SMM: it is reported that in the first half of this year, due to the novel coronavirus epidemic, car dealers were forced to close, and global new car sales fell sharply, falling back to the lowest level since the Great Recession more than a decade ago. In this context, the market performance of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and electric vehicles is completely different. In the field of electric vehicles, there are three main markets: China, Europe and North America.
First of all, let's take a look at the global sales figures. Global new car sales peaked at 22.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Last quarter, sales fell to 14.4 million, less than 2/3 of the peak.
Sales have fallen more sharply and faster this year than during the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Global new car sales fell 21.1 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with 25.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 and an even bigger decline in the second quarter. Electric vehicles still account for only 4.8% of total sales, but they performed well in the first and second quarters because of a small decline (only 15%).
In North America, the decline in electric vehicle sales exceeded the decline in internal combustion engine vehicles; in China, sales of internal combustion engine vehicles rose in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, so electric vehicle sales fell even more.
But in Europe (excluding Moldova and Liechtenstein in at least 16 major markets), sales of internal combustion engine vehicles fell the most in the first half of this year (56 per cent), but electric vehicle sales also showed the biggest increase (46 per cent).
BloombergNEF said sales of electric cars in Europe "exceeded expectations". More importantly, "the combination of new car incentive schemes, the launch of new models and carmakers' drive to meet carbon dioxide reduction targets should keep the European electric car market growing."
For the whole of 2020, sales of electric cars in Europe are likely to surpass those of last year. This is a far cry from expectations four months ago, when BloombergNEF's long-term outlook for electric vehicles predicted that sales of electric vehicles in Europe would fall 18 per cent this year compared with the same period last year.
Now the global automobile market has passed the peak of sales, and the sales of electric vehicles are still increasing. With the improvement of the market share of electric vehicles, the importance of electric vehicles to the future development of the automobile industry has been further highlighted.
Subsidies and industry policies have promoted the production and sales of electric vehicles in China, which is growing at a pace that has not been seen in other markets. This means that sales of electric cars in China are likely to rise further if the Chinese government is willing. Although the details are complicated, the overall car sales message is clear: electric vehicles will drive global new car sales growth in the next few years.
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