The global electric vehicle (EV) market sales in the first quarter far outperformed expectations although many EV automakers increased the prices of their models in response to rising raw material costs. However, coupled with lockdowns in some regions in China due to its Zero-Covid policy, this exacerbated supply chain constraints and weakened April sales prospects. According to Researcher and Research LLC, the global EV market sold 540,952 units in April 2022, with a year on year (YoY) growth of 29.0% and a month on month (MoM) decline of 33.0%. The proportions of battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) were 69.8% and 30.2%, respectively, compared with 66.0% and 34.0% of the same period last year, BEV showed a slight growth.

 

Sales units of the global top 10 EV sales countries in April 2021 vs April 2022

Figure 1  Sales units of the global top 10 EV sales countries in April 2021 vs April 2022

 

China, the US, Germany, France, the UK, Sweden, South Korea, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands were the global top 10 EV sales countries in April, as shown in figure 1. Compared with the same period last year, South Korea recorded the highest annual growth of 536.1%, followed by China with 63.1% and the Netherlands with 43.3%. At the same time, only Italy, Norway, and Germany showed declines, down 25.6%, 22.3%, and 13.6%, respectively. Compared with this March, the US had the least drop, down by just 1.9%, followed by South Korea at 17.9% and the Netherlands at 18.8%. The sharpest declines were in the UK, Norway, and China, with 65.0%, 45.2%, and 37.5%, respectively.

 

Sales units of the global top 10 BEV sales countries in April 2021 vs April 2022

Figure 2  Sales units of the global top 10 BEV sales countries in April 2021 vs April 2022

 

China, the US, Germany, the UK, France, South Korea, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and the Netherlands were the global top 10 BEV sales countries in April, as shown in figure 2. Compared with the same period last year, South Korea posted the highest annual growth rate of 625.5%, followed by the Netherlands at 85.8%, the US at 55.0%, and China at 50.6%.

 

Changes in EV and BEV penetration rates of the global top 10 EV sales countries, April 2021 vs April 2022

Figure 3  Changes in EV and BEV penetration rates of the global top 10 EV sales countries, April 2021 vs April 2022

 

Norway had the highest EV and BEV penetration rates globally at 84.2% and 74.1%, respectively. In contrast, the US saw the lowest EV penetration at 5.8% in the global top 10 EV sales countries, while Italy had the lowest BEV penetration at 3.1%, as shown in figure 3. Compared with the same period last year, the countries with the highest growth in EV penetration were China, South Korea, and the Netherlands, while those in BEV penetration were Norway, China, and South Korea.

The Zero-Covid policy in China exacerbated supply chain constraints, making April the weakest month for EV sales this year. We expect that the monthly sales will gradually increase since May, but the sales units in the second quarter are difficult to surpass in the first quarter, so it will be the lowest quarter of the year. With subsidies and policy support from governments, the market outlook for the second half of the year can still be expected. We maintain our previous estimate for the 2022 global EV market at 10.702 million units, representing an annual growth rate of 67.5%.

 

 

Note:

Researcher and Research here defines EV as battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), with passenger car as the primary purpose.