Electric car sales keep rising and could reach about 17 million in 2024, accounting for more than one in five cars sold worldwide, according to a report ‘The Global EV Outlook 2024 by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In 2023, global sales of electric cars reached close to 14 million, reaching 18 per cent of all cars sold. Electric car sales in 2023 were 3.5 million higher than in 2022, a 35 per cent year-on-year increase.

This indicates robust growth even as many major markets enter a new phase, with uptake shifting from early adopters to the mass market.

Over 2.5 lakh electric cars were sold every week last year, more than the number sold in a year just a decade ago. Chinese carmakers produced more than half of all electric cars sold worldwide in 2023, despite accounting for just 10 per cent of global sales of cars with internal combustion engines.

The vast majority of electric car sales in 2023 were in China (60 per cent), Europe (25 per cent) and the United States (10 per cent). By comparison, these regions accounted for around 65 per cent of total car sales worldwide.

While electric car sales in emerging economies have been lagging behind those in the three big markets, growth picked up in 2023 in countries such as Vietnam (around 15 per cent of all cars sold) and Thailand (10 per cent), it said.

In emerging economies with large car markets, shares are still relatively low, but several factors point to further growth. Policy measures such as purchase subsidies and incentives for electric vehicles and battery manufacturing are playing a key role.

In India (where electric cars have a two per cent market share), the Production Linked Incentives (PLI) Scheme is supporting domestic manufacturing. In Brazil (three per cent share), Indonesia, Malaysia (two per cent share each), and Thailand, cheaper models, mainly from Chinese brands, are underpinning uptake. In Mexico, EV supply chains are rapidly developing, stimulated by access to subsidies from the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Electric cars continue to make progress towards becoming a mass-market product in a larger number of countries. Tight margins, volatile battery metal prices, high inflation, and the phase-out of purchase incentives in some countries have sparked concerns about the industry’s pace of growth, but global sales data remain strong, it said.

In the first quarter of 2024, electric car sales grew by around 25 per cent when compared with the first quarter of 2023, similar to the year-on-year growth seen in the same period in 2022.

In 2024, the market share of electric cars could reach up to 45 per cent in China, 25 per cent in Europe and over 11 per cent in the United States, underpinned by competition among manufacturers, falling battery and car prices, and ongoing policy support, it said.