Apr 23, 2024 - Energy & Environment

U.S. is just 10% of global EV market, new report shows

Electric car sales
Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Global electric vehicle sales are still heading upward, but headwinds are preventing faster mass-market adoption.

Why it matters: An International Energy Agency report explores the status of EVs, an important tool for displacing oil and fighting global warming.

The big picture: IEA sees full EVs and plug-in hybrids together accounting for one in five light-duty vehicles (think cars, SUVs and pickups) sold in 2024.

  • But the market is top-heavy: 60% of those sales are in China, with 25% in Europe, and 10% in the U.S.
  • Overall, the agency projects sales growing over 21% this year. That's down from 2023 growth, but from a higher base.

What they're saying: "The continued momentum behind electric cars is clear in our data, although it is stronger in some markets than others," IEA head Fatih Birol said.

Threat level: EVs still haven't reached upfront cost-parity with fossil fuel-powered models, and that's a check on growth.

  • They're 10%-50% more expensive in Europe and the U.S., "depending on the country and car segment," the IEA notes.
  • But in China, the largest market, 60% of EVs sold last year were less costly than their internal combustion equivalent, it added.

The bottom line: It's a mixed picture at a time when even faster growth is needed to meet Paris Agreement goals.

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