EVs and PHEVs). InsideEVs said that was a 94% year-over-year. 

“Thanks to our diverse portfolio of 27 electrified vehicle options between the Toyota and Lexus brands, customer demand for our products continued to grow in March and in the first quarter,”  Jack Hollis, executive vice president of sales at Toyota Motor North America, said in a press release.

Photo Courtesy BMW Group

BMW also had impressive first-quarter sales. Overseeing its brand and Mini, BMW Group sold 90,844 (84,475 BMW and 6,369 Mini) units in the U.S., up 2.4% from last year. The company added the i5 at the end of 2023, bringing their EV total to five in America. The company moved 10,713 EVs in Q1, around 12.7% of total American sales. 

The German automaker also has four PHEV models: the X5 xDrive50e, 330e, 750e, and XM. The sales report indicated that the upcoming 550e is coming toward the end of 2024. 

Mini sold 6,369 vehicles in the first quarter, a 12.6% decrease from 2023. The hatchback brand is revamping its portfolio. Sales could spike as new models — electric and gas-powered — hit the market. 

“Not only do we offer BMW customers the ability to choose the vehicle and drivetrain that best suits their needs, but through our nationwide dealer network, we also ensure a premium customer experience,” Sebastian Mackensen, president and CEO of BMW North America, said in a press release. 

VinFast, the Vietnamese electric auto brand, also moved just under 10,000 units in Q1. That was a 444% increase over the first quarter of 2023. While it may seem impressive, 2023 was a very prosperous year for VinFast, so this progress could be described as steady. The company also sells electric scooters, which are very popular in Asian nations. The VinFast EV lineup is now available in 16 states.  

Photo Courtesy Mitsubishi

You could be forgiven for thinking Mitsubishi doesn’t even sell cars anymore. Yet, even the niche Japanese brand saw a steady increase in its zero-emission vehicle sales. The Outlander PHEV sold 1,522 units, 5% of total Q1 sales. The company sold 28,403 in the first quarter, a 35.7% year-to-year increase. The Eclipse, Mirage, and Mirage G4 were other top-selling models. 

More luxury EV brands are attracting prospective buyers. InsideEVs reported new Google Search Analytics data from Rerev, a car advice publication. The Lucid Air garnered significant internet attention, with 882,00 searches for the Air Pure RWD, Lucid’s most affordable model. 

The Porsche Taycan followed with 810,000 searches, the Tesla Model S with 654,000, the Mercedes-Benz EQS with 353,000, and the Taycan Sport Turismo with 69,900. Many of these cars have started lowering prices to attract buyers, especially since they are above the clean vehicle tax credit threshold.

Lucid also finished Q1 with above-market expectations and more fulfilled deliveries than ever. The Air’s price drop is the key factor after the startup cut prices by 10% to keep up with the emergence of low-cost EVs. Lucid delivered 1,967 vehicles in Q1. Reuters reported that the company is working on a $50,000 mid-size electric model, expected to drop in 2026. The idea is to compete with the Tesla Model Y, the best-selling EV in the world. 

The internet’s attention to luxury EVs indicates a heightened consideration for these cars. While they may have hefty price tags, the American car buyer is looking at all options. Toyota and BMW’s zero-emission sales numbers suggest that as well. It seems the country may be driving closer to more electric mobility. 


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