Electric Car Sales Surge by 25% in Q1 2024

yellow electric car fleet charging outside

Last year, over 250,000 electric cars were sold every week, surpassing the annual sales a decade ago. (Credit: IEA)

by | Apr 24, 2024

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Electric car sales are rising, with projections indicating they could reach around 17 million in 2024, accounting for more than one in five cars sold worldwide. Global sales data remain strong despite concerns about tight margins, volatile battery metal prices, and some countries’ phase-out of purchase incentives.

According to the latest edition of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) annual Global EV Outlook, electric car sales in the first quarter of 2024 saw a remarkable 25% growth compared to the same period in 2023, showcasing the market’s resilience. China leads the way with a projected market share of 45%, followed by Europe at 25% and the United States at over 11%.

Increased Momentum

“The continued momentum behind electric cars is clear in our data, although it is stronger in some markets than others,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “Rather than tapering off, the global EV revolution appears to be gearing up for a new phase of growth. The wave of investment in battery manufacturing suggests the EV supply chain is advancing to meet automakers’ ambitious plans for expansion. As a result, the share of EVs on the roads is expected to continue to climb rapidly. Based on today’s policy settings alone, almost one in three cars on the roads in China by 2030 is set to be electric, and almost one in five in both the United States and European Union. This shift will have major ramifications for both the auto industry and the energy sector.”

Last year, over 250,000 electric cars were sold every week, surpassing the annual sales a decade ago. Chinese automakers, comprising only 10% of global sales of internal combustion engine cars, produced over half of the all-electric vehicles sold worldwide in 2023.

Global Electric Car Sales:

  • 2022: Global sales of electric cars neared 14 million, reaching 18% of all cars sold.
  • 2023: Electric car sales were 3.5 million higher than in 2022, a 35% year-on-year increase.
  • 2024: Projected to reach around 17 million, accounting for more than one in five cars sold worldwide.

Regional Dynamics:

  • China: Expected market share of 45%.
  • Europe: Projected at 25%.
  • United States: Over 11%.

Emerging Markets Embrace Electric Mobility

Growth is picking up in countries like Vietnam and Thailand. Policy support is crucial in boosting industry investment and confidence in rapid electrification. While prices are dropping, particularly in China, electric vehicles are still more expensive than internal combustion engine cars in other markets. However, technological advancements and the emergence of more affordable models are expected to accelerate the shift toward electric mobility.

Challenges and Opportunities in Charging Infrastructure

The roll-out of public charging infrastructure needs to keep pace with EV sales to facilitate mass-market adoption and enable longer journeys. As heavy-duty electric vehicles become more prevalent, dedicated and flexible charging solutions are essential, highlighting the need for policy support and careful planning.

The electrification of the automotive industry is poised for continued growth, driven by technological innovation, supportive policies, and shifting consumer preferences. As the world moves towards a more sustainable transportation system, the momentum behind electric mobility shows no signs of slowing down.

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