Electric Vehicle Penetration: Global Outlook Varied


EV penetration is starting to take hold in many countries globally, though there are some noticeably stark differences in the market. By the end of 2024, it’s believed there may be in excess of 17 million sales worldwide.

New sales of fully electric cars in Europe are up at 15% – and that’s a significant rise from 1% in 2019. However, the disparity between different regions in Europe is stark – and some regions fare better with uptake and retention than others.

Elsewhere, in the USA there were 1.4 million EVs registered for use in 2023, and that’s a 40% increase on the year before – but they still only account for roughly 7.6% of total overall car sales, meaning there’s still a lot of work to be done to convince drivers.

Northern Europe is an EV winner

2024 figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, ACEA, show the share of Battery Electric Vehicles, which are entirely battery operated, stood at 13% in the first quarter of 2024, which is slightly down (though not by much) from 2023’s 13.9%.

Head into Northern Europe and that’s where you’ll find the most electrification. Countries such as Sweden, Finland, and Denmark are making the most progress. However, it’s interesting to note that car-building countries such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic fall way behind with both production and uptake of a wide range of electric vehicles.

70% of new electric vehicles are registered in Europe, and in 2023 Germany was way ahead of the league with 18% in the first three quarters of the year. UK and France were second with 15%. Most surprisingly perhaps it’s countries like Spain and Italy that have made the least progress in either building or adoption.

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Italy and Spain lack infrastructure

One thing that lets Italy and Spain down is their lack of commitment to improving infrastructure for charging. When you consider that both these countries have a high potential for being able to produce vast amounts of solar energy this is particularly bothersome, but it’s hoped over the next few years this will change and infrastructure will start to improve.

Who will lead the way in the coming year?

Unsurprisingly, over the coming year, it’s expected that countries like China will take the driving seat as far as production and sales of EVs go. It’s thought that 11.5 million new EVs will be sold in the country this year, which will account for a 44% share of all new car sales.