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EY Analysis: EV Sales Plateau in US and Europe Amid Market Challenges, Surge Expected in China

EY Analysis: EV Sales Plateau in US and Europe Amid Market Challenges, Surge Expected in China

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  • Battery electric vehicles will account for more than 50% of total sales in China by the end of this decade – two years faster than previous forecasts
  • US EV demand and sales plateauing due to affordability concerns, lack of infrastructure and a short-term shift towards hybrids
  • Europe’s EV sales slowing due to reductions in EV incentives, lack of affordable EV models, and consumer concerns about insufficient chargers

The US and Europe are expected to see slowing electric vehicle (EV) demand and sales in the near-term while China is set to experience steady growth, according to the latest EY Mobility Lens Forecaster, an artificial intelligence (AI) -powered forecasting tool that provides an outlook for volumes of light vehicle registrations through to 2050.

In the US, high interest rates, inadequate charging infrastructure and uncertain economic conditions have fueled affordability and range concerns, resulting in a slowdown in EV sales, although this is expected to plateau in the near-term. Europe is being impacted by high prices, economic uncertainty and inadequate infrastructure, slowing electric vehicle (EV) adoption. While other parts of the world are experiencing an EV slowdown, China remains on course for growth with battery electric vehicle (BEV) set to make up more than 50% of all sales by 2030 – two years faster than previously suggested by forecasts. Despite the current EV sales slowdown in the US and Europe, long-term forecasts remain unchanged with an expectation of BEVs making up 50% of sales by 2030 in Europe and 2033 in the US.

Despite delayed government targets and uncertainty about EV policies beyond the forthcoming US presidential election, the optimistic forecast for the US sees more locally produced EVs pushing up sales, which would be supported by import restrictions of non-US manufactured products. Equally, the forecast shows that Chinese automakers will have to face a tightening of trade policies by the EU and US imposing stricter sanctions on EV imports, which would result in a decline in Chinese export sales. In this scenario, Chinese EV manufacturers will have to deal with with high tariff barriers and would have to reassess and adapt their EV expansion strategies.

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Martin Cardell, EY Global Mobility Solutions Leader, says:

The current global EV marketplace is mired with a lot of uncertainty around economic prospects, varying regulations across markets, consumer anxiety and lagging infrastructure build-up. The result has been a plateau in EV sales in the US and Europe. Meanwhile, in China – where is there is more certainty in regulation, incentives and infrastructure – we continue to see steady EV growth and we expect to see BEVs become the majority vehicle type two years earlier than previously predicted. We view the current headwinds that EV sales are experiencing in the US and Europe as short-term in nature. The buildup of charging infrastructure, availability of affordable EV models with a fall in battery prices combined with government regulations will drive sustainable BEV growth in the long run.

EVs are the future. Our numbers bear that out. Current challenges will be overcome by the industry and government, and EVs will regain momentum and will ultimately dominate the automotive market.


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