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China and Western Europe lead the global BEV/PHEV market

Sales of PEV (BEV/PHEV) passenger cars (including SUVs, etc.) in 45 countries worldwide grew by 34.6% year-on-year to 12.44 million units in 2023.

Although growth slowed from 2021 (+2.1 times) and 2022 (+52.2%), the market size exceeded 12 million units for the first time, maintaining an expansion trend. In passenger car (including internal combustion engine vehicles) sales, the ratio of passenger cars to the Chinese PEV market, which accounts for more than 50% of the global total, has increased by 7.7 percentage points to 33.2%, in particular to more than 30%, making it clear that China is leading the world as a whole. Outside of China, the ratio of passenger cars to the market in Western Europe is high at 25.2%, while the USA (9.1%), South Korea (8.1%) and Japan (3.5%) are below 10%, indicating that the scale of sales is uneven.

The growth of the PEV market has been driven by two factors: 1) government policies and regulations and 2) early adopters, but the growth rate has recently shown a slowing trend. The reduction in government incentives, exemplified by the slowdown in purchases due to the removal of subsidies in Germany, and the fact that the early adopters have run their course can be said to be the factors behind this.

Initially, many countries launched measures to promote BEVs based on the keyword ‘environment’, but as of June 2024, issues such as battery raw material procurement and recycling have become a challenge, and it is beginning to be said that it is necessary to re-examine to what extent these measures will lead to environmental measures. On the other hand, the development of EV charging infrastructure networks, which is essential for the spread of electric vehicles, is progressing rapidly: by 2023, the number of EVs worldwide will have increased by 44.4% year-on-year to 3.9 million, with the number of EVs per 10,000 people increasing to 4.9 (from 3.4 in 2022). in the 27 EU countries, the number of charging stations will have increased by 38.0% to 592,000.

It has been pointed out that the pace of charging network expansion has not kept pace with the expansion of the PEV market, but in recent years the pace of expansion of public charging infrastructure has been greater than the growth in PEV sales (2023: +17.7% y/y). However, there is still a large gap in infrastructure development between countries, which has traditionally been an issue, with the top three countries (the Netherlands, France and Germany) accounting for 60% of the public charging infrastructure in the EU.