EV sales over the past 10 years have grown at an exponential rate globally, with China’s EV sales increasing by 238% over 2014.
About 55,000 electric vehicles (EVs) were sold worldwide in 2011. In 2021, that number had increased to about 7 million vehicles after ten years.
Over the past ten years, the worldwide EV industry has grown at an exponential rate as more and more countries power up. The infographic below, which uses data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), highlights the countries that have grown into the biggest EV markets and depicts the boom in global EV sales since 2011.
The Early EV Days
Global EV sales increased between 2011 and 2015 at an average annual rate of 89 percent, with the U.S. accounting for around one-third of all sales.
The largest EV market in 2014 was the United States, which was followed by China, the Netherlands, Norway, and France. However, things changed in 2015 as China’s EV sales increased by 238% over 2014, catapulting it to the top position.
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With the government providing large subsidies for electric vehicles in addition to other incentives and laws that supported manufacture, China’s boom had been years in the making. Chinese consumers purchased more EVs in 2016 than the rest of the world combined. Since then, the country hasn’t looked back, and in 2021, it will account for more than half of global sales.
EV Sales by Country in 2021
Global EV sales increased by 38 percent in 2020 after being largely steady in 2019, and then more than quadrupled in 2021. The surge was primarily driven by China, which sold more EVs in 2021 than the rest of the world combined did in 2020.
More than any other country, China has approximately 300 EV models for sale, and it is also home to four of the top 10 battery manufacturers in the world. In addition, compared to 45–50 percent on average in other significant markets, the median price of electric automobiles in China is just 10% higher than the price of conventional cars.
The largest auto market in Europe, Germany, sold approximately 700,000 EVs in 2021, an increase of 72% from the previous year. With Tesla, Volkswagen, and Chinese battery giant CATL either developing or running “gigafactories” there, the country is home to some of the largest EV plants in Europe. The seven European nations in the list above show that sales in Europe as a whole climbed by 65 percent in 2021.
After a two-year decline, the United States also recovered, with EV sales more than doubling in 2021. The availability of EV models increased by 24 percent, and the production of Tesla models—which accounted for half of all EV sales in the United States—increased as well.
Tesla’s Dominance in the U.S.
The most well-known electric car manufacturer in the world, Tesla, has unparalleled dominance in the United States.
Tesla accounted for 40% of all EVs sales in the United States between 2011 and 2019. Additionally, since 2015, Tesla vehicles have consistently outsold all other EV models in the United States.
Share of total sales calculated using total U.S. EV sales of 631,152 units, based on data from the IEA.
In 2021, Tesla sold more EVs than any other company in the United States, with the Model Y, which debuted in 2019, capturing the top spot. Additionally, the Model Y continued to be the most popular EV in the first quarter of 2022, with Tesla controlling a staggering 75% of the EV market.
Despite its popularity, Tesla may encounter difficulties as competing manufacturers introduce new models and increase their EV manufacturing. For instance, Ford anticipates producing at least 2 million EVs yearly by 2026, and General Motors plans to offer 20 EV models by 2025. In the upcoming years, Tesla’s market share may decrease as a result of the increased competition from both established companies and new competitors.