Sales of electric vehicles across the globe saw a notable surge in 2020, rising 43% to more than 3 million units by the end of the year. This was despite the presence of a pandemic that resulted in overall car sales slumping by a fifth in 2020. In a way, these figures highlight the notion that EVs are now being preferred by more and more consumers.
Tesla, the global leader in EVs, led the charge, selling half a million cars during 2020. Volkswagen, a veteran automaker that has also made serious strides in embracing electric mobility, also performed well thanks to vehicles like Porsche Taycan and Volkswagen ID.3, both of which were received well. Data from Sweden-based consultancy EV-volumes.com reveal that EV sales actually doubled in Europe last year, pushing the region past China as the world’s largest electric vehicle market.
In a statement to The Guardian, Viktor Irle, sales and marketing analyst at the Sweden-based consultancy, stated that rising EV sales were driven partly by government policies designed to reduce carbon emissions, as well as the fact that electric cars are now being perceived as superior to their internal combustion-powered counterparts.
“The political push is still there – [governments] everywhere speak about the green recovery. But the main reason for growth is simple – electric cars are a better technology. There is no noise, no pollution, better acceleration, and cheaper running costs. If people test-drive an electric car, they’re not going to go back to gasoline vehicles. The problem at the moment is that the price is a little bit higher, but the cost is really coming down as well,” Irle said.
Granted, electric vehicle sales from March to June 2020 fell below their 2019 figures. This was understandable considering that those months represented the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns. But after this period, EV sales recovered in impressive fashion, and by the end of the year, they were double their level in December 2019.
Irle explained several factors that contributed to these impressive figures. For one, higher government regulations meant that EV buyers are incentivized to purchase clean vehicles. Tesla’s approach of directly selling vehicles to customers may also have helped buyers embrace EVs more due to its convenience. Interestingly enough, the premium price of electric cars may have also helped boost their sales numbers. “The cheap car segments are always the worst hit in recessions, because it’s not normally high-income people that buy those cars,” the analyst noted.
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