Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in 2022 reached 10% of all car sales for the first time, with China driving the trend. In China, sales of EVs made up 19% of all car sales, while in Europe, the corresponding figure was 11%, according to LMC Automotive and the EV-Volumes website, which provides data and forecasts for the sector. Global sales of full EVs totaled around 7.8 million units, an increase of 68% from the previous year, according to the analysis. Overall, global sales of vehicles fell 1% last year to 80.6 million units, LMC’s data showed. The sales decreased by 8% in the United States and 7% in Europe, but rose by 4% in China. The country accounted for around two-thirds of global sales of full EVs last year.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), 26.86 million vehicles were sold in 2022, with 6.89 million units being EVs. Sales of EVs almost doubled, surging by 93.4% year-on-year. Cui Dongshu, Secretary General of the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), expects the penetration rate of NEVs will continue to grow rapidly this year, as the cost of NEVs has fallen faster than that of internal combustion vehicles in the country, and NEV sales have led the overall passenger car market.
Ralf Brandstaetter, Chief Executive of Volkswagen China, said that EVs would continue expanding fast and that China could soon reach a point where sales of conventional vehicles begin to permanently decline, as plug-in vehicles take more market share. “Last year, every fourth vehicle we sold in China was a plug-in, and this year it will be every third vehicle,” Brandstaetter said. “We haven’t reached the tipping point yet, but we’re expecting to get there between 2025 and 2030.”
Volkswagen lags behind China’s domestic EV makers such as BYD in sales in the sector in China, but the company believes that the future is bright in China. Data from Chinese brokerage CMBI showed that Volkswagen’s passenger brand sold 1,962 EVs between January 1 and 8 in China, while BYD, sold 40,046 units. Brandstaetter said that Volkswagen plans to broaden its higher-end and lower-end offerings in China, calling the country’s automobile market a “giant fitness center for the industry”. “We don’t want to give up this competition, we want to participate. We want to play a leading role. The cards are being mixed anew,” he said. Brandstaetter added that diversification “doesn’t mean shutting down in China and ramping up” in the U.S. “It means continuing to use the market opportunities in China and ramping up in America,” he said, as reported by the China Daily.