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December global electric vehicle sales set new record: S&P Global Platts data

Highlights

December sales see double digit year-on-year growth

New monthly record at 284,000 units sold globally

EV charging infrastructure uptake 'soaring' in EU, China

London — Sales of light duty electric vehicles saw double-digit year-on-year growth in December in China, the EU and US, breaking a record for global sales, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a report Monday.

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Global EV sales hit 284,000 units in December, the highest monthly sales to date, the figures showed.

"China, despite a retraction in their auto market, still accounted for the majority of December's global EV sales," Platts Analytics said in a statement.

"Prices of pure-electric vehicles sold in the US dropped year-on-year in December, although the declines have slowed. EV charging infrastructure uptake is soaring in the EU and China, with the US lagging," it said.

Platts Analytics' EV Essentials service collects vetted historical data to track the progression of EV sales growth, related trends, prices and impacts in key emerging auto markets around the world.

The latest figures show that the global growth rate of EVs continues at a rapid pace, but from a small base.

Global sales of passenger car EVs jumped by 63% in 2018 to top 2 million units for the first time, helped by surging sales of plug-in EVs in the US, according to data provided by EV-Volumes, S&P Global Platts reported February 4.

A total of 2.08 million plug-in EVs were delivered to customers in 2018, or 2.2% of total car sales. Of the total, 1.45 million were pure electric models, while the rest were plug-in hybrids.

At the end of 2018, some 5.3 million plug-in EVs were on the road, making up just 0.5% of the world's total light vehicle fleet, the data showed.

In November, the International Energy Agency raised its estimate for the number of electric cars on the roads in 2040, predicting the expected 300 million EVs on the roads globally in 2040 will displace 3.3 million b/d of oil demand growth.

However, some market watchers believe the IEA's forecasts on the oil demand impact of EVs are too conservative.

Platts Analytics forecasts plug-in EVs, including plug-in hybrids, will account for nearly half of global auto sales by 2040, hitting oil demand as a transport fuel and expanding the role of the electricity sector.

-- Frank Watson, frank.watson@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles, newsdesk@spglobal.com