Global electric car sales surge by 41% in 2020

Global electric vehicle (EV) sales jumped by 41 per cent in 2020, despite the wider automobile industry facing a tough year due to Covid-19.

A report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that the market is on track for a decade of strong expansion.

Based on current trends and policies, the agency expects the number of electric cars, vans, heavy trucks and buses on the road worldwide to reach 145 million by 2030.

The IEA’s Global Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021 found that despite the pandemic triggering a number of economic recessions, a record three million new electric cars were registered.

The growth of the EV market was in stark contrast with the global automobile market, which declined by 16 per cent last year.

The strong momentum for electric cars has continued this year, with sales in the first quarter of 2021 reaching nearly two and half times their level in the same period last year.

The world’s roads now have over 10 million electric cars, with a further one million electric vans, heavy trucks, and buses.

For the first time last year, Europe overtook China as the centre of the global electric car market. Electric car registrations in Europe more than doubled to 1.4 million, while in China they increased 9 per cent to 1.2 million.

“While they can't do the job alone, electric vehicles have an indispensable role to play in reaching net-zero emissions worldwide,'' said Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA. “Current sales trends are very encouraging, but our shared climate and energy goals call for even faster market uptake. Governments should now be doing the essential groundwork to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by using economic recovery packages to invest in battery manufacturing and the development of widespread and reliable charging infrastructure.''

IEA said that the global fleet of EVs could reach 230 million if governments accelerate efforts to reach international climate and energy goals.

“And if governments around the world pull together to pursue the even more ambitious goal of reaching net-zero emissions globally by 2050, the global electric vehicle fleet would grow even bigger,” said the organisation.

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