The electric vehicle market (EV) continues to grow globally, despite political and economic pressures. The latest edition of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) annual Global EV Outlook highlights significant growth, in the U.S. market as well as across China and the European Union. 

New data finds that nearly 1 in 3 vehicles on the road in China will be electric by 2030. Meanwhile, in the U.S. and European Union, this number is 1 in 5. This is in line with current vehicle sales trends, which show that 1 in 5 cars sold worldwide will be electric this year. The IEA believes the continued surge in demand will trigger changes throughout the global auto industry, resulting in a reduction in oil consumption for transport. 

Despite economic pressures, global electric car sales are expected to remain strong in 2024, hitting more than 17 million by the end of the year. The first quarter of 2024 has already shown strong sales of EVs, growing by 25 percent compared with 2023. The report noted the number of electric cars sold globally in the first 3 months of 2023 is on par with total sales for 2020. 

“The continued momentum behind electric cars is clear in our data, although it is stronger in some markets than others,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “Rather than tapering off, the global EV revolution appears to be gearing up for a new phase of growth. The wave of investment in battery manufacturing suggests the EV supply chain is advancing to meet automakers’ ambitious plans for expansion.”

In 2023, global electric car sales rose by 34 percent to approximately 14 million, breaking 2023 records. Demand remains strong in regions like China, Europe and the U.S., however, areas in Southeast Asia and Thailand saw electric car sales take a greater share of car sales at 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

According to the report, the future success of electric vehicle sales will depend greatly on supply chain and policy improvements. The report said that electric vehicle sales could reach 2 in 3 cars by 2035 based on country energy and climate pledges being met on time and in full. This would also reduce reliance on traditional vehicles, while driving the price of electric vehicles down. In 2023, 60 percent of electric vehicles sold in China were less expensive than their conventional counterparts, the report said. 

As a result, the share of EVs on the roads is expected to continue to climb rapidly totaling approximately 45 percent of all car sales. The change would also result in a decreased reliance on oil by around 12 million barrels per day. 

Offering more charging points will also significantly increase the sale of electric vehicles. Already, the number of charging points globally has climbed by more than 40 percent between 2023 and 2022. 

Birol said, “Based on today’s policy settings alone, almost 1 in 3 cars on the roads in China by 2030 is set to be electric, and almost 1 in 5 in both the U.S. and European Union. This shift will have major ramifications for both the auto industry and the energy sector.”