Global EV outlook 2024: EV sales set to reach 17 million

Electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to soar to around 17 million units in 2024, marking another year of robust growth in the automotive sector, according to the latest Global EV Outlook from the International Energy Agency (IEA). This forecast suggests that EVs will account for over one in five cars sold globally, demonstrating their evolution into a mainstream product across a growing number of markets.
Global electric car sales are on track to grow strongly again this year, reaching about 17 title=
Source: IEA

The IEA’s report highlights the significant strides made in 2023 when global sales of electric cars neared 14 million, an 18% share of the total automotive market, up from 14% in the previous year. This represents a substantial 35% year-on-year increase, with more than 250,000 electric cars sold each week—a stark contrast to the annual figures from just a decade ago.

China continues to dominate the EV market, having produced over half of all electric cars sold worldwide last year, despite only accounting for 10% of global internal combustion engine vehicle sales. In 2024, market penetration is expected to reach up to 45% in China, 25% in Europe, and over 11% in the United States. These figures are supported by competitive pricing, advancements in battery technology, and strong policy backing from governments.

However, the pace of adoption in emerging and developing economies remains a critical factor for the global success of electric vehicles. While the majority of sales in 2023 were concentrated in China (60%), Europe (25%), and the United States (10%), emerging markets like Vietnam and Thailand are beginning to show promising growth, with EVs comprising around 15% and 10% of all new car sales, respectively.

The IEA also points to a burgeoning interest in electric two- and three-wheelers in regions like India and Southeast Asia, where they contribute significantly to improved air quality and emissions reductions. In 2023 alone, 1.3 million electric two-wheelers were sold in these areas, highlighting their growing acceptance.

Despite these positive trends, challenges such as tight profit margins, volatile battery metal prices, and the phase-out of purchase incentives in some regions have raised concerns. Yet, the industry’s investment outlook remains strong, with nearly USD 500 billion announced for EV and battery manufacturing between 2022 and 2023. Additionally, over 20 major automakers have set ambitious electrification targets, further reinforcing the sector’s growth trajectory.

The IEA’s report underscores the essential role of policy support, such as purchase subsidies and incentives for EV and battery production, which are crucial for fostering market growth and making EVs more affordable. This is particularly important in non-traditional markets, where the availability of cheaper models and the establishment of local manufacturing capabilities could significantly boost EV uptake.

As the EV market matures, the availability of used electric cars is expected to increase, offering more affordable options to consumers and helping to propel the transition from fossil fuels to electric mobility. The expansion of public charging infrastructure and advancements in battery recycling are also highlighted as key factors that will support the growing EV market in the coming years.

With EVs set to represent half of all new car sales by 2035 under current policy scenarios, the IEA’s outlook illustrates a clear and accelerating shift towards electric mobility, driven by technological advancements, strategic investments, and sustained policy support.

Source: IEA

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