Global electric car sales rose by 38 percent in 2020, taking the total number on the world’s roads to 10.9 million.
Dubai also saw a remarkable 95 percent increase in electric car sales.
Although China remains the dominant force by an order of magnitude, its electric car sales grew just three percent in 2020.
The surge confounds the Covid propelled overall plunge in 2020, which data company JATO Dynamics estimates led to 7.7 million fewer cars sold in the top 11 global markets.
The meagre rise contrasts starkly with Germany where year-on-year sales jumped 264 percent, from 108,530 to 394,632 registrations – the second highest number globally.
Germany’s electric influx was replicated across Europe. France and the UK performed strongly with 180 per cent and 140 per cent growth respectively, while sales in Denmark (245 per cent) and Italy (250 per cent) rocketed.
The picture in the US was far less green. Whilst the 177 million electric cars in its fleet mean it is still the second largest market behind China, sales actually dropped in 2020.
Sparkling electric car sales in Germany can be largely ascribed to its reduced VAT and stimulus packages – and it is stimuli which has ignited growth in Europe as states seek to meet their carbon reduction pledges.
State support can’t underpin the electric car transition for long, however, said Frithjof Staiß, managing director of German sustainable energy firm ZSW.
“To achieve the German government’s goal of putting seven to 10 million electric cars on the road by 2030 in an efficient way, these subsidized stimuli will have to gradually transition to market-driven growth,” he said.
“That will take around one million newly registered electric cars a year on average. The new EU climate action goal – which we can expect to be even more ambitious – is likely to require a far larger share of electric cars than previously targeted.
“That’s why [2020’s] success is just a start.”
The Silicon Valley mogul is building a gigafactory on the outskirts of Berlin in which he intends to make 500,000 Teslas a year – an incursion of breath-taking chutzpah given Germany’s rich automotive heritage.
Global electric car growth was reflected in the UAE with Government of Dubai data showing a near doubling in electric car registrations in 2020 compared to the previous year. The growth in the emirate is testament to the success of measures introduced in 2017 to encourage take-up.
The burgeoning UAE electric mobility market comes as no surprise to Kevin Chalhoub, founder of UAE electric vehicle store EV Lab, one of the rare people to find a silver lining from the Covid-infested last 12 months