Global BEV sales in the first quarter of 2022 were more than double those recorded in the corresponding period last year. Much of that rise can be attributed to China, which was responsible for two in three of all BEVs sold worldwide. Indeed, BEV sales reached the one million mark in China in Q1 2022, confounding the predictions of some analysts who believed that the 30% cut in NEV subsidies in 2022 would limit market performance.
BEV sales in Europe and the USA also showed sharp rises, up by 55% and 100% respectively. The UK reported one of the strongest performances among the largest European markets, with a BEV sales increase of 102%. For the first time, overall EV sales in the UK (including BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs) registered a market share of more than 50%, a milestone already reached by the smaller European markets of Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.
PHEVs have been declining in importance within the overall EV market. Indeed, in the ten European markets analyzed, PHEV sales actually went down by 8% in comparison with Q1 2021. Much of this decline can be explained by a lack of product availability, with OEMs prioritizing the production of BEVs, which enjoy burgeoning customer demand and promise greater profitability.
OEMs have been obliged to set such priorities due to steep rises in the price of raw materials and because of disruptions in the supply chain, caused by the Covid pandemic and recently by the Ukraine conflict. To reduce costs and assume greater control of their products, and hence safeguard the long-term viability of their EV business, some concerned OEMs are moving towards the concept of vertical integration.
PwC Autofacts® and Strategy& have analyzed electric vehicle sales worldwide for the first quarter of 2022.