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China drives EV boom this year amid strong demand for hybrid vehicles

According to Counterpoint Research, electric car sales have increased dramatically this year, driven primarily by development in China and high demand for hybrid vehicles.

According to a research released on Monday, global EV sales, including fully battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) and hybrids, increased 18% in the first three months of 2024 compared to the same time last year.

Sales of hybrid vehicles, which combine electric motors and combustion engines, soared 46% year on year, outpacing those of fully battery-powered alternatives. BEV sales increased 7%.

“The cheaper upfront cost of [hybrids] when compared to [battery EVs] and the availability of a fuel tank that eliminates range anxiety were among the main reasons for high [hybrid] demand,” Counterpoint research analyst Abhik Mukherjee stated in the report.

The research follows recent studies indicating that hybrid adoption is currently outperforming that of fully electric vehicles, despite concerns about the former’s low resale prices and the prospect that current BEV technology would become obsolete soon.

“Buying mid-priced [hybrids] is a more logical choice for consumers since their prices are comparable to or lower than most of [battery electric vehicles],” the survey stated.

China extends its advantage.
Chinese enterprises have benefited greatly from the increase in demand for electric vehicles, particularly those that sell both BEVs and hybrids.

According to Counterpoint, EV sales in China increased by 28% in the first quarter of 2023, amid an ongoing price battle that has driven down consumer expenses.

BYD, the country’s largest EV manufacturer, saw hybrid vehicle sales climb by 7% in the first three months of the year, accounting for roughly one-third of the worldwide hybrid market, followed by Geely Holdings and Li Auto.

The United States had the second largest EV sales internationally, followed by Europe. However, while overall EV sales in the United States increased by 2%, sales of battery electric vehicles fell by 3% in the quarter.

Tesla, the largest US EV manufacturer that only builds BEVs, had a 9% year-on-year drop in sales in the first quarter. In Q1 2024, it remained the global leader in BEV sales, with a 19% market share. BYD and Volkswagen owned 15% and 6% shares, respectively.

According to the survey, only BYD experienced growth among the top three BEV manufacturers, with sales increasing by 13%, while Tesla and Volkswagen saw sales decrease by 9% and 4%, respectively.

BYD’s impressive success reflects the company’s aggressive global expansion. According to the study, the company exported nearly 100,000 EVs last quarter, representing a 152% year-on-year increase, driven mostly by sales to Southeast Asia.

Liz Lee, assistant director at Counterpoint, stated that BYD’s impressive exports highlight the expanding global demand for EVs, especially hybrids, with the sector “poised for significant growth.”

“[Y]et signs of a slowdown also loom and the annual growth may dip below 20%,” she warned. Companies such as Tesla fear dwindling interest in BEVs.

According to a Gallup poll conducted in April, less than half of U.S. consumers — 44% — said they were seriously considering or might consider purchasing an EV, a decrease from 55% in 2023. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who do not want to acquire an electric vehicle increased from 41% to 48%.

Other market obstacles could include an increase in protectionist measures in 2024, with both the EU and the United States apparently planning to impose fresh taxes on Chinese EV imports.



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