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No. Electric car sales have not “collapsed” at the start of 2023

In recent weeks we are seeing quite apocalyptic news about the decline in sales of electric cars in the world. Words like collapse or sinking are filling the front pages of many newspapers, mainly the German ones. But the reality is that despite the usual drop in sales in January, global registrations continue to grow in a scenario where combustion models are seeing how their deliveries are cut.

For example, the prestigious German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine launched an article this past Monday with the headline “A dramatic collapse in the electric car market.”

It indicates that global sales of electric cars fell by almost half at the beginning of the year. «In January only 662,000 electric and plug-in hybrids were sold worldwide, a drop of 48% compared to December«.

But as we know, comparisons between months are not reliable or correct, mainly when comparing Decembera closing month of the year that traditionally represents a sales peak in the year, with januarythe month with the least registrations.

If we look at the year-on-year figures, we see that global electric sales have grown by 9%. A curious way of “sink or collapse”.

Despite everything, there is a small slowdown. The reasons for this lower growth can be found as usual, in the changes in the aid programs for the purchase of this type of vehiclewhich usually causes precisely a buying fever in the last part of the year, and a drought at the beginning of the next.

But it will be necessary to wait at least until the end of the first semester to draw conclusions and know if 2023 will be a worse or better year than 2022.

China continues to soar

this is the BYD Seagull. The most promising Chinese low cost electric car

Although the highest growth rate at this start of the year is for the United States, with 65% more registrations, its volume is still much lower than Europe or the current benchmark, China.

There the market has seen how February rebounded violently after a weak January, and in this way last month according to preliminary data, 438,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars have been registered in the Chinese market.

This translates into a growth of 59% compared to the same period last year, and since the big media like monthly growth figures, 32% more than the month of January 2023. Numbers that show accumulated sales in the first two months of the year up to 770,000 units. 23% more than last year at this point.

Figures that also occur at the gates of the international expansion of brands such as BYD. What will be the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars this year has begun to establish itself outside its native market, where until now it has concentrated practically all of its sales.

A strategy that other Chinese groups are following, and to which will be added the constant increase in production of brands already established globally, such as Tesla, Volkswagen and the rest of the big manufacturers.


And why such pessimistic headlines? Well, the answer may be a campaign by the German, French and Italian automobile groups, which seek to blow up the EU initiative to face the transition to electric cars with new emission standards, and with the ban on the sale of motorized cars. combustion in 2035.

Some rules that should be ratified by the European Council this weekbut which have been postponed due to pressure from the German, French and Italian governments, which seek to make the new regulations more flexible and continue to speed up diesel and gasoline engines until the last second.

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