In addition to the higher number of registrations, there's also a growing number of consumers showing loyalty to zero-emission vehicles. IHS says almost 55 percent of all new EV owners purchased or leased another EV again in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 42 percent the quarter before that. While the holidays might have helped boost that percentage in the fourth quarter, the upward trend continued until January -- nearly 70 percent of EV owners returned for a new vehicle that month.
Tom Libby, loyalty principal at IHS Markit, explained:
"EV loyalty rates have been steadily increasing since their introduction by OEMs. This increase over such a short timeframe demonstrates that a portion of the US market is highly accepting of this new technology and has a growing comfort level with it. As more new models enter the market, we anticipate an even further increase in loyalty to these vehicles."
While 208,000 is still a tiny number if you take all vehicles sold into account, IHS expects to see more EVs on the road these coming years as manufacturers develop and release a wider variety of models to choose from. Some may even end up more popular than Tesla's Model 3, which is the best-selling EV today. The analyst believes that number will grow to 350,000 by 2020 and to 1.1 million by 2025.