PARIS (dpa-AFX) - The pace of adoption of electric cars will depend on their affordability and the availability of charging points, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Growing exports of electric cars from Chinese manufacturers, which will account for more than half of all sales in 2023, could put further pressure on car prices, the IEA said in Paris on Tuesday. Chinese companies with production facilities abroad had achieved strong sales in overseas markets with more affordable models launched in 2022 and 2023. This shows that the production of electric vehicles is located in different regions than the traditional automotive industry.

In China, more than 60 percent of electric cars sold in 2023 were cheaper to buy than a corresponding combustion engine model, the IEA reported. In Europe and the USA, on the other hand, purchase prices for cars with combustion engines will remain cheaper on average, although increasing competition and better battery technologies are expected to bring prices down in the coming years.

Charging networks must grow six-fold by 2035

For growth to continue, it is crucial that the availability of public charging points keeps pace with the sales of electric vehicles, the IEA emphasized. The number of public charging points installed worldwide rose by 40 percent year-on-year in 2023. According to the energy agency's analysis, charging networks will need to grow six-fold by 2035 in order to achieve the penetration of electric vehicles that governments are aiming for.

Last year, global sales of electric cars rose by 35% to almost 14 million, according to IEA figures. Sales of around 17 million electric cars are expected for 2024. "The continued momentum for electric cars is clear from our data, even if it is stronger in some markets than others," said IEA Director Fatih Birol. "The wave of investment in battery manufacturing suggests that the electric vehicle supply chain is making progress to meet automakers' ambitious expansion plans," Birol said. "This shift will have a significant impact on both the automotive industry and the energy sector."/evs/DP/mis