Global automaker rating 2023: Accelerating towards Electric Vehicles

The latest Global Automaker Rating report reveals that automakers worldwide must rapidly transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to meet the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement. The report, which assesses the progress of the 21 largest light-duty vehicle manufacturers by 2023 sales, highlights significant growth in the ZEV industry, with a notable 40% increase in ZEV sales from 2022 to 2023. This growth is propelled by ambitious regulations introduced by the European Union, United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The image is a table titled "Overall scores, Global Automaker Rating 2023," displaying scores of various automakers across different categories. The automakers are divided into three groups: Leaders, Transitioners, and Laggards. Tesla and BYD are the leaders, with Tesla scoring 84 and BYD scoring 70 overall. The table includes scores for market dominance (ZEV sales share and ZEV class coverage), technology performance (energy consumption, charging speed, driving range, renewable energy, and battery recycle/repurpose), and strategic vision (ZEV target, ZEV investment, and executive compensation). Each cell includes arrows indicating whether the score increased (up arrow) or decreased (down arrow) compared to 2022. For example, Tesla has perfect scores in ZEV sales share, charging speed, driving range, ZEV target, ZEV investment, and executive compensation, but scores 0 in renewable energy. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and other transitioners and laggards have mixed scores in various categories.
Source: The ICCT

Leaders and Laggards in the ZEV Transition

Tesla and BYD continue to dominate the ZEV landscape, producing only electric vehicles. However, their future dominance is not guaranteed. BYD, in particular, needs to transition its 48% sales share of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to full ZEVs and enhance its battery electric vehicle (BEV) performance. Both companies must also diversify their model offerings across the passenger vehicle spectrum to maintain their lead.

On the improvement front, Mercedes-Benz, SAIC, and Chang’an have shown significant progress. Mercedes-Benz has made strides in decarbonising its supply chain through increased use of renewable energy and battery recycling efforts. Chang’an has also initiated new battery recycling and reuse programmes. SAIC saw a remarkable increase in its ZEV-equivalent sales share, growing by 9 percentage points to 40% in 2023, and improved its ZEV performance.

Japanese and Indian automakers remain at the bottom of the ratings, but there are signs of progress. Tata Motors and Suzuki have made notable advancements, with Tata Motors increasing its ZEV target ambition and investment, alongside substantial technological improvements. Suzuki, previously rated at zero in 2022, has inched up by advancing its ZEV strategy. However, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda lag with ZEV-equivalent sales between 1% and 5%, needing to diversify their offerings and increase investments.

Industry-Wide Trends and Technological Advances

The report identifies several positive trends across the industry. Most automakers have improved in ZEV sales shares, energy consumption, driving range, ZEV targets, ZEV investments, and executive compensation linked to ZEV deployment. China-based automakers, including BYD, SAIC, Geely, Chang’an, Great Wall, and Chery, lead in ZEV-equivalent sales shares.

A notable technological advancement is the improvement in BEV energy efficiency, with the average energy consumption falling by almost 4% from 140 Wh/km in 2022 to 135 Wh/km in 2023. Additionally, the average driving range of BEVs increased from 395 km in 2022 to 419 km in 2023, with significant contributions from SAIC, Great Wall, BMW, Tata Motors, and Toyota.

Seven automakers have publicly increased their ZEV targets, with BMW moving its 100% ZEV target for MINI to 2031. Investment in the ZEV transition has also grown, with Tesla leading at $3,740 per vehicle. There is a growing trend of linking executive compensation to ZEV deployment, with companies like Stellantis, BMW, GM, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz tying executive pay to EV progress.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the progress, automakers face challenges in ZEV class coverage. While ZEV model offerings have increased by 10% to 42% across major markets, some manufacturers discontinued certain models, resulting in no ZEV options in specific segments in 2023. Changes in class coverage assessment criteria also impacted scores, as some automakers only sold certain ZEV models in selected markets.

The Global Automaker Rating report underscores the importance of the ZEV transition for the automotive industry’s future financial viability and climate goals. Actions such as Ford and GM’s support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s light-duty vehicle standards, projected to achieve 68% ZEV and PHEV sales by 2032 in the United States, demonstrate the industry’s commitment to this transition.

As the industry moves forward, the report calls for continued innovation, investment, and regulatory support to ensure a sustainable and zero-emission future for the global automotive sector.

Source: The ICCT

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