Europe Leads In EV Sales, But For How Long?

 

2020 EV Sales

The Briefing

  • Europe and China were the largest electric vehicle (EV) markets by a wide margin in 2020
  • EV adoption in the U.S. is expected to rise as the Biden administration works to increase industry incentives

Europe Leads in EV Sales, but for How Long?

Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) surpassed 3 million for the first time in 2020, despite the economic headwinds imposed by COVID-19.

This visualization presents a geographical breakdown of these sales, revealing that over 80% were made in either Europe or China.

Country EV and Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)  Population (2020) 
European Union (EU) 1,390,000 747.6M
China 1,330,000 1.4B
U.S. 328,000 331.0M
South Korea 52,000 51.3M
Canada 47,000 37.7M
Japan 31,000 126.5M
Taiwan 7,000 23.8M
Other 43,000 -

The EU was the largest market by a margin of 60,000 cars, but given China’s larger population, it’s likely the two will switch places in the near future.

Government Incentives Play a Key Role

Government incentives have boosted the transition to battery power in recent years. For example, many countries offer a buyer rebate, which effectively reduces the price a consumer pays for an EV or PHEV.

In Germany, buyers can receive a subsidy of $10,800 when purchasing an EV with a list price of less than $48,000. China also offers a rebate program, where buyers of an EV with a travel range of at least 186 miles can receive a subsidy of $2,500.

Consumers should be aware that these incentives are likely to diminish over time, especially as EVs become more mainstream. In January 2021, the Chinese government announced it would reduce its existing subsidies by 20%.

Will EV Sales in America Catch Up?

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