Hyundai and Kia placed second in the US EV market behind Tesla after a record sales year in 2023. The Korean automakers surged past Ford and GM with stylish, functional EVs built for the modern era.

Hyundai and Kia take second in US EV sales

According to Kelley Blue Book estimates, a record 1.2 million EVs were handed over in the US last year.

Tesla remained on top (by far) with 55% of the share. Although Tesla’s share will inevitably fall as new models are introduced, price cuts helped bounce back from an all-time low in Q3.

The EV leader captured 4.2% of the total US market with over 650,000 deliveries, topping Volkswagen, Subaru, and BMW for the first time. Meanwhile, Tesla wasn’t the only company with record EV sales last year.

Hyundai capped off a record year with nearly 47,000 IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 EVs sold, while Kia sold almost 19,000 EV6 electric crossovers. It also began delivering its first three-row electric SUV, the EV9, with 1,113 sold in December.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 (left) and IONIQ 6 (right) at Tesla Supercharger (Source: Hyundai)

According to new research from BloombergNEF, the growth was enough for Hyundai and Kia to top Ford and GM for second in US EV sales.

Hyundai and Kia accounted for 8% of passenger EVs sold in the US last year, with around 117,000 handed over.

(Source: Corey Cantor/ BloombergNEF)

Although Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, declared that “Ford remained the No. 2 EV brand” earlier this month, with Kia and Hyundai combined, that’s not the case. Ford sold a new record of 72,608 EVs in the US in 2023.

Meanwhile, GM sold around 72,639 EVs in 2023, with the Chevy Bolt accounting for over 85%. GM ended production of the affordable electric car as it ramps up output of its Ultium models including the Blazer EV. A new Bolt is expected to be revealed next year.

2024 Kia EV6 (Source: Kia)

Electrek’s Take

Although Hyundai and Kia are not the same company, they share Hyundai’s E-GMP platform. Hyundai also owns just over 30% of Kia and shares many components within its network.

The South Korean automakers topped GM and Ford even without their EVs qualifying for the IRA tax credit (only through leasing).

Much of their success is due to building EVs from the ground up. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 was the sixth best-selling EV in the US last year. Hyundai and Kia are also some of the only automakers (outside of Tesla) offering smaller EVs like the Kona and Niro.

Unlike UAW Ford and GM, which have delayed EV initiatives, Hyundai and Kia are focusing on building for the future.

With dedicated EVs, Hyundai also ranked second behind Tesla in lowering CO2 emissions and improving fuel economy over the past several years, according to EPA data.

After EV sales doubled this year, Hyundai’s global president, Jose Munoz, told Reuters in November that he is still “very bullish” on EV demand. Munoz said, “Based on what I see, I need more. If I had more capacity today, I could sell more cars.”

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