EV Registrations Spike in the US But There's More Work to Be Done

The increased adoption of electric vehicles is a highlight, but only one small step in the big picture.

Midsection of mid adult woman charging electric car

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Registrations of electric vehicles (EVs) saw a significant increase in the first quarter of 2022, signaling that EVs are finally becoming more mainstream in America. According to a report from Automotive News, nearly 158,689 EVs were registered in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 60%.

Tesla EVs accounted for most of the new EV registrations with 113,882 new Teslas hitting the road, which was almost a 72% increase. Kia came in second with 8,450 registrations and Ford in third with 7,407 registrations for the Mustang Mach-E. Hyundai has also seen a nice increase in sales of its EVs with 6,984 registrations.

Plus, the increased registrations for EVs contrast the total registrations for all new cars, which were down 18% in the first three months of this year. Registrations for new EVs will likely increase as gas prices continue to spike and more new EVs become available.

While the number of new EVs hitting the road is good news, there’s still the issue of charging stations. EV buyers continue to worry about range anxiety and charging infrastructure. The increased number of EVs means more demand for charging stations. The Biden administration has set a goal of building a nationwide network of 500,000 public charging stations by 2030. But, the issue today is that the number of electric vehicles on the road outnumbers the number of available chargers. For example, in California, there are currently 12.23 EVs for every EV charger.

While we wait for more chargers to come online, there are some other options that cities could introduce to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, driving down the demand for EV chargers. Currently, there are several cities around the world that are encouraging walking and cycling. Cities like Paris have planned to ban vehicles from crossing into the city center as a way to reduce emissions and create more safe spaces for walking and cycling. Other cities, like New York City, have created safe, walking-only spaces, like The Highline. But, here in the U.S., many of the larger cities have not taken significant steps to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

A view of the pathway in NYC's High Line
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park in New York City.

Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

Another way to reduce the number of vehicles on the road is to improve public transportation, which has been a struggle for many larger cities in the country. It’s no secret that Los Angeles residents are overly dependent on cars, but it recently announced a new pilot that will offer residents of underprivileged neighborhoods a monthly stipend to use for bus and train fares. Los Angeles needs to take this a step further by creating more public transportation options in areas of dense traffic. In many parts of the city, the only way to get to your destination is by car.

At the end of the day, the increased adoption of electric vehicles is a highlight, but only one of the ways that can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce emissions.