The global market share of electric cars more than doubled in 2021, marking a clear acceleration of electric vehicle adoption around the world – albeit some markets lag behind.

For years, industry analysts have failed to understand how quickly the transition to electric vehicles is happening. Every year, they adjust their predictions to be more aggressive, but even the most aggressive ones today don’t believe that more than 50% of the new auto market is going to be electric by 2030.

Part of the weakness in the predictions is that the analysts focused on the progression of EV adoption without accounting as much for a decline in sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles as the consumer mindset shifts towards electric cars. As we often state at Electrek, we believe this shift is going to happen in most major markets by 2024-25.

The way the pandemic is affecting the auto market is putting a lens on the decline in ICE car sales, and more people are starting to understand that shift is permanent. The combined decline in ICE sales – and the increase in electric cars sales – have resulted in a massive jump in market share for the latter over the last 12 months.

The International Energy Agency released a new report looking at car sales around the world and confirmed that EV market share jumped from 4.11% in 2020 to 8.57% in 2021:

The agency wrote about the impressive electric vehicle growth rate over the last 3 years:

Growth has been particularly impressive over the last three years, even as the global pandemic shrank the market for conventional cars and as manufacturers started grappling with supply chain bottlenecks. In 2019, 2.2 million electric cars 1 were sold, representing just 2.5% of global car sales. In 2020, the overall car market contracted but electric car sales bucked the trend, rising to 3 million and representing 4.1% of total car sales. In 2021, electric car sales more than doubled to 6.6 million, representing close to 9% of the global car market and more than tripling their market share from two years earlier. All the net growth in global car sales in 2021 came from electric cars.

They now believe that there are over 16 million electric vehicles on the roads around the world, but those vehicles are not distributed equally. Europe and China are leading the way with 16% and 14% EV market share respectively, while the US is at 4.5%.

The US market is in dire need of the availability of electric pickup trucks in high volumes in order to accelerate EV adoption in the country.

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Fred Lambert

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