The much talked about EV slowdown is in Europe, not the US or China

Jan. 18, 2024

Record month (almost) everywhere

Towards the end of 2023 the mainstream and business press were littered with stories about the slowdown of electric vehicle markets in the US and elsewhere.  

Headlines proclaimed that EVs are piling up on dealership lots (despite falling prices) and pointed to decisions by Volkswagen, Ford and others to roll back spending on new battery plants as signs that major automakers were turning bearish on the longer term prospects of electrified cars. 

But the data tells another story. In November 2023, global monthly passenger EV sales hit an all-time high of 1.89 million units, up 8% month-over-month and 30% compared to November 2022.

Throughout the month, EVs sold briskly in the Americas and the Asia Pacific region, up 55% and 37% year-over-year, respectively. In China, sales jumped 36% year-over-year, remarkable when considering that the country’s drivers bought every second EV sold worldwide during the month.  

It was only in Europe where growth was anemic with only 6% more passenger EVs finding new owners in November 2023 than November 2022.

The much talked about EV slowdown is in Europe, not the US or China


The combined battery capacity of passenger EVs sold in November 2023 once again raced ahead of vehicle registrations. Total power-hours steered onto roads hit a record 69.8 GWh in November, up 12% month-over-month and 32% over the same month the year before.  

The Asia Pacific region saw combined battery capacity of 43.7 GWh deployed in November, a new record for the region, up 14% month-over-month and 39% over the same month the year before.  

In the Americas, 10.7 GWh were deployed onto roads in newly sold passenger EVs in November, up 3% month-over-month and 52% year-over-year to a new all-time high. The US and Canada make up more than 97% of the regional market.  

But as with EV unit sales, Europe was again slowest off the grid with 14.4 GWh deployed in November, up 15% month-over-month and just 7% year-over-year.

The region’s top market, Germany, went into reverse in November with passenger EV battery capacity deployment dropping 21% year-over-year in the month, mainly due to the expiry of government subsidies.

Adamas take:

Unit sales and battery capacity deployment onto European roads point to a slowdown from the breakneck expansion of 2021/22. While all other major markets broke records in November 2023, Europe looks to have peaked as early as March of last year.  

However, suggestions that global consumers and automakers are having second thoughts about going electric seem overblown. 

Compare November’s 69.8 GWh to calendar 2018 when just 74.4 GWh hit roads over a 12-month span. And at current rates of expansion, December 2023 (historically the strongest month of the year) could well top the total power-hours added to the global EV parc over the course of all of 2019.  



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