Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q1 2022

Global sales of battery electric vehicles more than doubled in Q1 2022 in comparison with the same period in 2021

BEV sales continue to soar despite obstacles

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.

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Top findings

  • Globally, the number of new BEV registrations has doubled
  • The Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine continue to disrupt supply chains
  • Pure electric vehicles sales from German OEMs increased by 277% in China in the first quarter of this year
  • German manufacturers double their BEV market share in China from 2% to 4%

Electric Vehicle Sales Data

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK

In the first quarter of 2022, BEV sales in the top 5 European markets grew by 46% from the corresponding period in 2021. BEV sales in the UK and Spain doubled, although the latter did so from a much lower base. Although Germany remains the largest BEV market among the top 5 in terms of units sold, BEV market share was higher in the UK during the first quarter (15% vs. 13%), largely due to greater product availability.

PHEV sales actually fell in France and Germany (by 6% and 13% respectively), with customer and OEM attention increasingly focused on BEVs. Despite this decline, the rate of the increase in overall EV market share suggests that ICE vehicles will soon account for a minority of sales within the top 5 markets. Indeed, overall EV market share had risen to 44% at the end of Q1 2022, up from 17% at the equivalent juncture two years previously, reflecting the impact of incentives and OEMs’ strategic reorientation.

Further European markets (+5)

In the other European markets, Sweden continued its rapid growth in BEV sales, which increased by 284% in Q1 2022 vs Q1 2021. The Netherlands also registered a substantial increase, up by 164%. In four of the five markets (Norway, Sweden, Netherlands and Switzerland), overall EV market share was higher than for ICE vehicles. Austria is the outlier among these markets, with EV market share of 38%. ICE vehicles accounted for just 6% of all sales in Norway in Q1 2022.

Focus market: Turkey

Turkey, as a potential future BEV producer, has voiced major ambitions to become a leading BEV market. While the sales of BEVs (1,073 units) in Q1 2022 have increased significantly (+244% YoY), PHEV sales (82 units) in Q1 2022 are rather sluggish (-28% YoY). Total EVs were able to increase their market share to 8% this quarter. However, EV sales fell by 11% YoY vs. Q1 2021.

China

Growth rates in China continued to outperform other key EV markets in Q1 2022. BEV sales more than doubled compared to the equivalent quarter in 2021, and reached the million-unit mark once more. This growth came despite the significant cut in NEV subsidies. Although government assistance may have provided the initial market stimulus, EVs have now become more mainstream, and naturally enter into the consciousness of more customers when considering their next purchase. As ICE market share stands at 80%, the EV market still retains huge potential for growth.

Japan

Although the ICE market share is now less than 50%, Japan’s EV market still relies almost exclusively on the sale of hybrids. BEV sales grew by 58% in Q1 2022 vs. Q1 2021, but from a very low base. BEV market share is just 1%.

South Korea

BEV sales in South Korea increased by 88% from the equivalent period in 2021, continuing its impressive growth over the last couple of years. BEV market share stands at 7%.

USA

Having been slow to get off the ground, the EV market in the United States is now starting to flourish. In Q1 2022, BEV sales doubled compared to the equivalent period in 2021, while PHEV sales grew by 55%. Even stronger performance has only been prevented by a continuing lack of product availability.

The OEM focus on electrification, backed up by some pledges of huge investment, suggests that the market is only going one way. The tougher fuel economy standards introduced by the government, as well as increased fines for non-compliance, bolster the EV market’s long-term prospects further.

About the „Electric Vehicle Sales Review“ by PwC and Strategy&

PwC Autofacts® and Strategy& have analyzed electric vehicle sales worldwide for the first quarter of 2022.

Contact us

Felix Kuhnert

Felix Kuhnert

Partner, PwC Germany

Dr. Jörn Neuhausen

Dr. Jörn Neuhausen

Director, Strategy& Germany

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