Article Type: News

Growth forecast for European EV market despite incentive impact

Even with incentive changes, Europe’s new electric vehicle (EV) market is still forecast to grow. Neil King, head of forecasting at EV Volumes (part of J.D. Power), presents the outlook.

Europe’s new light-vehicle market, made up of passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles (LCVs), grew by 13.9% year-on-year in 2023. The sector was aided by improving supply, which reduced order backlogs created by component shortages in previous years. However, order intake is currently subdued because of high interest rates and cost-of-living increases.

EV Volumes forecasts that Europe’s combined new passenger-car and LCV market will grow by 3.1% this year. This equates to 15.2 million units, far short of the 18 million light vehicles registered in 2019. The European market is unlikely to return to this level anytime soon and is not expected to surpass this figure before 2035.

Shrinking subsidies

Electric vehicle registrations in Europe increased by 17.4% year-on-year in 2023, to 3.15 million units. This allowed the powertrains to take a joint 21.4% share of all light-vehicle deliveries, up from 20.7% in the previous year.

However, the EV market faced challenges in several countries throughout 2023, which may have impacted registrations. France saw its subsidies reduced, while Germany ended incentives for business purchases in September, and abruptly in December for private buyers. Even Norway, considered the leading market in Europe for EVs, announced it was ending VAT exemption on the powertrains.

There are more challenges ahead in 2024. With no more incentives in Germany, the country’s EV market will experience its first full year without financial aid for buyers. In France, subsidies for company buyers have now concluded. Meanwhile, the number of vehicles eligible for incentives has been cut, with the French government removing models exported into Europe.

Furthermore, most legacy vehicle manufacturers can stay safely below their required CO2 limits without selling more EVs. This means their attention can return to more profitable internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

EV growth expected

More positively, both Italy and Spain are considering new incentive schemes for 2024, to help boost uptake in their markets. Carmakers are also rolling out more affordable battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), one example being the new Citroen e-C3. Europe will also benefit from BYD’s regional expansion plans. Other Chinese OEMs will follow suit as they look beyond their domestic market.

For 2024, EV Volumes expects European EV deliveries to grow by 18% year on year. This equates to 3.7 million new models. This is despite the anticipated lacklustre growth of the wider light-vehicle market. EVs will account for around a quarter of all light-vehicle sales.

The growth will be predominantly driven by BEVs, volumes of which are forecast to grow by 23.5% this year. The all-electric technology will dominate the EV market, accounting for 72% of registrations, with plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) making up the remaining 28%.

PHEVs are also forecast to improve in 2024, with 5.9% growth. The technology offers a stepping-stone between ICE and BEV technologies, something that may be attractive to buyers. In addition, the removal of incentives for all-electric models in Germany means they have lost their price advantage over PHEVs. This could benefit the plug-in hybrid powertrain in the coming months.

Market momentum slows

Compared to the previous EV Volumes forecast, the 2024 EV volume and share expectations for Europe have been slightly reduced. Although the outlook for total European light-vehicle deliveries has increased, the net effect is not positive enough to balance out the negative influences.

Changing incentives, together with countries pushing back on EU plans for zero-emission-only new-vehicle sales from 2035, has affected the outlook. The forecast now foresees slightly lower EV shares moving forward.

The European market share of BEVs and PHEVs combined is forecast to reach 29.4%, in 2025, down from the previous forecast of 31.1%. EVs will then take a 67.3% share in 2030 (was 68.6%), and a 94.5% share in 2035 (was 94.9%).

The forecast for 2035 includes some tolerance for timing interpretations of the zero-emission-only new-vehicle sales bans. It also allows for exemptions for ICE vehicles that may be deemed unsuitable for full electrification.

LCVs lag behind

The light-commercial vehicle market is still seeing slower EV uptake than the passenger-car sector. However, the 49% growth for LCV EVs in 2023 is encouraging, especially compared to the 16% growth for passenger cars.

High prices compared to diesel models are still restraining this uptake. Yet there are key new BEV versions of popular models, such as the Ford Transit, Renault Trafic, and VW Transporter, that will help demand. Additionally, upgraded versions of the small, medium, and large electric vans offered by Stellantis brands will drive the market forward.

EV Volumes now forecasts that the EV share of LCVs will climb from 7.5% in 2023, which was already up from 5.8% in 2022, to a market hold of 11.1% in 2024. This will then improve to 16.1% in 2025 and 58.6% in 2030.

Long term, the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles for 2035 will further accelerate the transition to all-electric LCVs.

The forecast assumes that all Western and Central European markets will follow the directive, allowing for some exemptions and grace periods. Therefore, the zero-emission vehicle market does not reach 100% coverage in 2035 but is forecast to achieve a 94.1% share, compared to 94.6% for passenger cars.

The role of e-fuels and other CO2-neutral ICE fuels is still uncertain, but will likely be limited to niche concepts. EV Volumes also expects the deployment of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCEVs) to be limited in the LCV market, with their share peaking at just 0.03%.

BYD took control of the 2023 Chinese EV market

Electric vehicles (EVs) made up 37% of China’s new-car market in 2023, with BYD and Tesla leading the way. José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com, unpacks the results.

The electrification of China’s new-car market has picked up in recent years. Combined registrations of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), meant the EV market represented 6.3% of deliveries at the end of 2020. BEVs alone accounted for 5.1% of the overall figures.

In 2021 this market share grew to 15% for EVs overall and 12% for BEVs specifically. Across 2022, plug-in models accounted for 30% of deliveries in the country, with all-electric vehicles taking a 22% share. By the end of 2023, the EV share had climbed to 37%, with BEVs generating 25% of overall registrations.

So, while electrification in China has improved, the rate of adoption has slowed over the course of the last three years. However, the world’s largest automotive market can still be expected to reach an EV share of 50% by 2026. By this point, BEVs will make up over a third of the new-car market.

BYD Song tops the chart

The BYD Song was the best-selling EV in China last year, repeating its 2022 success. The model finished 2023 more than 100,000 units ahead of the second-place Tesla Model Y. The US crossover surpassed the BYD Qin Plus at the very end of last year.

However, BYD placed five models within the top six positions of the 2023 chart, while also leading every size category.

The BYD Seagull managed to overtake the Wuling Mini EV in the A-segment. The carmaker’s Dolphin model led the B-segment and its Yuan Plus claimed the C-segment. Lastly, the Song secured the D-segment, and the Han took the E-segment. BYD can be expected to top a lot of categories again this year, however, it will face more competition.

The Li Auto L7 and Aito M7 will likely overtake the BYD Han in the E-segment. In the D-segment, the Tesla Model Y will look to state its claim to the title, as BYD’s models compete against each other in the popular category.

This story is likely to be repeated in the C-segment, with the GAC Aion Y competing with the BYD Yuan (Plus and Up). In the B-segment, the Wuling Bingo could become a fiercer contender for the title.

Comparing the 2023 table with the previous year, the Wuling Mini EV dropped five places to seventh due to increasing competition. The ageing BYD Tang also dropped from eighth in 2022 to 13th.

Noticeably, several small EVs were pushed out of the table this year, such as the Changan Benni EV, the Chery eQ1, and QQ Ice Cream. While Changan could rely on the 14th-place Lumin, Chery lost its two spots without any replacements.

Third title for BYD brand

BYD claimed its third brand title in a row last year, with a 33.8% market share. Since it started making plug-in models in 2008, the carmaker has always made it to one of the two top spots in China’s brand table. This highlights its importance to the electrification of the market.

Meanwhile, Tesla took second place in 2023 with a 7.5% share. This marks a step up for the company following three years of third-place finishes.

Thanks to the success of its Aion S and Y models, GAC Aion secured a top-three spot for the first time last year, coming in third with a 6% market share. This is a positive result for the brand after coming fourth in 2022 thanks to a 4.6% share.

Despite the success of its Wuling Bingo, SGMW experienced a significant loss of volume in 2023, as the Wuling Mini EV dropped by about 200,000 units. The brand ended the year with a 5.8% share, contrasting with the 8% it had in 2022.

Li Auto came fifth with a 4.7% share, replacing Changan with 4.3%. However, the latter still managed to finish in sixth while increasing its market share from 3% in 2022. Geely once again took seventh, but made up 4.1% of the market, up from 3.7% at the end of 2022.

Demand set to drop?

With brands organised under automotive groups, BYD was once again the big winner in China with a market share of 35.5% in 2023. Having taken last year’s title, this is likely to be a repeating trend in the coming years.

However, having also claimed first place in the wider overall market, the OEM is starting to near its demand ceiling, leaving little room for growth in China.

In second, SAIC claimed a 7.5% share. The carmaker claimed this spot in the last month of 2023, managing to push ahead of Tesla by just 518 units. In fourth, Geely–Volvo appears set to keep growing. The company ended 2023 with a market share of 7.1%, a significant increase on 5.7% in 2022.

GAC secured fifth, progressing from a 4.9% share in 2022 to 6.5% last year. Changan climbed up a position from 2022, as its market share grew from 4% to 4.8% last year.

Record end to a record year

EVs finished 2023 with another record month. Registrations of plug-in models grew 46% year on year, reaching a record 980,737 units. BEVs (up 31%) saw slower growth than PHEVs in the month (up 81%).

Yet all-electric models accounted for 63% of the EV market in December, but this was below 2023’s BEV 66% average. This was far below the 74% recorded at the end of 2022.

The up-swing in PHEV popularity can be explained by the increasing availability of range-extended models in China. Most of these models feature a battery with around a 40kWh capacity and fast-charging capabilities.

BYD Song dominates in December

The BYD Song continued its run of record-breaking success in December. Out of its 72,182 total deliveries, its BEV version reached a new best of 14,011 units. This highlights how production is leaning further towards the all-electric powertrain.

This could mark the current generation’s peak. The Song was the best-selling model in December’s overall new-car market in China, but there will be increasing competition moving forward. A large portion of this will come from inside BYD, in the shape of the new Song L and the Sea Lion.

In second place, the Tesla Model Y achieved 60,055 registrations in December, a new record. This is impressive considering the increasing amount of competition in the market, including internally from the refreshed Model 3.

As the standard BYD Song gets cannibalised by its siblings, Tesla Model Y can be expected to regularly feature in first this year, even if its sales do not grow significantly.

The BYD Qin Plus ended December in third with 41,142 deliveries. The midsize model is likely to keep competing for a place in the top five throughout 2024, at least until the new Qin L arrives sometime in the near future.

Thanks to constant updates, the Qin Plus is leading the midsize-sedan category, well ahead of the GAC Aion S and the Tesla Model 3.

With 41,012 registrations, the BYD Seagull came fourth. However, this was not a new best for the model, ending a record-breaking streak and suggesting a slowing of deliveries. With exports expected to start soon, the city-car could see greater success in overseas markets where demand for small and affordable BEVs is high.

The BYD Yuan Plus came fifth in December with 30,799 registrations. While the model did well across 2023, a top-five finish might be difficult to replicate this year. Some of its volume will likely be consumed by the cheaper Yuan Up, due to land in the first half of 2024. However, export markets are now the target for the Yuan Plus, especially in Europe and Southeast Asia.

Li Auto’s record results

Having created a niche within the Chinese market, the Wuling Bingo came sixth in December and could enter the top five soon. The eighth-place Aito M7 (25,545 units) also deserves a mention, with the model continuing to accelerate production.

Highlighting a positive month for Wuling HongGuang, its Mini EV ended the month in ninth with 25,015 registrations, a year best.

All three of Li Auto’s models saw record numbers in December. In 11th, the L7 recorded 20,428 registrations, while the L8 marked 15,013 units. Just below, the flagship L9 posted 14,913 deliveries. This means the carmaker hit over 50,000 units in the month while only being present in the full-size segment.

Elsewhere, the Volkswagen (VW) ID.3 kept rising, reaching a best-ever 13,201 sales. This allowed it to reach 17th place.

Outside the top 20

The refreshed Buick Velite 6, a compact estate car, scored a record 8,614 deliveries in December. Meanwhile, the VW ID.4 registered a year-best result of 8,130 units. Add this to the ID.3’s record performance and the German carmaker seems to be enjoying some success in its largest market.

Geely celebrated the Lynk & Co 08 crossing the 10,000-unit delivery mark for the first time. The model passed this milestone after only four months on the market.

Changan posted good results across its line-up. This included 12,480 registrations for the Lumin and 6,978 units of the SL03. However, the highlight was the S7, which recorded 11,360 deliveries. This included 3,250 BEV registrations, a new record for the model.

BYD hailed the first full sales month of its new upmarket brands, Fangchengbao and Yangwang. Their respective first models, the Bao 5 and the U8, hit 4,388 and 1,593 units each. These new brands can be expected to improve the OEM’s profit margins, which could act as a reserve in the country’s price wars.

While SAIC enjoyed good results with the Wuling Bingo and the Mini EV, the brand’s new model, the Starlight, was a particular cause for celebration. The model reached 11,453 units in December, its third month on the market.

Elsewhere in the SAIC stable, the Roewe D7 was also on the rise, taking 7,285 registrations. Meanwhile, the IM LS6 SUV hit 9,878 deliveries in only its fourth month on the market. However, it seems the model’s demand ceiling has already been hit.

What was the most popular EV worldwide in 2023?

The global electric vehicle (EV) market broke records throughout 2023. Leading this charge was the Tesla Model Y. José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com, unpacks the year and its most popular performers.

New EVs, consisting of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), saw global registrations jump 35% year on year in 2023. This allowed the electric market to end above the 13 million mark for the first time.

Plug-in models made up a record 22% of the entire new-car market in December, with BEVs accounting for 15% alone. This pushed 2023’s total EV share to 16%, a small rise from 14% in 2022. BEVs made up 11% of registrations worldwide last year, up from 10% in the previous year. It is worth considering that the overall global new-car market experienced double-digit growth in 2023.

PHEVs (up 47%) saw registrations grow more quickly across 2023 than BEVs (up 30%). This meant the hybrid powertrain increased its share of the EV market, reaching 31%, up from 28% in 2022. The PHEV share has been fluctuating between 26% and 31% since 2018, supporting the notion that the technology could remain relevant for a while.

Best-selling car in 2023

The Tesla Model Y recorded 1,211,601 registrations across 2023. This made it the best-selling model in both the new EV and the overall new-car market. The BEV saw deliveries grow 57% year on year, up from 771,000 units in 2022. The crossover can be expected to stay a market leader in 2024.

The BYD Song secured second place, as the Chinese SUV ended the year with 636,533 registrations, up 33% on 2022. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model 3 hit a new record of 529,287 registrations, putting it in third.

But despite its recent refresh, the Model 3 has reached full maturity. The sedan has seen its market share erode from 14% in 2019 to 12% in 2020, then 8% in 2021, 4.7% in 2022 and 3.9% last year. Sales have struggled to maintain momentum since hitting over 500,000 units in 2021.

Compared with 2019, last year’s result represents growth of 6% for the Model 3. But in the same period, the EV market more than doubled from 6.6 million units to nearly 13.7 million units, illustrating the BEV’s market limits.

BYD’s block

Below the top three, there was a block of BYD models. This included the Qin Plus in fourth, the Yuan Plus/Atto 3 in fifth, and the Dolphin in sixth. The BYD Seagull ended the year in seventh, profiting from a great performance in December and jumping two places. This meant the top seven places were dominated by just two carmakers.

The BYD Han won another full-size category title, followed by its sibling, the Tang. But both models saw declining sales in 2023, by 17% for the Han and 7% for the Tang. It will likely be much harder for the Chinese brand to retain the full-size category title in 2024.

In the second half of the table, the Volkswagen (VW) ID.3 was up one position to 15th. Last year was a great one for the hatchback, as its sales jumped 79% year on year to 139,268 units. Thanks primarily to its success in China, this is the first time the BEV crossed the 100,000 mark.

GAC Aion also had a good year with its Y and S BEVs, with sales almost doubling. This put the models in ninth and 11th respectively. But Li Auto made even greater strides, as the startup placed all three of its full-sized EVs in the top 20.

Four models from legacy OEMs made it to the top 20 in 2022, namely the VW ID.4, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and the Kia EV6. But this count fell to just two in 2023, with the VW ID.4 in 12th and ID.3 in 15th. Considering the Audi Q4 e-Tron finished in 21st, the top three models from a legacy OEM all belonged to VW Group.

Success by segment

Chinese models took the EV A-segment by storm in 2023. Coming seventh in the overall EV ranking, the BYD Seagull took the category title from the eighth-place Wuling Mini EV. The Seagull is a top contender to repeat its success in 2024. The Changan Lumin came third in the category, far from the top two.

The B-segment also saw many Chinese models succeed. The category was led by the BYD Dolphin which came sixth overall, followed by the Wuling Bingo in 13th. The Peugeot e-208 came next but at a great distance from the top two with some 51,000 registrations. This was more than 100,000 units below the Bingo and some 300,000 units behind the Dolphin.

The C-segment was led by the BYD Yuan Plus/Atto 3. The crossover ended 2023 at 418,994 units, double its 2022 result. The GAC Aion Y came next with 235,861 deliveries, followed by the VW ID.4 with 192,686 registrations. Expect an exciting competition between the top two this year. However, the BYD Yuan Up, a smaller and cheaper sibling of the Yuan Plus, could provide a surprise.

Tesla’s D-segment

Tesla ruled over the D-segment in 2023. The Model Y was the clear leader, while the Model 3 came third. Between the two was the BYD Song. However, the Model Y already looks set to secure the category win again in 2024.

Three Chinese models commanded the E and F-segments. The BYD Han recorded 228,007 registrations, the BYD Tang 141,581 registrations, and the Li Auto L7 134,089 registrations. Should Li Auto or Aito want to compete for a top spot this year, a minimum production capacity of 150,000 units a year will be the bare minimum. Even so, the category leader will likely end up past the 300,000-unit mark.

Pickup trucks saw a second year of relevance in 2023 with around 52,000 deliveries, up 44% year on year. The Ford F-150 Lightening posted roughly 25,000 deliveries while the Rivian R1T managed some 15,000. Geely’s Radar RD6 took third with 4,736 units. In 2024, the Tesla Cybertruck is likely to disrupt this trio.

A total of 9,511 fuel-cell electric vehicles were registered in 2023, down 38% on 2022. This followed a drop from 2021, the year FCEVs reached a peak of 15,434 registrations. In 2023, the Hyundai Nexo (5,000 units) beat the Toyota Mirai (4,000 units).

Best-selling brands in 2023

In terms of brand volumes, BYD beat Tesla by a significant margin in 2023. With a 56% year-on-year growth rate, the Chinese company was the fastest-growing marque in the top three, allowing it to increase its lead to over one million units.

However, this trend is unlikely to continue into 2024. BYD is running out of room to grow in its domestic market, meaning the demand ceiling is closing in. Yet this supports the company’s overseas strategies, plans which could come to define the EV market in 2024.

In 2023, the Chinese brand started to export its EVs in significant volumes. Israel saw 15,000 units, Brazil 18,000 units, and Thailand 30,000 units.

In second place, Tesla’s market share continued to suffer erosion. This sat at 17% in 2019, 16% in 2020, 14% in 2021, and then 13% in 2022 and 2023. This could potentially stabilise around 10% in the future. The US carmaker will need to diversify its line-up if it wants to retake the brand title.

Due to a slow first half of the year, SGMW ended in sixth allowing BMW to take third. It may be difficult for the German carmaker to hold on to this position in 2024, considering the pack of fast-growing Chinese brands behind it.

In fourth, GAC Aion grew 78% to some 484,000 units, however, this growth will be difficult to sustain. So far, the brand has not found a way to replicate the success of its S and Y models.

This puts the carmaker in the sights of the rapidly-growing Li Auto in seventh. Its three current models will reach maturity in 2024. Then there are the upcoming launches of the Mega and the L6, which could mean the brand will deliver up to 700,000 units next year.

Benefitting from a slow December for Toyota, Nio was also able to climb up the ranking in the last month of 2023. The carmaker ended the year in 16th, a five-position jump from its previous year’s standing. However, it could be difficult for the startup to remain in this spot given a lack of new models for 2024 and a sluggish export performance.

The other two brands to benefit from Toyota’s downfall were Ford, climbing one position to 17th, and Jeep, up to 18th. Out of all the legacy marques on the table, Jeep was the fastest growing, having seen its sales jump 53% compared to 2022. It ended the year as Stellantis’ best-selling brand, 23,000 units ahead of Peugeot in 22nd.

Outstanding OEMs in 2023

Gathering EV sales by automotive group, BYD claimed a 22% market share, with 3,012,070 registrations. Tesla came second with an 13.2% share and 1,808,652 deliveries. This puts the two OEMs in a league of their own, controlling over a third of the market together.

VW Group remained in third, with a 7.3% market share, making it the leading legacy OEM. Meanwhile, Geely–Volvo (6.8% share) took fourth from SAIC (5.8% share) towards the end of the year. This means the fight for third in 2024 will be one to watch.

Stellantis (4.2% share) stayed in sixth but has lost half a percentage point compared to the end of 2022. However, the OEM delivered nearly 600,000 units last year. This means it should reach the one-million-unit scale for EV profitability by 2025, or possibly 2026.

BMW Group (4.1%) rose to seventh place and the German OEM should be competing for sixth throughout 2024. Hyundai Motor Group (3.7% share) dropped from seventh in 2022 to ninth in 2023, losing almost a full percentage point from 4.6%. The Korean OEM was also surpassed by GAC, which ended the year with a 3.8% share.

Battle of the BEVs

Looking only at BEVs, Tesla took the 2023 OEM title with 19.1% of the global market. This was up from 18.2% in 2022 but was down from the 23% it commanded at the end of 2020. Second went to BYD with a 16.5% share of the BEV market.

While Tesla’s market is likely to erode slightly in 2024, BYD will keep gaining share. This will be thanks to a larger number of BEVs in BYD’s line-up, including the Yuan Up and Sea Lion. Additionally, exports will be more focused on BEVs, with PHEVs only being used in select markets.

VW Group took third with an 8% share, while SAIC took fourth with a 7.9% holding. In fifth, Geely–Volvo claimed 6.2% of the market. Sixth-place GAC was a sizable distance behind, with a 5.3% share. Nevertheless, the OEM had a positive 2023, up from 4% in 2022.

BYD nears local limit

There are a number of trends already emerging which provide a good insight into what the automotive market can expect from the EV segment in 2024 and beyond.

The BYD brand is already close to its demand ceiling in China, meaning the OEM is increasingly focused on its premium brands. This includes Yangwang, Fangchengbao and Denza.

With a higher average price, margins are expected to improve. This will give BYD more options when pricing its mainstream models. But with competition heating up in the Chinese EV market, BYD will need to keep its line-up fresh to hold on to its share, while also considering pricing.

As such, growth will have to come from overseas markets which is something BYD has been preparing for. As well as buying and chartering its own vehicle vessel, it is building factories in places such as Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, and Hungary.

Tesla’s production planning

Tesla delivered 1,808,652 units in 2023, but with little in the way of new offerings, the carmaker is unlikely to see rapid growth in 2024.

Tesla’s current issue is its lack of product planning. The Model S is now 12 years old, making a second generation rather overdue. The Model X is in its ninth year, meaning a new version should have been presented by now.

Meanwhile, the Model Y (2020) has reached maturity as has the Model 3, which launched in 2017 and only saw a refresh in 2023. Their successors should, therefore, be on the drawing board. However, this does not appear to be the case. The carmaker would do well to consider how it manages the lifecycles of its products.

VW Group and Geely

While suffering some management changes in recent years, VW Group is still the best-performing legacy OEM by far. With close to one million EV deliveries in 2023, its long-term survival is well assured.

Moving into 2024, the OEM’s leading models will mature. The only new models will be the VW ID.7, the Cupra Tavascan, the Skoda Elroq, the Porsche Macan, and the Audi Q6/A6 e-Tron.

Meanwhile, Geely has been steadily gaining ground in the EV OEM ranking in the last few years, ending 2023 in fourth with 925,111 registrations. This was only some 69,000 units below VW Group.

SAIC the export expert

While SAIC excels at exporting, it could do better locally. The OEM aims to sell around 1.4 million vehicles abroad this year. However, this does include models powered by internal-combustion engines.

With 14 new EVs expected by 2026, SAIC hopes to replicate the MG4’s success with other launches. This includes venturing into the premium end of export markets with its new IM brand. Therefore, 2024 is likely to see a new MG5 station wagon, a ZS crossover, and a flagship SUV model.

Another monthly title for Tesla

The Tesla Model Y took another best-seller position in December, with 128,410 deliveries. The crossover can be expected to keep racking up monthly titles this year as it has reached full maturity. With a refreshed version coming around April, it is likely to be the best year of the current generation.

In second place, the BYD Song hit a record 76,086 registrations. This could be its peak, with the recently-arrived Song L ready to cannibalise a significant volume of its sales in 2024, as will the upcoming Sea Lion.

Third place in December went to the Tesla Model 3, which posted more than 56,896 deliveries, ending well ahead of the BYD Qin Plus in fourth (44,701 units). Further down the ranking the Wuling Bingo came eighth (27,458 units), thanks to its continuous production ramp-up. The small EV seems ready to compete with BYD’s leading models for a top spot in 2024. 

The VW ID.3 finished the month in 15th. The model recorded 17,861 registrations globally in December, its best score since the end of 2020 when VW delivered units to dealerships to comply with emission requirements.

Thanks to price cuts in China, the ID.3 saw its fortunes change completely in the market. This helped compensate for its milder performance in Europe. Elsewhere in the compact category, SAIC’s MG4 (Mulan in China) scored 12,964 registrations in December, its second record score in a row.

Made in China

Some of December’s most significant figures were recorded in the full-size category. The entire Li Auto line-up reached record heights. The L7 marked 20,428 registrations, the L8 saw 15,013 deliveries, while the L9 marked 14,913 units.

December’s best-selling full-size model was the Aito M7, which took ninth place in the EV market with 25,545 deliveries. With Huawei putting its weight behind the brand, sales increasing rapidly.

Every model in December’s top 20 was made in China. A total of 16 belonged to Chinese carmakers, with seven coming from BYD alone. This illustrates the importance of the Chinese market in the broader EV industry.

Successful SUVs

Outside of December’s top 20, the Geely Panda Mini was close to joining the table, having ended the month fewer than 300 units behind the BYD Tang in 20th. The compact Audi Q4 e-Tron was also close, with 11,260 registrations.

In the midsize category, SUVs were trending with several record-breakers. After several years on the market, the Volvo XC60 PHEV hit a best-ever global total of 7,868 registrations. Deliveries of the Lynk & Co 08 PHEV reached 10,055 units, while SAIC’s IM LS6 posted 9,878 units, and the Changan’s Deepal S7 11,360 units.

However, the recent Wuling Starlight from SGMW proved that success is not restricted to SUVs, recording 8,050 deliveries in December. In the full-size category, the Jeep Grand Cherokee PHEV reached a record 7,299 registrations.

The BMW i4 achieved another registration record, with 11,203 units delivered in December. This made it the best-selling EV produced outside of China. However, the i4 only posted a fifth of the registrations achieved by its competitor, the Tesla Model 3.

The BMW iX1 also achieved a new best of 8,775 deliveries, its third record in a row. Meanwhile, the iX also shined, with 7,027 registrations.

A record month for brands

BYD managed another record month in December, this time with 320,928 registrations. It once again beat Tesla, which posted 195,265 deliveries.

SGMW came third thanks to a best-ever monthly tally of 69,912 registrations. Its three models (the Mini EV, Bingo, and Starlight) contributed decisively to this performance. In fourth with 59,480 deliveries, BMW had a record month thanks largely to the success of its i4 fastback (11,203 registrations), but also the iX1 (8,775 units) and iX (7,027 units).

VW came fifth with 52,042 registrations, followed closely by Li Auto with a new best of 50,356 units. In the same month last year, it posted 21,233 registrations. In eighth, Changan recorded 43,095 deliveries, its second-best performance in a row, thanks to the Lumin and Deepal S7.

MG4 boosts SAIC

SAIC made it to 11th with a record 35,334 registrations. This was owing to the performance of its star player, the MG4. Aito rocketed up to 12th with its M7 SUV and even larger M9. The brand hit a record 30,108 units in December.

In 13th, Audi also registered its best month with 28,024 deliveries in December, thanks to the Q4 e-Tron. XPeng came 17th, with 7,673 registrations of its G6 midsize SUV in December. This allowed the carmaker to hit a total of 20,105 units in the month, almost catching Hyundai in 16th (20,631 units). Chery came 20th thanks to the positive results of the QQ Ice Cream (7,462 units).

Jeep landed in 21st, making it the best-selling US legacy brand as well as Stellantis’ best-selling marque. With 17,723 registrations, it achieved a new record. This was down to the continued success of the Wrangler PHEV and Grand Cherokee PHEV.

Lynk & Co came 22nd with a new best of 17,505 deliveries. The 08 SUV accounted for the bulk of the registrations (10,055 units), allowing the Chinese brand to end close to the table.

Global EV Sales for 2023

Global EV sales continued as expected by us at the beginning of 2023. A total of 14,2 million new Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) were delivered during 2023, an increase of +35 %. 10 million were pure electric BEVs and 4,2 million were Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) and Range Extender EVs (EREV).

Media reporting that EV adoption is in reverse is not evident in our monthly tracking. Global deliveries of BEVs and PHEVs increased by 3,66 million units over 2022 and all monthly sales were between 8 % and 52 % higher than in the year previous. 5 months of 2023 witnessed new all-time highs for EV sales, Market share increases were consistent throughout the year. The exception was Germany, Europe’s largest EV market, where a series of significant cuts in EV grants lead to s decline in EV sales and market shares.  European EV registration were up by a meager +17 % vs 2022; excluding Germany, the increase was +32 %. China EV sales increased by +36 % in 2023 y/y, EV sales in USA and Canada were +46 % higher than the year previous.  EV sales outside the aforementioned markets increased by +81 %, albeit from a low base.

In most countries the EV increases were accompanied by a strong recovery in overall light vehicle markets, increasing by +10,5 % globally. EV adoption does not follow auto market slumps and recoveries in lockstep. Successful EV launches, financial incentives, improving charging infrastructure and environmentalism are stronger forces. Slowing overall auto sales typically lead to faster EV share increases while strong auto market recoveries slow down EV share gains.

EV shares still continued to increase in most markets. BEVs (11,1 %) and PHEVs (4,7 %) stood for 15,8 % of global light vehicle sales in 2023, compared to 13,0 % in 2022. Norway had the highest market share of EVs in 2023 (BEVs 72 % + PHEVs 7 %), followed by Hong Kong and the Nordic countries in Europe. China had 33,9 %, Europe 21,4 % and USA 9,4 %. The fastest growing markets were Turkey with 86 600 units, up +805 %, Brazil with 50 400 units, up +359 %, Thailand with 89 000 units, up +328 %, Malaysia with 10 400 BEV & PHEV units, +886 % and Australia with 93 00 units, up +141 %.

PHEVs stood for 29,6 % in the global BEV-PHEV mix in 2023 compared to 27,2 % in 2022, a deviation from the long-term trend. The PHEV volume increase was 1,33 million units, most of it (1,2m) in China. High sales of BYD PHEVs and the renaissance of Range Extender Electric Vehicles (EREVs) are the main reason. EREVs have larger batteries and longer all-electric range than PHEVs, carrying a small petrol engine as a “back-up” generator. The Chevrolet Volt and the BMW i3 were early examples of this concept, the current EREV leader is Li Motor with 376 000 units delivered in 2023. Total EREV sales were 705 900 units, of which 98 % in were sold in China. Sales of Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCEV) in the light vehicle sector have declined by -38 % vs 2022 and stayed below 10 000 units annually. Current sales are from five vehicle models and most sales are in South Korea and USA. We estimate their current population to be about 60000 units.

BYD increased sales to 3 million units (+62 % y/y), remaining as the #1 in the global EV sales ranking, with their 1,44 million PHEV sales included. Counting BEVs only, Tesla still leads with 1,81 million units delivered in 2023, an increase of 38 % over 2022. A common observation is that pure EV players grew their sales faster than legacy OEMs.

By the end of 2023 we expect 40 million EVs in operation, counting light vehicles, 70 % of which are BEVs and 30 % PHEVs. For 2024, we expect sales of 17,8 million EVs, growth of +25 % over 2023, with BEVs reaching 12,8 million units and PHEVs 5 million units.

EVs Outperforming the Auto-Market Recovery

Finally, 2023 saw a worldwide, robust recovery of auto sales. Following the Covid crunch of 2020 and supply constraints during 2021 and 2022, better availability, lower prices and pent-up demand pushed global light vehicle sales to a 10,5 % increase over 2022.

Globally, EVs outperformed the market by a good margin, increasing volume by 35 %. Exceptions were in Germany, Norway, Italy and South Korea, where EVs lost market share compared to 2022. The German drawback was particularly painful with a 6 % loss in EV market share and 122 000 fewer units delivered. A series of EV incentive cuts were the main reason, legacy OEMs acting more margin-conscious was another.

EV deliveries in USA grew by 48 % over 2022 (46 % for USA & Canada combined), having increased 50 % from 2021 to 2022. It appears that the EV grants in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), available since January 2023, had limited impact on EV adoption. The grants require EV production within the USMCA (fmr NAFTA) and battery material sourcing from Free Trade Agreement partners (China is not). Battery supply constraints were a frequent occurrence among domestic OEM during 2023.

China is, by far, the largest EV market with 8,4 million units in 2023 and 59 % of global EV sales. With 9,3 million EVs made, China’s role as the largest EV production base is even stronger: 65 % of global EV sales in 2023 came out of China. 900 000 EVs were exported from China, most of them (530k) by Western brands. The largest exporters were Tesla, SAIC (MG, Maxus), Geely (Volvo, Polestar, Lynk, Smart) BYD, Renault (Dacia), BMW and Great Wall. All others exported below 20 000 units each.

OEM Ranking for BEV & PHEV Deliveries

Most OEMs have again grown their sales in 2023. Global EV deliveries increased by +35 % y/y in total; OEMs with higher growth have increased their share in the EV sector. Comments for the Top-5:

BYD extended it’s lead, by boosting sales of existing models and successfully introducing new models. The BYD vehicle portfolio covers 10 product segments with a total of 30 vehicle models. Since BYD phased out ICE-only versions in 2022, they became the largest maker of PHEVs and moved from rank #3 in 2021 to #1 for BEVs & PHEVs combined. Among over 3 million unit sales in 2023, only 130k were exported; seven times more than in 2022.

Tesla still leads global sales of BEVs but by a smaller margin, with a share of 18 % in all BEVs sold worldwide. Year-on-year volume growth for Tesla was +38 %, compared to a 30 % increase of total BEV sales.

The VW Group increased EV sales by +20 % over 2022; BEVs gained 31 %, while PHEVs lost volume. Growth in China was only 5 % y/y to 232 000 units, with a decline only avoided by a strong boost of Audi Q4 BEV and VW ID.e BEV sales in the second half of the year. Sales in USA & Canada increased by +61 % from a surge in Audi Q4 BEV sales and the ramp-up of US production of the VW ID.4 BEV. Sales in Western & Central Europe increased by +21 % y/y to 636 000 units, representing 63 % of the Group’s BEV & PHEV volume.

Geely, including their international brands Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co, Lotus and Smart increased sales by +44 %. The highest contributors were the new Geely Panda Mini, the Lynk & Co 08 PHEV, the new Smart #1, various models from Volvo, Zeekr and their new  Galaxy Brand. The Emgrand, Geometry and Maple are in strong decline and may be phased out. Polestar disappointed by just 11 % growth, still offering only one volume model, the Polestar 2.

The Wuling Mini EVs have passed their sales peak; GM gained only +13 % for that reason. Excluding the Mini EVs, GM’s combined growth for EVs was +70 %.

Tesla and BYD are Dominating the Top-10

The world’s best selling automobile is a BEV. Tesla delivered over 1,2 million units Model Y, more than any other vehicle model, including ICEs. Meanwhile, the Model-3, in its sixth year of production, increased by 11 % to 529 000 units. The face-lifted version started in China in Q4 and represents less then 10 % in this volume.

BYD had five models in the global top-10, with the Song and Qin as the world’s best selling PHEVs; a legacy from their regular ICE business which BYD abandoned in April 2022. The Song PHEV is a mid-size SUV of 470cm length / 168cm height, starting at 160 000 RMB in 2023, 100 000 RMB below a Tesla Model Y. There is a Song BEV variant with 72 kWh, alternatively 87 kWh battery capacity for 190 000 RMB, which sold 93 200 units in 2023. The newcomers Dolphin, Yuan Plus and Seagull, all BEVs had a flying start, shifting BYD growth towards more BEVs. BYD exported 15 000 units Yuan, Dolphin and Seagull in December alone.

GM-Wuling’s Mini EV sales are in decline since the launch of the larger Wuling Bingo (168k sales) and the brand revival of the Geely Panda Mini (110k sales).

The Aion brand is the New Energy Vehicle division of Guangzhou Automobile a state owned enterprise. The Aion Y is a compact SUV, the Aion S is a mid-size Sedan. Both offer relatively large batteries (long range) at very competitive prices.

The VW ID.4 is the best selling model from any European brand, on rank #11 with 174k units. Sales include the ID.4 X and ID.4 Crozz made by VW’s joint ventures with SAIC and FAW in China.

Outlook for 2024

Sales of EVs in 2023 were supported by a broad vehicle market recovery amounting to +10,5 % over 2022. For 2024, we expect global Light Vehicle sales growth to be lower and less consistent, including a likely decline of overall vehicle sales in China.

Our monthly EV sales tracking does not indicate a drop in EV demand as recent media reporting would suggest. Q4 volumes of 2023 compare to elevated sales of Q4-2022, ahead of incentive cuts effective in January 2023, notably in China, Germany and Norway. 29 % EV sales growth in Q4  compare to +35 % for the entire 2023.

Upgraded EVs, maintained financial incentives, improving charging infrastructure and environmentalism continue to support EV growth. OEMs are reducing prices where margins allow, as a further catalyst for higher sales. We expect 17,8 million global EV sales in 2024 with a market share of 19,6 % in global light vehicle sales. EV sales grow by +25 % in a global light vehicle market increasing by +1 %.

For China we expect an NEV share of 41 % with volume growth of 17 % y/y to 9,8 million units BEVs & PHEVs, which is below e.g. CPCA expectations as they still expect an increase of overall vehicle sales. Provinces may stimulate vehicle sales to support their local OEMs. This includes ICE vehicles, slowing EV share growth.

For USA and Canada combined we expect BEV & PHEV sales to grow by +56 %, for a share of 13,8 % in total light vehicle sales. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) stimulates EV growth in USA, once the complex conditions for obtaining grants are better understood. BEVs and PHEVs assembled in USA, Canada and Mexico stood for ca 77 % total PEV sales in the US last year; we expect this share to increase in 2024.

Subsidy cuts and achieved CO2 compliance dampen the volume and share growth for EVs in Europe compared to the 2020 and 2021 boom. For 2024 we still expect Europe EV sales to increase 22 % over 2023 as EV subsidies cuts are completed in many countries and annual tax savings vs ICE vehicles stay intact. Pure-play EV makers will see high growth as many legacy OEM prioritize margins instead of maximizing sales.

40 Million BEVs and PHEVs on the Road by December 2023

The number of EVs in operation world-wide reached 40 million at the end of 2023, counting light vehicles. With approximately 1,5 billion light vehicles in operation, this is still just 2,7 % of the global fleet and 1,9 % counting BEVs only.

The number of light vehicle on the road worldwide increases by around 40 million units on average every year, as many as the entire current vehicle population of the UK. Last year, 10 million of this increase (25 %) were BEVs and 30 million additional vehicles (75 %) are still burning petrol or Diesel.

In a scenario towards 100 % zero-emission global light vehicle sales in 2045 (as an example for the math), the total number of BEVs in operation reaches 1,1 billion, while the total number of vehicles in operation reaches 2 billion in 2045. Assuming normal scrapping rates, over 55 % of the stock are BEVs in 2045 but the sobering truth is also that over 40 % of vehicles in operation still need to burn fuels.

The full transition to BEVs needs to accelerate, because the positive impact on CO2 emissions comes with a considerable delay. Fast EV adoption is a prerequisite for sustainable personal mobility.

CES 2024: How concept cars unveiled new EV strategies

Automotive manufacturers got the chance to reveal new models, concepts and vehicle series at CES 2024. Autovista24 journalist, Tom Hooker, looks at this year’s showstoppers.

While a major automotive theme of CES 2024 was artificial intelligence (AI), there were still plenty of exciting vehicle reveals. The likes of Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen (VW) used the show to unveil brand-new concept cars or updates to existing models.

Honda’s new approach

Honda unveiled the ‘0 Series’ by throwing the covers off two new concepts, the Saloon and the Space-Hub. Both are due for a global launch in 2026. The brand also premiered its new H mark logo which will feature on the next-generation of electric vehicles (EVs).

Three principles detail Honda’s 0 Series approach to EV development: thin, light, and wise. This means designing lower models based on a dedicated ‘thin’ EV platform to create more aerodynamic performance.

The models will advance Honda’s ‘man maximum, machine minimum’ philosophy. This means maximising the space available to the driver and passengers while minimising the space taken up by mechanical components.

As well as this, advanced driver-assistant system (ADAS) technology will also be available at launch. Automated driving (AD) will be offered at a later date, featuring improved AI, sensing, decision-making, and driver monitoring technologies to make more human-like and accurate risk predictions.

Efficiency will also be enhanced, with increased power conversion from a new e-Axle system. The Saloon and Space-Hub will benefit from connected technologies, capable of learning user preferences and driving behaviours.

A manufacturer first

Reportedly 90% ready for production, the Saloon is the flagship model of the 0 series. Honda hopes its human-machine interface will enable an intuitive operation of the vehicle.

Source: Honda

The concept will adopt steer-by-wire technology and motion management systems which include posture control. The Saloon’s interior and exterior will also be produced using sustainable materials.

Details on the ‘Space-Hub’ are scarce. The model offers a spacious cabin, with passengers seemingly able to sit facing one another while surrounded by large panoramic windows.

Source: Honda

‘For us, the Honda 0 Series is our first global EV series. It symbolises Honda’s major transformation,’ stated Toshihiro Mibe, Honda president.

‘The Honda 0 Series will further advance our goals of zero environmental impact and zero traffic fatalities, which I have set since becoming company president. I feel both pressure and satisfaction in facing such a major change, and I hope we will deliver new value to customers by further evolving the joy of freedom of movement, a core Honda value.’

PBV possibilities

Kia announced a new series of vehicles at CES 2024. Five concepts were revealed as part of the carmaker’s Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV) strategy. This includes the PV5, with three model variants, as well as the PV7 and PV1 concepts.

Kia aims to tackle mobility with a modular approach, meaning sections of the vehicle can be changed to meet the user’s needs. The models will be based on Hyundai Motor Group’s software-to-everything (SDx) strategy and an adapted version of the E-GMP platform.

The PBV project is split into three phases, starting with the mass production of the PV5 in 2025. Basic, van and high roof versions will be available in the first phase.

These models can be optimised for tasks such as deliveries, pop-up stores, camping, and taxi services where passengers can configure the cabin to suit their needs. This could be helpful should a passenger have a disability or want to change the seating arrangement. This is made possible using ‘easy-swap’ technology. Electromagnetic and mechanical coupling makes the rear portion of the vehicle interchangeable, with the fixed front cab staying in place.

A weldless body structure assembly, known as dynamic hybrid, helps transform the vehicle by flexibly adjusting moveable parts of the model. Alongside high-strength tubular steel and engineered polymers, PBV models will also include sustainable materials.

Phase two

Phase two will see the introduction of the smaller PV1, meant for short-distance transportation. The largest product in the line-up, the PV7, will also be introduced, featuring more interior space and greater range. The second phase will also see the three models use an advanced AI platform.

Source: Kia

‘Kia PBVs will be an enabler of business innovation thanks to our customer-centric management system, EV mass production expertise, and the Hyundai Motor Group’s rapidly developing SDx strategy and related future businesses,’ commented Ho Sung Song, Kia president and CEO.

‘We are excited to show that we are fully prepared to become the first mover in the global PBV market,’ he added.

Source: Kia

The automaker also signed a memorandum of understanding with Uber at CES 2024. The agreement will allow the transportation company to utilise the PBV platform’s various offerings.

Creative Sony showcase

Honda had another concept on show, this time as part of the Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) program, namely the Afeela prototype. An updated version of the vehicle displayed the advancements in integrating AI into ADAS and establishing mobility as an entertainment space.

The concept was visibly different from CES 2023, with resigned bodywork on the front and rear end, as well as conventional mirrors replacing side-view cameras. Plans to mass produce the all-wheel drive vehicle for the North American market in 2026 remain.

SHM is developing new entertainment and gaming features, utilising virtual space with Epic Games. This includes a virtual AR experience that simulates external environmental conditions such as information on other vehicles, pedestrians, terrain, and weather.

Source: Sony Honda Mobility

The Afeela co-creation program means creators can freely develop applications and services that run on the vehicle’s digital platform. SHM is also collaborating with Polyphony Digital in vehicle development.

VW and ChatGPT

The integration of ChatGPT was the focal point of VW’s presentation at CES 2024. With the support of Cerence Chat Pro, the IDA voice assistant can now adjust the temperature, control the infotainment system, and answer general knowledge questions.

The updated VW Golf also saw some minor interior changes at the show. Physical buttons returned to the steering wheel as well as an infotainment touchscreen, replicating the VW ID.3 and ID.7.

Source: VW

More traditional physical buttons have also replaced the current models’ haptic steering wheel controls. Pre-orders for the newest offering will begin in spring, with pure-combustion, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid options available.

An abundance of features

The Mercedes-Benz Concept CLA Class made its North American premiere at CES 2024. The vehicle has a predicted single-charge range of more than 466 miles (750km). It is also capable of 300kW DC charging, which Mercedes-Benz claims can deliver 248 miles of range in 15 minutes.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

A prototype of the new all-electric G-Class, or EQG, also made an appearance. The concept uses four electric motors, with a predicted range of over 400 miles and capable of 200kW rapid charging.

It demonstrated its ‘G-turn’ ability on the Las Vegas Strip, turning 360 degrees on the spot. This could be useful for getting out of tough situations when on rough terrain, as the feature cannot be performed on public roads.

The German brand also revealed the progress it made with in-car entertainment technology. The MBUX Sound Drive was developed by Mercedes-AMG in collaboration with will.i.am.

Newer brands take to stands

Togg unveiled its T10F saloon, which is due to go on sale next year. It will be launched in three different versions, including long-range rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants. The car is expected to travel up to 600km on one charge, and go from a 20% battery to 80% in 28 minutes.

Vinfast displayed two new vehicles, the VF 3 mini electric SUV and the VF Wild pickup. The former made its debut in its domestic market six months ago and is a model aimed at younger drivers with its unique design and expected affordability. However, it only offers a range of 200km. Vinfast will begin taking orders for the VF 3 later this year.

Source: Vinfast

The VF Wild is a much larger model in the mid-size pickup category, aimed at the US market. It features a panoramic glass roof and digital side mirrors.

‘We are very proud to introduce the VF Wild concept, which encapsulates our mission to make sustainable, high-quality electric vehicles accessible to a broader market,’ said Tran Mai Hoa, deputy CEO of sales and marketing at Vinfast Global.

‘This is not just a new product in our offering – it showcases our aspiration to venture into the fast-paced and thriving electric pickup truck market.’

Source: Vinfast

Volkswagen loses brand lead in Germany’s EV market in November

The ripples of Germany’s change to business electric vehicle (EV) subsidies continued to affect the market in November. Volkswagen (VW) was hit particularly hard as battery-electric vehicle (BEV) registrations dropped. José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com, examines the market.

Germany’s EV market continued to struggle in November 2023, as the end of business incentives earlier in the year affected the industry. BEVs dropped 22% compared to the same period in 2022, with 44,942 units taking to the country’s roads. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) continued their long-running declines, with a 59% fall in registrations, to just 18,124 units.

Overall, Germany’s automotive market saw a near 6% decline in registrations during November, its 245,701 units also down by around 20% compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

In terms of market share in November, BEVs took 18% of the automotive market, the same figure as between January and November. PHEVs took 7.4% of total registrations, around half of what the drivetrain technology held at the same point in 2022.

Looking at the EV market, BEVs represented 71% of plug-in technology, four percentage points below the average across 11 months. In total, EVs took 26% of the overall market, keeping the year-to-date count at 24%.

With this current hardship, the first half of 2024 is also expected to see BEVs struggle, especially with incentives for public purchases coming to an end. However, the third quarter of the year will potentially bring growth back to the EV market, preluding a strong 2025, where pace is expected to accelerate significantly again.

Skoda springs a surprise

The top EV in the German market during November was the Skoda Enyaq, taking the number one spot for the second month in a row. Meanwhile, the model placed eighth in the overall market rankings. It reached a record result of 3,588 registrations, comfortably ahead of the second-placed Tesla Model Y with 2,840 units.

Skoda’s success also continued to shine a light on how much its sister-brand, VW, relied on business and fleet sales for its EV range. The ID.4, identical to the Enyaq in all but badges, struggled again during November, ending up 14th in the table.

BMW had a great month in November, with the i4 achieving a best-ever total of 2,261 registrations. It took third beating its most direct competitors, the Tesla Model 3 in fifth (1,937 deliveries) and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class PHEV in 17th (1,010 units). In addition, the popular iX1 model took fourth with 1,948 registrations.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC PHEV scored its best result of the current generation and its overall best score since December 2021, with 1,375 registrations placing it in 11th. This made it November’s best-selling plug-in hybrid in the table. With a 31kWh battery, the model shows that a decent energy-storage unit can help PHEVs become valid alternatives, even without subsidies.

Another surprise was at the other end of the top 20 table, with the Audi Q8 e-Tron ending the month with 872 registrations in 20th. This was just enough to beat the 825 units of the Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan or the 612 units of the BMW iX, which also secured a year-best score, underlining the brand’s positive month.

Outside the top 20, the Smart #1 crossover scored 613 registrations. This means that the China-made EV is close to surpassing the long-running Smart Fortwo (725 registrations), with the small two-seater soon ending production. Currently, it is the oldest nameplate on the EV market, having run uninterrupted since 2009.

In its second month on the market, the VW ID.7 saw 564 deliveries, giving the brand some optimism among the clouds that have gathered since the removal of business incentives in the German market.

The VW ID.3 ended the month in sixth (1,786 units), a return to form following two months at the bottom end of the charts, while the ID.4 took 14th place (1,240 units) for the third month in a row.

The ID.Buzz has also not met initial expectations and recorded just 652 registrations in November. Therefore, the brand needs a model to capture consumer attention and will be watching the ID.7 with renewed interest.

Tesla stays on top

Despite losing the monthly top spot to the Skoda Enyaq in October and November, the Tesla Model Y remained in the lead after 11 months. It even continued to increase its lead over the second-placed VW ID.4.

Over the January to November period, VW held on to second and third, with the ID.4 and ID.3 respectively. However, with its recent poor performances brought on by the ending of business incentives in September, competitors closed in.

The biggest threat comes from Skoda and its Enyaq, only 382 models behind third at the end of the month. The Fiat 500e was also just over 1,000 units behind the VW ID.3 but failed to close the gap in November.

The Tesla Model 3 is a distant eighth, around 6,000 units behind the ID.3. Despite a refresh and Tesla’s quarterly delivery model, the gap seems too big for a jump into the top three.

The second half of the year-to-date table saw five position changes in November. The biggest climber was the BMW iX1, thanks to its strong performance in the month. It improved by four positions and held 11th, making it BMW’s best performer of the year to date.

Just below, the Opel Corsa EV was up two positions in November to 12th, as it continued to close on the Mini Cooper EV (10th). The Stellantis EV sat just 665 units behind its B-segment rival after 11 months.

In some good news for VW, the ID.5 joined the table at the end of November in 18th, compensating for the losses of the more company-car-friendly ID.4 and ID.3.

Plug-in hybrids also saw more representation, with the Ford Kuga PHEV re-joining the year-to-date chart in 20th. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class PHEV was up one position, to 19th.

Two months ago, only the Mercedes-Benz C-Class PHEV was representing the powertrain technology on the table. With the end of subsidies for BEVs in 2024, PHEVs could become a common sight in the standings again.

Volkswagen loses lead

Following months of hardship, VW lost its place at the top of the brand chart in November. Its EV market share fell from 11.4% in October to 11.3%, highlighting the impact of poor registrations for its ID.4 and ID.3 models. The marque held a 12.8% market share back in July before business subsidies were cut.

The new leader was Mercedes-Benz, with an 11.4% market share (up from 11.2%), thanks in part to the performance of its PHEVs. Third-placed Tesla was not able to challenge for the lead, with its share having dropped from 10% in September to 9.5% at the end of November.

Another winner was BMW (8.3%, up from 7.7%). With the BMW i4 and iX1 at record heights, the brand is on the rise, having taken a 1% share from September to November.

in fifth, Audi held 6.7% of the market by the end of November, while Hyundai in sixth watched Opel close in, as the Stellantis brand ended the month 0.1% away from the Korean carmaker.

With brands grouped together under their parent companies, VW Group was able to benefit from the recent performance of Skoda, ending November with a 27.8% market share (up from 27.2%).

Mercedes-Benz was far behind despite a strong month, its 13.8% share hampered by Smart’s loss of volume. However, it was not threatened by Stellantis, which saw the month out with 12.3%, as most of its models are still in transition for new 54kWh battery versions.

BMW Group surpassed Tesla in November to sit fourth, with its 10.3% share up by 0.6% against October. As a single brand, Tesla’s 9.5% market share saw it drop a place to fifth, before its December bounce thanks to its quarterly delivery schedule.

Are battery-electric vehicles really in crisis in the UK?

UK new-car registrations ended 2023 on a positive note, but battery-electric vehicle (BEV) deliveries tumbled. This sparked concerns that all-electric cars were seeing a drop in popularity. Autovista24 special content editor, Phil Curry, examines if these fears are premature.

New-car registrations in the UK grew for the 17th-consecutive month in December, ending 2023 on a high. However, BEV sales slumped. Yet reports of a crisis in the market may be too soon.

Data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that in December, there were 141,092 new-car registrations in the UK. This equates to a 9.8% increase on the same period in 2022.

While positive, this marks the second month in a row, and the second time in 2023, that growth has been in the single figures. Since the peak of July, which saw a 28.3% rise, the numbers have fallen each month. December almost matched November’s 9.8% increase.

This declining rate of growth suggests that while new-car registrations remain positive, the market recovery could be slowing. The entire automotive industry was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with major disruption in 2020 and 2021. Then at the end of 2021 and into the first seven months of 2022, a supply-chain crisis caused vehicle deliveries to stall.

The latter part of 2022 saw new-car registrations increase massively following months of declines, and it is impressive that the market has continued to improve against the rush of deliveries that were seen between August and December of that year.

Across 2023, the UK recorded 1.9 million new-car registrations, the best full-year result since the pre-COVID-19 yardstick of 2019, and a 17.9% rise on 2022. However, December was down 5.3% compared to the same month in 2019, while the year itself was down 17.7% in comparison.

Are BEVs in trouble?

The greatest surprise in the registration figures was the performance of BEVs. While the technology flew high across the year, the last two months of 2023 have seen deliveries slump. December was the worst-performing month for the powertrain, with registrations falling 34.2%, as 27,841 units took to the roads.

This impacted the BEV figures from across the year. While new-car registrations in 2023 grew by 17.9%, the all-electric market share stalled. Its 16.5% yearly figure was down slightly from 16.6% in 2022. Despite this, BEV registrations across 2023 grew by 17.8%.

However, several conditions make the powertrain’s performance more complicated to judge. Further examination of the figures suggests that the market did improve in 2023, making suggestions of a BEV crisis, unfounded.

The number of BEV registrations in December 2022 is the primary issue. Petrol and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) registrations remained stable in the month, and full hybrid (HEV) models increased their tally by around 5,000 units year-on-year.

But BEVs improved by over 14,500 units, accounting for 32.9% of the new-car market. This remains the best monthly market share for BEVs and was not beaten throughout 2023.

This increase pushed the year-to-date market share from 15.1% in November 2022 to 16.6% by the end of December. These figures do not correlate with the rest of the market at that time, suggesting December 2022 was an abnormal month for BEV registrations. There were likely several factors at play.

Firstly, the supply-chain crisis seriously impacted the market in 2022, and BEVs were hit particularly hard. All-electric vehicles use more semiconductor chips than internal-combustion engine (ICE) models. This meant their deliveries were delayed slightly longer, so customers started receiving their cars towards the end of 2022.

The end of the plug-in car grant halfway through 2022 also meant a rise in orders and more BEVs required for delivery by December 2022.

Carmakers may also have been pushing to deliver BEVs before the end of the year to meet their CO2 targets. While there were no fines to be implemented at the end of the year, unlike in 2021, many companies had internal targets to meet.

With the disruption throughout most of 2022, a push for BEV registrations will have helped bring emissions figures down.

Another impact to consider is the introduction of the ZEV mandate at the beginning of 2024. This requires 22% of each carmaker’s registrations in the year to come from zero-emission cars, a target that some may struggle to meet.

So, rather than pushing for registrations at the end of the year to reduce annual CO2 figures, some companies may have held back on deliveries. This would have allowed them to push registrations into January, counting towards respective quotas.

These scenarios mean that the numbers from December 2022 need to be considered carefully. Looking at the figures from last month without comparison, BEVs achieved a 19.7% market share, their second-highest of the year, after August’s 20.1% share.

This is also considerably higher than the 15.6% share recorded in October and November. Looking at the total market share across the first 11 months of 2023, BEVs held a 16.3% total, up from the 15.1% recorded in the same period in 2022.

Therefore, the 34.2% drop in BEV registrations during December is not the beginning of the end for the powertrain. Instead, it is a return to normal against a very distorted figure in December 2022.

The latest forecast from EV-volumes.com suggests that in 2024, BEVs will take a 21.5% share of the market. This means all-electric models will continue to grow their registrations tally across the next 12 months.

Improvements for ICE

Combined with mild hybrids (MHEVs), petrol remained the most popular powertrain type in December, and across the year. The fuel grew its new-car registrations by 35.6% in the month, and 18.1% in 2023, with a market share of 56% over the 12-month period.

Diesel also experienced a positive month in December, a rarity for the fuel in these times. Including MHEVs, it saw an increase in deliveries of 12%, although its yearly total fell by 8.3%. This meant diesel’s market share for the year dropped, from 9.6% in 2022 to 7.5% last year.

Full hybrids (HEVs) recorded robust growth of 18.5% in the month and 27.1% in the year, leading to a 12.6% market share in 2023. PHEVs also performed well up 45.4% in the month and 39.3% over the 12 months.

However, their 7.4% market share, an increase on 2022’s total of 6.3%, meant it missed out on overtaking diesel, and remains the country’s least-popular powertrain.

Fleets driving UK registrations

Private consumer demand fell by 14% in December, while across the year it remained stable, declining only 0.1%. With the cost-of-living crisis and high inflation influencing the purchasing decisions of many, this stability is an achievement.

This is especially true when considering that at the end of 2022, carmakers were prioritising deliveries to individuals rather than businesses. However, the recent decline in private sales may cause concern into 2024.

It was once again up to the fleet market to prop up the new-car registrations figures with a 32.9% increase in deliveries last month, and a 38.7% improvement across the whole year, reaching over one million units. Business registrations fell 47.3% in December, but these only make up a small proportion of the market. Across 2023, business registrations declined just 1.5%.

Looking ahead to 2024

The latest forecast from EV-volumes suggests that the UK market will grow by 3.7% in 2024, falling just short of two million units. This figure will be passed in 2025, with the market continuing to grow until 2030.

The UK automotive industry faces a challenging 2024. The ZEV mandate is likely to give carmakers a challenge as they push for overall sales, while keeping watch over BEV figures. For those manufacturers with a smaller zero-emission vehicle offering, the situation will likely be even more difficult.

‘With vehicle supply challenges fading, the new-car market is building back with the best year since the pandemic,’ commented Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. ‘Energised by fleet investment, particularly in the latest EVs, the challenge for 2024 is to deliver a green recovery.

‘The UK Government has challenged the UK automotive sector with the world’s boldest transition timeline and is investing to ensure we are a major maker of electric vehicles. It must now help all drivers buy into this future, with consumer incentives that will make the UK the leading European market for ZEVs.’

CATL drove global EV battery production in first three quarters of 2023

The production of batteries for light electric vehicles (EVs), including cars, SUVs, light-commercial vehicles (LCVs) and pick-up trucks, continues to pick up pace.

Output of the power-storage unit grew 57% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2023. This outpaced the 39% increase in EV production, as revealed by new data provided by EV-volumes.com.

The global EV market has seen many new electric models introduced this year, with a sizeable number featuring bigger battery capacities. This puts manufacturers of the core electric component in a primary position as EV uptake continues.

CATL drops market share

CATL remained at the front of the battery-production pack in the first three quarters of 2023, holding on to a market share of 32.2%. The manufacturer supplied 158GWh worth of batteries for use in light EVs between January and September. This marked a 56.5% increase year on year.

In November, CATL announced it had signed an agreement to supply Stellantis with local lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery cells and modules. With a potential joint venture also in the works, the battery manufacturer may look to strengthen its grip on the market through additional collaborative efforts.

‘With Stellantis’ time-honoured expertise in car manufacturing and CATL’s advanced battery technology, we believe the partnership will be a decisive step on both parties’ journey towards carbon neutrality goals,’ said Robin Zeng, chairman and general manager of CATL. ‘We will remain dedicated to delivering more competitive and sustainable solutions for our partners to promote global energy transition.’

Improved power-storage technology will also benefit the manufacturer. The new Qilin battery, which powers the Zeekr 001 and the upcoming ‘super-fast charging’ Shenxing unit, should help bolster CATL’s position at the top of the ranking.

LG holds on to second

At 81.9GWh, LG Energy Solution produced the second-largest volume of EV batteries in the first nine months of 2023 (16.7% share). This equated to a year-on-year increase of nearly 49% from some 55GWh produced across the same period in 2022.

LG Energy Solution recently signed a long-term battery supply agreement with Toyota to power its EVs in the US. This will result in 20GWh of nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminium (NCMA) battery modules being delivered annually from 2025.

‘We are excited to have Toyota, the best-selling global automaker, as our new customer. With our 30 years of experience in lithium-ion batteries, we will provide innovative power solutions to support Toyota’s push further into battery electric vehicles,’ said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution.

‘The agreement also presents another big opportunity for us to strengthen our production capacity in North America, thereby bringing more real-life, large-scale progress toward electrification in the region,’ Kwon added.

BYD boosted

LG Energy Solution’s second-place position did come under threat from BYD, which supplied 81.1GWh. The manufacturer’s output grew 81.2% in the first nine months of this year, equating to a market share of 16.5%. BYD can be expected to surpass LG Energy Solution in the last quarter of 2023.

Panasonic, once a leader in the automotive EV business, continued its slow slide down the rankings. Having produced 42GWh worth of battery capacity in the first three quarters of 2023, the company now sits in fourth with an 8.6% share.

With its main client, Tesla, now effectively a multi-supplier OEM when it comes to batteries, and no replacement client currently coming to fill the gap, the battery maker is losing ground. This is partially due to the small EV investments its compatriot automotive companies are making.

Power three

In the second half of the table, sixth-place Samsung SDI (5.1% share) was followed by a slowly growing CALB (3.2% share). However, the final three battery makers have all experienced significant growth. Between January and September, Farasis Energy in eighth, Envision AESC in ninth and Sunwoda in 10th saw production increase by 152.5%, 117% and 75.7% respectively.

Farasis had the success of GAC to thank alongside the addition of Mercedes-Benz as a client. Meanwhile, Envision AESC was able to rely on its relationship with Nissan, while also supporting Mercedes-Benz’ US operations. The number of EVs sold in this scenario is less significant than the large 108kWh battery used in the EQS. Lastly, Sunwoda benefitted as Leapmotor’s primary battery supplier.

The EV market continues to grow quickly, between 40% to 50% year on year. Alongside this, the average size of these power-storage units is also increasing. The battery market can therefore be expected to keep moving at an even

The green transition of electric trucks and buses

As electric vehicles (EVs) begin to make serious inroads into the passenger-car market, a green transition is also underway for heavy-duty trucks and buses. Przemek Kolasa, data manager for commercial vehicles at EV-volumes.com, examines the progress.

As a large contributor to global greenhouse gas levels, the commercial-vehicle sector is looking towards zero-emission possibilities. The development of battery-electric trucks and buses will lead to significantly cleaner mobility within logistics and passenger transport.

China leads heavy-duty electric-truck market

Currently, OEMs from China lead the way when it comes to the green transition of heavy-duty trucks, with a dominant share of the global market. However, the country has lost some of this share since 2021 as other markets have grown, with domestic OEMs building up their fleets.

In 2021, Chinese OEMs held a 96% share of the global market, while other countries only took a combined share of 4%. The slow shift to a more generalised market began in 2022, with China’s share dropping to 92%. Between January and September 2023, the country held 89%, with the other 11% shared between other regions.

Therefore, Chinese OEMs have seen their market share fall by seven percentage points in two years. This is the result of the green transition picking up in regions such as Europe and the US. As the number of Chinese OEMs in these markets is still relatively small, domestic manufacturers have not been impacted, allowing them to take advantage of their already well-established presence to appeal to regional customers.

Europe’s household names

Figures from the third quarter of 2023 show Volkswagen (VW) Group’s Traton division, led the European electric-truck market with a 37% share. It was followed by AB Volvo (29%) and Daimler Trucks (17%). Together, these three companies accounted for 83% of registrations, with the final 17% made up of all other manufacturers.

From January to September, Traton division, AB Volvo and Daimler Trucks significantly increased their registrations, growing 231%, 342% and 541% respectively year on year. Therefore, while the electric-truck segment is expanding rapidly in Europe, it is doing so without the need for Chinese manufacturers.

A more diverse electric-bus sector

The bus sector’s green transition started much earlier than that of trucks, meaning the market is more developed and diverse.

China does still lead the way, but its share dropped further than in the truck market. While in 2021 the country held a 95% market share, this fell to 90% in 2022. From January to September, the country held 81%. Other markets have eaten into the Chinese advantage, moving from a 5% holding in 2021 to a 19% share in the first three quarters of 2023.

A serious alternative

Unlike the electric-truck market, Chinese penetration in other countries has occurred. Focusing on Europe, domestic manufacturers are starting to offer a serious alternative to established China-based businesses, while the market is more spread out due to the development of green technology in the sector.

In the third quarter of 2023, BYD held a 12% share. However, VW Group, through its Traton division, closed rapidly, ending the period with 11% of the market. Close behind was CAF, which had a 9% market share across the three months.

However, the Traton division has experienced stunning growth in the electric-bus market over the first three quarters of 2023. The company increased its registrations by 242% in the nine-month period, while BYD only improved deliveries by 33%. CAF was also able to close in on BYD, with a 55% registration increase, but far from Traton’s impressive figures.

More to come

There is still a long way to go in the green transition of trucks and buses, as more manufacturers bring their products to market, and further technological developments play a part.

Markets are still in the early stages of a zero-emission push. This means that trends are very much dependent on a number of factors, such as battery development, hydrogen fuel cells for long distances, the market economy, and incentive packages.

All of these elements will play a crucial role in electric-truck and electric-bus uptake, helping propel the green transition of these vehicles further.

BYD fills top spots behind Tesla in global EV market in October

Electric vehicles (EVs) made up 17% of global new-car sales in October, as BYD filled the top spots behind Tesla in the model ranking. José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com, explores the leading models, brands and manufacturers.

Global EV registrations, made up of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), continued to rise in October. A total of 1,279,831 new plug-in vehicles took to roads around the world.

This meant EVs made up 17% of the global new-car market in the month, with BEVs alone taking a 12% share. However, the total electric-vehicle figure narrowly missed September’s record result. As the internal-combustion engine (ICE) market continues its recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels, the EV share is experiencing ongoing pressure.

BEV registrations increased 33% year on year, accounting for 68% of October’s global EV market. This put the year-to-date rise at 70%. PHEV registrations jumped 46% compared with October 2022. This was largely thanks to new range-extended models, with battery capacities over 40kWh, appearing in China. Removing the Chinese market from the tally reveals that PHEV registrations only grew 11% year on year.

Tesla tops BYD batch

The Tesla Model Y remained high above its competitors in October, achieving its best-ever first month in a quarter with 78,250 registrations. This could result in a new record for the crossover come December, with Tesla’s usual quarterly delivery strategy resulting in higher quarterly registrations.

Behind the Model Y, BYD occupied the next five top-ranking spots. The BYD Song took second place with 64,990 registrations, while the Atto 3 ended the month in third with 47,134 units. The Chinese carmaker is leaning further into BEVs, with the Song, Atto 3, Dolphin and Seagull all achieving new records in October with strong all-electric results.

In eighth, the GAC Aion Y continued its record-breaking streak with 27,140 registrations. It was the best-selling non-Tesla, non-BYD model on the table. But this position might be challenged soon, as the now ninth-place Wuling Bingo delivered a record 23,744 units.

In 13th, the Volkswagen (VW) ID.3 had its best result in years, hitting 15,731 units. This was mostly thanks to price reductions in China, which allowed the compact hatchback to reach record registrations. The VW ID.3 and ID.4 were the only models made by legacy manufacturers in October’s top 20, highlighting the disruption caused by the electric vehicle revolution.

Elsewhere, Geely’s Panda Mini hit a new high score of 13,052 units, putting it in 16th. Li Auto’s line-up also performed well, with the 17th-place L9 standing out. The model achieved its third record result in a row with 12,756 registrations.

Largest to smallest

Reviewing the largest to smallest models outside of the top-20, the Huawei-backed Aito M7 SUV hit 11,593 registrations. FAW’s Hongqi E-QM5 sedan broke the five-digit barrier with 10,021 registrations. The Zeekr 001 and Denza D9 also posted solid results, reaching 8,518 and 10,063 registrations respectively.

In the midsize category, the Xpeng G6 reached another record score with 8,741 units, while the Lynk & Co 08 PHEV hit 8,038 registrations in only its third month on the market. The midsize crossover features a 40kWh battery, a capacity which appears to have become the minimum requirement for PHEVs in China.

Other respectable results came from the BMW i4 (7,204 units), the Geely Galaxy L7 (9,336 units), the Leapmotor C11 (8,772 registrations), and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (8,970 registrations). As for the compact category, the MG4 scored 10,026 registrations in October. Great Wall’s Ora Good Cat managed 9,241 registrations, thanks largely to exports.

In the compact crossover category, the Audi Q4 e-Tron (11,352 units) and the Skoda Enyaq (8,570 units) hit record scores. Meanwhile, the Volvo XC40 (7,905 units) performed respectably ahead of the EX30’s arrival. Most notably in the city EV category, Chery’s QQ Ice Cream registered 7,111 units.

Results set in stone

In the year-to-date table, the full-year results appeared set in stone. The Tesla Model Y posted almost twice the sales of the BYD Song. The Chinese model profited from a sizable 80,000-unit advantage over the third-place Tesla Model 3, which managed a 47,000 unit lead over the BYD Qin Plus in fourth.

Therefore, 2023’s headline results will likely mirror those from 2022. The Tesla Model Y will take its second title in a row, followed by the BYD Song with its second silver medal, and then the Tesla Model 3 in third for the second consecutive time.

Further down the table, seventh place is another point of interest during the last quarter of 2023. The GAC Aion S had a slow October, allowing its rivals to draw closer. Its sibling, the GAC Aion Y, jumped two positions to eighth, while the ninth-place Wuling Mini EV and the 10th-place BYD Han could also benefit.

Not far behind, the BYD Seagull swooped into 11th. The city model is poised to join November’s top 10 and could even reach seventh place by the end of the year.

The Wuling Bingo climbed a spot to 14th. While not experiencing the same level of success as its BYD competitors, the Dolphin and the Seagull, Wuling’s supermini is a welcome addition to the EV market and shows great potential as an export.

BYD’s record streak

Considering brands, BYD posted its sixth consecutive registration record in October, with 289,588 units. Tesla delivered 115,055 units, a standard result for the brand in the first month of a quarter. The SGMW joint venture between SAIC and GM-Wuling, took third with 54,921 registrations. The brand is banking on its Wuling Mini EV and Bingo models performing well in the rest of the year.

Seventh-place Li Auto saw its seventh record month in a row. The carmaker achieved 40,424 registrations thanks to positive results across its line-up. In eighth, Changan also managed an excellent month thanks to the success of the Lumin and the Deepal S7 SUV.

Another best-performance in the month was Geely in ninth with 38,665 units. This was thanks to strong results across the board, including the Panda Mini’s record results as well as the Galaxy L7’s 9,336 units. Meanwhile, 14th-place Volvo had a more muted month with just 21,332 registrations.

Audi achieved a new best for 2023, with 25,577 registrations. However, BMW scored an extra 18,000 units in the same period, placing it in fifth. The reason for this difference between the two German marques is volume.

While Audi has the Q4 e-Tron and Q8 e-Tron as its volume models, BMW offers twice the number of vehicles. This includes the iX1, iX3, i4, iX, and the i3. Even without a star player like the Q4 e-Tron, BMW’s combination of models is enough to outsell Audi. In order to offer stronger competition, the VW Group brand needs to roll out the A6 e-Tron and Q6 e-Tron soon.

Xpeng took 15th following its best-ever result of 20,002 registrations. The company saw the G6 shine, while the bigger G9 also performed well. The Chinese startup will be hoping to post more consistent results soon. Leapmotor also continued its high-score streak thanks to the success of its C11 SUV. The brand scored its third record score in a row with 18,269 units registered.

Race for third

In the year-to-date brand table, BYD remained well ahead of Tesla. The two makes together were responsible for more than a third of the global EV market. Below, there could be an interesting race for third, with GAC Aion reporting a slower October.

This allowed BMW to gain ground, with only 13,000 units now separating the two. While the German brand will be hoping this trend continues, third is still a tall order, with its last podium presence achieved back in 2016.

In seventh, Mercedes-Benz could be pressured in December by a rising Li Auto. The Chinese startup has broken its records every single month of the year, so it could end up passing the German brand towards the very end of 2023. Elsewhere, Kia surpassed its stablemate Hyundai to take 13th, and Nio climbed to 17th, surpassing Ford.

VW Group faces Geely-Volvo

Looking at registrations with brands gathered under manufacturing groups, BYD took hold of 22.1% of the global EV market. Meanwhile, Tesla managed a 13.4% share. Third place went to VW Group (7.3%), which kept a good distance ahead of Geely–Volvo (6.7%) in fourth.

The Chinese conglomerate is unlikely to take third from the German OEM this close to the end of the year. However, 2024 is likely to feature an exciting race between the two companies as they try to line up behind Tesla and BYD.

In fifth, SAIC (5.5%) saw a reversal of fortunes from previously falling shares. But this was not the case for Stellantis, which sat in sixth as its share shrank to 4.4%. In seventh, BMW Group (4.1%) held its position, even gaining ground over GAC (4%) in eighth and Hyundai Motor Group (3.9%) in ninth.

Tesla trumps BEV table

Looking just at BEVs, Tesla remained in front with a 19.3% share across the first 10 months of the year. The US carmaker still has a comfortable lead over BYD (16.3%), making it unlikely that the Chinese company will take the lead in the final stages of the race.

This looks set to change next year, however, as BYD’s crowning becomes simply a matter of time. This is unlikely to happen in the first quarter, as China’s market will slow due to the festive period, resulting in fewer sales for BYD. Instead, the second quarter will likely see the Chinese carmaker surpass Tesla.

In third, VW Group (7.8%) maintained space between itself and SAIC (7.6%). An entertaining race can be expected between the two across the remainder of the year. In fifth, Geely-Volvo’s share surged (6.2%) thanks to strong results

EVs Forecast to Account for Two Thirds of Global Light-Vehicle Sales in 2035

We forecast that global EV sales, comprising battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), will reach 14.1 million units in 2023. This equates to EV sales growth of 34% compared with 2022.

Meanwhile, the entire light-vehicle market, which includes passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles, is only predicted to rise by 9%. EVs are therefore expected to take a higher 16% share of the global light-vehicle market this year.

This market penetration rate is slightly lower than predictions made earlier in the year, especially as the 2023 EV share in China is now forecast to be 33%, down from 35% previously. However, over 300,000 additional EV sales are now expected globally in 2023, largely thanks to a stronger outlook for total light-vehicle sales in China.

EV uptake has weakened in North America, while recent subsidy cuts in European markets like Germany, Sweden and the UK have damaged demand, particularly for PHEVs. Accordingly, the global EV share is predicted to be lower throughout the decade than previously forecast, reaching 23.5% in 2025, then 45.3% in 2030, and 68.4% in 2035.

The unit volume of global EV sales is set to triple from 10.5 million in 2022 to over 31 million in 2027. It is expected to more than double to over 74.5 million units in 2035.

The number of EVs in operation will rise rapidly. But with 1.33 billion light vehicles currently on the road, EV-volumes forecasts that by the end of 2030, electric vehicles will only account for 15% of the global parc, assuming normal scrappage rates.

This will increase to nearly 30% by the end of 2035, with EVs only accounting for half of all operational light vehicles by 2042.

Tesla to take the EV lead from BYD

Once again, China is the main driver for global volume and growth. However, it is also the main source of forecast uncertainties, with economic headwinds hanging over the automotive sector alongside potential policy changes that could disrupt EV uptake.

Buoyed by the Chinese market and an increased PHEV offering, BYD overtook Tesla to become the world’s biggest EV manufacturer in 2022. For 2023, BYD is expected to deliver over three million EVs, compared to 1.8 million units for Tesla.

However, Tesla remains the largest BEV player globally. With the rollout of the refreshed Model 3 and the Cybertruck, as well as an anticipated compact crossover and hatchback in 2024 and 2026 respectively, it is forecast to be the leading EV maker globally from 2025.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen (VW) Group is expected to exceed the one million EV mark in 2024, with Hyundai Motor, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis expected to follow suit in 2025.

Lower European expectations

In Europe, better products, higher EV incentives and the 95g/km CO2 mandate for average fleet emissions stimulated demand and supply beyond expectations in the second half of 2020 and 2021. BEVs and PHEVs accounted for 16.9% of Europe’s new light-vehicle market in 2021, before reaching 20.7% in 2022.

The volume of EV sales increased by 15% in 2022 while Europe’s total light-vehicle market declined 6% year on year. For 2023, European EV sales can be expected to gain a further 15% over 2022, supported by a brisk light-vehicle market recovery of 11.3% year on year.

PHEV numbers are retreating, meaning BEVs are broadly responsible for year-on-year growth. The all-electric powertrain is expected to see another year of 30% volume growth, trending towards a 70% share of the 2023 EV market.

EV-volumes has improved its outlook for total European light-vehicle sales but lowered its EV share and volume expectations. This is because of the lacklustre performance of PHEVs, the end of incentives for non-private buyers in Germany, as well as the UK extension of the new-car internal-combustion engine (ICE) ban from 2030 to 2035.

While new tax rebates in Spain will support higher EV uptake, the net effect will not be enough to balance out the negative influences. Europe’s EV market share is now forecast to reach 21.4% in 2023, climbing to 31.1% in 2025, then 68.6% in 2030, and 94.9% in 2035.

The forecast for 2035 includes some tolerance for timing interpretations of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate in the EU and UK. It also allows for exemptions for ICE vehicles that may be deemed unsuitable for full electrification.

The EU zero-emission mandate for 2035 still leaves room for e-fuels, with support mounting in Austria and Germany for example. So, the BEV share forecast has been lowered slightly in the later forecast years.

EVs sourced from China keep gaining ground in Europe, exemplified by surging sales for MG, particularly the MG4. With other Chinese players such as BYD extending their presence in the region, the share of EVs produced in China increased from 11% in 2021 to 16.6% in 2022. However, up to 60% of these EVs are Chinese exports for European brands.

This percentage is forecast to climb to 18.6% this year, before falling from 2024. This is because of Tesla ramping up production in Germany, alongside European carmakers localising production.

Chinese EV expansion

In China, the EV boom continued into the second half of 2022. This brought the EV market share to 26.7% last year versus 13.9% in 2021.

New-energy vehicles (NEVs) – including BEVs, PHEVs and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) – were given an official government target share of 20% by 2025, meaning the objective was reached three years early.

By 2030, the stated aim is for the NEV share to reach 40%, then at least 50% by 2035, which is an unlikely scenario for the long-term outlook. For 2023, EV-volumes forecasts a 33.4% EV share, with year-on-year volume growth of 35%, reaching 8.35 million units.

While EV-share expectations have been reduced, the resilience of the wider light-vehicle market means plug-in volume assumptions still exceed previous forecasts. This is despite an underwhelming economic recovery, post-COVID-19 restrictions, and an ailing domestic real-estate sector. However, this may also mean consumers are turning their attention back to vehicle purchases.

Our forecast for China is not restricted by target shares or capacity limitations. EVs are expected to account for 46% of light-vehicle sales in 2025, growing to 68% in 2030, and 83% in 2035. Growth rates suggest even faster electrification of the market, but caution remains due to high regulatory and economic uncertainties.

With recent policy reversals emphasising higher priorities, crackdowns on sectors with hyper growth are possible. EV-volumes’ Chinese figures cover retail sales (not wholesales) for both historic and forecast volumes, excluding exported units and inventory build-up.

The Chinese EV market has swung towards PHEVs in recent years. The powertrain accounted for 18% of all EV sales in 2021 and rose to 25% in 2022. This is largely the result of growing sales of BYD PHEVs and range-extended hybrids from Li Auto.

This trend is likely to persist, with PHEVs forecast to make up 31% of the EV mix this year. However, BEVs are likely to gain ground again from 2024 onwards.

A-segment (city car) EVs are particularly exposed to the turbulence in China, whereby their share of the EV market plummeted from 23% in 2021 to 15% in 2022. It is expected to decline further until the economy can overcome the prevailing headwinds.

Three key new models now dominate the segment, namely the Changan Lumin BEV, the Geely Panda Mini BEV, and the Wuling HongGuang Mini BEV. This has compounded the volume woes of OEMs such as BAW, Chery, Dongfeng, Great Wall, JAC, Leapmotor, and SAIC.

The A-segment is also being squeezed by consumers buying new B-segment (small car) EVs in their droves, such as the BYD Dolphin and Seagull, as well as the Wuling Bingo. The A-segment share of the Chinese EV market is forecast to halve this year, falling below 8%. Meanwhile, the B-segment is expected to jump from a share of 1.7% in 2022 to 5.5%.

North American fall

North America, including the US and Canada, saw EV sales increase by 48% year on year in 2022, following 100% growth in 2021. The EV share of light-vehicle sales is forecast to reach 19.5% in 2025, increasing to 45% in 2030 and 77% in 2035.

In terms of the BEV-PHEV mix, all-electric models are expected to account for 80.5% this year, rising to 88.1% in 2025, then 95% in 2030, and 98% in 2035.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) supports further EV growth in the US, even if compliance with upcoming battery and material-sourcing requirements remains unclear for many EV entries. The IRA is assumed to stay effective until 2032.

The incentives for producing vehicles and batteries in the region remain strong but also imply handicaps for imported brands and models. However, there is a loophole whereby imported EVs can qualify if they are leased instead of purchased.

Furthermore, strikes by the Union of Auto Workers (UAW) have highlighted the risk that EVs may pose to domestic OEMs and jobs, which may shift consumer sentiment.

Alongside the comparatively slow growth in EV uptake so far this year, EV-volumes has reduced its growth forecast to 48% for 2023, with 1.64 million units equating to a 9.5% share of light-vehicle sales.

While the overall market recovery is stronger than expected, the EV share and volume forecasts for 2023 to 2025 have been lowered following confirmations of capacity constraints for several popular models.

The medium and long-term forecasts have not changed significantly. EV growth is supported by localised product portfolios and expansion into the popular full-size SUV and pick-up segments. This includes the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevrolet Silverado, Equinox and Blazer, Jeep Recon and Wagoneer S, Ram 1500, and VW’s Scout brand.

Non-triad rise

The non-triad region includes Asia (excluding China), Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Central and South America. This market saw EV volumes rise sharply for a second consecutive year in 2022, albeit from a low base.

This was thanks to better availability of products, higher EV incentives, and lowered import tariffs in some countries. The strong recovery of the wider light-vehicle market since 2020 has also contributed.

Combined EV sales in the non-triad markets hit 292,000 units in 2021 and reached 554,000 units in 2022, with growth of 90%. The largest contributors were South Korea (over 55,000), Japan (over 51,000), India (over 35,000), and Australia (over 20,000). Other beacons were Hong Kong, Taiwan, and New Zealand, which are all small vehicle markets but have a high EV share.

Nevertheless, the combined EV share sat at just 1.9% in 2022 as large vehicle markets like Japan, Russia, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries still sell very few electric vehicles relative to their market size. This also pulled down the global average EV share, as the non-triad countries account for over 35% of the world’s light-vehicle sales.

However, the potential in these markets is increasing, as lacklustre economic growth in China is likely to favour many of the non-triad economies. Increasing EV export volumes from China and localisation plans by Western, Chinese, and Japanese OEMs for EV and battery production, provide strong encouragement.

Many developing countries impose high tariffs on vehicle imports. Unless EVs are exempt, these countries will need to develop their own EV industry to catch up with the adoption in mature markets.

For 2023, we expect an EV share of 3.2% in the non-triad countries and just over one million EV sales. The EV share is forecast to hit 6.5% in 2025, reaching 16.6% in 2030 and 41% in 2035, trailing global EV adoption by about six years.

Global EV Sales for 2023 H1

Global EV sales continue strong. A total of 6 million new Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) were delivered during the first half of 2023, an increase of +40 %. 4,27 million were pure electric BEVs and 1,76 million were PHEVs. Preliminary July results show +40 % growth again. The regional growth pattern has shifted: China EV sales increased by +37 % in 2023 H1 y/y, compared to +82 % in 2022 vs 2021. Sales in Western and Central Europe were up +28 % in H1 compared to just +15 % growth in 2022. EV sales in USA and Canada are +50 % higher YTD to June than last year.  EV sales outside the aforementioned markets increased by 102 %, albeit from a low base.  Overall vehicle markets saw a considerable recovery, with +17 % y/y growth in Europe in H1 but weaker and more volatile in China. The global light vehicle market was 11 % higher in 2023 H1 than in 2022 H1 but still trailed the 2015-2019 average by five million units on an annualized basis.EV shares continued to climb in all markets. BEVs (10 %) and PHEVs (4,1 %) stood for 14,1 % of global light vehicle sales at the close of H1, compared to 11,3 % in 2022 H1. Norway had the highest market share of EVs in H1 (BEVs 75 % + PHEVs 6 %), China had 30,5 %, Europe 19,7 % and USA 8,7 %. The fastest growing markets were Indonesia with 6000 BEV & PHEV units for H1, +886 %, Thailand with 39 500 units, up +370 %, Turkey with 12 300 units, up +326 % and Australia with 47 400 units, up +248 %.

PHEVs stood for 29,6 % in the BEV-PHEV mix in 2023 H1 compared to 27,2 % in 2022. The PHEV volume increase was 891 000 units in H1, most of it (754k) in China. High sales of BYD PHEVs and the renaissance of Range Extender Electric Vehicles (EREVs) are the main reason.  Also, mini-EVs like the Wuling Hongguang found fewer buyers in a tougher economic environment. As they are all BEVs their decline is dragging down the BEV share within China’s New Energy Vehicle (NEV) volume.

BYD nearly doubled H1 sales to 1,25 millionb units, making it #1 in the global EV sales ranking, with their 633 000 PHEV sales included. Counting BEVs only, Tesla still leads by a wide margin with 889 000 units delivered in H1.For the full year of 2023, we expect sales of 14 million EVs, growth of +33 % over 2022, with BEVs reaching 10 million units and PHEVs 4 million units. By the end of 2023 we expect 40 million EVs in operation, counting light vehicles, 70 % of which are BEVs and 30 % PHEVs. Sales of Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCEV) in the light vehicle sector have declined by -25 % so far this year and remain below 20 000 units annually. Current sales are from five vehicle models and most sales are in South Korea and USA. We estimate their current population to be about 60 000 units.

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EVs gain further share in a broad auto market recovery

Global sales of BEVs and PHEVs have grown by 40 % in H1, supported by a broad recovery of total auto sales, posting a 11 % increase, so far. The 2023 numbers compare to depressed sales during 2022 H1. Meanwhile, the buyers market has returned. Component supply constraints have eased, vehicle inventories are replenished and vehicle prices are coming down, despite high inflation in other sectors. H1 delivery volumes were further supported by pent-up demand and by fulfilling accrued orders. We expect lower y/y volume increases for the remainder of the year. Europe’s EV demand is of CO2 mandates and receives less support from OEMs and by direct subsidies, which were slashed in several countries. Circulation tax incentives are mostly intact, however. The 28 % y/y EV growth is helped by a 17 % increase in overall vehicle sales. China NEVs sales have lost their central subsidy, while the 10 % purchase tax exemption stays until further notice. Regional price wars among EVs and ICEs alike have boosted sales numbers in Q2, more than compensating for the losses in Q1. NEV sales (+37 % y/y) grew 7 times faster than total light vehicle sales (+5,2 % y/y) during H1 and reached a market share of 33 % in June. EV sales in USA and Canada combined were +50 % higher than last year, in a +12 % larger light vehicle market. USA alone had +54 % growth in H1, Canada +16 %. Considering that the 2022 vs 2021 EV sales growth was as high as +50 % in the US, the real impact of the 2023 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is yet to be seen. The non-triad markets combined had the highest % gains in EV adoption (+102 %), most of them from a low base. The largest market in this group is South Korea with 82 400 BEV+PHEV sales YTD June and an EV share of 11 %. Next is Japan with 73 700 EV sales YTD, +112 % EV growth and 3,1 % EV share. The EV share in all non-triad countries combined is only 2,8 % in 2023 but growing fast now.

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Consolidation in China

At the top, BYD sold nearly twice as many BEVs + PHEVs compared to 2022 H1. BYD is the largest maker of PHEVs and the second largest maker of BEVs. The company currently sells 17 BEV models and 8 PHEV models. Tesla leads global sales of BEVs by a large margin, with a share of  20,8 % in all BEVs sold worldwide. With a H1 growth of +57 %, Tesla gained EV sector share again, as did BYD. Some EV OEMs prioritize volume and market share growth, like BYD, Tesla, GAC (Aion) and Li Auto. Or they protect the tight margins they may have on EVs, like VW, Stellantis, Hyundai, BMW, NIO and Volvo. Insufficient battery supply hold back Ford and GM. Many others face dire straits, neither growing volumes, nor breaking even, with no profitable ICE sales to back them up. The H1 results for volumes and growth indicate distress for several Chinese OEM in the top-25 ranking. The “Other OEM” portion contains a further 25 companies with decreasing and unsustainably low sales volumes. 11 % of China’s NEV production, 428 000 units Passenger Cars and LCVs, were exported during 2023 H1, mostly BEVs. 2/3rd of these exports were Non-Chinese brands, with Tesla (166k), Volvo-Polestar (49k) and Renault (Dacia, 27k) leading. Chinese brands stood for 149 000 NEV exports during the first half of this year, nearly 3 times the volume of 2022 H1. The strongest exporters are SAIC (MG, Maxus, 80k), BYD (42k) and Geely, if 18k Lynk & Co are included.

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Tesla and Chinese brands dominate the Top-10

The Tesla Model-Y leads the global EV sales ranking by a significant margin. It is now also the world’s best selling vehicle of all categories, including ICEs. The Model-Y is produced in USA (Fremont, CA and Austin, TX) in China (Shanghai) and in Berlin (Germany). The Model-3 recovered from the initial cannibalism by the Model-Y in 2022 and starts growing again.  In the sedan category, only Toyota’s Camry and Corolla had higher sales in H1, at significantly lower retail prices than for the Model-3. BYD has four models in the top-10,  two mid-size PHEVs and two compact BEVs, introduced in 2022. The Yuan Plus is BYDs leading export model, with 37 100 units sold outside China. The compact cross-over is known as the Atto-3 in most export markets. GM-Wuling’s Mini EV sales saw a significant decline, as the A00 segment stagnates and new players have entered it. GAC  (Guangzhou Automobile, state owned) has entered the top-10 with two models of it’s Aion brand. The Aion-S is a mid-size BEV sedan, the Aion-Y is a compact BEV cross-over. The VW ID.4 is the best selling model from a European brand. Sales include the ID.4 X and ID.4 Crozz made by VW’s joint ventures with SAIC and FAW in China.

Outlook for 2023

We expect global sales of 14 million BEV and PHEV for the full year of 2023. The EV market share reaches 16 % in a total light vehicle market of 87,5 million units. EVs grow by 33 % in a total market up 7,5 %. In China, our forecast is 8,1 million NEVs (BEVs & PHEVs) for a share of 34,7 % in Light vehicle sales. The current sales trend would suggest an even higher number but we remain cautious about the China economy. Recent news and data are not suggesting a broad post-covid recovery, rather the opposite. For Northern America (USA & Canada) we expect 1,7 million units and 55 % growth over 2022. The EV incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) should boost sales further but domestic OEM (except Tesla) are slow to seize the market opportunities, plagued by inhouse battery supply shortages and/or highly unprofitable EV sales. Imports do not receive the IRA grants. Europe’s EV adoption is ahead of CO2 mandates and there is little inducement for legacy OEMs to push EV sales with small or negative margins. Direct EV incentives are being reduced but tax savings still are intact in most countries. We expect 19 % EV growth to 3,2 million units sales and a market share of 22,5 %. The main growth drivers so far are Tesla, Chinese imports, Volvo-Polestar the VW brand and the strong recovery of total vehicle sales in H1. We expect the effect of the latter to wane in H2. Many of the Non-Triad countries have entered a high growth trajectory, supported by EV exports from China, mostly by Tesla. EV sales in Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, Australia and Brazil, all large vehicle markets, have grown by +200 % and more in H1-2023, starting from very low levels. Inhibitors for catching up with the Triad regions are high import duties and the absence of a domestic EV industry.

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40 Million EVs On The Road at 2023 Year End

Adding this year’s 14 million BEVs and PHEVs to the existing stock gets the number of EVs in operation to nearly 40 million, word-wide, counting Light Vehicles. With ca 1,3 billion light vehicles in operation, this is still just 3 %. Counting BEVs only it is 2,1 % of the global fleet. The number of vehicle on the road worldwide is increasing by 40 million cars and light trucks every year. This year, 10 million of this increase (25 %) are BEVs. The other 30 million vehicles entering the fleet (75 %) are still burning petrol or Diesel. In a scenario towards 100 % zero-emission in global new vehicle sales in 2045 (as an example for the math), the total number of vehicle in operation reaches 1,8 billion in 2045. By then, 40-45 % of this stock are BEVs, but the sobering truth is also that, with current scrapping rates, the majority of the worlds Light Vehicles still need to burn fuels in 2045. The full transition to BEVs needs to accelerate, because the positive impact on CO2 emissions comes with a considerable delay. Fast EV adoption is a prerequisite for sustainable personal mobility.

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Tesla models lead Europe’s EV market in first half of 2023

Europe’s electric vehicle (EV) market is continuing to grow rapidly with impressive figures in June. José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com, considers the numbers.

Europe saw over 311,000 EV registrations in June, up 42% on the same month in 2022. But the overall market also grew quickly, up 19% year on year.

Electric vehicles made up 25% of all new-car registrations in Europe (encompassing the EU, UK and EFTA markets). Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) alone held a 17% share after the number of newly registered units increased 57% year on year.

Meanwhile, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) recorded their highest rate of growth this year at 17%, ending the month with close to 100,000 units. This meant BEVs accounted for the vast majority of EV sales in June at 68%, while PHEVs made up the remaining 32%.

Tesla in first and second

For the eighth month in a row, the Tesla Model Y was the best-selling EV in Europe. In June, the midsize model recorded 33,523 registrations. It benefitted from competitive pricing and a balanced ratio of supply and demand, meaning quick deliveries.

The crossover can be expected to continue posting similar results in the coming quarters in Europe. However, this is unlikely to significantly exceed current volumes, as the Model Y may have already reached the market’s natural limit.

The Model Y’s biggest European markets in June included Germany (6,098 units), France (4,335), Norway (3,127), the UK (5,500 units), Sweden (2,408 units), Denmark (2,164), and the Netherlands (1,778 units), while Belgium also had a high number of deliveries at 1,300 units.

The Tesla Model 3 finished the month in second with 14,163 registrations. Sales can be expected to rebound once the brand’s refreshed version lands. However, how much volume this might add is up for debate.

The distribution of deliveries was more irregular than for the Model Y, with bigger markets like France (3,966 units), the UK (1,962 units), Germany (1,668 units), and Italy (1,010) taking the largest chunk of sales.

In third, the Volkswagen (VW) ID.4 recorded 10,252 registrations in June. Increased production availability is the result of localised output in the US and the start of manufacturing in Germany. The ID.4 now has enough momentum to compete for second place in 2023, hoping to move up from third place in 2022. The ID.4’s main market in June was Germany (3,754 registrations), followed by Norway (1,176 units), the UK (1,016 registrations), and Sweden (972 registrations).

Without reaching the sales levels of previous months, the Fiat 500e made it to fourth, with the new Abarth hot hatch version likely helping with this uptake. At 7,954 sales, the best-selling city car is currently in recovery mode after a slow start to the year.

Germany was its largest market, with 3,004 registrations, followed by France (2,781 registrations) and then Italy (452 registrations). This last result might seem a little low, given Itay’s love for domestic brands and small cars, but this probably has more to do with the country’s slower EV transition.

The MG4 earned another top-five spot in June with 7,799 registrations, cementing a new record for the model. With a purposeful look, good handling, and reasonable interior materials, the hatchback has been performing well since its launch, offering a budget option to EV motoring.

The model’s main markets were the UK (2,213 registrations) and France (2,511 registrations), two big hatchback locations. The remaining countries ended some distance behind, such as Germany with 928 registrations.

Other highlights in June included the sixth-place Skoda Enyaq, which celebrated a record performance of 7,119 registrations. The Renault Megane EV had a positive result, ending in 10th with 5,032 registrations, making it the best-selling French model in this table.

The second half of the table also witnessed notable performances, like the BMW iX1 scoring its second-record result in a row with 4,158 registrations, placing it in 16th. The Kia EV6 achieved a best-ever result of 3,892 units, making it the best-selling Korean model on the table.

Below the top 20, there were several other positive performances, such as the MG ZS EV hitting 3,032 units, its best result in two years. Meanwhile, VW Group had two wins in the full-size category. The Audi Q8 e-Tron took the highest podium position in the category with 2,875 registrations, the model’s best score since its name changed, then the Porsche Taycan came in second, with 2,473 registrations.

Stellantis recorded several solid results from the Opel Corsa EV (3,072 units), the Opel Mokka EV (3,587 registrations), and the Peugeot e-2008 EV (2,688). But the highlight was the Jeep brand, with the Avenger EV scoring 1,206 deliveries in its second month on the market. The model is due to start knocking at the door of the top 20 in a few months.

Three times the deliveries

In the first half of 2023, the Tesla Model Y recorded three times as many deliveries as the second-place Model 3. But the Tesla sedan will likely have a hard time holding onto this position, as both the Volvo XC40 and the VW ID.4 were fewer than 2,000 units behind. While the Volvo may start suffering from comparisons with the new EX30 soon, the German crossover will surely be a tough adversary.

Elsewhere, the Fiat 500e rose to sixth, putting distance between itself and the 10th-place Dacia Spring, its direct competitor in the city car category. Renault’s Twingo EV and Zoe are showing their age, the Megane EV is trying to fend off its competitors, and the Nissan Ariya is selling below expectations (under 1,000 units a month). This means the Renault–Nissan alliance needs a sales champion to avoid an over-reliance on the Dacia Spring.

In this context, Renault’s decision to end the production of the Zoe by next March appears strange. This is because its successor, the Renault 5, is reportedly set to hit the market by the end of 2024, assuming there are no delays.

In the second half of the table, the Polestar 2 jumped two places up to 18th, with hopes of reaching the 16th-place BMW i4 by the end of the year. In the midsize category, the Kia EV6 rejoined the table in 20th, replacing the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV. This means there are now only two PHEVs in the top 20, the 12th-place Ford Kuga PHEV and the 14th-place Volvo XC60 PHEV.

While the Tesla Model 3 has three direct competitors on the table (BMW i4, Polestar 2, and Kia EV6), the Tesla Model Y has effectively dried out its direct competitors. The only other midsize crossover/SUV in the top 20 is the Volvo XC60 PHEV, which appeals to a different demographic.

Unlike the Model 3, the Model Y does not have direct competition coming from local heavyweights. For example, Audi is yet to release the Q6 e-Tron and the Mercedes-Benz EQC is four years old. The only model that could approach the Model Y in Europe (and North America) is the Ford Mustang Mach-E. But Ford’s current production constraints and high pricing are preventing the model from pushing past its current volumes.

Out in front

In the brand ranking, Tesla was comfortably out in front in June with a 13.1% share, up 0.7% compared to May. VW took the runner-up spot with an 8.5% share, up 0.2% compared to the previous month.

Third-place BMW (7.9%) gained an advantage over Mercedes-Benz (7.4%, down from 7.7%), but with only a slim margin separating the two, a lot could still happen. Finally, Volvo (6.2%, down from 6.5%) was comfortable in fifth, with sixth-place Audi (5.3%) and seventh-place Peugeot (4.7%) some distance behind.

Arranging things by automotive groups, bringing individual brands together under their parent company, VW Group’s share was up to 19.9%, keeping a comfortable lead over new runner-up Stellantis (14.3%, up 0.4% from May). Tesla jumped from 12.4% to 13.1% and can be expected to go after second place in the latter half of 2023.

In fourth, BMW Group was stable at 9.5%, while in fifth, Geely–Volvo suffered from poor performances from Volvo and Lynk & Co, dropping to a share of 8.7%. In sixth, Mercedes-Benz was some distance off (8.3%, down from 8.6%) and seventh-place Hyundai–Kia was stable at 8.2%, meaning Geely should remain in fifth during the next few months.

Global EV Sales for 2022

Global EV sales continued strong. A total of 10,5 million new BEVs and PHEVs were delivered during 2022, an increase of +55 % compared to 2021. The regional growth pattern is shifting, though. Following 2 years of steep sales increases in Europe, EVs gained only +15 % over 2021 there. Weak overall vehicle markets and persistent component shortages have taken their toll, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. EV sales in USA and Canada increased by 48 % year-on-year, despite a weak overall light vehicle market which plunged by 8 % during 2022 y/y. The 2nd half of 2022 saw a cautious recovery of auto markets as numbers compared to the low results of 2021 H1. Global light vehicle sales for 2022, 81 million units, were still -0,5 % lower than in 2021 and -15 % below pre-2020 levels.

China NEV sales defied all headwinds the country faced otherwise (real estate crisis, Covid outbreaks and lock-downs) and increased by another +82 % year-on-year. BYD more than tripled sales to 1,85 million units, making it the #1 in the global sales ranking, if their 944 500 PHEV sales are included. Counting BEVs only, Tesla still leads by a wide margin with 1,31 million units delivered in 2022.

PHEVs stood for 27 % of global Plug-in sales in 2022 compared to 29 % in 2021. While their sales volumes still increased, their share in the PEV mix is in decline, facing headwinds from incentive cuts and improving BEV offers. Sales growth is increasingly depending on the degree of electrification. While BEVs grew by +59 % and PHEVs by +46 %, non-chargeable Full Hybrids grew by +15 % and Mild Hybrids by +1 % y-o-y. Global sales of vehicles which can be charged from the grid (10,5 m) were higher than for non-chargeable vehicles (8,4 m) for the first time in 2022. ICE-only vehicle sales declined by -7 %; their share in global light vehicle sales is 76,8 %, compared to 82,2 % in 2021. FCEV remain irrelevant for the electrification of light vehicles; their deliveries stagnated at 15 400 units in 2022, which is 0,02 % of the global, annual light vehicle volume.

Rapid EV adoption in weak auto markets has boosted EV shares further. BEVs (9,5 %) and PHEVs (3,5 %) stood for 13 % of global light vehicle sales in 2022, compared to 8,3 % in 2021. Norway had the highest market share of EVs in H1 (BEV 71 % + PHEV 8 %), China had 27 %, Europe 20,8 % and USA 7,2 %. The fastest growing markets were Indonesia (from 1k to 10k), India with +223 % to 50k, nearly all BEVs, New Zealand +151 % to 23k for 20 % market share. EV supply and adoption is now spreading rapidly into the global south. November and December of 2022 saw demand distortions by coming reductions of EV grants in Europe and China and the IRA in the US for 2023. Demand for EVs and ICEs alike were pulled into 2022 or pushed into 2023. We expect irregular EV sales and shares in several countries for Q1 of 2023. For the full year of 2023, we expect sales of 14,3 million EVs, a growth of 36 % over 2022, with BEVs reaching 8 million units and PHEVs 2,6 million units. By the end of 2023 we expect nearly 40 million EVs in operation, counting light vehicles, 73 % are BEVs and 27 % PHEVs.

EVs Resilient to Market Declines

Most mature auto markets experienced double-dips in sales during the 2020 through 2022 period. Following the Covid crunch of 2020 and a +5 % recovery in 2021, 2022 sales dipped again, by 0,5 % vs 2021, with mature economies losing 5-10 % of auto sales. Meanwhile, most developing economies, notably India and the ASEAN countries continuing a their strong recovery.

EV sales were resilient to weak auto markets: They over-performed by 21 % in Europe, by 87 % in China, by 55 % in Northern America and by 78 % in the Non-Triad markets. While global light vehicle sales lost -0,5 % y/y, BEVs and PHEVs increased by +55 %. The relative weakness in Europe’s EV growth relates to the EV boom in 2020 / 2021 and the repercussion from the war in Ukraine.

China is, by far the largest EV market, with 59 % of global EV sales in 2022. Their role as the largest EV production base is even stronger, with 6,7 million units, 64 % of global volume, made in China. Nearly 580 000 EVs were exported from China, most of them (407k) by Western brands. The largest exporters were Tesla, SAIC, Dacia, Polestar, Volvo, Lynk & Co, BMW and BYD. All others exported below 10 000 units each.

OEM Ranking for BEV & PHEV Deliveries

Robust increases of EV sales enabled nearly all OEMs to grow their sales in 2022. Global EV deliveries increased by +55 % y/y in total; OEMs with higher growth have increased their share in the EV sector.

BYD sold over 3 times as many BEVs+PHEVs compared to 2021, by boosting sales of existing models, successfully introducing new models and by entirely focusing production and sales on BEVs and PHEVs. Non-chargeable variants were phased out, ending in April 2022. BYD is now the largest maker of PHEVs and moved from rank #3 in 2021 to #1 for BEVs & PHEVs combined.

Tesla leads global sales of BEVs by a large margin, with a share of 17 % in all BEVs sold worldwide. Year-on-year growth was +40 %, less than for the sector, but from a high base.

The VW Group increased EV sales by just +10 %, staying flat in Europe compared to last year; BEVs gained, while PHEVs lost. Growth in China was +44 % y/y and +18 % in North America. The most popular EVs from the group were the VW ID.4, the ID.3, the Skoda Enyaq and the Audi Q4 e-tron, all of them BEVs and all MEB based.

The Wuling Mini EV has reached it’s sales peak; GM gained only +13 % for that reason. Excluding the Mini EVs, GM’s combined growth for EVs was +68 %.

Stellantis gained EV sector share in Europe and USA but with a small presence in China, Stellantis could not participate in the high growth there. The +34 % volume gain is still better than for many other western OEM.

Top-10 Dominated by Tesla and Chinese Models

Tesla has a new best-seller, the Model Y, not only in the EV sector, but within all SUVs and Cross-Overs in this category, including ICEs. Household nameplates like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, BYD Song, etc. usually sell 300-400 000 units per year globally. The Model Y reached 771 000 units in 2022, far more than any other ICE vehicle in this size and price bracket. The Model-3 took a beating, though, as Tesla prioritized production of the more sought after and more profitable Model Y. Still, the Model-3 outsold the Wuling Mini-EV last year for the first time.

GM-Wuling’s Mini EV sales stagnated as it faces more competition from similar concepts like the Chery QQ and other ultra-cheap mini commuters.

BYD had 6 models in the global top-10, with the Song, Qin, Han and Tang as the world’s four best selling PHEVs; a legacy from their regular ICE business which BYD abandoned in April last year. The Song PHEV is a mid-size SUV of 470cm length / 168cm height, the starting price was 153 000 RMB in 2022, less than half of a Tesla Model Y. There is a Song BEV variant with 71 kWh battery capacity for 180 000 RMB, which sold 67 000 units in 2022. The newcomers Dolphin and Yuan Plus had a flying start and are exported in larger numbers now.

The VW ID.4 is the best selling model from a European brand. Sales include the ID.4 X and ID.4 Crozz made by VW’s joint ventures with SAIC and FAW in China.

Outlook for 2023

Elevated fuel prices, concerns about climate change and energy security continue to support higher EV demand. Supply is catching up with demand now and waiting times are coming down. OEMs are reducing prices where margins allow, which improves affordability as a further catalyst for higher sales. We expect 14,3 million EV sales in 2023 with a market share of 17 % in global light vehicle sales. EV sales grow by +36 % in a global light vehicle market increasing +5 %.

For China we expect an NEV share of 35 % with volume growth of 30 % y/y to 8 million units BEVs & PHEVs, which is in line with e.g. CPCA expectations. The central NEV grant was dropped for 2023, but the purchase tax exemption stays for NEVs. Other stimuli for more private consumption could follow, if the economy develops below growth targets. The real NEV incentive is still the favorable allotment of number plates, which is restricted for ICEs in metropolitan areas.

For USA and Canada combined we expect BEV & PHEV sales to grow by +71 %, for a share of 11,5 % in total light vehicle sales. The IRA will stimulate EV growth in USA, favoring EVs produced in the North American region. The compliance with coming battery and material sourcing requirements is still unclear for many EV entries, however. BEVs and PHEVs assembled in USA, Canada and Mexico stood for ca 77 % total PEV sales in the US last year, up from 73 % in 2021.

Subsidy cuts and achieved CO2 compliance dampen the volume and share growth for EVs in Europe compared to the 2020 and 2021 boom. For 2023 we still expect Europe EV sales to increase 26 % over 2022 as EV tax incentives vs ICE vehicles stay intact in most counties. Over 60 new BEV and PHEV entries are expected for 2023, offering more choice and value improvements. Pure-play EV makers will see high growth as many legacy OEM prioritize margins instead of maximizing sales.

Fast but not fast enough

The number of EVs in operation world-wide reached nearly 27 million at the end of 2022, counting light vehicles. With ca 1,5 billion light vehicles in operation, this is still just 1,8 % of the global fleet and 1,3 % counting BEVs only. At the end of 2023 the BEV share reaches 2,5 % of light vehicles in operation.

The number of light vehicle on the road worldwide increases by 40 million units on average every year, as many as the entire current vehicle population of the UK. Last year, 8 million of this increase (20 %) were BEVs. The other 32 million newcomers (80 %) are still burning petrol or Diesel.

In a scenario towards 100 % zero-emission global light vehicle sales in 2045 (as an example for the math), the total number of BEVs in operation reaches 1,1 billion, while the total number of vehicles in operation reaches 2 billion in 2045. By then, over 55 % of the stock are BEVs but the sobering truth is also that, with current scrapping rates, over 40 % of vehicles in operation still need to burn fuels.

The full transition to BEVs needs to accelerate, because the positive impact on CO2 emissions comes with a considerable delay. Fast EV adoption is a prerequisite for sustainable personal mobility.

Will phase-out of incentives threaten EV uptake in Germany?

Germany is phasing out electric-vehicle (EV) incentives. Autovista24 senior data journalist Neil King considers the implications for total cost of ownership (TCO) and market electrification.

Germany ended government incentives for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) on 31 December 2022 and is reducing subsidies for battery-electric vehicles (BEV) between 2023 and 2025. Incentives will only remain available for private buyers from 1 September 2023.

The registration date of a vehicle also determines its eligibility for the subsidies, and this is where current supply-chain disruptions and semiconductor shortages come into play. Delivery times for new vehicles have increased and a waiting period of a year has become the norm rather than the exception.

The TCO impact depends on the models in question, the age-mileage scenario, as well as fuel and electricity costs. The effect on depreciation and leasing rates can be significant too.

This would suggest that the electrification of the German new-car market will decelerate, however, the withdrawal of the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) has not slowed EV uptake in the UK. Furthermore, tax benefits remain in place for company-car buyers in Germany and more EV models are coming to the market.

TCO analysis

Comparing the Mercedes-Benz EQA BEV against the PHEV, diesel, and petrol variants of its GLA sibling, the TCO of the EQA and the GLA PHEV was about €5,000 lower than for the diesel in 2022 over 36 months and 60,000km. Compared to the petrol GLA, the savings amounted to more than €8,000.

TCO comparison: Mercedes-Benz EQA versus GLA PHEV, diesel and petrol variants (including 2022 incentives)

Source: Autovista Group Car Cost Expert

On 1 January 2023, the government incentive for the EQA reduced from €5,000 to €3,000 and the GLA PHEV is no longer eligible. Furthermore, manufacturers are only obliged to grant 50% of the government part for BEVs and €0 for PHEVs. So, the EQA and GLA PHEV are entitled to incentives amounting to €4,500 and €0 in 2023 respectively in this analysis. Consequently, the EQA now has a TCO advantage of almost €4,000 over the GLA PHEV, but the advantage over the diesel and petrol versions is reduced to only €1,000 and less than €5,000 respectively.

A key caveat is that utilisation costs are increasingly becoming a focal point for TCO due to rising fuel and energy costs. High electricity prices threaten to derail the attractiveness of BEVs and PHEVs but, conversely, rising fuel prices have the potential to negatively impact the TCO of internal-combustion engine (ICE) models.

TCO comparison: Mercedes-Benz EQA versus GLA PHEV, diesel and petrol variants (including 2023 incentives)

Source: Autovista Group Car Cost Expert

This TCO analysis does not factor in discounting, which could lower the TCO of the diesel and petrol variants of the GLA to below that of the EQA.

‘We expect that OEMs will be hesitant to decrease list prices to compensate for the loss of cost advantage because list-price increases are risky, and it will be not so easy to raise prices again if circumstances should change. Rather, we expect more hidden discounts such as cheap leasing and financing offers to boost sales,’ explained Andreas Eggerth, senior market analyst at Autovista Group.

No discernible impact in UK

In June 2022, the UK government pulled the plug on the PiCG, which offered up to £1,500 (€1,740) off the cost of a new BEV. Transport Minister Trudy Harrison claimed the country’s electric-car market has been successfully kick-started and signalled the need to send funds elsewhere.

The UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) underlined the poor timing of the decision. With rising fuel prices and supply shortages exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, more consumers were considering an electric vehicle.

The BEV incentive offered in the UK was significantly lower than in Germany but the £1,500 price increase aligns with the €3,000 hike for the Mercedes-Benz EQA since 1 January 2023. Conducting the same TCO analysis in the UK shows that the EQA has a higher TCO than the PHEV and ICE versions of the GLA.

TCO comparison: Mercedes-Benz EQA versus GLA PHEV, diesel and petrol variants

Source: Autovista Group Car Cost Expert

However, this disadvantageous TCO did not restrain the electrification of the UK new-car market in 2022. According to the SMMT, BEVs ‘comprised 16.6% of registrations, surpassing diesel for the first time to become the second most popular powertrain after petrol.’

PHEVs saw their share fall to 6.3% in full-year 2022, replicating the downward trend across Europe. Nevertheless, EVs accounted for 22.9% of new cars registered in the UK last year, up from 17.6% in 2021.

The penetration of fully-electric cars is far greater in the crucial fleet sector, which is responsible for about 50% of all new cars registered in the UK. ‘BEVs already dominate the order books of our sector, and could meet the 2030 phase-out early. BEVs have overtaken petrol among British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) members, and this will remain, assuming the government does not need to apply the handbrake, such as a change to the Benefit in Kind (BiK),’ said Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA, at the association’s Fleets in Charge conference on 7 July 2022.

With fleets deriving demand for EVs, the SMMT forecasts 353,000 BEV and 130,000 PHEV registrations in 2023. Based on their prediction of 1.808 million new-car registrations, this gives respective market-share forecasts of 19.5% and 7.2%. The combined EV share is thus forecast to rise to 26.7% this year.

This forecast aligns with EV-Volumes.com, which forecasts that EVs will gain a 27.1% share of the UK new-car market in 2023, climbing further to 33.8% in 2024 and 42.4% in 2025.

Divergence in Germany

Considering the potential impact of the phase-out of incentives in Germany, Eggerth highlighted the need to ‘differentiate between PHEVs and BEVs as the situation is different for these fuel types.’

‘The PHEV market is driven by fleet sales. The withdrawal of the incentives is not expected to have a significant impact on PHEV sales. We still have very advantageous taxation for company cars, which is a more important influence and will help support sales figures for PHEVs. Private sales are more important for BEVs than PHEVs. With the end of incentives, there will be more pressure in the market and it will become harder to keep up sales figures,’ Eggerth explained.

The German new-car market ended 2022 on a high note, driven by a record number of electric-vehicle registrations. EVs made up 31.4% of all new-car registrations during 2022 – the equivalent of around 833,000 units. Among these, 470,600 were BEVs and 362,100 were PHEVs.

Combined registrations of BEVs and PHEVs amounted to 174,000 units in December alone – the first time more than half of newly registered cars were EVs. It is also noteworthy that more than 100,000 BEVs were registered in the month.

Given the pull-forward effect of EV registrations into 2022, along with the impact of lower incentives on new-car prices and TCO, Reinhard Zirpel, president of the association of international motor vehicle manufacturers (VDIK), is cautious about the potential for EVs in 2023.

‘At the end of the year, manufacturers, dealers, transporters, and registration offices created the conditions that enabled many EV customers to still secure the higher subsidy. In the coming year, the momentum will slow down considerably. We expect only about 800,000 new electric vehicles in 2023,’ he said.

However, Roland Irle, managing director of EV-Volumes.com, points to more positive influences on the electrification of the German market.

‘Many factors support a further increase in Germany, like the Tesla ramp-up combined with the recent price reductions of 4% to 17% depending on the model, to meet the price caps for grants. We see 55 new BEV and five new PHEV models entering the European market in 2023 and Germany usually gets them first. There will be value improvements en masse in them, with prices more civilised than during 2021/22, and there are still lots of unfulfilled orders too,’ he explained.

Taking these positive elements into consideration, Irle forecasts 975,000 EV registrations in Germany in 2023, equating to a market share of 34.3%. The EV share is forecast to rise further to 38.8% in 2024 and 45% in 2025.

Taxation, supply, and charging infrastructure

The upshot is that a proliferation of new EV models and attractive tax benefits for company-car drivers will continue to support electrification as governments seek to phase out incentives.

This is crucial for both governments and carmakers to achieve climate targets. Conversely, the share of new ICE cars is in sharp decline. Although this benefits the environment, it presents a financial problem as tax breaks for EVs mean revenues generated by the automotive sector are in retreat. Accordingly, Switzerland plans to tax EVs to plug the funding gap created by diminishing returns from fossil-fuel cars, and changes to vehicle-tax regimes across Europe will inevitably follow.

‘Governments and manufacturers now have a hard decision in front of them, because the charging infrastructure is also not prepared to manage high demand. In some countries, the infrastructure is suffering a lot because demand is higher than expected,’ said Alberto Jimenez, product manager, RV and TCO, at Autovista Group.

Finally, Eggerth cautioned that supply continues to dictate the volume of new EV registrations. ‘The further development also depends on when production will return to normal. With the new COVID outbreaks in China, the supply-chain crisis and semiconductor shortages are still a factor of uncertainty, making it difficult for OEMs to plan for the future and make long-term decisions,’ he concluded.

‘Overlooked’ manganese of growing importance as EV battery material

Manganese is not the first metal that springs to mind when thinking of electric-vehicle (EV) batteries. But the raw material is in high demand among car manufacturers, with automotive giant Stellantis recently signing a deal to secure access to the metal.

As part of the five-year agreement, Australian miner Element 25 will supply battery-grade, high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate to Stellantis to be used in battery packs. Shipments will begin in 2026, including a total volume of 45 kilotons, with options to extend the supply term and volumes.

The deal is another example of how carmakers are ramping up efforts to ensure long-term supplies of critical raw materials needed to build electric vehicles. After all, global EV demand is expected to surge this decade as manufacturers, especially in Europe, prepare themselves for mass adoption.

Decarbonised EV battery materials

Stellantis expects 100% of its passenger-car sales in Europe to be battery-electric vehicles (BEV) by 2030. Meanwhile in the US, the company aims for 50% of its passenger-car and light-duty truck sales to be BEVs in that same timeframe.

The carmaker has been scouring the EV battery scene for suitable partners that can help it fulfil its electrification goals. Last year, it inked a deal with GME Resources, which will provide battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate to bolster the automotive manufacturer’s supply chain for EV battery production.

Stellantis, which ranks among the top three carmakers worldwide, also secured a supply of lithium by bagging a deal closer to home with German-Australian Vulcan Energy – a supplier promising to deliver ‘green lithium’ sourced in Europe.

The carmaker is eager to work with companies that provide decarbonised and low-emission battery raw materials. Australia-based Element 25 is the latest firm to join forces with Stellantis in this regard. The miner will source manganese from its Butcherbird project in Western Australia, with plans to build a processing facility in the US.

Element 25 managing director, Justin Brown, said the project in Australia would deliver more sustainable battery-grade manganese to the electric-vehicle industry. In Europe, the EU is eager to make EV batteries safer and more circular, as carmakers face the looming 2035 phase-out of new internal-combustion engine car sales.

Last month, the Council and the European Parliament struck a provisional agreement to introduce sustainability requirements for batteries from 2024. This will cover the carbon footprint, recycled content, performance, and durability of EV battery packs.

Stellantis’ deal with Element 25 will aid its efforts in this area. Last year, Element 25 partnered with supply chain traceability provider Circulor to make the supply network of manganese more transparent.

The cooperation aims to create full manganese traceability and tracking of CO2, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards for products from the Butcherbird project. It will also play an important role in Element 25’s strategy to produce zero-carbon manganese – which is element 25 on the periodic table, explaining the company’s brand name.

‘This is an important step in the delivery of our first production module which will combine Element 25’s innovative processing flowsheet and the high quality, ethically sourced manganese concentrate from our 100%-owned Butcherbird Project in Western Australia,’ Brown added.

Manganese ‘very promising’

While cobalt and lithium are among the metals commonly associated with EV battery packs, manganese is emerging as an increasingly vital material to the future of the EV industry.

Some go as far as describing it as the ‘mineral of the decade’ as it can be sourced more ethically compared to other metals. It is also cheaper to acquire than materials like cobalt. Additionally, the raw material is critical when it comes to ensuring EV battery safety.

Manganese is a stabilising component in the cathodes of nickel-manganese-cobalt lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The material increases energy density and hence improves driving range. At the same time, it decreases the combustibility of an EV battery pack.

The mineral is the 12th most abundant element, sourced primarily from South Africa, China, Australia, Brazil, India, and Gabon. It is commonly used in the steel industry, with materials and recycling company Umicore saying that around 90% of manganese is used for iron and stainless-steel production.

Umicore sees manganese-rich battery technologies as very promising, something the company made clear at its capital market day last year. Management board member, Ralf Kiessling, who is responsible for rechargeable battery materials at the company, spoke of an ‘emerging’ technology. He added that manganese-rich technologies have really gained attraction, with the company now cooperating with OEMs and cell makers.

Battery alternatives?

According to BloombergNEF, demand for manganese from the battery sector is expected to increase ninefold by 2030. Manufacturers are taking an interest in manganese because it is more affordable and could help lower battery costs.

At an event last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reiterated the potential for manganese-based batteries. Volkswagen has also hinted at the fact that manganese could play a more significant role in future battery cells.

Canada-based Manganese X Energy Corp believes the metal could disrupt the lithium-ion battery market as a viable alternative. Several research projects are in the works, exploring the potential to develop a manganese-based battery that could offer benefits such as higher energy density.

A shift to high manganese cathodes could help vehicle manufacturers meet EV volume production targets in the coming years. Making the most of manganese as an EV battery material seems to be on the agenda for many carmakers these days.

For Stellantis, securing a supply of the metal was not enough. The car giant will also make an equity investment in Element 25, a venture that it hopes will pay off in the long term.

Global EV Sales for 2022 H1

Global EV sales continue strong. A total of 4,3 million new BEVs and PHEVs were delivered during the first half of 2022, an increase of +62 % compared to 2021 H1. The regional growth pattern is shifting, though. Following 2 years of steep sales increases in Europe, EVs gained only +9 % over 2021 H1 there. Weak overall vehicle markets and persistent component shortages have taken their toll, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. EV sales in USA and Canada increased by 49 % for H1 year-on-year, despite a weak overall light vehicle market which plunged by 17 % during H1 y/y.

China NEV sales defied all challenges the country is facing otherwise (real estate crisis, Covid lock-downs) and increased by a staggering 113 % for H1. BYD more than quadrupled sales to 641 000 units, making it the #1 in the global sales ranking, if their 315 000 PHEV sales are included. Counting BEVs only, Tesla still leads by a wide margin with 565 000 units delivered in H1.

PHEVs stood for 27 % of global Plug-in sales in 2022 H1 compared to 29 % in 2021. While their sales volumes still increase, their share in the PEV mix is in decline, facing headwinds from incentive cuts and improving BEV offers. Sales growth is increasingly depending on the degree of electrification. While BEVs grew by +75 % and PHEVs by +37 %, non-chargeable Full Hybrids grew by +14 % and Mild Hybrids backed by -7 % y-o-y H1. ICE-only vehicle sales declined by -16 %. Total global light vehicle sales were down 8 % y/y for H1-2022.

Rapid EV adoption in weak auto markets has boosted EV shares further. BEVs (8,2 %) and PHEVs (3,1 %) stood for 11,3 % of global light vehicle sales at H1 close, compared to 6,3 % in 2021 H1. Norway had the highest market share of EVs in H1 (BEV 69 % + PHEV 8 %), China had 21 %, Europe 18 % and USA 6,5 %. The fastest growing markets were India with 20 700 units BEV & PHEV for H1, +273 % and New Zealand with 8 300 units, +260 %.
For the full year of 2022, we expect sales of 10,6 million EVs, a growth of 57 % over 2021, with BEVs reaching 8 million units and PHEVs 2,6 million units. By the end of 2022 we expect nearly 27 million EVs in operation, counting light vehicles, 70 % are BEVs and 30 % PHEVs. Sales of Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCEV) in the light vehicle sector have declined by -9 % so far and are below 20 000 units annually. Current sales are from 5 vehicle models and most sales are in South Korea and USA. We estimate their current population to ca 55 000 units.

High EV Growth in Weak Vehicle Markets

Global light vehicle markets are contracting again. Following a brief recovery in 2020 H2 and 2021 H1, 2022 H1 sales were 8,1 % lower than last year. We expect small gains for H2 as numbers compare to the depressed sales of 2021 H2. 2022 auto sales in most mature markets stayed 20-30 % below the 2015 – 2019 average, so far.

China is among the few exceptions, but with extreme volatility: a +24 % increase y/y in February was followed by a -45 % crash during the April lock-downs and a +30 % boom in June and July, amid swift Government support.
Western auto sales are facing a double dip, post-Covid, with supply constraints soon to be joined by demand constraints as central banks try to combat inflation by interest rate hikes. The result is, much likely, a further delay in market recovery.

EV sales held up well in this environment: while global light vehicle sales lost -8,1 %, BEVs and PHEVs increased by +62 % for H1. The relative weakness in Europe’s EV growth relates to the EV boom in 2020 / 2021 and the repercussion from the war in Ukraine.

New all-time-highs in EV sales will be common also during the 2nd half, but growth rates will be somewhat lower as the low-base-effect diminishes.

BYD Leads – Including Plug-in Hybrids

Robust increases of EV sales enabled nearly all OEM to grow their sales in 2022-H1. Global EV deliveries increased by +62 % y/y in total; OEMs with higher growth have increased their share in the EV sector.

BYD sold over 4 times as many BEVs+PHEVs compared to 2021 H1, by boosting sales of existing models, successfully introducing new models and by entirely focusing production and sales on BEVs and PHEVs. Non-chargeable variants were phased out, ending in April this year. BYD is now the largest maker of PHEVs and moved from rank #3 in 2021 to #1 for BEVs & PHEVs combined.

Tesla leads global sales of BEVs by a large margin, with a share of 18 % in all BEVs sold worldwide. H1 growth was 46 %, less than for the sector, but from a high base.

The VW Group stayed flat compared to last year; with all its brand following this pattern we can assume production related issues. BEVs gained, while PHEVs lost.

GM increased by just 15 % as the Wuling Mini-EV is facing more competition and most future, high volume EV entries still are in the pipeline.

Hyundai and Kia launched at least 9 new and revised EVs during the last 18 months, among them the Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6, the Kia Niro and 3 EVs from Genesis. Their global growth outperforms the sector and is the more impressive as the companies EV presence in China is fading.

Increases of Stellantis were below the global EV sector growth, with high exposure to slow growing Europe and low sales in the strongest market, China. Excluding China, their sector share has risen from 11 % in H1-2021 to 12,7 % this year.

Other OEMs of European and/or Japanese origin did not keep up with the sector growth as they were held back by disturbed supply chains and/or underestimated EV demand during weakening auto markets. Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover delivered fewer EVs compared to last year.

Most Chinese brands show triple digit growth of NEV sales in their booming home-market. Exports accounted for only 3,6 % of their global volume, not including China exports by e.g Tesla, Polestar, BMW iX3 and other transplants. Including these, exports accounted for 8,4 % of China NEV production in H1 this year.

Tesla and BYD Models Dominate the Top-10

Tesla has a new best-seller, the Model Y, not only in the EV sector, but within all SUVs and Cross-Overs in this category, including ICEs. Household nameplates like Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and the likes usually sell 300-400 000 units per year globally. The Model Y can comfortably reach 700k this year with current selling rates. The Model-3 took a beating, though, as Tesla prioritized production of the more sought after and more profitable Model Y.

BYD has 5 models in the top-10, with 2 PHEVs as their best-sellers; a legacy from their regular ICE business which BYD abandoned in April this year. The newcomers Dolphin and Yuan Plus had a flying start.

GM-Wuling’s Mini EV sales increased further with additional battery variants but it now faces more competition from similar concepts like the Chery QQ and other ultra-cheap mini commuters.

The BYD Han is a large sedan for a base price of 230 000 RMB. It carries BYDs new LFP Blade Batteries. With its generous size-feature-price ratio it has a unique position in the market. There is also a PHEV version selling ca 1/2 of the Han BEV volume.

The VW ID.4 is the best selling model from a European brand. Sales include the ID.4 X and ID.4 Crozz made by VW’s joint ventures with SAIC and FAW in China.

The Li Xiang One is a large SUV with range extender technology and a 40,6 kWh battery. It became an instant hit and outsells established rivals like the BYD Tang PHEV, Audi e-tron Quattro and BMW X5 PHEV by a wide margin. China sales only, so far.

10,6 Million BEVs & PHEVs Expected for 2022

Global EV sales for 2019 and 2020 stayed below trend. In Europe, the WLTP introduction forced many high-selling PHEV models into the shop for e-range upgrades. In China, regulators cracked down on products with substandard safety and range. Dozens of models had their sales halted and several combatants went out of business. In 2020, the first wave of Covid-19 led to an unprecedented slump in car sales but also to higher subsidies for EVs. In both years, EV sales would have been higher, in a business as usual situation.

2021 was not business as usual either, but EV sales were back on track. 2022 H1 deliveries increased by another 1,65 million units compared to 2021 H1, in a global light vehicle market that lost 3,8 million units during the period. We expect similar gains for EVs in H2, while total vehicle markets return to growth compared to a low base in 2021 H2. Consumption stimuli will boost China volumes, interest rate hikes in USA and Europe will further delay the auto market recovery there.

10,6 million EV sales (at 13,4 % share) in 2022 are still a safe bet, well supported by sales trends, order backlogs, more desirable products and higher public awareness. The downside is in persisting component shortages and events in China and/or Russia leading to further deteriorating business conditions.

Nearly 27 Million EVs On The Road at 2022 Year End

Adding this year’s 10,6 million BEVs and PHEVs to the existing stock gets the number of EVs in operation to nearly 27 million, word-wide, counting light vehicles. With ca 1,5 billion light vehicles in operation, this is still just 1,8 %, counting BEVs only it is less than 1,3 % of the global fleet. The number of vehicle on the road worldwide is increasing by 40 million cars and light trucks every year, as many as the entire current vehicle population of the UK. This year, 8 million of this increase (20 %) are BEVs. The other 32 million newcomers (80 %) are still burning petrol or Diesel. In a scenario towards 100 % zero-emission global vehicle sales in 2040 (as an example for the math), the total number of vehicle in operation reaches 2 billion in 2040. By then, Over 40 % of this stock are BEVs but the sobering truth is also that, with current scrapping rates, over 50 % of vehicles still need to burn fuels. The full transition to BEVs needs to accelerate, because the positive impact on CO2 emissions comes with a considerable delay. Fast EV adoption is a prerequisite for sustainable personal mobility.

Global EV Sales for 2021

Global EV sales reached 6,75 million units in 2021, 108 % more than in 2020. This volume includes passenger vehicles, light trucks and light commercial vehicles. The global share of EVs (BEV & PHEV) in global light vehicle sales was 8,3 % compared to 4,2 % in 2020. BEVs stood for 71 % of total EV sales, PHEVs for 29 %. The Global auto market improved by only 4,7 % over the crisis year of 2020. As in 2020, EVs again were resilient to set-backs in auto demand and supply.

The remarkable growth rate of 108 % y/y needs to be seen relative to the low base volume of 2020. Caused by regulations and Covid-19, global EV sales of 2019 and 2020 were below the long-term trajectory and in 2021 they returned back to trend. While the y/y growth looks extreme, the 2021 volume is still fair.

Tesla had its share in it, leading the OEM EV ranking with 936 000 deliveries, 436k more than 2020. The Model-3 reached 501 000 units and became the 2nd most sold midsize nameplate after the Toyota Camry. The Volkswagen Group stayed on rank 2 and BYD climbed 4 positions to #3. BYD delivered nearly 600 000 units (w/o buses), over 400 000 more than in 2020.

Following the headwinds in 2019 and 2020, global EV sales were back on track in 2021. For this year we expect EV sales to return to more normal growth and reach around 9,5 million units, higher if remaining issues in supply and logistics are resolved.

Highest Annual Growth since 2012

China NEVs sales emerged stronger than ever from the steel bath during 2019 and 2020. Sales jumped by more than 2 million units, more than the combined volume increase of all other regions combined. Growth in Europe stayed lower as it compares to the boom in 2020 H2. Northern America sales benefited from the roll-out of attractive, new offerings by nearly all OEM and from better availability of Tesla Model 3 & Y. Consistent, high growth also among the remaining countries: South Korea increased by 64 200 units to 114 500 EV sales. Israel, Australia, India, Japan contributed with additional sales of more than 10 000 units each. Many smaller EV markets e.g. Brazil, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore increased EV sales by over 200 %. Most OEMs have noticeably enhanced their EV offers beyond Europe, China and North America.

Doubling from a Modest Base

With total light vehicle sales recovering by only 4,6 % from the crisis year of 2020, the 108 % growth of EVs means doubling their market share. Variations between the market regions are strong, though: In Europe the EV share increased from 10 % to 17 %, with a 26 % peak in December, in a persistently weak total market. In Northern America EVs had 4,4 % share (2,3 % in 2020), in China their share increased from 5,5 % to 13,3 %. For the remaining 70 markets we are tracking, the combined EV share was 1,5 %. BEVs increased by 1 % in the EV mix with most of the gains occurring in the 2nd half of 2021. Their volume increased to 4,80 million units, PHEVs sold 1,94 million units and FCEVs 15 400 units.

Back on Track

The 108 % growth from 2020 to 2021 looks extreme, but it follows 2 years of restrained increments. Growth from 2018 to 2019 was hampered by the crack-down on the China NEV industry by tougher regulation. In Europe, many high-volume PHEVs were halted for battery upgrades to reach the 50g CO2 WLTP standards. 2020 saw 138 % y/y growth in Europe with the 95g CO2 mandate and a broad increase of EV incentives. EV sales in China and North America stayed flat again, heavily affected by the pandemic. In 2021, the increases normalized in Europe to +66 %, while the other regions made up for 2 years of stagnation. The trendline shows the likely historic development without these events. 2021 sales returned to the historic trendline, with extra momentum from booming sales of mini-EVs (A00 category) in China. They increased by another 500 000 units with strong inflow from the former Low-Speed-Vehicle category.

Made in China Counts

The Model-3 was the worlds best selling EV since 2018 and 2021 was no different. It ranked #2 among all mid-size car nameplates, ICEs included. Only Toyota’s Camry sold more units. Among the 501 000 global Model-3 deliveries 270 000 were made in China and 120 000 were exported from China. The #2, the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV went to the market at the right time to replace countless, third-rate Low Speed Vehicles which are banned from further sales. It trades for equivalent 4000 to 5000 USD. The Tesla Model-Y came in as #3 despite still being ramped up in China and not delivered in Europe before August 2021. We expect it to move into 1st place in 2022. On #4 the VW ID.4 with 122 000 sales worldwide; its Chinese siblings ID.4 X and ID.4 Crozz contributed with 49 400 units. 17 300 units went to USA and Canada, still from Europe production. BYD has 3 models in the top-10, the Qin Plus PHEV, the Han BEV and the Song Pro PHEV. All 3 are available as BEV and PHEV. Adding the other EV variant would change Qin plus sales to 167 500 units, total Han sales to 117 400 units and Song Pro sales to 108 300 units. Among EVs, the BYD Han is now the best selling large sedan, worldwide. The best selling large EV SUV is the Li Xiang One from CHJ Automotive with 90 500 sales in China only. It marks the renaissance of the Range Extender EV, a concept which has been introduced in a number of Chinese SUVs recently. The instant success of upmarket EVs from Chinese OEM, including many start-ups, has become a notable trend in the vast Chinese EV market. The Renault Zoe has aged fast and faces fierce competition from newer sub-compact cars and SUVs in Europe. Sub-compacts (Car-B) are a very Europe-centric category and the Zoe is the only EV in this list without a China production base.

Only Winners – More or Less

The hyper-growth in China’s EV sales created higher %-gains for the Chinese than for the America, European, Japanese and Korean players. The big winner was BYD which, after 2 years of declining sales, returned with exceptional gains for existing and new EV entries. Many of the 2021 launches did not have a full year of sales and we expect further, rapid sales increases for BYD. Among the international OEMs Ford, GM and Stellantis grew fastest. Ford with the new Mustang Mach-E; GM with booming Mini-EV sales from their partner Wuling and Stellantis by a large number of product launches which had their first full year of sales in 2021. For most others, growth stayed below 100 %. Volume gains were still massive for EVs, while the decline for ICE-only variants accelerated. Tesla remains on top, BEV only, and the distance to the Volkswagen Group, has increased by 100k. 2021 saw some notable changes in the OEM ranking: BYD climed from #7 to #3, Stellantis climbed from #9 to #5, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance dropped from #3 to #8, Daimler down from #8 to #9, SAIC passed Volvo for #10. Positions for VW and GM are unchanged. Apart from ever advancing SAIC, the China NEV sector expansion supported even other State Owned Enterprises in the EV business like BAIC, Changan, Dongfeng, FAW and GAC, Many of them were in contraction mode between 2018 and 2020, with vast portfolios of hit and miss products. BAIC’s decline from the #1 maker of BEVs in China to an also-ran is a sobering tale. Better news from the Chinese EV start-ups: CHJ (Li Xiang), NIO, XPeng, Hozon, WM Motor and Leap Motor have not reached the 100 000 unit mark yet, but most of them now look back on 4 years of steady growth in volume and share. CHJ stands out, reaching 90 500 sales after 2 years with just one product, a luxury SUV, and in just one market, China. The combined 2021 volume of the aforementioned 6 start-ups is comparable with that of Stellantis.

Global EV Sales for 2021 H1

EV sales are back on track. A total of 2,65 million new EVs found new owners during the first half of 2021, an increase of +168 % compared to 2020. The recent increases speak hyper-growth but need to be seen relative to the low base of 2020 H1. During the 1st wave of the pandemic, global sales of  EVs stayed -14 % below 2019 H1 volumes as vehicle markets declined by -28 % during 2020 H1. The market recovery shaped up in 2020 H2 with rapid gains in volumes and shares for EV, esp. in Europe, driven by attractive products, extensive green recovery funds and the 95g CO2 mandate.

For 2021, all regions and most countries witness strong increases in EV sales, with growth rates 3 to 8 times higher than for total light vehicle markets. The share of BEV+PHEV in global light vehicle sales increased from 3 % in 2020 H1 to 6,3 % this year. Europe (EU+EFTA+UK) leads with 14 % EV share for the first 6 months combined, up from 7 % a year ago. A caveat is that half of Europe’s EV sales are PHEVs, compared to 80 % pure electric outside Europe. The tailpipe emissions of PHEVs are completely depending on the charging and driving habits of their users, whatever the catalog value says. To their benefit it can be said that countries with high PHEV market shares usually have high BEV market shares as well.

Tesla leads global EV sales with 386 000 units (all BEV) delivered during H1, followed by the Volkswagen Group with 332 000 units, thereof 172 700 BEVs and 159 400 PHEVs. GM comes in 3rd with 227 000 units (221k were BEV), including over 180k of Mini-EVs from their SGMW joint venture in China. Growth was robust in all product segments except for sportscars. In the product segment mix, the trend is from sedans and compacts into SUVs. Most striking, though, is the re-bound of mini-EVs in China, now at ultra-affordable prices of 30-60 000 RMB. Read Wuling Hongguang Mini EV, Great Wall Ora R1, Chery eQ, SAIC Roewe Clever, Baojun and others. Around 300 000 units of them were sold during H1, a quarter of all NEV sales in China. They offer a long due improvement over countless, dodgy Low-Speed Vehicles from the earlier days, which are now banned by regulators. The new breed is exempted from some M1 vehicle requirements, often receives no subsidies but is, nevertheless, counted in the Chinese NEV tally. Including these, we expect sales of 6,4 million EVs in 2021, a growth of 98 % over 2020, with BEVs reaching 4 million units and PHEVs 2,4 million units. Growth rates will come down from the +168 % seen in H1, as volumes compare to a higher base during the 2020 H2 recovery. By the end of 2021 we expect over 16 million EVs in operation, counting light vehicles, 2/3 BEVs and 1/3 PHEV.  

Rapid growth in all regions

Global light vehicle markets have partly recovered from the -28 % slump in 2020 H1 and increased by +28 % combined (which is still 8 % lower compared to 2019 H1).  The recovery is uneven, though. Western Europe auto sales, which were hit hardest during the pandemic (-40 % y/y in H1-2020), rebounded by +29 % this year but are still 20 % below the 2015-2019 average.

EV sales held up better during the crisis, lost only -14 % during 2020 H1 and for this year their growth rates are 3 to 8 times higher than for the underlying vehicle markets.

Because of the low-base-effect, growth rates were extraordinary during the first 6 months of 2021, reaching 157 % in Europe, 197 % in China, 166 % in USA and 95 % in the remaining markets. The recent uptake is impressive and it is broad based: Except for Japan, all major markets posted new records in EV sales and share during the first half of the year.

New all-time-highs will be common also during the 2nd half, but growth rates will be significantly lower as the low-base-effect diminishes.

EV sales trending towards 6,4 million for 2021

Global EV sales for 2019 and 2020 stayed below trend. In 2019 when “regulatory storms” in Europe and China reduced demand and supply of popular offers. In Europe, the WLTP introduction forced many high-selling PHEV models into the shop for e-range upgrades. In China, regulators cracked down on products with substandard safety and range. Dozens of models had their sales halted and several combatants went out of business.  In 2020, the first wave of Covid-19 caused and unprecedented slump in car sales but also increasing support by policy makers. In both years, EV sales would have been higher, in a business as usual situation.

2021 is far from business as usual, but EV sales are back on track. January to June deliveries have increased by 1,66 million units compared to 2020, in a global light vehicle market that gained 9,17 million units. We expect a similar volume gain for EVs in H2.

6,4 million in 2021 and 98 % growth y/y seems a lot, yet the trend in volumes/shares of the last 12 months, more choice of better, affordable products, solid policy support and higher public awareness all underpin this forecast. The YTD SAAR would support an even higher number. The downside is in component shortage and events in China relating to sudden changes in regulation or business conditions.

The Top-10 best selling EVs are all BEVs now

For the first time, this picture shows only BEVs in the global top-10. The first PHEV ranks #16, the Volvo XC40. On #11 you would find the Li Xiang One which is, technically, a Range Extender EV like the Chevy Volt and the BMW i3 Rex. With H1 sales of 30 000 units in China only, it is poised to become the best selling large SUV in 2021, counting plug-ins. Probably a hint where PHEVs need to go for staying future-proof.

Tesla maintained the first spot with the Model-3 adding another 102k over 2020 H1, with increases in all sales regions. The Model-Y is fully available in USA/Cda, had the China ramp-up in Q1 and is not available in Europe yet. The full year potential is higher than 138k indicate.

The Mini-EV by GM-Wuling was mentioned earlier. The BYD Han is available since late 2019 and pioneered an new type of large capacity LFP battery, called “Blade Battery”. There is a PHEV version selling ca 1/3rd of the Han BEV volume.

The VW ID.4 is still being ramped up. June sales were 12 300 units globally, indicating higher potential. The 38k include the China made ID.4 Cross (FAW) and ID.4 X (SAIC). High-volume deliveries of the ID.3 started in September 2020. After a swift roll-out in Europe and 57k registrations in 2020 (28k in December alone), sales in 2021 have continued at a more leisurely pace.

Renault Zoe sales had to give way to the onslaught of six new B-Segment entries from three Stellantis brands, which were all in ramp-up during 2020 H1 and have full sales now. Great Walls Ora brand charms China’s youth with retro inspired minis since 2019. The R1 is their most popular model aka “Black Cat” in China.

Tesla leads, VW Group catching up – including PHEVs

Consistent, steep increases of EV sales in all regions enabled nearly all OEM to grow their sales over 2020 H1. Global EV deliveries increased by 168 % y/y in total; OEMs with higher growth have increase their share in the EV sector.

Tesla has more than doubled deliveries compared to last year and stays on top. More sales of Model-3, the Model-Y intro and higher production/sales in China were the main drivers. VW is closing in, esp. by more sales in Europe; their growth in PHEVs was somewhat higher than in BEVs, even with the ID.3 and ID.4 launches.

Despite absence in Europe, GM posted huge gains from their joint ventures for mini EVs with Wuling and SAIC, also sold more Bolt EVs in USA. The few PHEVs are from Buick in China. Stellantis is rapidly expanding their EV portfolio across multiple brands on common architectures, including a large array of new light commercial vehicles, which has not ramped up to full potential, yet. BMW needs more BEVs to grow faster. The i4 and iX are still some months off. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance lost ground in all regions and most product categories.

BYD, like many other Chinese OEM, are recovering from the slump in 2019 H2 and 2020 H1. For BYD, Geely, BAIC, JAC, FAW, JMC, volumes have returned to the level of 2019 H1, not more. The Chinese start-ups Nio, X-Peng, Hozon, Li Xiang (CHJ), Leap Motor are gaining sector share from low volume bases. SAIC is the EV export leader among China based OEMs. Within their 95k volume for H1, 22k were exported, mostly to Europe. Tesla (25k) and Volvo (26k) exported slightly more from China.

Among Europe OEM, Porsche and Volvo have the highest share of EVs (BEV+PHEV) in their sales; over 30 % for Porsche and 20 % for Volvo. Japanese OEM are growing from low bases and have BEV+PHEV shares of 1 % or less in their sales. This compares to a 6,3 % market average.

16,4 million EVs in operation by the end of 2021

Adding 6,4 million BEVs and PHEVs in this year gets the number of EVs in operation to 16,4 million, counting light vehicles. With ca 1,5 billion light vehicles in operation, this is still just 1,1 %.

The number of vehicle on the road worldwide is increasing by 40 million cars and light trucks every year, the entire current vehicle population of the UK. 85 % of this additional fleet is still using petrol or Diesel this year. In a scenario towards 100 % zero-emission global vehicle sales in 2040 (as an example for the math), the total number of vehicle in operation reaches 2 billion, over 40 % are BEVs, but over 50 % of them still need to burn fuels.

The full transition to BEVs needs to accelerate, because the full impact on CO2 emissions comes with a considerable delay. Restricting the use of fossil fuels for the remaining ICE fleet is not a desirable solution. Fast EV adoption is a prerequisite for personal mobility.

Global Plug-in Vehicle Sales Reached over 3,2 Million in 2020

2020 became a great year for plug-in vehicles, in the end. With only a few details still to be reported we are expecting global BEV+PHEV sales of 3,24 million, compared to 2,26 million for the year previous. What started with an unprecedented economic downturn during the 1st COVID-19 wave became a success story for EVs in Europe. Nearly 1,4 million BEVs and PHEVs were registered in Europe during 2020, 137 % more than in 2019, in a vehicle market that was down by 20 % year-on-year. It was the combination of new attractive models, incentive boosts by green recovery funds, the 95g CO2 mandate, much improved availability and intense promotion of EVs.

Europe has superseded China as the motor of EV growth. For the first time since 2015, EV sales in Europe have outpaced NEV sales in China. Europe is further ahead in terms of EV share: BEVs+PHEVs increased from 3,3 % 2019 to 10,2 % in 2020, counting the EU and EFTA countries, including UK. The NEV share in China increased from 5,1 % to 5,5 % during this period.

Outside Europe growth of EVs was slower, but still significant. China NEV sales recovered strongly during the 2nd half and were up by 12 % for the year. EV sales in USA increased by a meager 4 %, despite the sales start of the Tesla Model-Y. Fortunes varied in other markets, with declines in Japan, Canada and Australia, while increases in South Korea, Taiwan, India, Israel, UAE and Hong Kong outweighed these losses.

We think that these good news deserve an early reporting, even if the final numbers could see very minor changes below 0,5 %. We will enhance this post and follow up with more regional analysis as the results solidify. Stay tuned.

Europe Leads EV Up-take

In most countries, BEVs and PHEVs were more resilient to the Corona crisis than the auto markets in general. In volume terms, global BEVs+PHEVs deliveries increased by 43 % year-on-year, while the the global light vehicle market decreased by 14 %. Their global market share increased from 2,5 % in 2019 to 4,2 % in 2020. Europe passed China in EV sales with a 137 % increase in a disturbed auto market, which had suffered volume losses up to 80 % during the 2nd quarter. The real EV boom in Europe started in June and July and reached its peak in December with nearly 285 000 sales, +260 % y/y growth and a market share of 20 %. All OEM did their very best to reach their CO2 emission targets. Also China NEV sales recovered in the 2nd half, with an average +80 % volume growth y/y from July to December. As these volumes compare to the weak results of 2019 H2, they were back to normal at best.

EV sales in USA (+4 % y/y) outperformed the auto-market (-15 % y/y) mostly from the introduction of the Model-Y. Tesla extended its sector domination, with 62 % of all Plug-in Vehicle sales and 79 % of all BEV sales in the US coming from Tesla.

The losses in Japan continued, with broad based decreases, especially among domestic brands.

“Other” markets include Canada (47k sales, -7 %), South Korea (52k sales, +55 %), Taiwan 7k, +308 %) and many smaller EV markets around the world, some of them growing very fast in spite of adverse conditions.

Germany becomes the 2nd largest EV Market after China

Plug-in sales in Germany increased by 254 % over 2019, 191 % for BEVs and 351 % for PHEVs, witnessing the high representation of German OEM in PHEV variants. PHEVs stood for half of German plug-in vehicles sales; the global average for 2020 was 31 % PHEVs and 69 % BEVs. One out of eight global plug-in sales were in Germany last year.

Many European markets have doubled or tripled their EV sales vs 2019 and Europe captured 43 % of global EV sales in 2020 vs 26 % in 2019. The US fell further behind, volumes hinging on the capacity of Tesla and the commitments of the ZEV Alliance states. China NEV sales returned to normal in the 2nd half of 2020, reaching 240k units in December alone. The total for 2020 reflects the weak sales during the 1st half.

The overall picture is that global EV sales have returned to the S-Curve in terms of volume and are somewhat above trend in terms of share. For the ongoing year, we expect 4,6 million plug-in sales with higher growth in North America and China. Europe is not likely to repeat the 137 % increase of last year, but 2 million sales are within reach.

PHEV Renaissance

Since they appeared 10 years ago, 2019 was the first year that PHEVs decreased in sales. The reasons were the transition form the lenient NEDC test cycle to the tougher WLTP in Europe. Consequently, the CO2 emissions of most PHEVs exceeded the 50g limit for incentives in many European markets. Sales were paused for many PHEV variants during the 2019 model-year to install larger batteries for more E-range. For 2020 they came back, updated, meeting pend-up demand and more generous purchase grants.

This put an end to ever higher BEV shares in the plug-in mix. Not that BEV sales (2250k for 2020) suffered much from this; they still increased by 33 % or 560k units over 2019, with 386k contributed from Europe. 990 000 PHEVs were sold worldwide, 410k, or 71 % more than 2019.

PHEVs ease the transition to real ZE transport for OEMs and car buyers alike, but the 2020 trend reversal will be short lived. PHEVs are only as green as their users and their charging habits. The debate has started and PHEVs are likely to see reduced incentives in some European markets, starting this year. Long term, the cost, design and emission advantages of BEVs speak for more growth in BEVs than in PHEVs, anyway.