A New Law Supercharged Electric Car Manufacturing, but Not Sales

First Up 11/14/23

A New Law Supercharged Electric Car Manufacturing, but Not Sales

President Biden’s signature climate law has stimulated a surge of investment in electric vehicle production across the country, including tens of billions of dollars on battery plants across the South and new assembly lines near the Great Lakes. Based on early evidence, it is succeeding at a goal that economists have long considered difficult and costly: using the power of government to rapidly grow a new industry. According to The New York Times, that growth could prove crucial for the other side of the electric vehicle equation: enticing more consumers to buy them. That’s because Mr. Biden’s law effectively hitches the future affordability of electric vehicles to automakers’ willingness to source and build them in the United States. For now, the climate law has not drastically affected trends in electric vehicle sales. Americans are poised to buy one million electric cars and trucks for the first time this year, continuing a steady trend of increased market share for electric vehicles that began years ago. Click here for the full story.

October U.S. Vehicle Inventory Rose to 2.4 Million

New-vehicle inventory in the U.S. continued to recover in October, despite production interruptions from the UAW strike, and is close to where it was in March 2021, when shortages of microchips and other components began to cut into dealer stocks. Cox Automotive estimated automakers started November with 2.4 million new vehicles in inventory, representing a 67-day supply, an increase of about 190,000 vehicles from a month earlier, and about 919,000 vehicles higher than it was a year ago. According to Automotive News, Cox calculates days' supply using the last 30 days' sales rate, which it said was running about 15 percent above the same period a year ago. Cox said the days' supply had increased by seven days in the previous month and is now at its highest point since late 2020, while also being 41 percent higher than a year ago. As has been the case for much of the last year, the tightest inventory levels include the least expensive vehicles. Vehicles with sticker prices below $20,000 were in the shortest supply. Cox said Toyota had the smallest days' supply; Dodge had the largest. Click here for the full story.

IIHS: Tall, Flat Vehicle Fronts Boost Risk to Pedestrians

Vehicles with taller front ends are more likely to kill pedestrians they strike, but models of medium front-end height also pose an increased threat if they feature a flatter nose, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to Automotive News, the IIHS examined 2,958 unique car, SUV, pickup, minivan and van models involved in 17,897 crashes where a single vehicle struck a single pedestrian. A vehicle with a hood more than 40 inches off the ground and a grille slope of 65 degrees or less was 45 percent more likely to produce a pedestrian death than one with a 30-inch-high hood and similar grille angle. Tall-hooded vehicles with noses angled by more than 65 degrees posed a similarly elevated risk of killing the pedestrian (44 percent more likely) when measured against shorter-hooded models with that slope. Pedestrians fared no differently whether they were struck by vehicles with hoods off the ground by 30 inches or less and models with hoods between 30 and 40 inches — as long as the nose of the grille wasn't angled by more than 65 degrees to the ground. Click here for the full story.

Discover the Best and Worst Vehicles That Hold Their Value


In order to calculate five-year depreciation rates, iSeeCars examined more than 1.1 million vehicles sold between November 2022 and October 2023. This data’s historical comparison revealed that depreciation was lower across major segments than in 2019. Karl Brauer, executive analyst of iSeeCars, stated, “The good news for car owners is that all used cars hold their value better than they did five years ago.” However, not all used vehicles are worth the same; “the best segments are trucks and hybrids, while electric cars perform the worst.” Currently, all vehicles have an average five-year depreciation rate of 38.8 percent, but EVs have a depreciation of 49.1 percent, which is more than 10 percent points worse. Regarding value loss, SUVs also lose more than the typical car at 41.2 percent, reports CBT News. The top-ranked Porsche 911 coupe only lost 9.3 percent of its value after five years, indicating robust demand for this sports car in the used market. Relatively high values for three other Porsches, six Toyotas, four Subarus, and three Chevrolets, reflect ongoing consumer demand for sports cars, small SUVs, and fuel-efficient economy cars. Click here for the full story.

Pricey Cars, Not Range Anxiety, Are the Real Speed Bump for EV Adoption

As has been covered extensively, the electric vehicle market is experiencing something of a slowdown, as consumer demand for the novel technology chills. New research from S&P Global suggests that the biggest factor in this turn away from EVs is the high price of getting into one. According to Carscoops, in North America in particular, the majority of EVs are larger, more luxurious vehicles with high MSRPs. However, even in other parts of the world where more affordable EVs exist, like China, the price premium that batteries and electric motors bring is pushing customers away. Almost half of consumers surveyed by S&P Global around the world said that they considered EV prices to be too high. While they understood why the technology carries a premium, they said that getting into it costs too much. It’s not hard to understand where consumers are coming from. In a period when average monthly payments for new cars have hit all-time highs in the U.S., and are dangerously high for people buying used vehicles, price has become a bigger focus. Click here for the full story.


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