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China's 2021 EV sales beat global 2020 total

China's 2021 EV sales beat global 2020 total

Last updated 15th Dec 2022
Disclosure
  • The global electric vehicle (EV) demand is surging
  • Today there are roughly 16 million active EVs majority of which are Chinese

The last decade has witnessed tremendous growth in global electric vehicle (EV) sales. From about 130K EV units sold in 2012, today, up to 16M of these are in active service worldwide. Part of that growth is due to declining prices of lithium-ion battery packs that are crucial to powering them. Additionally, there's been an increase in global consciousness on sustainable transport means.

BanklessTimes has been researching the global EV sales trends. In a recent data projection, the site indicates that the global EV sales hit the 6.6M mark in 2021. That figure represents roughly 9% of global car sales in that year. Additionally, it's double the 3M EVs sold in 2020 and triple the 2.2M units sold in 2019.

Further, BanklessTimes reckons that the annual electricity consumption of the 16M EVs plying our roads is about 30 terawatt-hours (TWh). That's equal to Ireland's electricity generation yearly. These are an important ally in the fight against CO2 emissions as they have cut down consumption of fossil fuels.

China Leads in EV adoption

BanklessTimes' compilation shows December as the month that attracted the most EV sales. Across the three leading EV markets, December's sales more than doubled January's. Again, 2021 monthly EV retails outdid 2020's corresponding months' figures by at least 50%.

The data shows that China is the largest EV market in the world. In 2021, it retailed 3.4M units. That was more than the combined total from the rest of the world in 2020. To get there, it had nearly tripled that year’s sales.

China has been at the fore of EV adoption for a while now. From 2015, it has had the fastest yearly increases in that space. Its EV market is on course to meet the government-set target of 20% share of yearly motor vehicle production by 2025.

Why's the Chinese market booming?

Several reasons explain China's thriving EV market. First, Beijing extended subsidies to the sector up to this year. The chances are that many Chinese EV customers rushed to acquire their vehicles using 2021's subsidy levels that are way higher than this year's.

Secondly, there's a wide variety of EVs for the Chinese market. Like the Wuling Hongguang Mini, some provide an affordable entry-level vehicle for first-time owners. All in all, China's e-car industry will boom in 2022.

EU EV sales outpaced diesel vehicles

Europe, the second most significant EV market, also posted impressive returns. According to BanklessTimes’ presentation, its 2021 electric vehicle sales amounted to 2.3M cars. However, the annual increase lagged compared to 2020’s.

In 2020 the European EV market doubled its 2019 sales. Strict emissions limits that the region adopted partly account for this surge. Again, most of the region enhanced their incentives for purchasing EVs.

Consequently, their sales peaked in Q4 2021, attaining a 21% market share in December that year, outpacing diesel-powered vehicles for the first time.

Tesla dominates the U.S EV market

The U.S electric vehicle market also posted encouraging results. It sold over 500K units, more than doubling 2019 results. That saw the U.S EV market grow to 4.5%.

Tesla remains the undisputed market leader here. It controls more than 50% of all electronic vehicles sold here. That, however, is a decline from the 65% market share it held in 2020. Increased competition in this space partly contributed to the decline.

Global EV sales have, however, been lagging. Today, electric cars account for under 2% of their total sales in markets outside the three dominant ones. This is in part due to the expensiveness of EVs and them having an inadequate charging infrastructure.

Elizabeth Kerr

Elizabeth Kerr

Elizabeth is a financial content specialist from Manchester. Her specialities include cryptocurrency, data analysis and financial regulation.