By: Nick Carey
Date: December 12, 2023
LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Global sales of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) rose 20% versus a year ago as strong growth in North America and China offset lower sales in Europe, according to market research firm Rho Motion.
Sales of BEVs and PHEVs hit a fresh monthly record of 1.4 million units, up from 1.1 million in November 2022.
“Sales have continued to rise despite a lot of negative sentiment in the market and we’re expecting sales to remain strong in December,” data manager Charles Lester told Reuters.
After years of accelerating growth, some automakers fear that electric car sales in Europe and elsewhere could be heading for slowing demand as drivers wait for better, cheaper models that are two to three years down the road.
Globally, BEVs made up 70% of sales and PHEVs made up the remaining 30% in November, Rho Motion said.
China posted a 25% increase in sales and were up 43% in the United States and Canada, while Europe saw sales drop 3% versus the same month in 2022.
The drop in Europe reflects a strong end of the year in 2022 as Germans bought electric cars before a reduction in government subsidies kicked in, Rho Motion said.
Lester said that as Germany is reducing its BEV subsidies and France is narrowing its own subsidies – to favour European-made electric cars over Chinese ones – sales in Europe should remain strong because automakers will still need to meet emissions targets heading into 2025.
He added that France’s targeted subsidies are “going to have a bigger impact” on vehicles like Renault’s (RENA.PA) Dacia Spring, which is made in China for the European market than on China’s BYD (002594.SZ), because BYD cars “are only just starting to be sold” in France.