A Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion concept car is seen during the press day of the 100th Brussels Motor Show in Brussels, Belgium, Jan 13, 2023. (ZHENG HUANSONG / XINHUA)
Global sales of electric vehicles, or EVs, in 2022 reached 10 percent of all car sales for the first time, with China driving the trend, according to researchers.
In China, sales of EVs made up 19 percent of all car sales, while in Europe, the corresponding figure was 11 percent, according to data from LMC Automotive and the EV-Volumes website, which provides data and forecasts for the sector.
Global sales of full EVs totaled around 7.8 million units, an increase of 68 percent from the previous year, according to the analysis. Overall, global sales of vehicles fell 1 percent last year to 80.6 million units, LMC's data showed. The sales decreased by 8 percent in the United States and 7 percent in Europe, but rose by 4 percent in China.
Last year, every fourth vehicle we sold in China was a plug-in, and this year it will be every third auto … We haven't reached the tipping point yet, but we're expecting to get there between 2025 and 2030.
Ralf Brandstaetter, Chief of Volkswagen China
China accounted for around two-thirds of global sales of full EVs last year. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, 26.86 million vehicles were sold in 2022, with 6.89 million units being EVs. Sales of EVs almost doubled, surging by 93.4 percent year over year.
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Ralf Brandstaetter, the chief of Volkswagen China, was reported as saying last week that EVs would continue expanding fast and that China could soon reach a point where sales of conventional vehicles begin to permanently decline, as plug-in vehicles take more market share.
"Last year, every fourth vehicle we sold in China was a plug-in, and this year it will be every third auto," Brandstaetter said. "We haven't reached the tipping point yet, but we're expecting to get there between 2025 and 2030."
Volkswagen lags behind China's domestic EV makers such as BYD in sales in the sector in China, but the company believes that the future is bright in China.
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Data from Chinese brokerage CMBI showed that Volkswagen's passenger brand sold 1,962 EVs between Jan 1 and 8 in China; its most notable rival, BYD, sold 40,046 units.
Brandstaetter said at a media roundtable on Monday that Volkswagen plans to broaden its higher-end and lower-end offerings in China, calling the country's automobile market a "giant fitness center for the industry".
"We don't want to give up this competition — we want to participate," Brandstaetter said. "We want to play a leading role. The cards are being mixed anew."
Brandstaetter said that to the German carmaker, diversification "doesn't mean shutting down in China and ramping up" in the US. "It means continuing to use the market opportunities in China and ramping up America," he said.
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US automakers sold 807,180 full EVs last year in the domestic market and raised the share of EVs to 5.8 percent of all vehicles sold, up from 3.2 percent in 2021.
However, not all people in the US are jumping on the EV wagon.
Wyoming state lawmakers are proposing to phase out EVs in the state by 2035. A resolution states that Wyoming's "proud and valued" oil and gas industry has created "countless" jobs and contributed revenue to the state's coffers.