Global electric vehicle market 2020 and forecasts

Shanghai (China), Bengaluru (India), Singapore, Reading (UK) and Portland (US) – Monday, 8 February 2021

Canalys: Global electric vehicle sales up 39% in 2020 as overall car market collapses

New research from Canalys shows that global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in 2020 increased by 39% year on year to 3.1 million units. This compares with a sales decline of 14% of the total passenger car market in 2020. Canalys forecasts that the number of EVs sold will rise to 30 million in 2028 and EVs will represent nearly half of all passenger cars sold globally by 2030.

In a new digital report, Electric vehicle outlook: 2021 and beyond, Canalys publishes detailed EV sales data, forecasts and analysis on this fast-growing and fast-changing part of the car market.

“In a tough 2020 for the automotive industry, the strong demand for EVs has been a real bright spot. This will continue around the world in 2021 and beyond, despite the economically adverse conditions,” said Chris Jones, Chief Analyst for automotive at Canalys. Electric vehicles represented almost 5% of all new car sales in 2020. EVs are forecast to reach over 7% of new car sales worldwide in 2021, a further 66% growth, to exceed 5 million units sold. Approximately 1.3 million EVs were sold in both China and Europe in 2020, four times the EV sales in the US. “EV sales in the US represented just 2.4% of new cars sold there, despite it being home to Tesla, the world’s leading EV manufacturer. Even policies from a more supportive US government won’t change things overnight,” said Jones.

EV sales will continue to grow throughout the decade, with Canalys forecasting that EVs will represent 48% of all new cars sold in 2030. “Rapid growth will continue as more electric vehicles launch and governments set and maintain policies to stimulate EV production and sales. Reducing ‘range anxiety’ with increases in performance and charging infrastructure will be vital to entice more buyers,” said Sandy Fitzpatrick, VP at Canalys. “The automotive industry is currently facing crippling semiconductor shortages, so managing future supply chains and production systems to cope with the growth will be make or break for any electric vehicle strategies.”

Canalys - Global passenger car sales estimates, January 2021

Canalys’ Electric vehicle outlook: 2021 and beyond report offers data and insights in an innovative digital format. It will inform the strategies of those in the automotive and technology industries looking to enhance their planning and forecasting. The report is delivered online in an easy-access format, with interactive charts and graphs. It includes:

  • The latest market trends.
  • Historical and forecast sales.
  • Market shares of the leading EV brands.
  • New product developments.
  • Analysis of the EV charging infrastructure.
  • Motorization and urbanization trends.
  • Government policies around the world.

Note: EVs include battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Passenger cars exclude light commercial vehicles.

For more information about Canalys’ Intelligent Vehicle Analysis service, please contact:

Canalys China
Johnny Xie: +86 159 2128 2961

Canalys UK
Chris Jones: +44 7867 389 727

Canalys USA
Marcy Ryan: +1 650 862 4299

About Canalys

Canalys is an independent analyst company that strives to guide clients on the future of the technology industry and to think beyond the business models of the past. We deliver smart market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals around the world. We stake our reputation on the quality of our data, our innovative use of technology and our high level of customer service.

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 Global electric vehicle market 2020 and forecasts


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