Decoding EV Demand: Battery-Powered Bubble?

Over recent years, most of the incumbent automakers significantly ramped up investments in electric vehicles (EVs), gearing up for what they collectively saw as an EV future.  Among others, GM said they were aiming for an all-electric range by 2035, Ford for 100% EV sales by 2030, Mercedes for 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and Volkswagen for 100% EV sales by 2033.  This collective shift in focus is now manifesting in a rapidly accelerating supply of EVs.  In 2022, EVs comprised approximately 5.8% of new vehicles sold in the US, and in Q3 2023, they comprised approximately 7.9%.  But after years of tight EV supply, this rapid supply growth seems to have overtaken demand growth.  Cox Automotive reports that as of the start of October, days of inventory for new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles stood at between 52 and 58 days, but days of inventory for new EVs (excluding Tesla and other direct-to-consumer brands) stood at a concerning 97 days. This growing disparity is driving manufacturers and dealers to roll out an increasing number of incentives to move EV inventory. Below, using insights from occam data, we look for shifts in consumer attitudes towards EVs and dissect the demographic drivers behind EV demand.  (In a later blog, we will explore brand preferences among EV buyers – expect some surprises.)