The global electric vehicle market is gaining momentum, reaching 9.5 million units in 2022


Due to the impact of the epidemic, global electric vehicle sales in 2019 and 2020 were lower than the long-term growth trend, but they have returned to the normal growth curve in 2021. According to statistics, nearly 10% of the global car sales in 2021 will be electric vehicles, accounting for four times that of 2019. Among them, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) accounted for 8.3% of global light vehicle sales, compared with only 4.2% in 2020. Global EV sales remain strong this year (2022), with 2 million units sold in the first quarter, a 75% increase over the same period in 2021.

Global sales and market share will increase in 2021

Global EV sales will reach 6.75 million units in 2021, an increase of 108% over 2020. The growth in sales is mainly driven by China, which will sell 3.3 million electric vehicles in 2021, accounting for almost half of the global total and surpassing global sales in 2020. Sales in Europe and the United States also grew strongly in 2021, with European sales increasing by 65% ​​to 2.3 million vehicles; the United States also more than doubled to 630,000 vehicles. In terms of sales proportion, the proportion of electric vehicle sales in Europe will increase from 10% to 17% in 2021, China will increase from 5.5% to 13.3%, and the proportion of electric vehicle sales in North America will increase from 2.3% in 2020 to 4.4% .

By 2021, the total number of electric vehicles sold worldwide will reach approximately 16.5 million, triple the number in 2018. Among them, Tesla led the way with 936,000 deliveries, Volkswagen Group remained in second place, and BYD delivered nearly 600,000 units (excluding buses), an increase of more than 400,000 units over 2020, so the ranking rose 4th to 3rd.

Help: policy support

The success of electric vehicles has been driven by a number of factors, and continued policy support has been one of the main reasons for strong electric vehicle sales. Governments continue to provide subsidies with policies to help electric vehicle production and provide incentives to make people more willing to buy electric vehicles. Public spending on electric vehicle subsidies and incentives nearly doubled to nearly $30 billion in 2021, according to the data.

Many countries have begun to set deadlines to ban the production or sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by a specific date; many others are building infrastructure, such as charging stations, to power electric vehicles.

Resistance: Supply Chain Bottlenecks

Policy support and the proliferation of new models have underpinned sales in the global electric vehicle market, but sustaining prosperity requires ensuring sustainable supplies of key minerals and reducing the risk of supply disruptions. The biggest hurdle for the EV market in the near term is the surge in prices of some key minerals necessary for battery manufacturing – for lithium, prices are now as much as seven times what they were at the start of 2021, while cobalt and nickel are also The cost of battery packs may increase by 15%; in addition, the Ukrainian-Russian war and the ongoing epidemic blockade in parts of China have also caused supply chain disruptions. In view of this, governments in Europe and the United States have begun to promote industrial policies aimed at developing domestic electric vehicle supply chains.

At this stage, more than half of the lithium, cobalt and graphite processing and refining are located in China, and it produces 3/4 of all lithium-ion batteries, with 70% of the cathode and 85% of the anode capacity, both of which are important components of the battery part. The International Energy Agency (IEA) is working with governments around the world to study how to strategically manage critical mineral resources needed for electric vehicles and other critical clean energy technologies, and to drive increased investment in critical mineral extraction to ensure there are enough supply to drive the clean energy transition.


The IEA recommends that governments can continue their efforts in the following major directions to support the global demand for electric vehicles: (1) The use of strict vehicle efficiency and carbon dioxide emission standards. (2) Increase support and planning for public charging infrastructure. (3) Start electric vehicle development in emerging and developing markets. Global EV sales are back on track in 2021, and the IEA expects EV sales to return to more normal growth in 2022, reaching around 9.5 million units

Member Registration

Related Stories