Sales of fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) worldwide experienced a notable slowdown, with a 31% increase in 2023, down from the robust 60% growth witnessed in 2022, according to data from market research firm Rho Motion. Despite the deceleration, global sales surpassed the 10 million mark in 2022, with China accounting for 60% of these vehicles.

Anticipated Slowdown in Growth

Rho Motion’s data manager, Charles Lester, explained that the moderation in growth aligns with expectations for maturing markets. Lester stated, “The pace of growth is slowing, but that’s what’s expected in growing markets like this. You can’t double every year.” Projections for 2024 estimate a growth rate between 25% and 30%, reflecting a continued but moderated expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) market.

Monthly Record in December

While overall annual growth was decelerated, December marked a monthly record with 1.5 million electric vehicles sold globally. Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 9.5 million of the 13.6 million EVs sold in 2023, with PHEVs making up the remaining sales.

Moving Markets

Regional Variances

Statistics reveal regional differences in EV sales performance. BEV sales experienced a notable 50% surge in the United States and Canada, while Europe and China saw increases of 27% and 15%, respectively. However, uncertainties loom over European sales in 2024 due to Germany’s sudden decision to terminate EV subsidies, potentially impacting market dynamics.

Waiting for the Next Wave

Analysts suggest that, after years of rapid growth, some automakers fear a potential slowdown in electric car demand in Europe and other regions. Drivers are speculated to be waiting for upcoming models that promise improvements in size, cost, and overall appeal, projected to hit the market in the next two to three years.

State Subsidies Impact Growth

The reduction in state subsidies is anticipated to contribute to a slowdown in the global EV market, with a forecasted growth rate of 27.1% in 2024, as reported by research firm Canalys. Reducing incentives may make electric cars less attractive to buyers, affecting the overall growth trajectory.

As the electric vehicle landscape evolves, industry stakeholders closely monitor market trends, government policies, and consumer preferences to navigate the changing dynamics of the global automotive industry.


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