Global electric car sales projected to reach 17 million in 2024

The global electric car market continues its robust growth trajectory, with sales projected to hit a record 17 million vehicles by the end of 2024, according to the latest edition of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global EV Outlook.

Despite challenges in some markets, the Outlook reveals a surge in demand for electric vehicles (EVs), signalling a significant transformation in the global auto industry and a substantial reduction in oil consumption for road transport.

In the first quarter of 2024, electric car sales saw a remarkable 25% increase compared to the same period in 2023. This growth, consistent with previous years, indicates a sustained momentum in adopting electric vehicles worldwide. Notably, the number of electric cars sold in the first quarter of this year equals the total sold in 2020.

China, a frontrunner in the global electric vehicle market, is expected to sell around 10 million electric cars in 2024, accounting for a significant 45% of all car sales in the country. This underscores China’s pivotal role in driving the global shift towards electric mobility. In the United States and Europe, electric cars are projected to represent approximately one in nine and one in four cars sold, respectively.

The Outlook attributes this growth to substantial investment in the electric vehicle supply chain, ongoing policy support, and declining prices of EVs and their batteries. With current policy settings, the report suggests that every other car sold globally could be electric by 2035, potentially saving around 12 million barrels of oil per day.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol underscored the significance of this shift, emphasizing its implications for both the auto industry and the energy sector. He noted that, based on present policies, China is poised to have almost one in three cars on its roads be electric by 2030, with similar projections for the United States and the European Union.

Manufacturers have responded to these ambitions with significant investments, particularly in battery production capacity. While China leads in affordability, with more than 60% of electric cars sold in 2023 being cheaper than their conventional counterparts, Europe and the United States are expected to see decreasing prices in the coming years.

One of the key challenges for sustained growth in the electric vehicle market is the need for adequate public charging infrastructure. The report underscores the necessity for a sixfold increase in charging networks by 2035 to align with government commitments. This presents a significant opportunity for stakeholders to invest in and support the development of charging infrastructure.

Accompanying the Global EV Outlook 2024 are interactive tools that allow users to explore EV statistics and policy measures worldwide. These tools emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and support for the electric vehicle transition. (nsh)

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