Electric vehicle sales surged by 68% last year, to the point that 10% of every new car sold was an EV, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Strong demand in Europe and China drove most of those sales. While EV traction is gaining in the U.S.—rising by 5.8% of all new car sales in 2022 from 3.2% the year before—the United States consumer still lags those in the rest of the world for EV adoption.
Tesla is the No. 1 EV manufacturer in the world by sales, including the U.S., where Ford is No. 2 and Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia is No. 3, according to data from LMC Automotive and EV-Volumes.com.
General Motors Co., Volkswagen and Nissan Motor’s electric vehicle market share in the U.S., meanwhile, slid.
Tipping Point in Sight
“Last year, every fourth vehicle we sold in China was a plug-in, and this year it will be every third auto,” Ralf Brandstatter, head of VW’s China business told reporters Friday. “We haven’t reached the tipping point yet, but we’re expecting to get there between 2025 and 2030.”
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG reported a 5% decline in total new car sales, but its EV sales doubled.
“We are confident that we can repeat this success next year, because we have a continued, high-order backlog for fully electric models,” said BMW sales chief Pieter Nota earlier this month.
New car sales declined 8% in the U.S. last year, and 7% in Europe. That was offset by a 4% growth in new car sales in China, netting worldwide new car sales of 1%, or 80.6 million vehicles, in 2022.
Analysts warn that EV sales growth will be hard to beat in 2023 as the economy weighs on consumers, and EV cash rebates wane or are scrapped. In addition, electricity prices are rising in the EU.
“Demand is likely to weaken in the coming year,” says Peter Russ, an Ernst & Young automotive analyst. “The weak economy will cause retail and business consumers to be more reluctant, and it is possible that supply will outpace demand, and we will begin to see discounts again.”
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