The Top Stories That Made EV Headlines in 2023

Last year was a mixed bag of a year for the nascent electric vehicle industry. Major companies such as Tesla broke sales records while Chinese automakers made major inroads into international markets. However, surging interest rates and high prices depressed electric vehicle demand as 2023 drew to a close, forcing many automakers to reconsider their ambitious plans for electrification. Even so, 2023 was a significant year for the EV industry.

Carmakers began switching to Tesla’s proprietary connector in 2023 after the Texas-based automaker allowed other carmakers to adopt its charging connector. With the exception of Stellantis, every major carmaker has formalized the switch to Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS). This move grants the majority of non-Tesla EVs access to Tesla’s massive network of supercharging stations and could help increase consumer confidence in EV charging.

Automakers and retailers got increasingly interested in EV charging. Both groups began to scale up their EV charging commitments in 2021 and 2022 with the aim of emulating Tesla’s wildly successful Supercharger Network. Mercedes-Benz will begin developing a fast-charging network in America while seven major automakers are funding a charging network dubbed We Charge that would rival the Tesla Supercharger Network in both size and scope.

General Motors also partnered with Pilot Travel Centers to open more than a dozen charging stations across 13 states, and convenience store chain 7-Eleven has plans to develop the largest public EV charging network in the country.

Electric vehicle tax credits were still a mess in 2023 amid a new price cap and household income requirements, an EV-leasing loophole and the planned shift to a dealer-based rebate system. Imprecise language in EPA consumer information and from the Department of Treasury also made it difficult for EV buyers to know if the cars they intended to purchase were eligible for tax credits.

The Treasury didn’t release full guidance on EV tax credits for 2024 until Dec. 1, 2023, leaving many buyers, automakers and even the EPA unsure of the EV models that qualified for tax credits.

EV prices finally dropped in 2023 after automakers spent a large portion of the previous year price-gouging electric cars. Tesla prices dropped by an average of 20% as the automaker cut prices for its Model 3 and Model Y. Coupled with an influx of vehicles into the secondhand market, prices for used Teslas also went down. Non-Tesla electric cars such as the Ford F-150 Lightning, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Lucid Air from Lucid Motors (NASDAQ: LCID) and the Hyundai Ioniq 6 also experienced notable price reductions.

Overambitious software rollouts nearly hindered EV adoption last year. Software has always been an integral component of the electric car, and EV software has made significant advancements in recent years. However, cases of software updates bricking infotainment systems and automakers temporarily halting EV deliveries or recalling hundreds of thousands of EVs due to software issues were rampant in 2023.

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