A report from the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association shows massive growth for electric vehicle ownership in 2023, now accounting for a total of 17.1% of all new vehicle sales. 

The total Colorado automobile market saw a 5.5% increase in registrations in 2023 compared to 2022, but is still below the national average increase of 7%, according to the report, released this month. Northern Colorado has seen the largest increase in automobile registrations at roughly 7.8%, with the Denver Metro seeing the smallest increase of just a 4.4% increase. 

The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association reports that this increase is due to multiple factors. During the first three months of 2022, there was a rare decline in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, but ever since then, the U.S. GDP has increased by roughly 2.5% every quarter. This, coupled with a historically low unemployment rate of 3.1%, has made the market ripe for growth. 

Low unemployment and strong household incomes has helped boost electric vehicle sales with American families having increased purchasing power and confidence in the market. This has proven especially true with a pent-up demand seen for electric vehicles and new innovations in clean automotive technology, according to the report.

Battery-operated electric vehicles (BEVs), according to the report, saw the largest increase in Colorado among electric vehicles between the second and third quarters of 2023, with an increase from 10.3% to 13% of the alternative powertrain market share, which is defined as the market of all powertrains not with a combustible engine. Tesla’s Model Y, a BEV, is reported to have the largest share of this market, with 18% of all sales. The second largest manufacturer, Toyota, has dominated the hybrid vehicle market, with its most popular model being the Toyota RAV4, a hybrid accounting for a 6.6% share of the market.

Since 2022, the largest increase in electric vehicle sales for a single manufacturer in Colorado has been for Amazon-backed Rivian, seeing an uptick of 145.2% in electric vehicle registrations. This is followed distantly behind by Buick and its models at a 62.7% increase in electric vehicle registration. 

With used car registrations continuing to decline in 2023, with the year-to-date decrease being about 2.8%, many consumers are looking toward new electric vehicles, and the number present in Colorado is likely going to continue to increase, according to the report.