It’s Monday, January 30, and one-tenth of the cars sold last year were EVs.

An MG 4 full electric compact hatchback car at the Brussels Expo on January 13, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.

Nearly 1 out of every 10 new cars sold globally last year was an electric vehicle, according to a recent analysis from the research groups LMC Automotive and EV-Volumes.com. The number is a major milestone for EVs, which are gaining traction around the world as governments begin to envision — and codify — a future without the internal combustion engine.

China led the world, both in the number of EVs sold — roughly 5 million out of a global total of 7.8 million — and in the fraction of its vehicle sales that were fully electric, 19 percent. Europe sold some 1.5 million fully electric EVs, making up 11 percent of its total new vehicle sales.

In the United States, less than 6 percent of new cars sold in 2022 were fully electric vehicles, putting the country significantly behind Europe and China. But that’s still nearly double the fraction of EV sales the U.S. saw in 2021.

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Globally, the total number of EVs sold in 2022 jumped 68 percent over 2021 numbers. That rise is even more impressive considering the auto market’s overall decline in 2022: New car sales fell by about 1 percent last year, in part due to supply chain disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine. According to the Wall Street Journal, the automakers Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW each saw EV sales double last year despite decreases in the total number of cars they sold.

Most of the new EVs sold in 2022 were Teslas — especially in the U.S., where they accounted for 65 percent of total sales. But other companies are gaining ground. Seeing EVs as a major opportunity for growth in the coming decades, automakers like Ford and Hyundai have recently released or announced new EV models, including electric SUVs and pickup trucks that are popular among American customers.

To continue their growth trajectory, experts say carmakers will need to contend with rising prices for minerals used in EV batteries, like lithium.

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