A look at the growing interest in electric cars around the world

Electric cars are becoming more widely known and consumer interest is growing. Let’s take a look at the recent developments in some countries around the world which show that the demand for electric cars is growing quite well.

Let’s start in South Africa, where there are no incentives for electric vehicles and the choice of electric vehicles is limited. Sales of electric vehicles have been slow due to the limited number of models and the high import duties and taxes levied on electric vehicles. Despite all these obstacles, interest in electric vehicles continues to grow. Recently, Volvo introduced a limited number of XC40 P6 Recharge electric vehicles in South Africa. Only 25 units were available, but they sold out in less than 24 hours! The Volvo XC40 P6 recharge starts at R1,075,000 ($62,000) and was sold exclusively online. Last year, Volvo presented the XC40 P8 Recharge, and the first units were also purchased very quickly.

25 units sold in one day is a big deal for a $62,000 vehicle in a market that had been quite slow. A recent survey showed that more South Africans would go electric if there was an electric vehicle priced at around $30,000. At the end of last year, the BMW iX landed with a bang, selling 63 units in about 2 months. In fact, the entire initial allocation for South Africa was also quickly exhausted. To put that into perspective, only 92 BEVs were sold in the whole of 2020 in South Africa. These are high end vehicles that get decent sales figures, now imagine what would happen if an affordable electric vehicle such as the magnificent MG4 were introduced to the South African market? The floodgates would surely open.

Let’s look now Australia, another market that didn’t have many early incentives and where EV sales have also been slow to take off. In July of this year, The conduit reported that Hyundai Australia quickly sold out its latest IONIQ 5 offering in just 14 minutes! There were only 111 units available and over 1,100 potential customers were online hoping to get one. 9,680 electric vehicles were sold in Australia in the first half of 2022, 50% of which were Teslas. These figures would be much higher if it were not for the fact that this market lacks vehicles, as most models only arrive in limited numbers.

In the UK, reports indicate that MG has sold over half of its 2022 allocation of the gorgeous new MG4 before a single car has been delivered! SAIC had planned to offer 2000 units this year and already 1000 were sold in just 2 weeks. Looks like SAIC needs to ramp up MG4 production and exports ASAP! The cumulative number of electric vehicles sold so far in the UK recently passed half a million, which is quite impressive in an environment also characterized by supply constraints.

In China, electric vehicle sales have exploded and China has led the way in terms of sales volumes globally. Electric car sales accounted for 28% of auto sales in July. To give a picture of the quality of China’s EV market, the UK just passed the 500,000 all-time sales mark, and 500,000 is the number of NEVs sold in China in just a month (July 2022). 505,000 NEV registrations were recorded in China in July. 368,000 of these were fully battery-electric vehicles. The others were plug-in hybrids.

Several highly anticipated electric cars have just been introduced to the Chinese market. One of these designs is the BYD seal. Some reports indicate that the BYD Seal received over 100,000 orders in less than two months before deliveries even began. Deliveries of the BYD seal began last month. The standard version of this all-electric sedan has a 150 kW motor, 61.4 kWh battery and starts from $33,000 in China. Another highly anticipated car is the Wuling Mini EV Cabrio. After the success of the game-changing Wuling Mini EV which sold over 700,000 units in China in about 2 years, the Mini EV Cabrio also seems to be a resounding success. GM Authority reports that the Wuling Mini EV Cabrio got 100,000 registrations in just 72 hours!

This is only a snapshot of the level of interest in certain markets. As more electric vehicles come to market and become more affordable, the market share of electric vehicles will grow much faster than most had anticipated. In the not too distant future, electric cars will be so common that they will simply be called cars.

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