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ORANIENBURG: A customer uses a charging station for electric cars of the city’s municipal energy supplier in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, Germany.- AFP
ORANIENBURG: A customer uses a charging station for electric cars of the city’s municipal energy supplier in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, Germany.- AFP
Electric car sales expected to break another record

PARIS: Sales of electric cars are surging and expected to break another record in 2024, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday, with China a big market for that growing demand. In its annual report on the sector, the Paris-based IEA said the world’s electric car fleet continued to “grow strongly” although momentum was greater in some markets than others. “Rather than tapering off, the global EV revolution appears to be gearing up for a new phase of growth,” said IEA director Fatih Birol. “The wave of investment in battery manufacturing suggests the EV supply chain is advancing to meet automakers’ ambitious plans for expansion. As a result, the share of EVs on the roads is expected to continue to climb rapidly.”

Lower profit margins, volatile prices for battery raw materials, high inflation, and the end of subsidy programs for EV purchases in some countries had fuelled concern about the sector’s growth. This weaker outlook was mainly in Europe, the IEA said, although noting that electric cars were still forecast to represent about one in four vehicles sold there in 2024. China remained the world’s leading market for electric car sales, with 10 million new vehicles expected to hit the road in 2024. In the first quarter of 2024, electric car sales increased globally by another 25 percent compared with the same period in 2023.

Last year set a new record with 14 million electric cars sold. “Growth expectations for 2024 build on a record year,” the IEA said. “Electric car sales keep rising and could reach around 17 million in 2024, accounting for more than one in five cars sold worldwide.” In 2024 sales of electric vehicles are expected to account for 45 percent of all cars sold in China, 25 percent in Europe and 11 percent in the United States, the report said. Competition between manufacturers, the fall in battery and car prices, and government subsidies are driving the trend, it added.

In China, electric models are already often cheaper than their non-electric equivalents, and prices are falling as well elsewhere. The second-hand market is also growing rapidly, lowering the cost of access to electric technology. The IEA said that nearly one in three vehicles driving in China should be electric in 2030, and one in five in Europe and the United States. “This shift will have major ramifications for both the auto industry and the energy sector,” Birol said. This boom has particularly benefited Chinese manufacturers, who produce more than half the electric cars sold worldwide, yet only 10 percent of non-electric models.— AFP

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