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Global Electric Car Sales Doubled in 2021


This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Felix Richter


While 2021 was another difficult year for the car industry, heavily affected by the global chip shortage, global electric car sales more than doubled over the past twelve months, reaching 6.6 million, compared to just 3 million in 2020. That’s according to preliminary EV-volumes data cited by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which reports that all net growth in global car sales in 2021 can be attributed to electric vehicles.


China in particular had a breakout year in 2021, almost tripling electric car sales from 1.2 to 3.4 million. Europe remains the second largest market for electric cars, with new registrations increasing by almost 70 percent to 2.3 million, roughly half of which were plug-in hybrids. In the United States, sales surpassed half a million for the first time, but the overall market share of electric vehicles remains far below that of China and many European markets.


According to the IEA, China, Europe and the United States account for roughly 90 percent of global electric car sales, illustrating that e-mobility isn’t advancing at the same pace globally. “Government policies remain the key driving force for global electric car markets, but their dynamism in 2021 also reflects a very active year on the part of the automotive industry. Announcements, targets and new model launches have helped strengthen the view that the future of cars is electric,” the IEA sums up, while also warning that much of the emissions savings of electric vehicles were offset by the parallel surge in global SUV sales.


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