International markets for electric cars

    E-mobility globally on the rise

    12 million e-cars sold all over the world. Germany third biggest market worldwide behind China and the USA.

    12 million e-cars sold all over the world. Germany third biggest market worldwide behind China and the USA.

    In 2022, the global upward trend in e-mobility continued in terms of new passenger car registrations. With around 12 million newly registered passenger cars with an electric drive system (BEV, PHEV or FCEV) worldwide, the previous year's record of 7.5 million units was significantly exceeded. However, relative growth, which was still over 100 percent in 2021, has slowed down to +60 percent. Given the significant unit numbers now achieved, this is entirely normal when a new drive technology ramps up.

    One in six passenger cars sold globally is now powered by electricity. Of these, 73 percent (previous year: 70 percent) are purely electric BEV vehicles, at 8.7 million units. Fuel cells (FCEVs) continue to play no major role, with an unchanged 15 thousand units. The remainder are plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). The transformation from the internal combustion engine to the electric motor, which is necessary in view of the ambitious UN climate target, is thus in full swing in the automotive industry. It should be noted that the development in the different markets is quite heterogeneous; in general, it can be said that there is a more or less pronounced relationship between prosperity and penetration of the market with electric passenger cars. In addition, incentives and legal requirements, e.g. regarding CO2 limits, play an important role.

    China is by far the largest electric car market in the world

    The largest electric passenger car market in 2022 was once again China by a clear margin, where more than one in two e-cars were sold worldwide, with 6.55 million units (+94 percent year-on-year). This is also due to the sheer size of the Chinese market; at 28.2 percent, the electric share of sales has risen sharply (previous year 16.0 percent) but was still lower than in Germany. BEVs dominate with a 77 percent share of all e-cars. However, with over 1.5 million plug-in hybrids, China is also the world's largest PHEV market. In China, the government subsidy for e-cars expired at the end of 2022, but it was replaced by a tax credit of 10 percent until the end of 2023. In the medium to long term, the focus is on abolishing the sales subsidy while increasing minimum electric quotas for locally producing manufacturers.

    The USA at no. 2

    In second place worldwide in 2022 was the USA, with 923,600 (+45 percent) new electric cars registered. The market penetration of e-cars increased from 4.1 percent (2021) to 6.7 percent. The maximum tax credit of $7,500 for BEVs and PHEVs has been extended through 2031 by the Inflation Reduction Act. 79 percent of all e-light vehicles are BEVs. Electric mobility does not yet play a significant role outside of California, which accounts for two out of every five e-cars sold in the United States.

    Germany the most important market in Europe and globally no. 3

    The German market accounted for nearly one in three e-cars sold in Europe. An electric share of 31.4 percent was achieved (previous year: 26.0 percent). This means that e-cars are now much more popular than diesel cars (including mild hybrids), which accounted for 23.6 percent last year. Plug-in hybrids play an important role, accounting for 43 percent of all new e-car registrations. At the end of 2022, government PHEV purchase incentives were completely eliminated, and BEV incentives were reduced. This led to early purchases last year and will have a negative effect on new e-car registrations in 2023. Beginning in 2024, BEV incentives will continue to decline.

    Economic Intelligence

    Alexander Fritz

    Automotive forecasts, production and export statistics, CO2 emissions, electromobility, structural analyses

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