The Future of Electromobility – IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2023

6 min read
May 9, 2023 10:16:10 AM
Following 2021’s steps, 2022 brought us record numbers regarding electric vehicle (EV) sales. Although overall vehicle sales dropped by 3%, electric cars continued to record extraordinary growth. And 2023 seems to follow suit. Let's dive deeper into the facts, figures and predictions of the global EV market.
 
The 1st quarter of 2023 remains strong, with over 2.3 million EVs sold worldwide. By the end of the year, the IEA forecasts 14 million new electric cars; compared to 2022, this is a 35% growth. EV sales are expected to gain significant momentum, especially in the year’s second half.

KEY FIGURES OF 2022

  • More than 10 million EVs were sold worldwide in 2022. That means more electric cars are now sold weekly than in 2013.
  • In the 1st quarter of 2023, 25% more EVs were sold than in the same period last year.
  • 14% of all new cars sold were electric in 2022. In 2023, we’re forecasting that number to rise to 18%.
  • In Europe, the 2nd largest market for electric cars, 15% more electric cars were sold in 2022 than in 2021. That makes every fifth new vehicle in Europe an electric car.
  • Over 26 million electric cars were on the roads worldwide in 2022 -60% more than in 2021 and 5x as much as in 2018.
  • China is still the largest EV market; half of the global EV stock operates there. China is followed by Europe and the USA.

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KEY STATEMENTS

“Electric car sales saw another record year in 2022, despite supply chain disruptions, macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainty, and high commodity and energy prices. The growth in electric car sales took place in the context of globally contracting car markets: total car sales in 2022 dipped by 3% relative to 2021.”
“The slowdown seen in Europe relative to previous years was, in part, a reflection of the exceptional growth in electric car sales that took place in 2020 and 2021 in the European Union, as manufacturers quickly adjusted corporate strategy to comply with the CO2 emission standards passed in 2019. These standards covered the 2020-2024 period, with EU-wide emission targets becoming stricter only from 2025 and 2030 onwards.”

CURRENT FIGURES, DEVELOPMENTS & FORECASTS FOR CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

Most charging still happens at home or work, but the more electric vehicles roaming the roads, the more public charging points are needed to support the wide EV uptake. This is true mainly for densely populated urban areas where the installation of private chargers is limited.
 
By the end of 2022, there were 2.7 million public charging points globally. Nine hundred thousand were installed over the year, accounting for 55% growth from 2021.
 
Around 650 000 of the new chargers were installed in China. Europe followed with about 450 000 new EV chargers installed in 2022, with an annual growth rate of 50%. Europe’s total number of public chargers should grow to 2.4 million by 2030. Two-thirds of the new charging points globally were standard AC ones with power up to 22 kW.
 
In Europe, the Netherlands leads the race with 117 000 new charging points, followed by France (74 000) and Germany (64 000).
 
Regarding fast DC charging stations, China is undisputedly at the top; the growth in this segment in 2022 represented 90%, with 297 000 fast chargers installed. Europe reached a fast charger stock of more than 70 000 in 2022.
 
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The data on the energy consumption of e-mobility is also interesting: Worldwide, electric cars consumed around 110 TWh of energy in 2022. On the other hand, the use of EVs has replaced around 700 000 barrels of oil per day and saved about 80 Mt of greenhouse gas emissions.
 
The current pace of the charging infrastructure expansion has yet to keep up with the growing EV sales. Countries need to speed up charging infrastructure installations to secure market ramp-up and rise of e-mobility.
 
Charging at home and in the workplace will likely cover much of the total charging demand. However, the number of public charging stations still has to increase ninefold and reach more than 15 million units worldwide by 2030 to provide adequate coverage.
 
The EU has set requirements for coverage on major European roads in their Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) to ensure convenient charging possibilities for European EV drivers.

ELECTRIC TRUCKS AND BUSES

Electrification of the heavy-duty sector is integral to our journey towards zero-emission transportation. While heavy-duty trucks only account for 10% of all internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, they are responsible for over 70% of ICE’s CO2 emissions.
 
When it comes to heavy-duty vehicles as well as buses, Europe continues to play a relatively minor role. Development and implementation are mainly concentrated in the Chinese market, where 85% of sales took place in 2022. In Europe, 2 000 electric trucks were registered in 2022, corresponding to a 1% share.
 
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As many truck manufacturers strive for an all-electric future, the number of commercially available zero-emission truck models has expanded in 2022. The market offers over 840 models by more than 100 OEMs.
 
The governmental efforts to reduce emissions from heavy-duty trucks are worth highlighting. According to the EU Commission’s plans, emissions in this area should be 45% lower by 2030 and 90% by 2040 than in 2019. The proposal also states that all city buses should be emission-free by 2030.

SUVS DOMINATE THE MARKET

SUVs are dominating the EV market. While automakers can generate higher revenues to cover the high development costs, the dominance of SUVs poses some challenges.
 
As SUVs are equipped with larger batteries, they require more critical minerals. In 2022, the average battery size of a small electric car was 25 kWh in China, 35 kWh in Europe and about 60 kWh in the US. On the other hand, the average battery size for an electric SUV ranged from 70-75 kWh.
 
SUV batteries require up to 75% higher demand for critical minerals, and the CO2 emissions of materials processing and manufacturing are estimated to be more than 70% higher.

EV GROWTH IN NEW MARKETS

China, Europe and the USA are the largest markets for electric vehicles and together account for around 95% of all sales in 2022.
 
Nevertheless, a real EV boom in 2022 occurred in India, Thailand and Indonesia. EV sales in these countries have more than tripled compared to 2021, reaching almost 80,000 units. In 2022, EV sales were 7x higher than in 2019 - before the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
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THE 3 SCENARIOS OF THE IEA 

Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS)

The Stated Policies Scenario reflects existing policies and measures, as well as policy ambitions and targets set by governments around the world regarding the future of electromobility.
 
This scenario intends to hold up a mirror to policymakers and show the effects of current measures for the future. STEPS suggests that by 2030, the global electric vehicle stock (excluding two/three-wheelers) will reach nearly 240 million vehicles and account for over 10% of the global vehicle fleet.

Announced Pledges Scenario (APS)

The Announced Pledges Scenario (APS) refers to existing climate policy pledges and announcements and assumes that over 35% of all vehicles sold in 2030 will be electric. According to APS, almost 250 million EVs could be roaming the global roads by 2030.
 
If the e-mobility sector continues to grow, as predicted by the APS, 1.6 million barrels of oil per day will be saved by 2025 and 4.6 million per day by 2030.

Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario (NZE)

The Net Zero Scenario is defined by the narrow but achievable targets for the global energy sector to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
 
To achieve this ambitious goal, the share of EVs must reach 60% globally by 2030, and the global EV stock to reach 380 million EVs by the same year. That makes this scenario the most optimistic of the three.

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The IEA (International Energy Agency), based in Paris, was established in response to the oil crisis. IEA was initially supposed to assist in overcoming future oil shortages. Now, it also serves as a reputable source for current statistics and figures on the entire range of the energy sector, including the future of electromobility.