In May, global sales of plug-in electric cars increased exceeded one million units for the fifth time in history.

According to EV-Volumes data, shared by Jose Pontes, some 1,057,509 new passenger plug-in electric cars were registered globally in May. That's about 50 percent more than a year ago and about 16 percent of the total market.

All-electric cars represented some 70 percent of that volume - over 720,000, which was also 11 percent of the total volume.

It's worth noting that battery-electric vehicles (BEV) are now consistently achieving about a 10 percent market share since February.

Plug-in car registrations last month:

  • BEVs: about *727,000 and 11% share
  • PHEVs: about *330,000 and 5% share
  • Total: 1,057,509 (up 50% year-over-year) and 16% share

* estimated from the market share

Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales – May 2023

So far this year, more than 4.5 million plug-in electric cars were registered around the world, which is about 14 percent of the total volume.

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

  • BEVs: about *3.26 million and 10% share
  • PHEVs: about *1.30 million and 4.0% share
  • Total: 4,558,183 (up 41% year-over-year) and roughly 14% 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 most popular plug-in model in the world in May was the Tesla Model Y, which noted more than 90,000 new registrations.

Behind the Model Y, we can see the BYD Qin Plus family (BEV and PHEV) with 42,895 units, Tesla Model 3 with 38,453 units, and the BYD Song Plus family (BEV and PHEV) with 38,056 units.

The list was dominated by Chinese products - eight out of the top ten, including five BYDs. We assume that this is a result of the Western OEMs' reluctance to develop BEVs 5-15 years ago, while the Chinese companies were pushing hard.

Top 10 for the month:

  1. Tesla Model Y - 90,489
  2. BYD Qin Plus (BEV + PHEV) - 42,895
  3. Tesla Model 3 - 38,453
  4. BYD Song Plus (BEV + PHEV) - 38,056
  5. BYD Yuan Plus (aka Atto 3) - 32,608
  6. BYD Dolphin - 30,679
  7. GAC Aion S - 23,234
  8. Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV - 20,348
  9. BYD Han  (BEV + PHEV) - 20,271
  10. GAC Aion Y - 19,310

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

After the first five months of the year, we can see the Tesla Model Y with an even bigger advantage over other models and the Tesla Model 3 racing with the BYD Song family (mostly PHEV - 87%) for second place.

The Volkswagen ID.4 is outside the top ten, at 11th position (68,818).

Brand rank

In terms of the most popular plug-in brands, BYD noted over 228,000 new registrations, far outselling any other brand. Even Tesla is almost 100,000 units behind.

Top 10 for the month:

  1. BYD - 228,094
  2. Tesla - 134,020
  3. GAC Aion - 45,016
  4. BMW - 42,393
  5. Volkswagen - 40,012
  6. SAIC-GM-Wuling - 38,276
  7. Mercedes-Benz - 29,189
  8. Li Auto - 28,277
  9. Volvo - 24,937
  10. Changan - 23,167

After the first five months, BYD remains the largest manufacturer of rechargeable cars (over 950,000 units and close to 21 percent share). BYD also expands sales of BEVs/PHEVs very fast.

Meanwhile, Tesla is the sole leader in the all-electric car category (over 670,000 units, compared to less than 490,000 BYD).

One of the most interesting things is always the relatively high position of BMW (a premium brand), but it's probably just a matter of time before others, like GAC or Volkswagen, will take over.

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