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A Look At The Growing Interest In Electric Cars Globally

There is increased awareness of electric cars, and interest amongst consumers is growing. Let’s take a look at recent developments in some countries around the world that show that demand for electric cars is growing quite nicely.

Let’s start in South Africa, where there are no incentives for electric vehicles and where there has been a limited selection of electric vehicles to choose from. Sales of EVs have been slow due to the limited number of models, and high import duties and taxes levied on electric vehicles. Despite all these impediments, interest in electric vehicles is growing. Recently, Volvo introduced a limited number of the XC40 P6 Recharge EVs in South Africa. Only 25 units were available, but they sold out in less than 24 hours! The Volvo XC40 P6 Recharge starts at R1,075,000 ($62,000) and was sold exclusively online. Last year, Volvo had introduced the XC40 P8 Recharge, and the first units were also snapped up very quickly.

25 units sold in one day is quite a big deal for a $62,000 vehicle in a market that had been quite slow. A recent survey showed that more South Africans would switch to electric if there was an EV priced at around $30,000. Late last year, the BMW iX landed with a bang, selling 63 units in about 2 months. In fact, the entire initial allocation for South Africa was also quickly sold out. To put that into perspective, only 92 BEVs were sold in the whole of 2020 in South Africa. These are premium vehicles getting some decent sales numbers, now imagine what would happen if an affordable EV such as the magnificent MG4 was introduced in the South African market? The floodgates would surely open.

Now let’s look at Australia, another market that initially did not have a lot of incentives and where EV sales were also slow to take off. In July of this year, The Driven reported that Hyundai Australia quickly sold out its latest offering of IONIQ 5s in just 14 minutes! There were only 111 units available and more than 1,100 potential customers were on line hoping to get one. 9,680 electric vehicles have been sold in Australia in the first half of 2022, 50% of these being Teslas. These numbers would be much higher if not for the fact that this market is starved of vehicles as most models are only arriving in limited numbers.

In the United Kingdom, reports say that MG has sold more than half of its 2022 allocation of the magnificent new MG4 before a single car has been delivered! SAIC had planned to offer 2000 units this year and already 1000 have been sold in just 2 weeks. Looks like SAIC needs to ramp up production and exports of the MG4 ASAP! The cumulative number of electric vehicles sold so far in the United Kingdom recently passed the half-million mark, which is pretty impressive in an environment also characterized by supply constraints.

In China, electric vehicle sales have been on fire, and China has been leading the way in terms of sales volumes globally. Electric car sales had a 28% share of auto sales in July. To give a picture of just how good the Chinese EV market has been, the United Kingdom just passed the 500,000 unit mark of all-time sales, and 500,000 is the number of NEVs sold in China in just one month (July 2022). 505,000 NEV registrations were recorded in China in July. 368,000 of these were full battery-electric vehicles. The rest were plug-in hybrids.

Several highly anticipated electric cars have just been introduced in the Chinese market. One of these models is the BYD Seal. Some reports say that the BYD Seal had over 100,000 orders in less than two months before deliveries even started. Deliveries of the BYD Seal began last month. The standard version of this all electric sedan has a 150 kW motor, a 61.4 kWh battery, and starts from $33,000 in China. Another highly anticipated car is the Wuling Mini EV Cabrio. Following the success of the game-changing Wuling Mini EV that sold over 700,000 units in China in about 2 years, the Mini EV Cabrio looks like it will also be a smash hit. GMAuthority reports that the Wuling Mini EV Cabrio got 100,000 signups in just 72 hours!

This is just a snapshot of what the level of interest is in select markets. As more EVs come on the market and they become more affordable, the market share of EVs will grow much faster than most had predicted. In the not too distant future, electric cars will be so common that they will just be called cars.

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.


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