Quality Verified | Posted May 18, 2023

May: What’s Hot and Trending

From Honda’s latest electric SUVs to Tesla price cuts and the fading Chevrolet Bolt, here’s what’s hot and trending in world of EVs.
Picture of Mark Schieldrop
Mark Schieldrop

AAA Consumer Insights

Honda Announces EV Plans

Honda has announced that it plans to fully electrify its North American lineup by 2040, starting with its first in-house developed EV in 2025 – one year earlier than expected. 

 

In an annual business briefing this week, Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe said the new mid- to large-size EV will sit on the company’s new e: Architecture dedicated EV platform. It will be joined by a series of new vehicles to hit the market in the years following. 

 

In the meantime, Honda has leaned on GM to enter the EV market in North America. Honda’s Acura ZDX and the new Prologue, its first electric SUV, are based on a platform developed by GM. Both vehicles will go on the market in 2024. 

Tesla Cuts Prices, Again

For the sixth time in three months, Telsa slashed prices across its lineup, including the top-selling Model 3, which now starts at $39,990 after a $2,000 price cut. Here are the current prices for Tesla vehicles:

MODEL
PRICE
Model S Plaid
$104,990
Model X Plaid
$104,990
Model X
$94,990
Model S
$84,990
Model Y Performance
$53,990
Model 3 Performance
$52,990
Model Y Long Range
$49,990
Model Y All-Wheel Drive
$46,990
Model 3
$39,990

The company announced that it plans to sell 1.8 million EVs this year, and in an earnings call this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated that earlier price cuts helped the company deliver 423,000 EVs in the first three months of 2023. That’s a record for the automaker, but still not enough to meet the ambitious sales targets by year end. 

Bye Bye Bolt

Production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV will cease at the end of the year, General Motors announced in a company earnings call this month, marking the end of a seven-year run for the compact EV. 

 

The announcement comes at a time when the Bolt is selling at a record clip. GM moved 38,120 Bolts in 2022 and is on pace to deliver more than 70,000 in 2023. 

 

GM CEO Mary Barra said the Orion, Mich., assembly plant where the Bolt is manufactured will be retooled for electric pickups and trucks based on their new Ultimum EV platform that underpins the Silverado and Sierra. The company expects to crank out 600,000 EVs a year, but the demise of the Bolt takes away one of the few sub-$30,000 EVs from the market. 

 

Sales of the 259-mile range Bolt began to surge in summer 2022 after the automaker slashed pricing by $6,000. This move followed a highly publicized battery recall following a series of fires caused by a manufacturing defect. GM replaced the offending batteries and lowered the price, and consumers lined up with deposits at the same time gas prices eclipsed $5 per gallon. 

 

The Bolt first hit the market in 2016. GM introduced a crossover version, the Bolt EUV, in 2022.  

 

Chevrolet hopes entry-level EV buyers will consider their upcoming Equinox EV, which is expected to start at $30,000 and goes on sale late this year. Although larger than the Bolt, the Equinox will boast a 300-mile-plus range option and GM hopes it will fill some of the hole left behind by the Bolt’s absence. 

EV Demand is Booming

Global sales of electric vehicles are surging and expected to set fresh records this year, according to the International Energy Agency. 

 

In the agency’s annual Global Electric Vehicle Outlook, released on April 26, EV sales are expected to grow by 35% this year, reaching 14 million vehicles. This comes on the heels of record sales of 10 million EVs worldwide in 2022. 

 

“Electric vehicles are one of the driving forces in the new global energy economy that is rapidly emerging – and they are bringing about a historic transformation of the car manufacturing industry worldwide,” said the agency’s Executive Director Faith Birol. “The trends we are witnessing have significant implications for global oil demand. The internal combustion engine has gone unrivaled for over a century, but electric vehicles are changing the status quo.” 

 

The agency estimates that EVs now hold 14% of the global vehicle market and that figure is set to increase to 18% this year. In 2020, the share was just 4%. 

 

Most of the sales are occurring in China, Europe and the United States. China accounts for 60% of EV sales and more than half of all the EVs on the road today. 

 

In the United States, EV sales grew 55% in 2022, the agency reported, and additional government subsidies and increased domestic battery production will accelerate domestic EV adoption. 

New Jersey Suspends EV Rebate Program

New Jersey suspended its electric vehicle rebate program through the remainder of the state’s fiscal year ending June 30 after the program ran out of money. 

 

Strong demand for the Charge Up New Jersey Program exhausted funds before the program’s renewal date of July 1.  

 

The state estimated about 10,000 EVs were bought or leased during the fiscal year, totaling about 8% of all new car sales in the state in 2022. 

AAA’s Recommendation: Whether you own an electric vehicle or a gas-powered car is up to you – and you should consider lots of factors in making that choice. No matter what type of vehicle you’re choosing, we recommend visiting a dealership, test driving one, and asking as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.

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