Global EV Sales Up 32% YoY in Q1 2023 Driven by Price War

  • One in every seven cars sold during Q1 2023 was an EV.
  • Tesla Model Y becomes the best-selling passenger car model globally for the first time ever.
  • EV sales are expected to reach over 14.5 million units by the end of 2023.

New Delhi, London, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul – June 7, 2023

Global passenger electric vehicle* (EV) sales in Q1 2023 rose 32% YoY, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Passenger Electric Vehicle Model Sales Tracker. One in every seven cars sold during Q1 2023 was an EV. Battery EVs (BEVs) accounted for 73% of all EV sales during the quarter, while plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) made up the rest.

The US surpassed Germany to become the world’s second-largest EV market in Q1 2023 while China remained the leader. In China, EV sales experienced a remarkable 29% YoY growth, despite a 12% decline in overall sales of passenger vehicles in the country. In the US, EV sales soared over 79% YoY during the quarter. The top 10 automotive groups, encompassing 48 automotive brands, dominated the global EV market in Q1 2023, capturing three-fourths of the total global EV sales.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Research Analyst Abhik Mukherjee said, “Global EV sales were largely driven by China with 56% of total EV sales in Q1 2023 coming from this market. The elimination of the NEV purchase subsidy in China resulted in lower-than-expected EV sales in January 2023. Tesla slashed prices for its models globally in January, following which other automotive brands announced similar cuts for their car models starting in February, which led to an improvement in EV sales. During February and March, almost 40 automakers, including BYD, NIO, Xpeng, Volkswagen, BMW, MercedesBenz, Nissan, Honda and Toyota, reduced their vehicle prices by a couple of hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, which eventually stoked a competitive price war in China. Initially, it was thought that the price war would end soon and that auto OEMs would benefit from increased sales. However, as the price war continues to stretch, several automakers in China have reported reduced earnings and even losses.”

Global passenger EV Sales share Q1 2023

The top 10 EV models accounted for 37% of the total passenger EV sales in Q1 2023. Tesla’s Model Y remained the best-selling model globally followed by Tesla’s Model 3 and BYD’s Song. In Q1 2023, Tesla’s Model Y achieved the notable distinction of becoming the best-selling passenger car model worldwide, surpassing even conventional fuel vehicles.

Global passenger EV Sales model rank Q1 2023

Commenting on the market outlook, Senior Analyst Soumen Mandal said, “Although sales of the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles remained stable in Q1 2023 compared with that in the year-ago period, the significant growth in EV sales indicates a rapid transition from traditional vehicles to EVs.”

“By the end of 2023, global EV sales are expected to surpass 14.5 million units, according to our forecast. With the implementation of the EV tax credit subsidy in the US, EV sales in the country are projected to significantly increase this year. To meet the eligibility criteria for the tax credit, automotive OEMs are moving to partner with battery suppliers and establish battery manufacturing plants across North America. Consequently, the US is poised to surpass the EU in the race to build EV batteries.”

*Sales refer to wholesale figures, i.e. deliveries from factories by the respective brand/company.

*For EVs, we consider only BEVs and PHEVs. Hybrid EVs and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are not included in this study.

The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Global Passenger Electric Vehicle Sales Tracker, Q1 2018-Q1 2023’ is now available for purchase at

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Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts

Abhik Mukherjee

Soumen Mandal

Neil Shah

 Peter Richardson


 Counterpoint Research

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