The electric vehicle (EV) market is experiencing rapid growth, with over 14 million EVs sold worldwide in 2023, according to the latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). This represents a 35% increase from 2022, when 10.4 million EVs were sold. EVs accounted for 11% of the global passenger car market in 2023, up from 8% in 2022. The IEA attributes this growth to several factors, such as the improving cost and performance of EVs, the expanding charging infrastructure, the supportive policies and incentives from governments, and the rising consumer awareness and preference for electric mobility.
Tesla remained the undisputed leader among the EV makers, with over 1.2 million deliveries in 2023. This was a 25% increase from 2020, when Tesla delivered over 970,000 vehicles. The US-based company benefited from the strong demand for its Model Y compact SUV, the world's best-selling EV model, with over 771,000 units sold. The Model Y was followed by Tesla's Model 3 sedan, which sold over 466,000 units in 2023. The Model Y and Model 3 together accounted for over half of Tesla's total deliveries in 2023.
Tesla also expanded its global presence, with new factories in Germany and Texas starting production in late 2023. The company also launched its refreshed Model S and Model X vehicles, which featured a new interior design, a more powerful battery pack, and a faster charging speed. Tesla also introduced its Tesla Cybertruck pickup truck, attracting attention for its futuristic and unconventional design. Tesla's market share in the global EV market was 21.7% in the second quarter of 2023, making it the most valuable automaker in the world by market capitalization.
However, Tesla faced increasing competition from Chinese EV makers, collectively accounting for over half of the global EV sales in 2023. China is the largest EV market in the world, with over 6.5 million EVs sold in 2023, representing a 45% increase from 2022. China's EV market is supported by its ambitious policies to promote electric mobility, such as subsidies, quotas, standards, and regulations. China also has the world's largest and fastest-growing charging network, with over 1.8 million public charging points by the end of 2023.
China's largest EV maker, BYD, was the second-largest EV maker in the world, with over 703,000 deliveries in 2023. This was a 76% increase from 2020, when BYD delivered over 400,000 vehicles. BYD's sales were boosted by its popular Song and Yuan Plus models, which were among the top ten best-selling EV models globally. The Song is a mid-sized SUV that offers a range of over 500 km (311 miles) and a fast-charging capability. The Yuan Plus is a compact SUV that offers a range of over 400 km (249 miles) and a low price tag.
BYD also expanded its international presence, selling its vehicles in markets such as Thailand, Australia, and Sweden. BYD also partnered with Toyota to develop hybrid and electric vehicles for the Chinese market. BYD's market share in the global EV market was 16.2% in the second quarter of 2023, making it one of the most profitable automakers in China.
Another Chinese EV maker that surprised many observers was GAC Aion, which ranked third in the global EV market in the second quarter of 2023, with a market share of 6%. GAC Aion is a Guangzhou Automobile Corporation (GAC) sub-brand producing affordable, high-performance EVs. GAC Aion's flagship model is the Aion V, a mid-sized SUV with a range of over 600 km (373 miles) and a fast-charging capability. The Aion V was the sixth best-selling EV model globally, with over 250,000 units sold in 2023.
GAC Aion also launched its Aion LX and Aion Y models in 2023, which are larger and more luxurious SUVs that compete with Tesla's Model X and Model Y. GAC Aion also developed its own battery technology, called Graphene Battery, which claims to have a higher energy density, a longer lifespan, and a lower cost than conventional lithium-ion batteries. GAC Aion also partnered with Huawei to integrate its smart cockpit system, which features a large touchscreen, voice control, facial recognition, and cloud services.
Other Chinese EV makers that performed well in 2023 included SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW), NIO, Li Auto, and Xpeng. SGMW's Mini EV was the fourth best-selling EV model globally, with over 300,000 units sold in 2023. The Mini EV is a low-cost, compact city car that appeals to urban consumers. It has a range of over 100 km (62 miles) and a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). SGMW also launched its Hongguang Plus model in 2023, which is a larger and more spacious version of the Mini EV.
NIO, Li Auto, and Xpeng are premium EV makers that compete with Tesla in the Chinese market. They offer advanced features such as smart cockpit systems, autonomous driving capabilities, and battery-swapping services. NIO's sales were boosted by its EC6 and ET7 models, which are coupe-style SUVs and sedans that offer a range of over 700 km (435 miles) and a high-performance powertrain. Li Auto's sales were supported by its ONE model, an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) that can run on electricity and gasoline. Xpeng's sales were enhanced by its P7 model, a sedan offering a range of over 700 km (435 miles) and a self-driving system.
Besides Chinese EV makers, some traditional automakers also increased their EV sales and market share in 2023. Volkswagen was the fourth-largest EV maker globally in the second quarter of 2023, with a market share of 5.8%. Volkswagen's sales were driven by its ID series of EVs, especially the ID.4 compact SUV, which was the fifth best-selling EV model globally, with over 280,000 units sold in 2023. Volkswagen also launched its Volkswagen ID.6 mid-sized SUV and Volkswagen ID.Buzz electric van in 2023, which are based on its modular electric platform (MEB).
Traditional automakers that improved their EV performance in 2023 included Hyundai-Kia, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Nissan, and Toyota. Hyundai-Kia's sales were boosted by its Ioniq series of EVs and its Kona and Niro models. The Ioniq series consists of three models: the Ioniq 5, which is a retro-styled crossover; the Ioniq 6, which is a sleek sedan; and the Ioniq 7, which is a large SUV. BMW's sales were supported by its iX3 and iX SUVs and its i4 sedan. The iX3 and iX are based on BMW's existing X3 and X5 models but with an electric powertrain. The i4 is based on BMW's popular 4 Series model but with an electric motor.
Reand an alternative opinion here: Tesla Loses Its Crown as the World's Top Electric Car Maker in 2023.