Electric vehicle owners are keeping DMV employees busy.
Registrations for new EVs soared 60% in the first three months of 2022 even though new car registrations were actually down 18% on the whole, Automotive News and Car and Driver reported, citing Experian data. EVs now account for 4.6% of all passenger vehicles being sold in the U.S.
Tesla vehicles had the most new EV registrations with 113,882, representing 59% of electric cars registered during that period.
Kia came in second with 8,450 based on strong sales of its Niro subcompact. Ford was third with 7,407 registrations for its Mustang Mach-E, the electric version of its commercial Transit van and the newly released F150 Lightning pickup. Hyundai wasn't far behind, posting 6,964 registrations for its Ionic 5 and Kona compact crossovers, along with the hatchback version of the Ionic 5.
Because Tesla remains upmarket with starting prices over $40,000, the two Korean brands are quickly laying claim to the budget EV market. Kia's Niro sells for half that, and the Kona Electric starts at $34,000.
THE DASH FOR POWER: As electric vehicle sales surge, public charging stations in the U.S. lag
CADILLAC LYRIQ: New EV range will top 300 miles as GM reveals new pricing
it remains to be seen whether the U.S. charging station network is ready to meet the growing demand.
With sales of EVs expected to double every couple of years, 40 million EVs could be on the road by the end of 2030, says Loren McDonald of EVAdoption, which analyzes EV and charging trends. If enough public chargers aren't available, that could sour EV buyers.
Contributing: Chris Woodyard
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Electric vehicle registration spikes 60%. are EVs going mainstream?