By GRL Team on 2024. 04. 30

Overtaken? Here’s Where EV Sales Are Outpacing Traditional Petrol Vehicles Worldwide

The heydays of petrol and diesel cars are long over. RMI research reveals that combustion car sales last peaked in 2017, with sales numbers projected to be overtaken by the number of scrapped cars by as early as next year1. Taking their place are Electric Vehicles (EVs), which have already established strongholds in Northern European and Chinese markets.

Some estimates project sales growth of more than sixfold by 2030, bringing the market share of new vehicle sales up to 86%2. That said, opinions on EVs aren’t optimistic across the board, especially since customer reservations over cost and convenience remain prevalent. Will EVs live up to their hype, or will roadblocks bring progress to a screeching halt? Let's zoom in on regional markets to find out.


Where are EVs overtaking traditional vehicles?



Norway is on track to becoming the first ever nation with more battery electric vehicles (BEVs) than traditional petrol cars by late 2024 or early 2025. Sticking true to their pledge of eliminating petrol car sales by 2025, growing the number of electric car sales from 60% to 90% between 2021 and 20243 through BEV subsidies from oil and gas profits. The Scandinavian market’s EV market has become so well established that German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen has decided to only sell electric cars in Norway from 2024 onwards. What’s more, 95% of electricity generation coming from renewable energy, making Norway a true testament to sustainability impact that can be achieved with the right governmental support4



BEVs have also breached the majority threshold in Australia, at least among medium-sized car sales that increased from 49.4% in Q1 2022 to 58.3% in Q2 20235. This healthy upward trajectory is also backed by the Australian government’s resolve to clear their unenviable reputation of being one of the only two developed nations with no fuel efficiency standards6 while also giving locals cheaper options to drive sustainably.



As a major producer of batteries, car components, and EVs themselves, China manufacturers are on track to covering 90% of their domestic market by 2030 while also contributing significantly to global distribution with competitive pricing7.


Worldwide trends and future projections

With social and economic pressure for sustainable solutions stronger than ever, developing countries such as Albania are also starting to impose fuel efficiency standards on new cars to slash carbon missions8. The market for highly-polluting vehicles can therefore be expected to continue shrinking. EVs on the other hand are projected to surpass traditional vehicle sales worldwide by 2038, hit the one billion mark by 2047, and account for 4 in 5 car sales by 20509


Challenges faced by the EV industry


UK Manufacturers risk being fined if 2024 targets not met

Despite the headways made, current EV growth numbers still fall short of lofty goals set by governments and manufacturers. For example, sales in the UK have fallen from 16.2% in 2023 to 15.2% this year even as petrol, diesel, and hybrid sales bounced back10. These numbers fall short of government imposed targets set out by the ZEV Mandate, which requires manufacturers to hit a zero-emissions car sales target of 22% this year or face a £15,000 per vehicle penalty for any non-ZEV cars sold outside of the allowance11. And with targets rising every year until 2030’s 80%, experts are warning that Value Added Tax (VAT) cuts and investment in robust charging networks will be necessary to meet yearly goals12.


Year Proportion of car sales to be zero-emissions Proportion of van sales to be zero-emissions
2024 22% 10%
2025 28% 16%
2026 33% 24%
2027 38% 34%
2028 52% 46%
2029 66% 58%
2030 80% 70%


Source: Auto Express


Growth in US market but insufficient to hit goals

Things are slightly more optimistic in the US, with EV sales hitting a new record of 300,000 in 2023. However, that number only accounted for 9% of all auto sales13, falling far short of the White House’s executive target of 50% by 203014. Surveys reveal that consumers still need more convincing to ditch gas-powered vehicles for EVs. As things stand, only 19% of U.S. drivers have expressed desire for a fully electric vehicle15. Reasons for hesitation include the perceived inconvenience with EVs’ long charging hours as well as shorter distance coverage. As things stand, the government is looking into infrastructure improvements and stimuli to overcome these market road bumps.

But as with most technologies, even those who say they will never make the switch may eventually do so. In 2000, a quarter of Americans said they never planned to buy a cellphone16. Through strategic educational campaigns, drivers can be informed about the environmental and financial benefits of making the switch, such as reductions in air pollution and the fact that EVs are cheaper than gas in all 50 American states17.

Driving into new markets has never been easier with compliance expertise on your side

Modern cars aren’t designed just for driving, but to provide a complete lived-in experience for commuters. Design systems and accessories with ease by connecting with IC vendors and Tier 1 suppliers with GRL’s Automotive Connectivity and Charging Compliance testing services. Feel free to reach out at any time to find out more.



  1. Pooja Chandak. 17 Oct 2023. Global EV Sales Set To Surpass Two-Thirds of Total Sales by 2030 — Report. EMobility+.
  2. RMI. Sep 2023. EVs to Surpass ⅔ of Global Car Sales by 2030, Putting at Risk Nearly Half of Oil Demand. Clean Technica.
  3. Ben O’Hare. 22 Aug 2022. VW will only sell EVs in Norway from 2024 onwards. Motor1.
  4. Egil Juliussen. 3 July 2022. Why Norway is Leading in BEV Adoption. EE Times.
  5. Paul Karp. 20 Apr 2023. Electric vehicle sales in Australia overtake petrol-driven cars in medium category for first time. The Guardian.
  6. Shaun Turton. 26 Mar 2024. Australia dilutes fuel efficiency standard proposal after industry pressure. Nikkei Asia.
  7. RMI. Sep 2023. EVs to Surpass ⅔ of Global Car Sales by 2030, Putting at Risk Nearly Half of Oil Demand. Clean Technica.
  8. Paul Karp and Josh Butler. 19 Apr 2023. Labor’s electric vehicle strategy promises new fuel efficiency standard and battery recycling. The Guardian.
  9. Connect4Climate. Electric car market predicted to overtake traditional vehicles.
  10. BBC. 4 April 2024. Electric cars lose share as private sales fall
  11. Chris Rosamond. 3 Jan 2024. What is the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate and what does it mean for you? Auto Express.
  12. Tristan Young. 7 Aug 2023. Electric car sales growth strong but not on target for 2024 goal.
  13. Nora Naughton and Alexa St. John. 20 Oct 2023. The auto industry overestimated EV demand this year. Now companies are scrambling. Business Insider.
  14. David Shepardson. 5 Aug 2021. President Biden wants half of all new vehicles sold to be electric by 2030, and will set out the target in an executive order. Business Insider.
  15. Shannon Osaka and Emily Guskin. 18 Sep 2023. America passed the EV ‘tipping point’ — but many buyers still want gas. The Washington Post.
  16. David W. Moore. 26 Apr 2000. Half of All Americans Own a Cellular Phone. Gallup.
  17. Michael J. Coren. 8 Aug 2023. Is it cheaper to refuel your EV battery or gas tank? We did the math in all 50 states. The Washington Post.
Published by GRL Team April 30, 2024