Spurred by falling lithium-ion battery pack costs, electric vehicle sales have increased tremendously over the course of the past decade. Worldwide electric car sales are estimated to have soared to just under seven million units in 2021. The Asia-Pacific region was the leading market for battery electric vehicles, propelled by the Chinese new energy vehicle market. While Tesla is currently the world’s leading maker of electric vehicles, Chinese manufacturers have hoisted themselves in the rankings in 2021. That year, six of the ten best-selling plug-in electric models worldwide were from Chinese brands.
The market potential has recently attracted the interest of big technology companies, such as Apple and Sony, which have announced the development of their own electric vehicle models.
Electric vehicles gain market share
While the electric vehicle (EV) industry has a long way to go to reach the same sales levels as the business for conventional automobiles, the new sales record would mean that the market share of electric vehicles increased from roughly 4.2 percent in 2020 to about 8.3 percent in 2021. This rapid market growth is propelled by constant innovation in electric vehicle technologies. The transportation industry was responsible for around a quarter of all green patent filings worldwide as of 2020. Tesla, the EV industry leader, filled some 3,304 patents that same year, most of them in the energy generation and storage technology area. This improvement of the industry amounts to an increase in the range of electric vehicle models in recent years. The global availability of public fast electric vehicle chargers also rose by some 43 percent in 2020, as the market starts to become more accessible to consumers.
Electric vehicle accessibility is tipped to be one of the main challenges for the industry. While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in consumer interest for the EV market, recent studies in the United States found that around four-fifths of the country’s states were not considered accessible markets for consumers interested in purchasing an EV. The United States had the second largest network of publicly available EV chargers worldwide, dwarfed only by China.
Government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, are increasingly beginning to introduce limits on nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions. Automakers are expected to be penalized if they fail to meet these limits. Despite the new regulations, standards, and goals in effect, opponents are right to criticize that the sources of electricity employed to power electric cars, as well as how materials (including cobalt, nickel, and lithium) used in car batteries are generally not taken into consideration when it comes to calculating a vehicle’s carbon footprint. On the consumer level, the regular power grid was the leading power source drivers reported intending to use to charge their EVs, in part due to its accessibility when compared to alternative power sources.
Automakers around the world will have to focus on clean fuel sources and sustainable supply chains. In 2015, Volkswagen experienced how disrespecting emerging environmental regulations may hurt brand image. The company started delivering its electric ID.3 model in 2020 and has since consistently ranked among the best-selling EV brands. By 2021, the Volkswagen Group was the fourth leading EV automaker worldwide.
Description: It is estimated that 2021 saw plug-in electric light vehicle (PEV) sales of around 6.7 million units. The Chinese market picked up steam after a period of slowdown in 2020, as vehicle manufacturing and demand was at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, electric vehicle sales in Europe’s five largest markets surged in 2021. Germany could become the largest market for plug-in electric vehicles. Through November and December of 2021, it is estimated over one in three new cars sold in the country were electric vehicles.
Electric car sales growth
Global automobile production dropped significantly with the pandemic, with millions of jobs in the industry at risk globally. Later in the year when lockdowns were lifted, supply and demand for new cars bounced back. The electric car market experienced a record year, with a slight increase in global electric car sales, and notable market share growth.
A present task for the future
Many governments put forward green stimulus packages during the pandemic, many of which were directed towards supporting the automotive industry and securing jobs in the sector, with an emphasis on the clean transition. In China, the full new energy vehicle (NEV) subsidy program phase-out was postponed from the end of 2020 to the end of 2022. Germany increased bonuses of an existing program scheduled to last through December 2021, with electric and hybrid vehicles as the sole type of vehicle eligible for subsidies. Going forward, expanding such programs and connecting them to long-term objectives, such as investment in charging infrastructure, battery research, and manufacturing, and workforce training can facilitate larger uptake for electrified vehicles.
Description: Chinese battery electric vehicle (BEV) and hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) registrations increased by a staggering 155 percent year-on-year in 2021. Global plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales came to just under seven million units in 2021.
Description: There were about 10.2 million electric vehicles in operation worldwide in 2020. That year, all-electric vehicles accounted for about 67 percent of plug-in electric vehicles.
Description: It is expected that battery-electric vehicles will account for 66 percent of electric vehicle sales worldwide in 2021. Sales of battery electric vehicles are tipped to reach around 3.5 million units in 2021, while 2020 saw sales of between 2.2 and 2.3 million battery-electric vehicles.
Description: About 1.9 million new plug-in hybrid electric cars sales were sold worldwide in 2021. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales accounted for almost 30 percent of electric vehicle sales in 2021. Meanwhile, battery electric vehicles accounted for most of the global sales that same year.
Description: In 2020, nearly 3.2 million plug-in electric vehicles were sold globally. Europe became the largest market for plug-in electric vehicle sales in 2020 when European motorists purchased almost 1.4 million such vehicles.
Description: Some 779,500 battery electric vehicles were sold in Europe in 2020, according to data provided by EV-Volumes. This was more than double 2019 battery electric vehicle sales in the region. Overall, the volume of battery electric vehicles sold worldwide has been steadily increasing between 2018 and 2020.
Description: In 2021, there were almost 564,000 publicly available fast electric vehicle chargers (EVSE) worldwide, more than 83 percent of which were found in China. The growth of publicly available high-speed EVSE chargers took off between 2016 and 2017.
Description: China had more than 1.1 million publicly accessible electric vehicle chargers in 2021, accounting for over 65 percent of such chargers in the world. The United States was ranked second: 91,175 slow chargers, and around 21,752 fast chargers were installed across the nation.
Description: By July 2021, South Korea reported the highest number of charging locations per 100 kilometers of roadway: 75.2 locations. South Korea was followed by the Netherlands, reporting 21.9 locations in the same period.
Description: By 2030, it is expected that China’s electric vehicle-related energy demand will exceed 300 terawatt hours. In 2019, coal accounted for just under 70 percent of energy generation in China. This figure could fall significantly by 2030.
Description: As of January 2019, most electric vehicle charging infrastructure patents filed for electric vehicle inventions were based on generic electric vehicles. At 2,213 patents deposited, this segment dwarfed all other specific types of electric vehicles. Electric vehicle types represented some 28 percent of the total patents filed pertaining to the electric vehicle charging infrastructure category.
Description: Cathode active material contributes an estimated 34 percent of electric vehicle battery cell costs. The most attractive cathode materials in 2020 include lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide. Lithium-ion battery pack costs are expected to decline as electric vehicle production is scaled up.
Description: The Tesla Model S Long Range was no longer the electric vehicle model with the largest driving range of vehicles manufactured in Model Year 2022. The Lucid Air Dream Edition Range recorded some 115 miles more range than the Model S Long Range for this Model Year. The Lucid-branded vehicles could travel up to 520 miles on a single charge.
Description: Tesla was the best-selling electric vehicle brand in 2020. That yesr, Tesla sold just under 936,200 plug-in electric vehicles globally. BYD and the SAIC/GM/Wuling joint venture overtook Volkswagen in sales that year. Second-in-the-ranking BYD is the leading
manufacturer of electric vehicles in China, based on sales.
Description: Tesla was ranked as the best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer worldwide after selling close to 936,200 units in 2021. Tesla’s sales volume translates into a market share of just under 14 percent. Volkswagen Group and BYD were among the runners-up.
Description: The Tesla Model 3 was the world`s most popular plug-in electric vehicle with worldwide unit sales of roughly 501,000 in 2021. That year, deliveries of Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y have more than doubled year-over-year, and these two models accounted for 97 percent of Tesla’s sales volume in 2021.
Description: Tesla`s revenue grew to around 53.8 billion U.S. dollars in the 2021 fiscal year, a 71 percent increase from the previous year. The United States is Tesla’s largest sales market.
Description: As a move to combat the swiftly escalating climate crisis, China has accelerated its production of electric cars while introducing policies that make it harder to acquire gasoline-powered vehicles. China`s leading OEM, the BYD Group, earned more than 216 billion yuan in revenue in 2021, an increase of 38 percent compared to the previous year. Among this, around 113 billion yuan of the revenue came from the electric vehicles and related products, accounting for 52 percent of the total revenue.
Description: Volkswagen Group`s revenue grew in the 2021 fiscal year. The carmaker`s 250.2 billion euros in revenue also secured VW a spot in the ranking of the wealthiest companies worldwide.
Description: In 2021, BMW Group`s global revenue stood at around 111.2 billion euros. The German vehicle manufacturer sells vehicles under the BMW, Rolls-Royce, and MINI brands and was among the leading luxury car brands worldwide in 2019. Following the financial disaster of 2008-2009, BMW recovered rather quickly, surpassing pre-crash revenue and EBIT by 2010.
Description: In the 2020 fiscal year, Daimler generated around 154.3 billion euros (or about 189.5 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue. Revenue decreased by some 15 percent over the previous fiscal year. In February 2022, Daimler AG announced the stock market debut of Daimler Truck, as the company split into Daimler Truck and the Mercedes-Benz Group to separate their commercial vehicle and passenger car business.
Description: Hyundai reported sales revenue of 117.6 trillion South Korean won (or about 99 billion U.S. dollars) in 2021. Founded in 1967, Hyundai would go on to manufacture the first South Korean car. The passenger car segment is the largest contributor to the company’s revenue.
Description: Between 2021 and 2027, the size of the global electric vehicle market is expected to increase over four-fold to reach an estimated global market size of some 1.4 trillion U.S. dollars by 2027. This translates to a notable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 19.19 percent between 2022 and 2027.
Description: It is expected that there will be 54 million passenger vehicles in the global electric vehicle fleet by 2025, up from an estimated 12 million units in 2021. That year, global electric passenger vehicles represented around one percent of the global fleet.
Description: It is expected that China’s automotive industry will produce about 44 percent of electric vehicles in 2027. That year, global electric vehicle production is anticipated to reach some 13 million units.
Description: The market share of electric vehicles is growing rapidly: by 2030, one in four new cars sold will be battery-powered. It is projected that this figure will increase to over 80 percent by 2050. Electric vehicles are tipped to account for almost 70 percent of the global car parc by 2050.
Description: This graph illustrates the projected average range of electric vehicles between 2020 and 2030. The average electric vehicle on roads across the world is projected to have a range of about 440 kilometers by 2030.
Description: Li-ion battery pack costs dropped to some 137 U.S. dollars per kilowatt hour in 2020 and are expected to drop further in the coming years. Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most efficient energy storage devices worldwide. Over recent years, high scale production and capital investment into the battery production process made lithium-ion battery packs cheaper and more efficient. This demonstrates a staggering demand for energy storage worldwide and could be attributed to the fact that the world is moving towards a renewable energy-based economy where electric vehicles play an increasingly large role.
Electric vehicle sales
Individuals, organizations, and governments aim to reduce their environmental footprint, as the awareness about the consequences of climate change becomes more widespread. To contribute to a greener society, they promote the growth of the electric vehicle market to make transportation more sustainable and less polluting. The projected market demand for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles is expected to reach over 1,500 gigawatt-hours by 2030. When it comes to the sales volume of electric vehicles, the trend is staggeringly positive. For instance, global plug-in electric light vehicle (PEV) sales have progressively increased since 2015, and are estimated to have exceeded three million units sold in 2020. As a leading electric vehicle brand, Tesla reported having sold almost 500,000 such vehicles in 2020.
Incorrect disposal of Li-ion batteries can have a devastating environmental impact on the environment, sparking the need for recycling. The global market for lithium-ion battery recycling is expected to reach over 18 billion U.S. dollars by 2030. This figure compares to around 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
Description: In 2020, the global demand for electric vehicle batteries is expected to amount to110 gigawatt hours. This value is expected to increase drastically on a global scale, with a predicted demand of 6,530 gigawatt hours in 2050, which is about 600 times the value at the beginning of the forecast period.
Description: According to Next Move Strategy Consulting, the global wireless electric vehicle (EV) charging market is expected to reach 3.75 billion U.S. dollars by 2030. Evatran and Witricity are among the market leaders in this field.
Corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards in the United States indicate that new passenger cars will average 33.6 miles per gallon in 2025, meaning that drivers of typical passenger vehicles in the U.S. will have to stop more often to refuel than Chinese and European motorists. By 2025, new passenger vehicles in Europe are expected to average 45.7 miles per gallon, while new cars on Chinese roads are anticipated to travel 57.9 miles per gallon. For every 100 miles driven, that is just over 1.7 gallons in China.
Source from Statista
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