Electric Vehicles Power Past Sales Milestone

They accounted for 10% of new vehicles sales worldwide last year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2023 5:15 PM CST
10% of New Cars Sold Last Year Were Electric
A visitor walks by the Opel Astra Electric as it makes its world premiere during the media opening of the Brussels Motor Show at the Expo in Brussels on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Electric vehicles powered past a major milestone last year, reaching 10% of market share for the first time amid a broader decline in sales of new vehicles. While sales of new electric vehicles in the US are lagging behind, at just under 6%, the LMC Automotive research group says EVs accounted for 19% of auto sales in China last year and 11% in Europe, the Wall Street Journal reports. Researchers say sales of fully electric vehicles were up 68% year-on-year while overall auto sales dropped 1%. Two-thirds of global EV sales were in China, where total auto sales were up 1% last year, offsetting a 7% fall in Europe and 8% in the US, according to LMC Automotive.

Some 80% of new cars sold in Norway are now electric, per CBS. In Germany, the figure is 25%, and it's rising quickly. The growth is "dramatically faster than most analysts were projecting just a few years ago," and the growth in production capacity "is perhaps even more encouraging," David Wallace-Wells writes at the New York Times. Just two years ago, the International Energy Agency predicted that EVs wouldn't reach 10% market share until 2030. Tesla remains the world's leading maker of electric vehicles, but Chinese rivals BYD and SAIC Motor are catching up fast, with Volkswagen in fourth place.

Analysts say it could be hard for electric vehicles to repeat the performance in 2023 due to issues including supply chain problems, soaring electricity prices, and the elimination of cash rebates in some countries. Ralf Brandstätter, head of Volkswagen's China business, however, believes EVs are on course to overtake traditional vehicles in the near future. "Last year, every fourth vehicle we sold in China was a plug-in, and this year it will be every third auto," Brandstätter said Friday, per the Journal. "We haven’t reached the tipping point yet, but we're expecting to get there between 2025 and 2030." (Read more electric vehicles stories.)

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