Although BEV sales in all 19 analyzed markets increased by 24% in the first quarter of 2023, in comparison with the corresponding quarter last year, the growth fell some way short of the stellar figures from recent years. This is mainly due to the sharp reduction in BEV sales growth in China during this period. Given the overwhelming dominance of the Chinese market, which accounted for 62% of BEV sales in all analyzed markets combined, any slackening of growth in that country has an inevitable impact on global figures.
BEV sales in China grew by 15% in Q1 2023 vs. Q1 2022, still an impressive performance when one considers that total sales of all powertrains in that country actually went down by 7% over the same period. However, BEV sales growth nevertheless fell some way below that recorded in previous quarters. Many Chinese consumers had rushed to buy BEVs before the termination of the government subsidy at the end of 2022, and there was bound to be some slowdown of demand immediately following this change.
Of the high-volume markets, the United States recorded the highest BEV sales increase (64%), continuing its rapid growth over the last couple of years. There were almost one quarter of a million BEV sales in the US in the first quarter, overtaking full-hybrid sales for the second time ever. A major BEV growth area in the future will undoubtedly be the fleet market. However, to maximize this opportunity, OEMs will need to produce more electric equivalents of popular fleet models.
PwC Autofacts® and Strategy& have analyzed electric vehicle sales worldwide in the first quarter of 2023.
Steven van Arsdale also contributed to this report.