Chinese-branded EVs will account for 50% of global EV sales by 2026

Tech giants will control 95% of new cars' operating systems by 2025
Chinese-branded EVs will account for 50% of global EV sales by 2026
Gartner says 2023 is the moment of truth for battery-electric vehicles

By 2026, more than 50% of EVs sold globally will be Chinese-branded automobiles, according to research and consulting firm Gartner.

“There are more than 15 Chinese companies selling EVs and many of these are smaller and much less expensive models than those sold by foreign rivals,” said Mike Ramsey, VP Analyst at Gartner. “While foreign automakers like Tesla, VW, and GM are selling a lot of EVs in China, the growth is much faster with Chinese companies,” he added.

As demand grows around the world for EVs, Chinese firms are well-situated to take advantage of the growth with good access to key minerals and battery manufacturing capacity in China. Gartner recommends that automotive CIOs focused on EVs, integrate supply chain planning and visibility software to ensure better business decisions about where key materials are sourced and ensure resiliency for key materials.

Read more: Electric vehicles finally becoming more affordable

Tech giants


Tech giants have begun to displace established automotive Tier 1 suppliers as in-vehicle software providers (e.g., Google Automotive Services and CarPlay), and are also using their ecosystems to claim a larger share of the vehicle operating system territory (e.g., Renault’s partnership with Google and VW’s partnership with Microsoft). Furthermore, several tech giants are directly involved in the development, manufacturing, and sale of cars. Foxconn, Huawei, Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Sony are all examples of this trend.

“Succeeding alone won’t be possible for a traditional OEM or supplier,” said Pacheco. “Each of them must forge partnerships with at least some digital giants if they want to remain profitable and competitive in the industry.”

EV sales

Pedro Pacheco, VP Analyst at Gartner

Moment for truth


Several factors will make 2023 a true test to the resolve of governments and the automotive industry in driving battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) forward, according to Gartner.

“2023 is the moment of truth to drive full electrification forward,” said Pedro Pacheco, VP Analyst at Gartner. “The spike in electricity prices in Europe makes BEV running costs less attractive, some countries, like the U.K., Switzerland, and Australia, are starting to introduce EV taxation. In addition, China ended electric vehicle subsidies at the beginning of 2023 and global charging infrastructure still has many coverage gaps and the average quality of service is poor.”

In addition, the sharp increase in raw material prices like lithium and nickel will inherently drive BEV costs higher, which will make it harder for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to close the price gap with internal combustion. As a result, BEV sales may grow at a considerably lower pace or stall in some markets, making investments related to BEVs take longer to achieve break even.

Gartner expects supply chain shortages in the automotive industry to continue through 2023. “More than two years after the pandemic began, carmakers still cannot forecast an end to shortages of semiconductor chips or the subsequent shortage of vehicles they can produce. They also face a short supply of key materials for BEV batteries, causing the prices of commodities to surge,” said Ramsey.

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