Source: Automakers Dashboard

It’s time to queue Earth, Wind & Fire because we just received September 2023 light duty electric vehicle (EV) sales data.

September boasts the strongest month on record with some dizzying numbers. Nearly 136,000 light-duty EVs were sold in September 2023 – up 67 percent from last September. After months of light-duty EV sales hovering around 10 percent, September brought us an EV market share of 11 percent for new sales. Lastly, we have now surpassed one million EVs sold in 2023, an impressive milestone. Below are some automaker developments we saw in September 2023.

First, Tesla makes a comeback. Our last digest on EV sales described some turbulence in Tesla’s world as the company reported two consecutive months of declining EV sales and market share. However, Tesla’s sales ticked back up in September with nearly 59,000 units sold, representing 43 percent of the EV market. Yet as the automaker increases its sales numbers here in the states, it’s ongoing dispute with Tesla workers in Sweden intensifies. Last month, hundreds of Tesla workers in Sweden went on strike against the company for its refusal to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement for better wages and working conditions – and now other players in the Swedish economy are participating in “sympathy strikes.” CEO Elon Musk, who has publicly taken anti-union positions, criticized the strike as “insane” on X, formerly Twitter.

Next, Toyota has seen eight months of consecutive growth in EV sales this year, and the automaker wrapped up September with nearly 6,000 sales. The RAV4 Prime accounted for nearly half of those sales. We have previously written about Toyota’s nascent EV strategy, and it has been recently reported that the company is getting close to mass-production of its solid-state battery technology, versus traditional lithium-ion batteries that electric vehicles commonly use. According to Toyota, its electric vehicles powered by solid-state batteries will have a range of approximately 1,200 kilometers, or 745 miles, and a charging time of less than 10 minutes.  In other battery news, Toyota and LG Energy Solutions (LGES) recently signed a supply agreement. Under this contract, LGES will support Toyota’s expanding battery EV lineup.

Another unique story in the data is Rivian, whose sales in September jumped 59 percent from August (4,921 and 3,086 respectively). This spike in sales after a few months of decline can be attributed to Rivian’s popular R1S SUV, which made up 3,336 sales in September. The all-electric automaker has now opened seven public-focused “spaces” across the United States since June 2023, allowing more potential customers to experience their adventure vehicles in person. The latest one is in Atlanta Georgia, just 40 minutes from their planned manufacturing facility. With the opening of the space, Rivian also provided an update on the construction of the manufacturing facility. The facility, with an expected annual production capacity of 400,000 units, is slated to break ground in early 2024 with vertical construction to begin thereafter.

View the rest of our EV sales data on our Automakers Dashboard.

About the author: Moe Khatib