E-Mobility Country Ranking 2023

Munich, July 2023

E-Mobility Country Ranking 2023

Munich, July 2023

n 2022, the automotive industry was hit by major supply issues due to the worldwide shortage of microchips resulting from the production disruption caused by Covid-19, as well as an energy price crisis and the return of inflation in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

OEMs and suppliers were strongly impacted by these challenges, especially in Europe, where passenger car sales were down by 28.5% compared with 2019, falling to their lowest level since 1993.

Despite the overall market decline, sales of new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have continued to grow strongly, with most of the countries in our ranking posting double-digit growth in 2022. However, sales of plug-in hybrid EVs lost momentum, beginning to decline in many European countries. On the infrastructure side, 2022 was a year of clear acceleration in the roll-out of new charging points.

Market leaders and laggards hold their positions

The positions in our latest E-mobility country ranking, based on the number of BEVs in each country’s total fleet, have not changed in most cases, compared with the previous year. The Scandinavian countries, China and the Netherlands still lead the way.

Here, we take a detailed look at the performance of the BEV market in Europe, the US and Asia, by fleet size, new vehicle sales and progress on charging infrastructure.


In northern and western Europe, as well as in China, we can now confidently say e-mobility has reached the masses. In these regions, on average every fifth car sold was a BEV at the end of 2022. By comparison, in the US, the proportion was still only one BEV for every 16 cars sold.

As Figure 1 below shows, Scandinavian countries still have the highest share of BEVs in their overall fleet, significantly above 3% in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. They continue to fight it out amongst themselves for position in the top four. The Netherlands is also a strong performer, with BEVs also accounting for more than 3% of its fleet. However, the pace of growth in the country has stagnated since 2020. 

This leading group is followed by the large western European countries – Germany ahead, followed by France and the UK, with BEVs making up between 1% and 3% of the overall fleet. Notably Portugal, which is outperforming its southern European neighbors, joins this group. Italy and Spain, along with most eastern European nations, remain at less than 0.5%.

Outside Europe, China ranks highest. The country’s BEV quota is 3.3% of the total fleet, putting it close to Scandinavian countries as a leading performer. The US however, continues to lag behind in 18th place, with a BEV share of 0.8%. Inevitably, there are significant variations within the country – California alone would rank alongside the western European cluster, with a quota of 2.7%.

Japan closes out the ranking with the lowest share of BEVs. E-mobility is not a priority for many of the country’s carmakers, especially Toyota, which has focused for many years on developing its hybrid technology. The policy landscape is also different in Japan, compared with Europe and the US – the Japanese government plans to phase out combustion engine vehicles, but will still allow the sale of hybrids.

Figure 1:

Share of BEV in the fleet in 2022, by country
(in %)

Source: Berylls Strategy Advisors

New vehicle sales

Scandinavian countries come out on top in sales of new BEVs, as well as in the overall share of fleet (Figure 2). Norway reached its highest ever result, with BEVs making up close to 80% of new vehicles sold. Other Scandinavian countries are not at such high proportions, but still show strong growth rates, with BEVs accounting for between 18% and 33% of new vehicle sales, and an overall xEV share (including BEVs and PHEVs) of 38% to 56%. Finland has lagged its Scandinavian neighbors so far, but BEVs accounted for 31.4% of new vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2023, a progression of 124% compared to the first quarter of 2022.

In the Netherlands, new BEV sales also grew strongly in the first quarter of 2023, after stagnating for the past two to three years. The country has been among the leaders in our overall ranking by share of fleet since 2019, but growth in sales of new BEVs cooled from 2020 until this year. The country is back on the fast track, which confirms that this situation was cyclical, due to the pandemic and chip shortages, rather than a long-term trend.

China comes next, with sales of new BEVs growing faster than in the large western European markets of Germany, the UK and France. China has strongly backed the development of its domestic BEV industry, with Chinese companies now controlling the whole supply chain, from raw materials for battery making to vehicle software, and government support in financing the industry.  As a result, Chinese OEMs are now producing BEVs at scale, and much more cost-competitively than in countries with strong traditional automotive industries.

Their success is clear to see. For the first time, electric vehicle maker BYD has this year overtaken Volkswagen as the biggest carmaker in China, a position the German OEM held for decades. In a further sign of the way the market is changing, Tesla is the only western OEM with a vehicle in the top 10 best-selling BEVs in China.

In the US, BEV sales also show good rates of growth, but from a low base, meaning the absolute numbers are still relatively low. The share of BEVs among new vehicles sales is 5.8%, which is lower than Romania’s, at 8%, but still higher than Italy or Spain, at around 4%. California is the major growth driver, with BEVs making up 15.9% of new vehicle sales, putting the state between the proportions seen in France and Germany. Sales are also increasing fast along the rest of the Pacific coast, and in states in the northeast such as New York. 

Sales are still struggling in other parts of the US, but we expect the incentives offered by the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, as well commitments by established US automakers including Ford and GM to focus on EVs, will drive growth. We expect more than 30 million EVs will have been sold in the US by 2030, when the country will be the biggest single market after China.  

Closer to the bottom of the growth chart, southern and eastern European countries still lag behind. Italy and Spain are both automaking countries, with respectively the third and fourth largest populations in Europe. BEVs accounted for 3.7% of new vehicle sales in Italy and 3.8% in Spain. As EU member states, both countries will be obliged to halt the sale of combustion engine cars (with an exemption for e-fuel vehicles which we expect to have little overall effect) from 2035 onwards. For both markets, that currently looks tough to achieve.

Figure 2:

Evolution of BEV share in new sales, by country
(in %)

Source: Berylls Strategy Advisors

In focus: Peak PHEV?

Although our study focuses on BEV sales, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have been an important part of the EV transition in many countries covered by our research. As Figure 3 below shows, the share of new PHEV sales has declined in the last year in many countries, particularly in Scandinavia but also France and the UK.

In Germany, PHEV sales were still 11% higher in 2022 compared with the previous year, but subsidies for privately owned cars (although not company cars) were phased out in January 2023. As a result, PHEV sales have dropped dramatically in the first quarter of 2023, and we expect that this trend will continue.

In the US, PHEVs continue to play no role, with very low sales figures, and no sign of interest from the customer side.

However, in China last year, the opposite was the case, which is something of a surprise. There was a strong increase of more than 160% in the share of PHEVs among new vehicle sales in 2022.

Figure 3:

Evolution of PHEV share in new sales, by country
(in %)

Source: Berylls Strategy Advisors 

Charging network

Concern among drivers over access to charging points, either close to home or on long cross-country trips, remains one of the key blocks to EV adoption, along with the relatively high price of vehicles. For this reason, our study also assesses the expansion of both AC and high-speed DC charging infrastructure, as well as the ratio of BEVs to charging points and fast charging coverage.

The results show that the majority of countries continue to rapidly expand their public DC charging network, with growth figures of more than 40% worldwide. The frontrunner here is China, which has successfully balanced the growth of its BEV fleet and balanced the ratio of BEVs to DC chargers.

There is an important caveat however, which is that most DC charging points in China offer less than 60 kilowatts (kW) of power, which is relatively low. It is enough to charge a BEV for 100km of driving in about 20 minutes, but too slow for long-distance trips. There are also planning issues, with charging points sometimes located in places with little traffic, including some installed in pedestrianized areas.

Western European countries including France and Germany improved their charging network significantly in 2022 (Figure 4), especially their fast-charging DC network (Figure 5). Both countries invested heavily in expansion last year, with France increasing the number of public chargers by more than 50%. The number of fast chargers more than doubled in the country. This was the result of incentives being put in place, and a political will to reach a target of 100,000 chargers by the end of 2022. Although France missed that, the target was reached in May 2023.

Germany is not to be outdone since the country, and launched the program “Deutschlandnetz” to push ahead with developing a public long-distance fast charging network along federal roads and highways. This program helped the charging network to grow by 45% in 2022 compared to the previous year, and it will be expanded further in 2023.

Interestingly, Spain and Italy have been more successful at developing their charging infrastructure than in selling electric cars, with a noticeable acceleration of the pace of new charging points available. This matters for tourism, with greater numbers of visitors coming from northern and western Europe in BEVs. Furthermore, this trend is continuing in 2023, with many operators planning to expand their networks extensively in those countries.

Charging infrastructure is where Scandinavian countries scored less highly. They were able to significantly expand their BEV fleets, but not their infrastructure to the same extent. The increase in the BEV-to-charger ratio was largely the result of high BEV sales however, as the number of charging points installed in 2022 did grow faster than in previous years.

Figure 4:

Evolution of the number of chargers, by country
(in k units)

Figure 5:

In focus: Mitigating gaps in the charging infrastructure in a multi-speed Europe

Even if many drivers are still uncertain about the EV charging network (and sometimes with good reason) especially on long-distance trips, it is certainly now possible to drive through Europe in an electric car without being anxious about finding a charging point. This is the case in western Europe at least, although less so in eastern Europe (Figure 6).

EU subsidies have mostly been used to extend the network in countries where EVs have been bought, leading to pretty good coverage in the key EV markets, such as Germany (one DC charger for 28km2), France (one for 66km2) or the Netherlands (one for 8km2). However, it seems that very few projects have benefited from EU subsidies in eastern Europe. For instance, in Poland the ratio is one DC charger for more than 300km2 in Poland, and more than 450km2 in Romania, compared to the western European average of one DC charger for about 50km2.

To improve charging coverage and enable long-distance EV journeys everywhere in Europe, the EU this year introduced the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), a batch of measures to ensure, among other things, a minimum level of charging power in each country, and especially along main EU corridors. This includes a minimum of 1.3kW of charging power installed for each BEV (car or van) registered in the country, and another 0.8kW for each PHEV, as well as fast charging stations every 60km in each direction of travel across the core network (corresponding to the Trans-European Transport Network, or TEN-T) by 2025, and every 100km across the comprehensive network by 2030.

Figure 6:

Area covered by one DC fast charger in 2022, by country
(in km²)


BEV-Market is still growing

Looking at the first quarter of 2023, the share of BEVs as a proportion of all new car sales has grown significantly in almost all the countries we assessed (Figure 7), compared to the first quarter of 2022. This indicates we can expect far higher numbers of BEVs in 2023’s total new sales. However, with some countries still lagging behind, the gap between leaders and laggards is also growing.

All Scandinavian countries are now following Norway on the route towards zero-emission mobility, with 4 to 5 years delay. This includes Finland, as well as Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, after Finland grew its share of BEV sales dramatically in the first quarter of 2023, to more than 30% of passenger car sales. We expect all Scandinavian countries to go beyond a 30% BEV share in 2023, and to reach more than 80% in 2030.

The major western European countries of Germany, France and the UK are also moving forward, but at a slower pace. They are expected to remain in the 15 to 20% range of BEV sales in 2023. Looking at 2030, we expect about 2 out of 3 new cars sold in those countries to be a BEV.

China’s BEV share in new vehicle sales is also growing further, supported by its domestic automotive and battery industries, although more slowly than expected so far this year (15% higher in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022). The country should still reach a BEV share of 20 to 25% of new vehicle sales in 2023, and about 75% of new passenger vehicles are expected to be all-electric by 2030.

The US is finally taking off as a BEV market after long years of stagnation outside of California. New policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the need for its home industry to adapt to the BEV trend to meet customer demand in China and the EU, are fueling the transformation of the American automotive industry. As an illustration of this trend, major US carmakers have electrified some iconic models, including the Ford F-150, with a great success. We expect the overall BEV share of new car sales in 2023 will remain in single digits, but by the end of the decade, we can reasonably expect a BEV share of about 50%.

Finally, Spain and Italy, two major EU countries with large local automotive industries, are still lagging behind with no sign of change, at least in 2023. But in light of the need for carbon dioxide emission compliance with the EU’s rules by 2030 (43g/km per vehicle sold in NEDC values) and the level of penalties for exceeding this limit (95€/g per vehicle sold), we expect those countries to start catching up and reach at least a 60% BEV share by 2030.

Figure 7:

Evolution of BEV share in new sales, by country 
(in %)

Source: Berylls Strategy Advisors

PHEV decline in Europe has begun

Demand for PHEVs lost momentum in Europe in the first quarter of 2023 (Figure 8), confirming a trend that began in 2022, and with no sign of improvement in sight. This is particularly true in Scandinavia, where the transition from PHEVs to BEVs is strengthening. In Germany, as expected with the phase-out of incentives for PHEVs as private cars, the share of this engine technology among new car sales has collapsed, losing about half of its volume compared with the same quarter a year ago. This shows how strongly related to transitional incentives demand for this technology is.

Since Germany and the Nordics were among the biggest markets for PHEVs, we can expect the share overall to slowly decline in Europe in the coming years, and to account for a marginal share of new vehicle sales by 2030.

Interestingly, PHEV sales are flourishing this year in China (up 83% compared to Q1 2022), partly due to the phase-out of subsidies for BEVs at the end of 2022, and a large choice of vehicles, including electric cars with  range extenders. But we do not expect this trend to last long since most of Chinese OEMs (including traditional ones) are slowly moving away from ICE and unveiling numerous BEV models. As in Europe, PHEVs are likely to represent a marginal share of new vehicle sales in China by 2030.

Figure 8:

Evolution of PHEV share in new sales, by country
(in %)

Source: Berylls Strategy Advisors

Infrastructure development gradually fills gaps on long-distance axis

Western European countries are pursuing the development of EV charging infrastructure at a fast pace, although it remains slower than BEV sales development. But that does not mean that a lack of charging points will be a risk in the future. Indeed, the public charging network has grown significantly over the last few years, ahead of the boom in BEV sales, and private charging is expected to develop even faster. This will be the case for single houses and multi-party housing with private parking in particular, which together represent a significant share of European residential property. This trend also explains why governments in Europe are focusing a large share of their investments on inner-city charging points and fast chargers along main travel corridors. On the last point, private operators have plans to expand their fast charging networks dramatically in the next few years, encouraged by very good results in 2022, and the expectation the business model will be profitable very soon.

Germany offers a concrete illustration of this ongoing development. The country continues to invest heavily in its charging network, with government plans out to 2030 and a target of having one million chargers installed by then. This would represent a tenfold increase compared to the current number. Even if this is very ambitious target, it will definitely boost the BEV sector, and we expect Germany to reach at least half a million chargers by 2030. The main developments will be on long-distance axis roads (with high power chargers) and in inner cities (with AC chargers), where there is a lack of supply today.

Other western European countries are likely to follow the same route as Germany, with a fivefold increase in EV chargers expected by 2030, and a special focus on long-distance axis roads and cities.

Eastern European countries, however, will start almost from scratch, and will develop as a priority high power chargers for their long-distance network, to comply with the new European AFIR regulation. City networks, composed of AC chargers, are also expected to grow significantly, though at a slower pace since AFIR targets are proportional to the BEV fleet registered in each country.

China’s charging network is already well-developed compared to its European peers, and is expected to further expand to meet upcoming demand. But this network is also the result of the fact that most Chinese people live in large metropolitan areas, in large multi-party housing developments, and have very few opportunities to install a private charger. As a result, Chinese EV drivers have different charging patterns to their European counterparts, and require many more public chargers, which the government and the regions are partly financing. By 2030, we expect China to have more than 5 million public chargers within its borders.

In the US, the charging network is also expected to grow significantly, to more than half a million chargers by 2030. However, charging patterns in the US are quite different from Europe or China. With most people living in single houses or small apartment blocks, outside of city centers, most of the demand for chargers is also outside cities, either on long-distance trips or at destinations (for instance at the mall). This will lead the country to continue to massively invest in charging points on highways (high power chargers) and in the most popular destination areas (AC chargers).

Dr. Alexander Timmer


Henri Parisy

Senior Consultant

Dr. Alexander Timmer

Dr. Alexander Timmer (1981) joined the Berylls Group, an international strategy consultancy specializing in the automotive industry, as a partner in May 2021. He is an expert in innovation and market entry strategies and can look back on many years of experience in the operations environment.
Dr. Alexander Timmer has been advising automotive manufacturers and suppliers in a global context since 2012. He has in-depth expert knowledge in the areas of portfolio planning, development and production. His other areas of expertise include digitalization and the complex of topics surrounding electromobility.
Prior to joining Berylls Strategy Advisors, he worked for Booz & Company and PwC Strategy&, among others, as a member of the management team in North America, Asia and Europe.
After studying mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University and Chalmers University in Gothenburg, he earned his doctorate in manufacturing technologies at the Machine Tool Laboratory of RWTH Aachen University.