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Global Electric Car Sales Set to Reach 17 Million in 2024, IEA Reports

by | Apr 24, 2024

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its annual Global EV Outlook, projecting robust growth in global electric car sales for 2024, with numbers expected to reach around 17 million by year-end. Despite near-term challenges in some markets, the report indicates a significant surge in demand for electric vehicles (EVs) over the next decade, reshaping the global auto industry and substantially reducing 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, with sales figures for the first three months of the year equivalent to the entirety of 2020. Notably, China is projected to lead the way, with electric car sales expected to soar to approximately 10 million, accounting for 45% of all car sales in the country. In the United States, one in nine cars sold is projected to be electric, while in Europe, electric cars are set to represent about one in four cars sold, despite a generally weak outlook for passenger car sales and subsidy phase-outs in some countries.

The report highlights a record-breaking 2023, where global electric car sales surged by 35% to nearly 14 million. While demand remained concentrated in China, Europe, and the United States, growth also accelerated in emerging markets such as Vietnam and Thailand, where electric cars accounted for a significant portion of all cars sold.

Significant investment in the electric vehicle supply chain, ongoing policy support, and declining EV and battery prices are expected to drive further changes in the coming years. Under current policy settings, the report predicts that every other car sold globally will be electric by 2035, with even more ambitious targets achievable if countries meet their energy and climate pledges.

Manufacturers have ramped up efforts to meet growing EV ambitions, with substantial financial commitments made and battery production capacity well-positioned to meet rising demand. While upfront costs remain a concern, the report emphasizes that lower operating costs of EVs offer long-term benefits, especially as market competition intensifies and battery technologies improve.

However, ensuring adequate public charging infrastructure remains crucial for sustained growth in the electric vehicle market. While the number of public charging points has increased significantly, further expansion is needed to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. Policymakers must also carefully plan to prevent electricity grid overstretch as EV adoption continues to rise.

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