BEV Sales Shoot Past All Expectations in Brazil in December, Rise 700%!

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Not long ago, Brazil’s BEV sales were symbolic: a fraction of a fraction. But the second half of 2023 has broken record after record, breaking all expectations and closing in on 3% BEV share in December, 700% growth YoY.

As I started collecting data for the 2023 report on EV market share in Latin America (something I’m working on and will present as soon as Mexico and Ecuador publish their numbers), and specifically when downloading Brazil’s numbers … something felt odd.

The numbers made no sense. The growth was blatantly absurd, not in line with previous periods of time. Brazil’s EV market had been lackluster for years, showing small growth and having a difficult time reaching even 0.5% BEV market share (with PHEVs doing most of the heavy lifting).

If you remember our report on H1 2023, Brazil’s BEV market share was a pittance: 0.4%, with less than 800 BEV sales a month. Hence my surprise when I saw that December’s report stood at 6,008 BEVs sold, a 670% increase YoY and a sixfold increase from July 2023.

At first, I thought it was a mistake … but then the data checked out with other sources. It turns out Brazil’s performance in H2 2023 has blown all expectations out of the water. Even though a more comprehensive report is coming, I felt the country deserved a special mention.

BYD’s Impact 

It’s clear that Brazil’s massive BEV growth comes mainly from one source: BYD. Or, specifically, BYD’s upcoming factory in Camaçari, in the Brazilian state of Bahia, which will start production in 2025. The promise of local production paired with the arrival of the BYD Dolphin in Brazil at 149,700 Brazilian reales ($30,385 USD) seems to have worked in two different ways: for one, it forced competition to lower its prices, making the EV market more competitive overall; for another, it gave BYD local recognition, allowing it to dominate the growing market in the latter half of 2023.

The result is clear. BYD is the largest seller in the plug-in segment, and Brazil’s BEV sales have basically exploded:

Brazil’s BEV Sales 2022–2023 

Overall plug-in sales still look impressive because PHEVs also grew by an astounding rate of 400% YoY, which only feels lackluster because of the amazing performance of BEVs. In December, for the first time in history, BEV sales surpassed PHEV sales in Brazil.

Brazil’s Plug-in Sales 2022–2023 

Brazil’s total plug-in market share for 2023 was 2.4% (0.9% BEV), up from 1% in 2022. However, that includes the slow months of the first half of the year. If we look only at December, plug-in market share was an astounding 4.8% (2.5% BEV), up from 1% in December 2022!

What’s more impressive is … even with all this growth, Brazil maintained its position in the regional ranking as the country with the 4th largest plug-in market share. The podium remained the same, with Colombia, Uruguay, and Costa Rica also presenting significant growth. Expect more information in the overall report, which should be coming soon.

In any case, Brazil’s performance has been absolutely impressive, and it remains to be seen how sales will behave in 2024. It’s possible January will be a weak month, but it’s also possible that the trend continues and we see even more EVs in the first months of this year. Stay tuned!

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