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Affordable Electric Crossovers Still Only Available In Tiny Numbers - Ford Leads

There exists a long list of EV crossovers in America with a consumer cost under $45K from which to choose. Ford is ahead, but none of the brands offer any significant volume of deliveries. Hybrids, on the other hand...

Americans buy affordable crossovers with a consumer cost under $45K in larger numbers than any other type of vehicle. Most have a an average transaction price near $30K.This is the heart of the U.S. automotive market and one that almost every automaker hopes to sell an electric crossover into.

EV Delivery Chart Q2 by John Goreham

Despite the crowded field of competitors in the U.S. market offering affordable EV crossovers, none can maintain a run rate of even a miniscule 2,500 units per month. Top-selling mainstream crossovers like the RAV4 and Honda CR-V maintain a pace of deliveries that is 10X or even 15X that rate. So far, the electric vehicle crossover is all show and not much go.

Related Story: Study Highlights Disconnect Between Pricey EVs and Real Shopper Expectations

Ford Leads But Is 6,734 Units Reason For Celebration?
Ford’s Mustang Mach-E is now in its third calendar year of sales and we can see that Ford plans to build the Mach-E in limited amounts for the U.S. market. Although 6,700 units per quarter is the most in this segment, it is still well below the rate of mainstream crossovers of this size and price.

We’ve reached out to Ford for delivery data on the Escape PHEV and received a quick reply. Ford opts not to provide Escape PHEV delivery data.

Toyota RAV4 Prime Loses Its Lead In Deliveries
The Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) had been the leader in the affordable plug-in crossover segment for a number of quarters. However, Toyota’s pace seems to have slowed to about 2/3s of its 2021 run rate starting into 2022. It now finds its popular plug-in crossover fourth overall in EV crossover sales under $45K

Hyundai Kia Have Strong Starts
Both Hyundai and Kia had very strong starts with the Ioniq 5 and EV6 battery-electric crossovers. Hyundai started first, and its slight lead shows that. If this remains the delivery level moving forward, both brands will follow the footsteps of every other manufacturer in the segment and simply be providing a green crossover solution to a small handful of buyers. Take Hyundai as an example. Its Tucson crossover similarly sized to the Ioniq 5 is maintaining a delivery rate roughly seven times greater than its Ioniq 5. We hope both brands plan to build and deliver green crossovers in meaningful amounts as the ramp-up is completed.

We would list the Kia Niro and Hyundai old Ioniq model delivery data but both companies opt not to provide it.

Volkswagen Basically Out of The Game
Volkswagen’s press page is full of info about future EVs. However, at present, it has no meaningful sales. With just 2,755 units of the ID.4 delivered over three months, it is hard to see VW as a real player in EV crossovers today. Clearly the world’s largest automaker by volume isn’t able to deliver affordable EVs. Or is opting not to.

Let’s Not Forget Some Other PHEVs - Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi
Hyundai and Kia are now offering other PHEV crossovers (Sorento, Santa Fe, Tucson). However, the brands won’t break out the delivery numbers and we’ve never seen one in person. We do see Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs frequently. Mitsubishi managed to deliver 719 Outlander PHEVs in Q1. While this may seem like a small number, let’s have some perspective. Tesla didn’t deliver any crossover PHEVs or BEVs under $60K during this period. In fact, many brands who sell a greater volume of vehicles in America trail Mitsubishi in electrified vehicle sales. Notably Subaru.

Shout Out To Mazda
Mazda sold more BEVs in Q1 than Toyota. Its MX-30 is sold in very low volumes, but it’s here. We have tested it. Where is Subaru’s BEV? Where is Buicks? Where is Cadillac’s? Coming someday, but not here yet.

Hybrids Crush Plug-Ins In Deliveries
Although Hybrids don’t plug in, they are electrified, and they are worthy of mention here as an example of what real delivery volumes look like. Toyota racked up nearly 40,000 deliveries of its RAV4 Hybrid in Q1 in the U.S. The company also delivered over 15,000 larger Highlander hybrids. And these crossovers sit next to hybrid minivans, sedans, and hatchbacks on the showroom floor. All of which also sell in numbers greater than the plug-in crossovers we are highlighting. Which company is taking the most gasoline out of the U.S. consumption tally? Clearly, Toyota is.

Tesla Tesla Tesla
No story related in any way to electrified vehicles can omit the leadership of Tesla. However, Tesla has no affordable electrified crossover on sale in America. Its Model Y is fabulous and a smash hit in its segment. The Tesla Model Y now has an entry price of over $64K, and seems to have price increases each month. Our go-to Tesla data analyst Troy Teslike estimates that Tesla delivered about 50,000 Model Ys in America in Q1. He uses registration data to make that estimate and has a solid track record of accuracy. Why Tesla won’t break down its EV sales by market or model is a mystery.

GM - Zilch
General Motors has no affordable EV crossovers for sale in America. When it does, we will highlight the models and the delivery volume.

Conclusion - Affordable Crossover EVs Are Rare In America
Despite the hype over affordable crossover EVs, there really aren’t many in production today. Each brand has a solid PR network delivering up-to-the-minute info on what’s coming, and the press is now invited to drive and review a lot of new entrants. However, as far as this long-time EV reporter can see, nobody is planning to build more than a meaningless few thousand per month. Therefore, gasoline-powered crossovers will remain the default leading vehicle sold in America for the foreseeable future. Followed by gas-guzzling trucks. Only Toyota sells an affordable crossover with a green powertrain in America in any meaningful number, the RAV4 Hybrid.

Feel free to offer your marketplace comments below. We value your opinion.

Image of Ford Mustang Mach-E by John Goreham. Chart data is directly from manufacturers.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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JustinHart (not verified)    April 7, 2022 - 4:38AM

John, as far as I know the reasons there are so few plug-in SUVs (or cars) of any brand other than Tesla on offer is pretty simple: it is mostly due to the fact that, until recently, no car makers (other than Tesla) have invested very much in battery and components needed to produce in large enough volumes. Are there other factors? Of course, the pandemic induced semiconductor shortage, supply chain chaos from war (and pandemic), some manufacturer’s foot dragging (looking at you Toyota… yes the Rav4 Prime is great, but it’s not enough) etc. Good write up on the figures. I think it’s going to be another year or two before we really see anyone besides Tesla selling plug-in SUVs in numbers over 100k.