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Electric Vehicle Sales Expected to Increase 35% in 2023

More than 14 million EVs will be sold this year, according to the International Energy Agency, accounting for one in five new cars on the road.

Dan Avery Writer
Dan is a writer on CNET's How-To team. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, Architectural Digest and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.
Expertise Personal Finance, Government and Policy, Consumer Affairs
Dan Avery
2 min read
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Electric vehicles will account for one in five new cars sold in 2023, according to the International Energy Agency.

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Sales of electric vehicles are expected to increase 35% worldwide in 2023, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency, whose 42 member nations account for three-quarters of the planet's energy demand.  

Released Wednesday, the Global Electric Vehicle Outlook predicts that more than 14 million EVs will be sold by year's end, zooming past the record 10 million purchased in 2022. 

If accurate, that would mean roughly 20% of all new car sales were electric vehicles.

Read on: All the Cars That Qualify for the $7,500 Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

"Electric vehicles are one of the driving forces in the new global energy economy that is rapidly emerging," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement, "and they are bringing about a historic transformation of the car manufacturing industry worldwide."

If the trend continues, Birol added, at least 5 million fewer barrels of oil a day will be needed worldwide by 2030.
"Cars are just the first wave," he said. "Electric buses and trucks will follow soon."

Electric vehicles accounted for 14% of the global automotive market in 2022, a threefold-plus expansion from 4% in 2020. 

By far, China is leading the charge: 60% of global EV sales last year were in China, according to the report, and the country is home to more than half of all zero-emissions vehicles on the road today. Europe and the US took second and third place, respectively.

The IEA predicted electric vehicles will average 60% of total vehicle sales in those three markets by 2030.

The agency pointed to government programs -- like the tax incentives and charging-station infrastructure baked into the Biden administration's Inflation Reduction Act -- as well as prices for smaller model EVs coming down to compete with combustion-engine autos in the next few years.

The report was also optimistic about EV growth in Southeast Asia, where two- and three-wheel models are more popular. In Thailand, EV sales doubled in 2022 to reach 3% of the market share, and in India and Indonesia, they tripled to 1.5%.

"A combination of effective policies and private sector investment is likely to increase these shares in the future," the IEA said.

Read more: Electric Vehicle Tax Credit: These EVs No Longer Qualify for the $7,500 Tax Break