Imagine being in your gas-powered vehicle, sitting in traffic or waiting to pull away from the lights. You might not notice the damaging greenhouse gas that your car emits but the results can still be felt across the globe. Enter climate change. Nevertheless, thanks to electric cars, there’s still some hope left for the planet.
The global electric vehicle market share has taken a tremendous leap forward in the past decade, and we expect the trend to accelerate exponentially. Even though we’ve already seen some incredible growth in the number of EVs worldwide.
In 2019, the number of light electric vehicles globally was only 9 % higher than in 2018. This was a clear deviation from the growth rates of the previous six years, which were between 46% and 69%. The shift is due to the decrease in sales in the second half of 2019 in the two largest markets, China and the USA. But even with the stagnant growth in the two largest markets, global EV sales still grew, largely in part to Europe, which saw 44% growth.
2020 did not show a big growth in overall new car registrations. The global market for all types of cars was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn that followed. The 2020 global EV sales were quite unpredictable at the beginning of the year amid COVID-19. However, as time showed, the year 2020 turned out to be surprisingly positive despite the pandemic and its effects. The global EV sales grew by 43% from 2019, and the global electric car industry market share rose to a record 4,6% in 2020.
Looking at the first six months of the fiscal year (April to September), Europe (1.06 million new registrations) and China (1.149 million new registrations) are expected to account for the highest share of new electric car registrations in 2021, followed by the United States (297 000 new registrations).
Electric buses have also grown in popularity since 2020. The global stock of electric buses in 2020 was 600 000. China alone registered 78 000 new electric buses in the past year, holding down their market domination. In addition to China, one of the global leaders in electric bus fleets is Chile, aiming to electrify all of its public transport by 2040. In European Union countries, the Clean Vehicles Directive also provides a public procurement of electric buses.
Global EV sales reached 6,75 million units in 2021, 108 % more than in 2020. This volume includes passenger vehicles, light trucks, and light commercial vehicles. The global share of EVs (BEV & PHEV) in global light vehicle sales was 8,3 % compared to 4,2 % in 2020. BEVs stood for 71 % of total EV sales, PHEVs for 29 %. The Global auto market improved by only 4,7 % over the crisis year of 2020. As in 2020, EVs again were resilient to setbacks in auto demand and supply.
The remarkable growth rate of 108 % y/y needs to be seen relative to the low base volume of 2020. Caused by regulations and Covid-19, global EV sales in 2019 and 2020 were below the long-term trajectory, and in 2021 they returned to trend. Tesla had its share in it, leading the OEM EV ranking with 936 000 deliveries, 436k more than 2020. The Model-3 reached 501 000 units and became the 2nd most sold midsize nameplate after the Toyota Camry. The Volkswagen Group stayed on rank 2 and BYD climbed 4 positions to number 3. BYD delivered nearly 600 000 units (without buses), over 400 000 more than in 2020.
ii) Roland Irle (2022) Global EV Sales for 2021