The electric vehicle (EV) industry saw some exciting momentum last year, from new vehicle and partnership announcements, to record EV sales.
Here are the top 5 trends in 2023 that made our shortlist:
1. Expansion of the North American Charging Standard (NACS):
Up until this year, the NACS charging connector system, developed by Tesla, Inc., had only been associated with Tesla vehicles, but that will soon change. Last year, most auto manufacturers announced plans to adopt the NACS, with some vehicles being directly equipped with the NACS port as early as 2024, while others will be outfitted with cord adapters. Learn more about these announcements in our News Article.
2. New vehicles everywhere:
Last year saw plenty of new EV models hitting the roads, along with new model announcements. This has led to increased competition in the marketplace, with both startup EV manufacturers and traditional automotive companies joining the electric revolution. A few highlights:
- Daimler Truck Group launched its RIZON medium-duty truck, available through Velocity Vehicle Group.
- General Motors’ Chevrolet Silverado EV made its first vehicle deliveries.
- Honda announced its 2024 Prologue SUV, to become available for delivery starting in 2024.
- Rivian began ramping up deliveries of its R1S and R1T models. Rivian’s commercial vans are no longer exclusive with Amazon, opening the market for other companies to purchase.
- Subaru and Toyota debuted their first fully electric vehicles, the Solterra and bZ4X, respectively.
3. U.S. EV sales hit a record high:
Fully electric EV sales in the U.S. totaled over 1 million for the first time in 2023. This accounts for approximately 8% of vehicle industry totals – nearly a 50% increase from total sales a year ago.
4. Falling battery costs:
The cost of lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs has seen slow declines in recent years. In 2023, battery prices dropped 14% to a record low of $139/kWh.
5. Expansion of infrastructure:
With the U.S. government’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) allocating $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure, along with private investments, tax credits, and rebates, the installation of EV charging stations unsurprisingly increased. By the end of 2023, the total number of EV chargers in the U.S. was estimated at upwards of 180,000. This would almost double the number available at the beginning of the year.
5 trends we are watching in 2024:
1. Continued vehicle availability:
As battery costs continue to decrease and economies of scale kick in, a wider range of EVs is expected to hit the market in 2024, along with more affordable options. The used EV market is also expected to boom this year, providing even more budget-friendly options for those looking to enter the EV world. As more early adopters upgrade to newer models, used EVs will become more readily available and potentially offer significant savings.
2. Increased range and improved battery tech:
The adoption of the next generation 800V architecture platform is expected to become increasingly common, enabling EVs to charge at significantly faster rates as well as extend range abilities. This could potentially cut charging times to under 20 minutes in some cases, as seen in Kia’s EV6 and Hyundai’s IONIQ models. This significant reduction in charging time, along with enhanced battery capacity, will improve convenience and ease range anxiety for EV drivers.
3. Incentives, incentives, and more incentives:
With continued federal vehicle tax credits, increased state and local rebates, utility make-ready and charging programs, and innovative financing options, 2024 could turn out to be a big year for EV adoption. Incentives across the federal, state, local, and utility realms are expected to play a larger role in the implementation of EVs and charging infrastructure. And while no one can predict how long these unprecedented amounts of funding and incentives will last, understanding the landscape is a great first step to knowing when you should take advantage.
4. More charging infrastructure:
Government incentives, increased vehicles options, and private investments in infrastructure have resulted in a significant increase of EV charging stations in the U.S. This stems from a push to establish access to charging across the country to help get ahead of demand. Not only will charging become more accessible, but there is now a focus on fast charging to allow vehicles to charge quickly and help reduce range anxiety. Improved technology and investments in hydrogen may also play a role, particularly when it comes to long-haul, heavy-duty vehicles.
5. Implementation of the NACS:
With major automakers announcing their plans to adopt NACS for new EV models in the U.S. and Canada, exactly how the switch will be implemented will be one to watch. Potential plans suggest:
- Q1 2024 – Adapters for CCS1, the current standard fast charging port for non-Tesla vehicles, to NACS compatibility will start being manufactured and distributed by automakers and charging station providers.
- Q2 & Q3 2024 – New EVs featuring NACS ports directly in the vehicle will start rolling out in the U.S. and Canada. Tesla may also make adapters available for its Supercharger network, allowing NACS-equipped EVs to use those stations.
- Q3 & Q4 2024 – Charging station providers will begin retrofitting some of their existing CCS1 stations with additional NACS connectors. This would involve hardware and software upgrades to accommodate the new standard.
- Q4 2024 – Software updates will be rolled out to ensure seamless communication and payment compatibility between EVs and NACS stations from different providers. This will continue efforts to ensure universal interoperability across charging networks, regardless of the brand or provider.
With so many exciting announcements and advancements in 2023, we are looking forward to further innovation in 2024. Edison Energy’s policy and EV experts will be closely following market changes in what we expect to be the most exciting year yet for the EV industry. Cheers!
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