Global EV Sales Hit Record 1.5+ Million In December 2023

In December, global registrations of plug-in electric cars reached another all-time record, although the growth rate barely outpaced the overall car market.

According to EV-Volumes data, shared by researcher Jose Pontes, 1,556,728 new passenger plug-in electric cars were registered globally in December (about 23% more than a year ago). The previous record of 1,385,104 was set in November. The market share amounted to roughly 22% (compared to 21% a year ago).

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Global EV sales record

More than 13.6 million plug-in electric cars were registered around the world in 2023. That’s about 16% of all car registrations.

All-electric car registrations increased roughly 20% year-over-year in December, exceeding 1 million units for the very first time. However, the market share of 15% remains basically the same as in December 2022.

Plug-in hybrid car registrations increased by some 31% to over 470,000, we estimate. That’s a new monthly record, in part achieved thanks to China where PHEV sales are expanding fast.

Plug-in car registrations for the month (YOY change):

  • BEVs: about *1,084,000 (up 20%) and 15% market share
  • PHEVs: about *470,000 (up 31%) and 7% market share
  • Total: 1,556,728 (up 23%) and 22% market share

* estimated

In 2023, almost 13.7 million plug-in electric cars have been registered around the world, which is 16% of the total volume (compared to 14% in 2022, 9% in 2021 and 4% in 2020). That’s the best year for rechargeable cars ever.

All-electric car registrations amounted to a record 9,493,040 (up 30% year-over-year) and 11% market share (compared to 10% in 2022 and 6.1% in 2021).

Plug-in hybrid car registrations increased faster, by 47% year-over-year to almost 4.2 million units (new record) and 5% market share.

Plug-in car registrations January-December 2023 (YOY change):

  • BEVs: about *9,493,040 (up 30%) and 11% market share
  • PHEVs: about *4,196,251 (up 47%) and 5% market share
  • Total: 13,689,291 (up 35%) and 16% market share

For reference, in 2022, more than 10 million new passenger plug-in electric cars were registered globally for the very first time.

The plug-in electric car sales expanded at a healthy rate, although their market share improved only slightly compared to 2022. That’s because the general car market also rebounded.

Model rank

The Tesla Model Y was the world’s best-selling plug-in model in December with 128,410 new registrations.

The second most popular rechargeable car nameplate is the BYD Song Plus family (when counting BEVs and PHEVs together), which achieved over 76,000 registrations in December.

The best of the rest was the Tesla Model 3 (56,896), which was also the second-best all-electric car model after the Model Y. Speaking of BEVs, the third most popular one happened to be the tiny BYD Seagull (41,012), ahead of a few other Chinese models.

Top 10 for the month:

  1. Tesla Model Y – 128,410
  2. BYD Song Plus – 76,086 (14,152 BEVs + 61,934 PHEVs) 
  3. Tesla Model 3 – 56,896
  4. BYD Qin Plus – 44,701 (15,207 BEVs + 29,494 PHEVs) 
  5. BYD Seagull – 41,012
  6. BYD Yuan Plus (aka Atto 3) – 37,707
  7. BYD Dolphin – 30,510
  8. Wuling Bingo: 27,458
  9. Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV: 25,035
  10. Aito M7: 25,545

* BEV and PHEV versions of the same models were counted together in the source.

In 2023, the Tesla Model Y was not only the world’s best-selling all-electric car (and plug-in car) but also the best-selling car overall. With more than 1.2 million new registrations, the Model Y outpaced the Toyota RAV4 (all types).

The second most popular nameplate is the BYD Song family (636,533), followed by the Tesla Model 3 (529,287), the BYD Qin family (456,306) and several Chinese all-electric cars.

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Brand rank

In terms of brands, without any surprise, BYD sold the highest number of plug-in electric cars in December (over 320,000). Tesla was with over 195,000, while the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture was third with nearly 70,000.

Top 10 for the month:

  1. BYD – 320,928
  2. Tesla – 195,265
  3. SAIC-GM-Wuling – 69,912
  4. BMW – 59,480
  5. Volkswagen – 52,042
  6. Li Auto – 50,356
  7. GAC Aion – 44,192
  8. Changan – 43,095
  9. Mercedes-Benz – 37,520
  10. Geely – 35,443

In 2023, BYD was the world’s largest brand of rechargeable cars (almost 2.9 million registrations), compared to over 1.8 million Tesla cars. However, Tesla was #1 in terms of all-electric car sales (see the comparison between the two here). BYD is also the largest carmaker in China now, surpassing Volkswagen in sales.

The rest of the industry is far behind. BMW sold some 500,000 plug-in cars in 2023, slightly more than GAC Aion, Volkswagen and SAIC-GM-Wuling.

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