Global BEV Sales: China Players Surge Ahead, Despite Roadblocks

  • Global battery EV (BEV) sales grew 29% YoY in Q3 2023.
  • In the US, OEMs manufactured more EVs than they sold, leading to an inventory glut.
  • Global BEV sales are expected to reach almost 10 million units in 2023.

Seoul, Beijing, Boston, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, New Delhi, San Diego – December 18, 2023

Driven by Europe and the expanding Southeast Asia market, global passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) unit sales increased by 29% YoY in Q3 2023, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Global Passenger Electric Vehicle Model Sales Tracker. Although China maintained its position as the top global market for BEVs, the country’s sales struggled to recover their momentum due to a weakening economic outlook and intense price competition. During Q3, China’s BEV sales grew only 11%, below the global average. Nevertheless, Chinese brands successfully sold over 0.13 million BEVs abroad, marking a fourfold increase compared to Q3 2022. Tesla, BYD Auto and Volkswagen AG were the top-selling BEV groups. BYD Auto (excluding Denza) has caught up with Tesla and is expected to surpass it in Q4 to lead globally.

A chart showing Global Passenger BEV Auto Group Sales Share in Q3 2023

Commenting on market dynamics, Senior Analyst Soumen Mandal said, “China still holds 58% of the global BEV market, with the US taking around 12%. Germany, the third-biggest BEV market, also grew more than 60% annually. BEV adoption is also rising in emerging economies like India and Southeast Asia due to the availability of affordable options. Throughout 2023, the US market expanded significantly. But despite the US BEV sales growing by 63% YoY in Q3, several automakers are cutting back on EV related expenses as customers are unwilling to pay extra for BEVs over internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrid alternatives. Ford has decided to postpone its $12-billion investment for EVs. Similarly, GM has decided to deaccelerate its EV production and delay the launch of new EV models. GM has also scrapped the plan to manufacture affordable EVs (below $30,000) with Honda.”

The top 5 BEV models globally in Q3 2023

Discussing the market outlook, Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “Annual BEV sales are expected to reach almost 10 million in 2023. Despite falling below automakers’ expectations, BEV sales in the US are projected to surpass 50% YoY growth. The decreasing cost of lithium-ion batteries together with the development of low-cost alternative battery chemistries will help the affordability of BEVs. Both Europe and the US are expected to maintain substantial investments in securing access to essential minerals for BEVs, thereby reducing dependence on China. To counter China’s influence in Western auto markets, the European Union has launched an anti-subsidy probe on China-made BEVs. The influx of low-cost BEVs from China has been adversely affecting Europe’s domestic automakers. This underlines the growing competitiveness in the BEV market, which is expected to intensify further.”


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.

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