Electric Vehicle Sales Growing Fast!

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The electric vehicle market continues to rise year after year. We recently published three reports on the global EV sales market, highlighting many exciting stats and charts. However, I’ve already realized a few times that two of the key figures have been a little hard to find and flew under the radar.

First of all, note that plugin vehicle sales accounted for a full 16% of global auto sales. Who knows that? How many people you asked on the street would guess such a high percentage? Probably not many, even among EV buyers! That’s up from 14% in 2022, 9% in 2021, and 4% in 2020, even as the gas car market has rebounded out of supply chain issues from the pandemic and Ukraine–Russia war.

Just looking at full battery-electric vehicles — 100% electric vehicles — they accounted for 11% of the global auto market, which is up from 10% in 2022, up from 6% in 2021, and up from a measly share in 2020.

By most standards, quadrupling market share in three years would be seen as a huge win. Going from a negligible 4% to a notable 16% in such a short period of time is a thing of S-curves and disruptive technology. With this transition taking us from fossil-burning vehicles that are causing global heating and climate crisis to clean electric propulsion systems, even more cause to celebrate!

In the past two days in the pickup line at my daughters’ elementary school, I was behind an electric vehicle (I was actually sandwiched between two of them one of those days), and I was quite happy that I was not getting pollution pumped into my car’s air filtration system (which can only do so much). There were probably more than a dozen other electric vehicles throughout the pickup line. Four years ago, kids went nuts when they saw my Tesla in the pickup line. Now, there are so many Teslas and other electric vehicles, they don’t take any notice. The auto world is changing, fast, and that’s something to both acknowledge and celebrate!

There’s a lot of chatter right now about weak or dropping EV sales demand, but the EV market is rising faster than the overall auto market! It’s a confusing and misleading narrative — and that’s probably the point.

In December, plugin vehicle market share was up to 22% globally, with BEVs (full electrics) accounting for 15% of sales. If you go back to the top, compare that to 16% and 11% for the year as a whole. How is ending the year with a much bigger sales month a sign of demand dropping? That makes no sense to me.

If you look only at the US auto market, full electric vehicles (BEVs) rose to 7.2% of the auto market. That’s up from 1.4% in 2019, 1.7% in 2020, 3% in 2021, and 5.5% in 2022. One of out every 14 cars sold in the USA are now fully electric, up from one out of every 71 cars four years prior. The electric vehicle market is growing fast! It’s a whole new world. And, ignoring some of the hype that is popular to repeat right now, 2024 will be another year of EV sales growth and EV sales records. Don’t be fooled by false narratives.

For more on world EV sales, see these great reports by Jose Pontes:

Also see my latest US EV sales reports here:

Any other thoughts on this topic? What am I or others missing?

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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