The US overtook Germany as the world's second-largest EV market in the first quarter, while China remained in the lead, Counterpoint said.

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In the first quarter, the US overtook Germany as the world's second-largest electric vehicle (EV) market, while China still holds the lead, market research firm Counterpoint Research said in a report yesterday.

Global passenger EV sales grew 32 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, with one in seven vehicles sold in the quarter being electric, the report said.

Global EV sales were largely driven by China with 56 percent of total EV sales in the first quarter coming from this market, said Abhik Mukherjee, a research analyst at Counterpoint.

In China, while overall passenger vehicle sales fell 12 percent in the first quarter, EV sales rose a remarkable 29 percent year-on-year, the report said.

The removal of subsidies for NEV purchases in China led to lower-than-expected EV sales in January.

cut prices on its models globally in January, and then other car brands announced similar price cuts on their models starting in February, which led to improved sales of EVs, the report said.

During the February-March period, nearly 40 automakers, including , , , Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Honda and Toyota, cut the prices of their vehicles by hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, which eventually stoked a competitive price war in China, the report noted.

Initially, it was thought that the price war would soon be over and the automakers would benefit from increased sales. However, as the price war continues to stretch, several Chinese automakers have reported reduced earnings or even losses, according to the report.

Globally, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 73 percent of all EV sales in the first quarter, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) made up the rest.

The top 10 EV models accounted for 37 percent of total passenger EV sales in the first quarter, with Tesla's Model Y remaining the world's best-selling model, followed by Tesla's Model 3 and BYD's Song, Counterpoint said.

In the first quarter, Tesla's Model Y became the world's best-selling passenger car model, even surpassing traditional fuel cars, according to the report.

By the end of 2023, global EV sales are expected to exceed 14.5 million units, said Soumen Mandal, senior analyst at Counterpoint, adding that US EV sales are expected to grow significantly this year with the implementation of the tax credit subsidy.

China NEV retail up 10.5% MoM to 580,000 in May, CPCA data show