Tesla electric vehicles photographed in China. The second largest economy in the world is a major player in the sale of electric vehicles.
CGV | Visual Group China | Getty Images
Sales of electric cars jumped to more than 10 million last year, with China accounting for around 60% of the market, according to a report by the International Energy Agency released on Wednesday.
The record sales figures, contained in the IEA’s Global Electric Vehicle Outlook for 2023, continue a steady growth trend for the industry.
“Sales of electric cars – including battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – topped 10 million last year, up 55% from 2021,” the report said. IEA report.
“This figure – 10 million sales of electric vehicles worldwide – exceeds the total number of cars sold in the whole European Union (around 9.5 million vehicles) and represents almost half of the total number of cars sold in China in 2022,” he added.
The IEA defined “sales” in its report as “an estimate of the number of new vehicles on the road”.
In total, he said more than 26 million electric cars were on the world’s roads in 2022, representing a 60% increase from 2021.
plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVfeature an internal combustion engine as well as a battery-powered electric motor.
Some see them as an important tool in the transition to low- or zero-emission modes of transport. Others, including organizations such as Greenpeace UK, see them with a bad eye.
Looking ahead, the Paris-based IEA – seen by many as an authoritative voice on the energy transition – said it estimates global sales will reach nearly 14 million in 2023.
“This explosive growth means that the share of electric cars in the overall automotive market has increased from around 4% in 2020 to 14% in 2022 and is expected to increase further to 18% this year, based on the latest projections from the AIE,” an accompanying statement notes the report.
The dominant Chinese market
The IEA has described China as the “favorite” when it comes to electric car sales. He added that more than 50% of electric cars on the road were now in the world’s second-largest economy.
“In Europe, the second-largest market, electric car sales grew by more than 15% in 2022, meaning more than one in five cars sold were electric,” the IEA said, adding that U.S. electric car sales were up 55% in 2022. 2022.
“Electric vehicles are one of the drivers of the rapidly emerging new global energy economy – and they are driving a historic transformation of the automotive industry worldwide,” said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the OUCH.
“The trends we are witnessing have important implications for global oil demand,” he added.
“The internal combustion engine has been unrivaled for more than a century, but electric vehicles are changing the status quo.”
“By 2030, they will avoid needing at least 5 million barrels of oil a day. Cars are just the first wave: buses and electric trucks will soon follow.”
Unlocking India’s potential
While China, Europe and the United States are big players when it comes to electric cars, the IEA noted that other parts of the world are also showing “promising signs”.
“Electric car sales are generally weak outside of major markets, but 2022 was a year of growth in India, Thailand and Indonesia,” he said. “Collectively, electric car sales in these countries more than tripled from 2021, reaching 80,000.”
India was seeing an “acceleration” in manufacturing of electric vehicles and components, according to Wednesday’s report. This had been supported by a $3.2 billion incentive package from the Indian government, which in turn had led to $8.3 billion in investments.
In recent years, a number of major economies have drawn up plans to increase the number of electric vehicles on their roads.
The UK, for example, wants to end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030 and will, from 2035, require all new cars and vans to have zero tailpipe emissions.
The European Union, which the United Kingdom left on January 31, 2020, is also seeking to reduce emissions road transport.
And in the United States, California, the most populous state in the United States, bans the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
While there is excitement about the potential of low- or zero-emission vehicles, the move away from fossil fuel-powered cars won’t always be smooth.
Some worry, for example, that the low noise levels of electric vehicles could pose a challenge for people with sight problems. Additionally, talking about a skills gap sparks discussions about cost and security, while ensuring that charging infrastructure is accessible to all is another area to watch.