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2023’s best-selling EVs – Rivian R1S outsells Tesla Model X and Ford F-150

Tesla’s Model Y was the best-selling electric vehicle in the US in 2023 by far, but other EVs from VW, Hyundai, Rivian, Chevy, and Ford are climbing the sales charts. And there was a surprise in the “Big EV” category…

Another year of EV records

A record 1.2 million EVs were handed over to customers in the US last year, beating most expectations. The grid didn’t fail like your uncle said it would on Facebook either.

Electric vehicles accounted for 7.6% of total US sales in 2023. That’s up from 5.9% in 2022 and 3.2% in 2021. Next year, that number is expected to reach around 10% for the first time, according to Cox Automotive research.

Despite some claims of a market slowdown, a record 317,168 EVs were sold in the last three months of 2023. That’s 8.1% of total US auto sales and 52% higher than Q4 2022.

Tesla continued dominating globally last year with over 484,500 EVs delivered in Q4 to hit its goal of handing over 1.8 million global vehicles in 2023.

The effort was enough to maintain control of over half of the US EV market. Tesla’s EVs accounted for 55% of electric vehicle sales in the US last year. The brand’s two most affordable models remained the far and away the best-selling EVs in 2023.

(Source: Tesla)

Top ten best-selling EVs in 2023

With over 394,000 units sold, Tesla’s Model Y represented one in every three EVs sold last year. The Model 3 placed second with 220,910 units sold.

RankTop 10 best-selling EVs of 20232023 sales2022 rank
1Tesla Model Y394,4971 (-)
2Tesla Model 3220,9102 (-)
3Chevy Bolt EV/EUV62,0455 (+2)
4Ford Mustang Mach-E40,7713 (-1)
5Volkswagen ID.437,7899 (+4)
6Hyundai IONIQ 533,9187 (+1)
7Rivian R1S24,783N/A
8Ford F-150 Lightning24,16510 (+2)
9Tesla Model X23,0156 (-3)
10BMW i422,583N/A
Top 10 best-selling EVs in 2023 (Source: Kelley Blue Book)

Meanwhile, the Chevy Bolt EV had its best sales year yet with 62,045 electric models sold. Despite this, GM has already stopped producing affordable electric cars as it scales production of its Ultium models like the Blazer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. Chevy Equinox is supposed to go on sale later this year and a new Bolt EV will be unveiled next year.

Chevy Bolt EV (Source: GM)

Ford’s Mustang Mach-E also had its best sales year with 40,771 electric crossovers sold while the F-150 Lightning was the best-selling electric pickup. Other electric SUVs including the VW ID.4 (37,789) and Hyundai IONIQ 5 (33,918) gained ground amid record years.

EV startup Rivian cracked the top ten after selling 24,783 R1S electric SUVs in 2023. Rivian delivered over 50,000 EVs last year in total, more than double the 24,337 handed over in 2022. No one is growing faster than Rivian at over 100% growth rate.

In fact the R1S has grown to become the best-selling “big EV” outpacing the Tesla Model X and the Ford F-150 Lightning.

Electrek’s Take

The best-selling EVs of 2023 look a lot like last year’s list. The biggest changes include Tesla’s Model S slipping off this list from fourth in 2022.

The Chevy Bolt EV rose two spots while the Mach-E fell from third to fourth.

I expect to see more changes in 2024 with new model launches like the Volvo EX30, starting at $35,000.

Top comment by Leonard Bates

Liked by 28 people

"Despite claims of a market slowdown". There seems to be, in my opinion, a concerted effort to paint EVs as failing, falling in sales, trouble-bound and a technology failure. Wonder who could be behind that?

View all comments

While UAW automakers GM and Ford are pulling back on EV initiatives, others are doubling down like Hyundai and Volvo. The results will likely begin to show this year.

If growth patterns continue, Ford will get beaten by Rivian to the #2 spot.

What changes do you guys expect to see on this year’s list? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Kelley Blue Book

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising

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