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2023 EV registrations in Europe surpass two million units, setting new record

In 2023, Europe’s auto market achieved its best sales since the pandemic, spurred partly by strong demand for EVs. New passenger vehicle registrations totaled almost 13 million units, up 14% compared to 2022. Battery EVs set a new record, selling over two million units and taking 15.7% of total market share. (Diesel cars still sold slightly more.)

“Europe’s automotive market appears to be normalizing,” said Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics. “Supply chain issues are now largely under control, and consumers have become accustomed to waiting longer to receive new vehicles. Despite this, it is unlikely we will see volumes surpass the 15 million units recorded in 2019. Purchasing a vehicle has become more expensive, and attitudes to ownership continue to change.”

Market share grew fastest in established EV markets Finland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. However, market share also grew in emerging EV markets including Slovenia (which saw an increase from 5% in 2022 to 9% in 2023), Estonia (3.4% to 6.8%) and Latvia (6.6% to 9%).

Europe’s highest voltage levels are found in Scandinavia, where EVs captured 46% of the total auto market, followed by Northern and Central Europe (19% market share), Southern Europe (9.4%) and Eastern Europe (5.3%). “The shift to BEVs is taking place at four different speeds,” said Munoz.

The Tesla Model Y was Europe’s top selling car (of any kind) in 2023—the first time a non-European car or an EV has led the rankings. The top-selling EV-maker, however, was the Volkswagen Group.

Chinese car brands continued to penetrate European markets—seven new brands entered the market last year, making a total of 30 (!) Chinese brands now available. Chinese brands saw sales grow by 79% year-on-year. “Although Chinese brands recorded a record market share of 2.6% in 2023, up from 1.7% in 2022, claims of an ‘invasion’ have been overstated,” Munoz said.

Another interesting tidbit: company purchases of EVs grew much faster than private purchases. (European companies are more likely to provide company cars to employees than their US counterparts, and they benefit from various incentives.)

According to data for 27 markets, EV registrations made by fleets and businesses rose by 51%, compared to a 4% rise for private buyers. Only 39% of overall BEV registrations were made by private buyers.

“When looking at the data by registration type, it becomes clear that incentives are only currently appealing to companies, fleets and rentals,” Munoz said. “The lack of interest from private buyers is a major hurdle for the industry to overcome. Sales to private individuals tend to be the most profitable for carmakers, and so it’s imperative that they do more to attract this type of customer.”

Source: JATO

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