March 2023 was the second-best month for plug-in electric car sales around the world, with volume noticeably above 1 million units.

According to EV-Volumes data, shared by Jose Pontes, some 1,097,196 new passenger plug-in electric cars were registered globally in March. That's about 28 percent more than a year ago and about 16 percent of the total market.

One of the most important things is that all-electric car registrations improved to well over 800,000 (12 percent share) and soon might be above one million units alone, without even adding plug-in hybrids.

Non-rechargeable hybrids also noted more than one million units (for the first time ever in a single month) - 1,000,004 according to the report.

Plug-in car registrations:

  • BEVs: about *823,000 and 12% share
  • PHEVs: about *274,000 and 4% share
  • Total: 1,097,196 (up 28% year-over-year) and 16% share

* estimated from the market share

Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales – March 2023

During the first three months of the year, more than 2.5 million plug-in electric cars were registered around the world, which is about 13 percent of the total volume.

Plug-in car registrations year-to-date in 2023:

  • BEVs: about *1.84 million and 9% share
  • PHEVs: about *0.73 million and 4% share
  • Total: 2,569,127 (up 29% year-over-year) and roughly 13% share

* estimated from the market share

For reference, in 2022, more than 10 million new passenger plug-in electric cars were registered globally for the very first time.

Model rank

The Tesla Model Y achieved a spectacular new monthly sales record of 145,306 new registrations (the best result ever for any all-electric car).

Not only that, the Tesla Model Y was the best-selling car of any kind, regardless of powertrain, ahead of models such as the Toyota Corolla or Toyota RAV4.

The report says that it's not yet certain whether the Tesla Model Y is #1 also in the first quarter (collecting data from all markets is difficult), but even if not, then maybe in some of the next quarters this milestone will be achieved.

Interestingly, the Tesla Model 3 (57,581) was the second best, followed by four BYD models (counting BEV and PHEV versions together).

Top 10 for the month:

  1. Tesla Model Y - 145,306
  2. Tesla Model 3 - 57,581
  3. BYD Song Plus (BEV + PHEV) - 40,388
  4. BYD Qin Plus (BEV + PHEV) - 40,233
  5. BYD Yuan Plus (aka Atto 3) - 38,851
  6. BYD Dolphin - 30,290
  7. GAC Aion S - 26,393
  8. Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV - 23,160
  9. Volkswagen ID.4 - 15,530
  10. BYD Han (BEV + PHEV) - 13,923

* BEV and PHEV versions of the same models were counted together in the source.

After the first three months, we can see the Tesla Model Y far ahead of other models. The BYD Song family is the best of the rest, slightly ahead of the Tesla Model 3.

There are five BYD model families, and seven Chinese plug-ins in the top 10, which shows us how strong China is in 2023.

Brand rank

In terms of the most popular plug-in brands, this time, Tesla (207,655 units) was slightly ahead of BYD (195,484). Surprisingly, BMW (40,787) was slightly ahead of Volkswagen (40,278) and GAC (40,031).

Top 10 for the month:

  1. Tesla - 207,655
  2. BYD - 195,484
  3. BMW - 40,787
  4. Volkswagen - 40,278
  5. GAC - 40,031
  6. Mercedes-Benz - 32,639
  7. SAIC-GM-Wuling - 28,757
  8. SAIC - 26,400
  9. Volvo - 26,206
  10. Changan - 26,128

After the first three months, BYD remains the largest manufacturer of rechargeable cars with a solid advantage over Tesla. This is not expected to change, as BYD expands sales of BEVs/PHEVs faster than Tesla. Tesla, of course, is the sole leader in the all-electric car category.

Other brands were in the five digits in Q1, but in April, a few of them should be above 100,000 units.

In the next post, we will take a look at the top automotive groups.

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