Global Electric Vehicle Sales – A Review of The Industry

Charging forward, or hitting the brakes? A look at the rise of electric cars and sales by country and region
Published on April 5th, 2024
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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   Commentary by 
Roland Rivero

Guest Contributor

Roland Rivero
Currently serving as the General Manager of Product Planning at Kia Australia. An integral member of the Senior Management Team for past 8 years, having played a pivotal role in shaping the product portfolio and driving market share expansion, and profit growth. With over 20 years of experience in the Automotive Industry, with previous roles in Hyundai, Toyota and Lexus.
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EVs - Global Electric Vehicles sales report

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As part of Savvy’s ongoing research into consumer sentiment, especially in the automotive sector, we look at the global state of Electric Vehicle (EV) sales, trends, and what we can expect in the future.

  • Global EV sales nearly hit 10 million in 2023, with China surpassing 2 million and the US reaching 1 million for the first time.
  • Despite a projected 17.5% BEV share in 2024, government support for EVs is starting to decline.
  • New battery tech promises to combat range anxiety, with Chinese firm Nio offering a 1,000km battery this year.
  • 60% of EV owners globally are interested in buying used, creating a new market opportunity.

In 2023, electric passenger car sales passed a significant milestone: Almost 10 million EVs (9.97 million) were sold worldwide during the year, with China surpassing the two million mark and the US hitting one million sales for the first time. This showed an annualised EV growth of 28% across all analysed markets by PwC in their Electric Vehicle Sales Review 2024.

S&P Global predicts 88.3 million car (passenger or light commercial vehicle) sales worldwide in 2024, with a battery EV share of 17.5% – an increase of 39.5%.

However, the transition to EVs may not be as inevitable as one thinks. Despite upward growth in EV sales, national governments are beginning to roll back incentives on electric vehicle uptake, as well as impose protectionist policies to shield domestic manufacturing instead of relying on cheaper imports.

New BEV Launches Coming in 2024

Source: PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 8.

Referencing: S&P Global Mobility Light Vehicle Production forecast, December 2023 Release

Most popular EV models by market

The top electric vehicle model across the world’s biggest markets is the Tesla Model Y, taking out the highest selling position in Europe’s Top 4 economies (Germany, France, Italy, Spain), the United States, and China.

The Tesla Model 3 came in second place among the Euro Four and US, with the BYD Yuan Plus landing 2nd spot in China.

The third most popular electric car in the Euro Four was the Fiat 500e; the Chevrolet Bolt in the US; and the BYD Dolphin in China.

Europe Top EV Models in 2023 – by Sales Volume Q1 – Q3 2023 (Germany, France, Italy & UK)

PositionModelSales FY 2023Position Change
1stTesla Model Y97,8060
2ndTesla Model 353,5533
3rdFiat 500e52,0021
4Dacia Spring46,2980
5Volkswagen ID.4, ID.541,7902
6MG 438,3391
7Peugeot E-20831,3661
8Vokswagen ID.329,2310
9Skoda Enyaq28,8231
10Renault Megane Electric26,3401

Source: PwC Autofacts Analysis, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 7. 

USA Top EV Models in 2023 – by Sales Volume Q1 – Q3 2023

PositionModelSales FY 2023Position Change
1stTesla Model Y394,4970
2ndTesla Model 3220,9100
3rdChevrolet Bolt EV/EUV62,0450
4Ford Mustang Mach-E40,7710
5Volkswagen ID.437,7890
6Hyundai IONIQ 533,9180
7Rivian R1S24,7832
8Ford F-150 Lightning24,1656
9Tesla Model X23,0152
10BMW i422,5832

Source: PwC Autofacts Analysis, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 7. 

China Top EV Models in 2023 – by Sales Volume Q1 – Q3 2023

PositionModelSales FY 2023Position Change
1stTesla Model Y456,3940
2ndBYD Yuan Plus309,8351
3rdBYD Dolphin299,7081
4BYD Seagull 239,2703
5Wuling Hongguang Mini EV237,8630
6AIon Y235,7170
7Aion S220,9043
8Wuling Bingo167,7641
9Tesla Model 3167,7641
10Changan Lumin147,2702

Source: PwC Autofacts Analysis, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 7. 

Shifts in Government electric vehicle incentives 

S&P global projects global sales for battery electric passenger vehicles to reach 13.3 million units for 2024 – accounting for an estimated 16.2% of global passenger vehicle sales.

Despite this optimistic outlook, many national governments are looking to reduce or eliminate incentives for consumers to take up EVs due to economic downturns and reining in government spending. For example, the German government has curbed the €4,500 subsidy for EV purchases 12 months ahead of schedule as part of addressing their ongoing budget crisis. New Zealand’s newly elected National government also scrapped the Clean Car Discount Scheme rebate on low-emission vehicles at the end of 2023.

In France, their cash incentive scheme now tracks a car’s “environmental footprint” as the determinant for how much of the €7,000 subsidy a consumer will receive. Domestically produced cars will receive the full subsidy, while cars manufactured further away (and therefore need to be transported using fossil fuels) will receive a reduced benefit – or none at all.

The European Union and United Kingdom are also investigating a 10% tariff on Chinese-produced vehicles, as the Chinese Communist Party government subsidises the manufacture of EVs which means they can be sold cheaply in the EU, leaving European manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage.

Roland Rivero, General Manager of Product Planning with Kia Australia, had the following to say on the topic of EV sales in Australia for 2024 and beyond;

“Electric Vehicle Sales are still on the rise in Australia, with an uplift of 47% Year on Year (Q1 2023 vs. Q1 2024), with the top 5 brands being Tesla, BYD, MG, BMW and Kia.

However, nationally we still have an issue with our charging infrastructure, particularly in rural Australia. And importantly, most of Australia’s energy (and CO2 emissions) is borne from the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels. Specific to the vehicle, customers are facing the current trend of poor resale values for BEVs. Additionally, the problem of battery disposal and/or repurposing needs to be considered as the BEV car parc [registered BEV vehicles in Australia] grows and ages.

There is still therefore, a lot of work to be done by OEMs, Government and Private Enterprise to not only normalise the customer experience, but also ensure that environmental benefits go beyond zero tail pipe emissions.

Most OEMs agree that the Federal Government’s planned New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. A total of 1,216,780 vehicles were delivered during the year, the previous highest sales result of 1,189,116 was achieved in 2017.”

Battery technology and EV charging stations

Our past survey of Australian consumers showed that 51% of 1,000 adults surveyed said that a lack of charging infrastructure was a major barrier to EV entry, as was reduced driving range (39%) compared to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.

As Australia is 7.7 million km² worth of landmass, a car with a sub-400km range would leave many with anxieties as to whether they would run out of charge between stations.

Chinese EV manufacturer Nio has developed a battery offering a range of 1,000km – enough to handle the Melbourne to Sydney run with 120km left in reserve – which will be going into mass production this month (April 2024.)

EV batteries have depended on less than scrupulous supply chains to source nickel, cobalt, and lithium for battery production; though now there is a push for the cheaper and more reliable Sodium-ion technology to surpass Lithium-ion as the de facto standard.

Another innovation produced in a joint venture between Volvo and Polestar manufacturer Geely and Chinese firm Nio is the battery swapping station, which dispenses with long charging times by removing a depleted battery and substituting it for a full one instead of waiting for the original battery to charge.

The used electric car market

As more EVs enter the general vehicle fleet around the world, so comes the opportunity to buy used models at a fraction of the price of buying new. A PwC 2023 eReadiness survey which analysed 18 global markets showed that 60% of EV owners showing an interest in buying a used car: the rate being 75% in North America and 71% in Europe.

Interestingly, EVs depreciated in price 10% more than comparable ICE vehicles, with budget models losing the most value over time. A used EV is a more straightforward purchase than an ICE vehicle, as there are fewer models to choose from at this time.

Growth in EV sales

EV sales growth has continued in all major markets (Western Europe, China, and the United States) with 2.025 million units sold in December 2023, a year-on-year increase of 26%. The year-to-date sales figures topped 18.17 million, an increase of 31% year-on-year. 

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEVs) sales reached 9.47 million in all major markets (year on year increase of 27%), with China taking the majority of sales. Plug-in Electric Hybrids (PHEVs) sold 3.84 million units, an increase of 51% year-on-year. 

China EV sales growth

As previously mentioned, China recorded over 2 million sales of BEVs over 2023. The results of the most recent quarter increased the overall number of BEV sales in 2023 to more than 6.6 million, indicating a 24% rise over the year before. In 2023, there will be 2.8 million PHEV sales, indicating a much smaller market. But its rate of increase was 84% throughout the course of the year, significantly higher than previous. 

Western Europe

Western Europe (the Top Four plus the United Kingdom) recorded a 23% increase in BEV sales in 2023, accounting to 1.3 million vehicles sold. This even surpassed ICE performance (9% growth.) Spain saw the largest increase at 66%, albeit the total number was small compared to Germany, which recorded four times the BEV sales of Italy and Spain put together. 

PHEV sales decreased by 13% in Western Europe, with a 52% drop recorded in Germany largely in part due to their sudden repeal of subsidies.

The other five nations in Western Europe – Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden – The Netherlands and Austria had the biggest gains in BEV sales among the other European markets in 2023, with rises of 59% and 39%, respectively. Sales of BEVs in Norway, which has the largest BEV market globally at an 82% share fell by 24%, albeit at a slower rate than the market as a whole. Impressive BEV market shares of 38% and 34%, respectively, were also seen in Sweden and the Netherlands. 

BEV Sales in the Western Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Spain & UK (BEV, PHEV & Hybrid)

WE 5+5Q4 2023Comparison to Q4 2022
Total EV1,426,000+3%

Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 12. 

United States EV sales

The United States one million BEV milestone also saw with it a 54% increase in sales year over year. The market share of BEVs in 2023 was 7%, nearly tripling in only two years. Government subsidies, aggressive goals to cut car emissions, the regular release of well-received new models, and the advancement of the nation's infrastructure for charging vehicles may all be attributed to the sharp increase. The BEV market share was less than 3% in 2021.

PHEV and HEVs also saw large growth at 57% and 44% respectively. The ICE market only saw an 8% increase in sales over last year, much like the numbers coming out of Europe. 

BEV Sales in the United States (BEV, PHEV & Hybrid)

USAQ4 2023Comparison to Q4 2022
Total EV698,000+49%

Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 12. 

EV sales in Asia

Japanese BEV sales saw an increase of 39% during 2023, despite coming from low numbers overall – BEVs only comprise under 2% of all market share. PHEVs share 2% of the market overall – and 55% of the EV market. ICE growth slowed to 3%. In South Korea, there was little good news for EV sales as it increased by only 1% after several years of steady growth. In 2021, the BEV market grew by an incredible 132%. The ICE market declined due to economic stagnation, slumping 5% overall. 

BEV Sales in the China (BEV, PHEV & Hybrid)

China Q4 2023Comparison to Q4 2022
Total EV698,000+49%

Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 12. 

Electric vehicle registrations

EV registrations in Western Europe during 2023 numbered 5.36 million out of 10.32 million – more than half of all registrations. 1.7 million were BEVs and 2.88 million were hybrids.

2.58 million EVs were registered in the United States out of 15.46 million vehicles. 1.18 million were hybrids, 290,000 were PHEVs, and 1.12 million were BEVs.

EV registrations in China topped the scale at 10.3 million out of 30 million, representing 22.2% of all registrations. 6.66 million were BEVs and 2.79 million were PHEVs.

In Australia, hybrid EV registrations rose by 31% annually, with over 362,000 vehicles.

Future EV model launches

Though many exciting launches are slated for 2024, manufacturers such as Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, and Polestar have announced new models for launch through to 2026. Hyundai has promised an iteration on its hugely popular Ioniq 4 and 8 in 2026, with new Polestar marques coming in succession over 2025-2027.

BYDSealion 072024Q2
LingxiLingxi L2024Q4
VenuciaStar EV2024Q4
VinFastVF 32024Q3

              Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 18. 

AcuraRDX EV2025
AudiA4 e-tron2028
AudiA8 e-tron2027
BuickRegal EV2025
BuickVerano Pro2027
CheryOmoda 32025
ChryslerPacifica EV2028
FordMaverick EV2028
FoxtronModel B2026
FoxtronProject X2026
HondaPassport EV2027
HondaPilot EV2027
HyundaiIoniq 42026
HyundaiIoniq 82026
PolestarPolestar 52025
PolestarPolestar 62026
PolestarPolestar 72027
ToyotaGranvia EV2028
VolkswagenID.3 X2026

              Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 19-20.

  Dec-23 YTDMarket ShareDec-22 YTDYTD – YoYQ4-23QoYDec-23MoYNov-23MoYOct-23MoY
 Total EV893,45850.30%662,33334.90%268,81038.00%102,55235.30%85,36337.40%80,89542.20%
 Total EV1,364,52348.00%1,297,8805.10%363,034-21.90%128,235-40.20%123,529-15.50%111,2706.70%
 Total EV700,72244.80%564,73924.10%182,24921.60%50,1438.30%66,37427.80%65,73227.30%
 Total EV427,68045.00%327,06330.80%116,35924.80%40,36628.30%38,48014.00%37,51333.80%
 Total EV1,057,06655.50%848,60824.60%257,79310.60%81,841-0.60%89,98712.90%85,96521.10%
 Total EV4,443,44949.20%3,700,62320.10%1,188,2454.60%403,137-10.50%403,7338.00%381,37522.30%
WE 5Other4,593,83750.80%4,224,1338.80%1,082,9155.80%353,7347.40%368,7423.40%360,4396.70%

              Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 21. 

  Dec-23 YTDMarket ShareDec-22 YTDYTD – YoYQ4-23QoYDec-23MoYNov-23MoYOct-23MoY
 Total EV115,20748.20%88,29130.50%28,84518.90%9,0303.90%9,67210.80%10,14348.10%
 Total EV332,25089.80%190,49874.40%78,55935.70%27,65325.60%26,37549.00%24,53134.80%
 Total EV122,34396.40%162,607-24.80%30,342-54.50%11,620-67.70%10,082-46.50%8,640-27.00%
 Total EV202,54767.90%191,2935.90%57,279-10.20%21,089-26.60%18,496-3.90%17,69411.90%
 Total EV144,77857.40%114,62926.30%42,54123.30%17,09619.70%13,14713.10%12,29843.20%
 Total EV5,360,57451.90%4,447,94120.50%1,425,8113.10%489,625-12.60%481,5057.00%454,68121.80%
WE 5+5Other4,962,92948.10%4,703,4585.50%1,166,8672.70%381,1453.50%396,3870.70%389,3354.00%

              Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 22. 

  Dec-23 YTDMarket ShareDec-22 YTDYTD – YoYQ4-23QoYDec-23MoYNov-23MoYOct-23MoY
 Total EV196,86616.20%121,14362.50%54,65154.10%17,94842.20%19,72147.00%16,98280.10%
 Total EV93,9274.30%49,24590.70%36,417142.10%16,279191.40%10,601112.20%9,537113.80%
 Total EV10,297,59034.30%7,685,55234.00%3,425,10036.80%1,284,00046.40%1,103,80030.50%1,037,30032.90%
 Total EV422,8198.00%230,68783.30%105,80117.00%35,22122.80%35,35517.50%35,22411.40%
 Total EV68,2648.80%15,437342.20%23,914143.90%9,467101.70%8,192193.20%6,255170.10%
 Total EV1,556,26758.70%1,158,44134.30%396,60626.70%124,16924.30%142,10427.40%130,33328.40%

              Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 23. 

  Dec-23 YTDMarket ShareDec-22 YTDYTD – YoYQ4-23QoYDec-23MoYNov-23MoYOct-23MoY
 Total EV217,60045.80%157,90537.80%63,70062.00%22,90053.10%20,20059.30%20,60076.40%
 Total EV541,87731.20%428,27726.50%158,35239.10%51,85953.40%57,78439.20%48,70926.50%
South KoreaOther1,197,37368.80%1,255,975-4.70%286,723-17.50%91,390-28.20%102,692-10.30%92,641-12.50%
 Total EV169,31017.50%72,120134.80%65,699141.80%27,080162.60%21,217117.00%17,402145.70%
 Total EV2,584,68816.70%1,726,30849.70%698,11348.50%258,74551.40%223,02356.80%216,34537.90%
 Total EV21,509,78230.30%16,093,05633.70%6,454,16429.10%2,337,29328.50%2,123,50227.60%1,993,36831.40%

              Source: Strategy& PwC, Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4, 2023, pg. 24. 

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