The International Energy Agency, which compiles figures on EV production, said global growth in EV sales last year was mainly driven by China. “More vehicles were sold in China in 2021 (3.3 million) than in the entire world in 2020,” added the agency.
Europe accounted for around 630,000 of sales.
BYD has also overtaken LG, the South Korean industrial conglomerate, as the world’s largest maker of batteries for EVs, according to the Financial Times. The Chinese automaker’s Hong Kong-traded shares have grown 35 per cent over the past year, nearing a market cap of 1 trillion yuan ($220 billion). Tesla’s share price is down around 35 per cent so far this year, though it has a market cap of $US706 billion ($1.04 trillion).
Elsewhere, new data showed it was the worst June for new car sales in the UK for 26 years, as continued problems with computer chip supply held back production.
Car sales fell 24 per cent to 140,958, down from 186,128 a year earlier, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Sales of all types of cars, bar battery-powered, fell. EVs grew by 16 per cent and accounted for one in six cars sold. The best-selling electric car last month was the Tesla Model Y, which sold 4,194, beaten only by the Vauxhall Corsa, which is also the most popular car of the year so far.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT chief executive, said: “The semiconductor shortage is stifling the new car market even more than last year’s lockdown.
“Electric vehicle demand continues to be the one bright spot… but while this growth is welcome it is not yet enough to offset weak overall volumes.”
Low sales, together with a poor outlook for car buyers’ finances are likely to make grim reading for car makers and dealers, said Jamie Hamilton, automotive partner and head of EVs at Deloitte. “With consumer confidence at an all-time low, real wages in decline, and record prices at the pumps, the economic headwinds are gathering,” he said.
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