When you think of where battery-electric vehicles are most popular, places like Minneapolis and Oklahoma City likely don’t come to mind. But data shows new BEV registrations are beginning to defy the stereotypes and spread in popularity beyond just the coasts.
According to Experian’s Automotive Consumer Trends Report: Q2 2022, Minneapolis is among the top designated marketing areas (DMAs) for new BEV registrations with more than 5,000, based on DMAs with 1,000-plus EV registrations. Oklahoma City is among the fastest growing DMAs with a year-over-year growth rate of new BEV registrations of more than 75%.
It’s clear the BEV landscape is evolving as more makes and models are introduced to the market. As growth accelerates, leveraging data can help identify trends, enabling marketers and dealers to plan more strategically.
Where BEV Registrations Are Growing
Nationally, BEVs made up 5.7% of new-vehicle registrations in the second quarter of 2022. While that number may seem small, considering the percentage just five years ago was only 1.5%, it helps put into perspective the rapid growth this market has seen – a growth rate of more than 250% in five years.
While California continues to hold the lion’s share of the market, with 36.6% of new BEV registrations in Q2 2022, there are other areas that have seen rapid growth in the past 12 months. For example, 6.12% of new BEV registrations occurred in Texas in Q2 2022, which also includes three of the top DMAs: Dallas-Fort Worth (13,000-plus registrations), Austin (7,000-plus registrations) and Houston (9,000-plus registrations).
With 8.14% of new BEV registrations in Q2 2022, Florida also is seeing significant growth in the segment. For example, Tampa has been averaging 63.6% year-over-year for the last five years, with 9,000-plus registrations in in the last 12 months alone. Similarly, Miami averaged 64.43% year-over-year growth for the last five years, with 16,000-plus registrations in the past 12 months.
Colorado Springs and Oklahoma City also show high year-over-year growth rates (78.2% and 75.0%, respectively), demonstrating EVs are growing across the country.
Focus On Consumer Preferences
One of the other shifts seen in the BEV market over the past five years has been consumers purchasing more electric SUVs. In Q2 2018, SUVs made up only 17.8% of new BEV registrations, with 81.9% being sedans. Now, as of Q2 2022, 59% of new BEV registrations are SUVs, while sedans account for 35.8%. This mirrors registration trends in the wider automotive marketplace, with the exception of pickup trucks.
Reinforcing that SUV BEVs are growing in popularity, the Tesla Model Y was the most popular BEV in Q2 2022, comprising 32.8% of new BEV registrations, followed by the Tesla Model 3 (30.7%) and Ford Mustang Mach-E (5.7%). Other SUVs that make the list include the Volkswagen ID.4 (2.9%), Hyundai Ioniq 5 (2.4%) and Kia EV6 (2.0%).
Understanding preferences, such as if a consumer is looking to purchase a sedan or an SUV, is imperative for creating marketing campaigns that cut through the noise and resonate. But one of the underlying questions for marketers is, “Who will be interested in purchasing a BEV?’” That’s not a data point that can be referenced from history, in many cases.
Working with a trusted third-party to enhance your data and identify the unique propensities in your market that demonstrate interest in a BEV is one of the most impactful ways to connect with the right consumers. For example, Experian’s data shows that consumers who currently drive a plug-in hybrid are more likely to purchase a BEV than those who drive another fuel type. Plug-in hybrid owners opted for a BEV as their next vehicle 23.5% of the time, compared to those driving internal-combustion-engine-powered gasoline vehicles (3.2%) and hybrids (8.8%).
The automotive market is changing, but the future is bright. Dealers and marketers who leverage data to inform decision-making will be well positioned to connect with consumers most interested in BEVs.
John Howard (pictured above) is director of product for Experian Automotive