EV sales surge globally, but US market faces uncertainty

Electric Vehicle (EV) sales are predicted to reach over 14 million units globally in 2023, up 35% from the previous year, according to a recent BloombergNEF article. With EVs accounting for more than 30% of passenger car sales in recent months, China's dynamic market is the main driver of this growth.
Europe’s EV market is also showing surprising resilience, with anticipated sales growth of around 20% this year, reaching approximately 3.3 million units. The United States, while lagging behind, has crossed the significant milestone of 1 million EV sales for the first time, anticipating a growth of over 40% from 2022.

Tesla’s Model Y is predicted to become the world’s best-selling vehicle, contributing to Tesla and BYD’s combined 6% share of the global vehicle market. Additionally, the industry is optimistic regarding charging infrastructure, with a record 1.4 million new public charging points being installed in 2023.

Battery technology is also advancing, with prices expected to resume their decline after a brief increase. Progress in new battery chemistries, including solid-state and sodium-ion batteries, is noteworthy.

However, the American market shows signs of uncertainty. Challenges such as the electrification of large pickup trucks, political polarisation of EVs, and macroeconomic conditions are contributing to a more cautious approach among consumers and manufacturers. EV inventories are rising, and several automakers, including Ford and General Motors, have revised their EV targets.

BloombergNEF raises concerns about whether the US market is ready to embrace EVs at a mass scale, citing differences in policy and consumer adoption patterns compared to other goods like household appliances. The unique nature of the automotive market, where EVs represent a significant portion of new sales but only a small fraction of total vehicles on the road, adds to the complexity.

Despite these challenges, global EV adoption forecasts have been revised upwards in the last five years. The upcoming years will be crucial in determining whether the most optimistic projections will need to be adjusted, particularly in light of the potential stall in the US market.

Source: US Could Become Odd Market Out in EV Success Story | BloombergNEF

Bar chart showing EV sales from 2015 to 2023, with 2023 as a forecast year. Sales are segmented by region: China, Europe, North America, South Korea, Japan, and the Rest of the World. Total sales increase yearly, with China leading in 2023. Source: BloombergNEF.
Source: US Could Become Odd Market Out in EV Success Story | BloombergNEF
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