Ein Elektroauto fährt auf einer Brücke bei Sonnenuntergang

    International markets for electric cars

    Electromobility on the rise worldwide

    Germany is the second largest electric car market in the world after China. Every ninth car sold worldwide already has an electric drive.

    Germany is the second largest electric car market in the world after China. Every ninth car sold worldwide already has an electric drive.

    In 2021, the global advance of electromobility in new car registrations continued. While around 2 million electrically powered passenger cars were registered globally in 2018 and 2019, in 2020 there were already over 3 million units and last year around 6.5 million vehicles. This means that every ninth car sold globally now has an electric drive (BEV, PHEV or FCEV). With 4.5 million units, almost 70 percent of these are purely electric BEV vehicles. The fuel cell (FCEV) does not play a major role with 15,000 units. The rest are plug-in hybrids (PHEV). The transformation from the combustion engine to the electric motor, which is necessary in view of the ambi-tious UN climate target, is therefore in full swing in the automotive industry. It must be taken into account that the development in the various markets is quite heteroge-neous. In general, it can be said that there is a more or less strong relationship be-tween wealth and penetration of the electric car market. Incentives and legal re-quirements, e.g. regarding CO2 limits, also play an important role.

    China is by far the largest electric car market in the world

    The largest electric car market in 2021 was by far China, with 3.34 mil-lion units (+168 percent compared to the previous year). More than eve-ry second electric car worldwide was sold in China. This is mainly due to the sheer size of the Chinese market, but at 15.8 percent the electric share of sales is lower than in Europe (EU, EFTA & UK), where it is 19.2 percent. BEVs dominate with a share of 82 percent of all e-cars. China is counting on a gradual reduction in state customer subsidies, which amounted to a maximum of around 2,000 US dollars in 2021, with in-creasing minimum electrical quotas for manufacturers producing locally.

    Germany most important market in Europe, globally no. 2

    Germany was already in second place worldwide in 2021 with 681,900 (+73 percent) newly registered electric cars. Three out of ten e-cars sold in Europe came from the German market. The share of electric cars in the total market amounted to 26.0 percent. This means that e-cars are now more popular than diesel cars (including mild hybrids), which ac-counted for 25.5 percent last year. With a share of 48 percent of all new e-registrations, plug-in hybrids play an important role. The funding, which is limited to a maximum of 9,000 euros and was given an additional boost by the state innovation bonus in June 2020, plays a large part in the success of electromobility.

    The USA in third place still has potential

    With a volume of 607,100 electric light vehicles (+97 percent), the US market was in third place in 2021. The market penetration of e-cars was 4.1 percent. One reason for the low proportion, in addition to the low fuel prices, is the design of the subsidy, which amounts to a maximum of US$ 7,500 and has a manufacturer-specific cap, so that two manufac-turers are no longer eligible for the tax credit. Seven out of ten newly reg-istered e-cars are BEVs. Electromobility does not play a significant role outside of California, which is responsible for two out of five electric cars sold in the USA.

    Alexander Fritz
    Economic Intelligence

    Alexander Fritz

    Automotive forecasts, production and export statistics, CO2 emissions, electromobility, structural analyses

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