More than 2.6 million electric vehicles were sold across two of the world’s major markets in 2020, with Europe selling almost as many plug-in electric cars as China, new data has shown.
Analysts are predicting EV sales will continue to increase both in China and Europe in 2021, sending a strong signal that the transition to clean transport is moving into a phase of rapid adoption.
Across the Western European market, plug-in electric car sales rose to 12.3% of car sales in 2020, according to auto analyst Matthias Schmidt, while the broader market fell 25% during the pandemic to 1985 levels of just 10.8 million.
In China, meanwhile, EV sales reached 5.4% of the broader market in 2020. Energy economist Gregor McDonald notes this indicates both markets have reached the critical 5% level that is pinned by growth research as a take-off point for new technology.
EV sales are tipped to rise to 15% of the entire auto market in 2021 by clean transport lobby Transport & Environment (T&E), and China’s auto industry body CAAM expects the country’s EV sales to rise by 40% in 2021 to 1.8 million. In both markets, EV leader Tesla is either planning or already conducting local production.
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