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EV sales in Europe increase by over 15% in 2022 – with sales expected to see further spikes, IEA says

In Europe, electric light-duty vehicles (EVs) sales increased by more than 15 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021, translating to a total of 2.7 million EVs sold across the continent, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Sales grew more quickly in previous years as annual growth stood at more than 65 per cent in 2021 and averaged 40 per cent between 2017-2019. Despite the slower growth last year, electric car sales are still increasing in Europe in the context of continued contraction in car markets as total car sales in Europe dropped by 3 per cent in 2022 relative to 2021, IEA said.

Ten million EVs were sold worldwide (including battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), which translates to a rise of 55 per cent in comparison to the previous year. From 2017 to 2022, EV sales jumped from around one million to more than 10 million, the report highlighted.

Previously, it took five years from 2012 to 2017 for EV sales to grow from 100,000 to one million. In 2022, Europe remained the world’s second-largest market for electric cars after China, accounting for 25 per cent of all electric car sales and 30 per cent of the global stock.

High energy prices had a “mixed impact” on the competitiveness of EVs relative to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. Gasoline and diesel prices for ICE cars spiked, but residential electricity tariffs also increased in some cases. Additionally, higher electricity and gas prices increased manufacturing costs for both ICE and EV cars, with some carmakers arguing that high energy prices could restrict future investment in new battery manufacturing capacity, the report said.

“Electric vehicles are one of the driving forces in the new global energy economy that is rapidly emerging – and they are bringing about a historic transformation of the car manufacturing industry worldwide,” said Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director. “The trends we are witnessing have significant implications for global oil demand. The internal combustion engine has gone unrivalled for over a century, but electric vehicles are changing the status quo. By 2030, they will avoid the need for at least five million barrels a day of oil. Cars are just the first wave: electric buses and trucks will follow soon.”

Sales are expected to continue to increase in Europe, especially following the adoption of the new Fit for 55 packages, the report added.

Europe notes big spike in new charging infrastructure

Last year, Europe also installed over 460,000 public slow charging points, a 50 per cent increase from 2021. In terms of fast-charging points, the continent had over 70,000 fast chargers by the end of 2022, an increase of around 55 per cent compared to 2021. Germany, France and Norway were the countries with the highest number of fast-charging sites, according to the report.

From a global perspective, at the end of 2022, there were 2.7 million public charging points worldwide, with more than 900, 000 installed in 2022 – which similar to the figures seen in Europe – is about a 55 per cent increase compared to 2021 figures.

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