New EV players stir up U.S. auto market

New auto brands and models are bursting onto the EV market after years of dominance by Tesla, Chevrolet and Nissan, among the small number of early adopters.

New-vehicle registration data from Experian for the first half of 2022 shows Polestar — with its Polestar 2 model — making an appearance in the top 10 alongside stalwarts such as the Tesla Model Y and, more recently, the surging Ford Mustang Mach-E.

The Polestar 2, new for the 2021 model year, saw its registrations increase eightfold to 4,873 in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year. The compact vehicle, somewhere between a hatchback and a crossover, was No. 10 on the EV registration chart by model. At No. 9 was the Kia Niro EV with 6,931, a 143 percent increase.

Among all automakers selling EVs, Polestar as a brand managed eighth place, beating Volkswagen, which has been struggling to supply its ID4 electric crossovers to the U.S. from Germany. VW this month began producing the ID4 at its Chattanooga plant. New ID4 registrations fell 17 percent in the first half to 4,752.

California EV startup Rivian, which has struggled to ramp up production since building its first R1T pickup in September last year, is showing a growing presence in the new data with 3,517 registrations. Lucid, another California startup, posted 978 registrations for its Air sedan after production struggles of its own since last year’s launch.

Genesis, which is part of Hyundai Motor Group, is also new to the EV market this year and had 177 registrations of its GV60 in the six-month period. The Genesis crossover is closely related to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 — No. 6 for new EV registrations in the first half — and the Kia EV6, which came in seventh place among EV models.

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