2020 became a great year for plug-in vehicles, in the end. Preliminary figures indicate BEV+PHEV sales of 3,24 million, compared to 2,26 million for the year previous. What started with an unprecedented economic downturn during the 1st COVID-19 wave became a success story for EVs in Europe. Nearly 1,4 million BEVs and PHEVs were registered in Europe during 2020, 137% more than in 2019, in a vehicle market that was down by 20% year-on-year. It was the combination of new attractive models, incentive boosts by green recovery funds, much-improved availability, and intense promotion of EVs.
Europe has superseded China as the motor of EV growth. For the first time since 2015, EV sales in Europe have outpaced NEV* sales in China. Europe is further ahead in terms of EV share: BEVs+PHEVs increased from 3,3% in 2019 to 10,2% in 2020, counting the EU and EFTA countries, including the UK. The NEV share in China increased from 5,1% to 5,5% during this period.
Outside Europe growth of EVs was slower, but still significant. China NEV sales recovered strongly during the 2nd half and were up by 12% for the year. EV sales in the USA increased by a meager 4%, despite the sales start of the Tesla Model Y. Fortunes varied in other markets, with declines in Japan, Canada, and Australia, while increases in South Korea, Taiwan, India, Israel, UAE, and Hong Kong outweighed these losses.
In volume terms, global BEVs+PHEVs deliveries increased by 43% year-on-year.
*In China, NEV refers to a class of new energy vehicles encompassing both plug-in electric vehicles and HEVs (https://www.scmp.com/)