Still 10% electric cars – 2023. 3rd quarter statistical analysis – Loaded

After a long time, the most popular electric car in Latvia has changed, but the next candidate is fast approaching.


State support for the purchase of electric cars has been in effect for almost 2 years. This has certainly helped in part to maintain growth rates, which are once again higher than previously forecast. Along with the increase in the number of electric cars, the number of charging stations is increasing rapidly.

2023 were registered in Latvia on October 1 5,758 electric cars (BEV) (+71% compared to the previous year (YoY)), 70 electric buses (+11%), 180 electric light trucks (+80%), 42 electric quadricycles (+2%), 834 electric mopeds ( -15%) and 123 electric motorcycles (+52%). Together are registered in Latvia 7’007 electric vehicles (+51%).

2023 3rd quarter new electric car registrations broken down in more detail:

  • BEV: 412 registrations (+39% YoY, 8.3% quarterly registrations) (+ 245 used + 29 light trucks (24 new + 5 used))
  • PHICEV*: 95 registrations (+7%, 1.9%)
  • Total: 507 (+31%, 10.2%)

*PHICEV – (abbreviation from English) plug-in hybrid internal combustion engine vehicle. This article can explain why Uzladė will not call it PHEV from now on.

Electric cars part of the new registrations
Electric cars part of the new registrations

10% for 4 consecutive quarters

The passenger car market in Latvia has recovered from the consequences of Covid-19 and the Russian war in Ukraine. If in the previous quarter, a record number of new cars was registered since 2015, when Uzlādē started keeping track of statistics. Then this one was not far behind, ranking in 3rd place with 4979 new cars.

The improvement in statistics for other cars has prevented a proper assessment of the rise of electric cars, which, although only 10% of the quarter’s volume, continue to grow numbers steadily. Over the past four quarters, new BEV registrations have been boringly stable at 376 (8.9%), 416 (9.1%), 522 (8.7%) and 412 (8.3%). If we look at the picture above, we can see that the last 2 quarters have even been unexpectedly long-awaited (5 quarters) moments of small recession and there is nothing atypical. Now it will be interesting to see what the final quarter of the year will show.

Why there is no real reason for concern can be seen in the picture below – the hump of internal combustion engines will subside and the market will stabilize at the previous overall level, which will give electrics room for growth again.

Breakdown of new registrations of light passenger cars (M1) by energy used
Breakdown of new registrations of light passenger cars (M1) by energy used

With the final EU decision to ban internal combustion engine machines from 2035. and the new Euro 7 emission standards, we can expect that the statistics of electric cars in Latvia will also jump to the dominant position among new cars in a few years and around 2030. it will be more interesting to observe the disappearance of gasoline (as the last representative of internal combustion engine energy) from the statistics.

After for ACEA data 2023 in the first 9 months, fully electric vehicles (BEVs) occupied 14% of the European Union new car market and plug-in hybrids (PHICEVs) – 7.5%, total – 21.5%. If we also include non-chargeable hybrids, in total EU electrified cars accounted for 46.7% of the new car market. In other words, almost half of the cars were electrified, more than every 5th car was rechargeable and every 7th car was purely electric.

Quarterly newcomers

Several heavy ones have already been registered! If the heavy Volvo arrived last quarter, now we also have the heavy from Scania in Latvia! In this quarter, 7 more BEVs, never seen in Latvia before, were registered in Latvia – Hyundai Ioniq 6, Nissan Townstar, Seres Seres 5, Scania P230, Solaris Urbino 8.9 LE Electric, Volvo FE Electric, Voyah Free.

The previous top leader, the BMW i3, collected only 33 registrations in the quarter, which allowed the Nissan Leaf, with 39 registrations obtained during this time, to overtake it and win the title of the most distributed electric car. If BMW i3 basked in the top for 3 years and 1 quarter, then Nissan will have this honor for a much shorter period of time. The Tesla Model 3 is fast approaching, preventing the Leaf from feeling quite comfortable in the title of most popular electric car.

If in Europe Tesla Model Y is the most popular car (not only electric) in the first quarter of the year and in the first half of the year, then no electric car in Latvia is approaching the top of the chart yet. However, among the electric cars themselves, there is a clear leader – Tesla Model Y with 72 registrations is the most popular electric car in this quarter. It is followed by Tesla Model 3 with 59 registrations, Nissan Leaf with 39, Volkswagen ID.3 with 35, Audi Q8 e-tron, BMW i3 and Škoda Enyaq iV with 33 each, sharing the title of 4th most popular EV this quarter.

Although gas-powered cars have seen an increase in popularity, overall this has come at the expense of petrol cars. Among new cars, gasoline currently dominates with 70.1% of the market, diesel occupies 17.9%, electricity is 8.3% (10.2% together with PHICEV) and gas is 0.0% (1.7% together with gasoline hybrid). However, light commercial vehicles have to catch up. The picture there is very sad – diesel dominates with 94.9% of the market, gasoline occupies 2.5%, electricity is 1.9% and gas is 0.0% (0.1% together with gasoline hybrid).

It may not look realistic at the moment, but considering that the EC has decided that new registrations of internal combustion engines will no longer be allowed, we can assume that between 2026 and 2030, electric cars will dominate both light passenger and light commercial vehicles.


Since we have reached the limit of 5,000 electric cars, which was predicted so far, it is necessary to start looking at the next reference point, 1% of the car fleet, or 7,300 electric cars. The exponential trend curve over previous years’ data predicts 7,300 electric cars in mid-2025 (all electric vehicles (ETL) will be around 12,000 at that time). It also believes that currently there should be a smaller number of…

Considering that 2 slightly better quarters would be enough to reach this number, we can say that this forecast is very pessimistic. However, if the exponential curve is forced to use only data from 2018, then it predicts that there will be around 18,000 electric cars in the middle of 2025 (ETL – 20,000), which seems much more likely. For comparison – There are currently 10,783 EVs in Lithuania.

We can only guess how many electric cars will be registered in Latvia in 2030, but the list below summarizes some of the guesses:

  • AS Latvenergo – 60,000 (8.2%)
  • Eleport – 100’000 (13.7%)
  • Enefit – 16’000 (2.1%)
  • Latvian National Development Plan* – 14,570 (2%) (*2027)
  • Exponential curve – 51’000 (6.9%)
  • An exponential curve that takes into account data starting from 2018. – 145’000 (19.8%)
  • Unchanged 79% (average of the last 4 quarters) increase – 225,000 (30.8%)
Exponential curve of BEV development until 2030
Exponential curve of BEV development until 2030

Those who follow the statistics published by Uzladē already know that reality is almost always better than what the exponential curve predicts. For example, the exponential curve a year ago predicted that in 2030 there will be 34’000 electric cars, and a year before – 20’000. The changes over the years are remarkable. Which forecast to believe? A constant 79% increase is unlikely to materialize, but the positive trends of previous years suggest that it will be better than Latvenergo’s forecast and much better than Enefit said.

Latvian electric car fleet by manufacturer
Latvian electric car fleet by manufacturer

Now, in fact, the biggest question is when the used electric car market will mature in Latvia. Kristaps Skutelis from might move some people with his purchase worth 15 thousand. However, larger masses need something more affordable. Now, finally, electric cars that cost less than €5,000 are starting to appear in advertisements.

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Evaluation of the article

2023-12-05 06:23:57
#electric #cars #3rd #quarter #statistical #analysis #Loaded

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