Decline in registrations and rise in Electric Vehicle sales

After the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the year 2021 was characterised by a consistent decrease in the total number of new automobiles registered in the EU across all markets.
The 27 EU member states registered around 9.7 million new cars in 2021, which is 26% less than the market’s peak in 2019 and about 3% less than the year before. Vehicle sales were almost flat across almost all categories, with the exception of the sport utility vehicle (SUV) sector, where sales grew around 8% compared to 2020, and the van category, where registrations plunged 44% compared to 2020. As a result, the SUV segment maintained its dominance of the market, accounting for 43% of new registrations in 2021. At 20%, the Lower Medium market placed second.

The number of new plug-in hybrid and battery-electric passenger car registrations in the EU increased significantly in recent years, rising from roughly 3% of total registrations in 2019 to 19% in 2021, already exceeding the EU target for 2025. This increase may be mostly ascribed to national and municipal legislation, as well as the mandated CO2 emissions target of 95 grammes per kilometre (g/km), which went into force in 2020. However, the market share has remained unchanged in the first half of 2022, in part because of continued supply problems and expiring government subsidies.

China’s electric car industry began to take off immediately after the EU and has now overtaken the EU market share, rising to 24% by mid-2022, up from just 5% in 2019. National pilot programmes, incentives, and regulations, particularly the new energy vehicle (NEV) mandate for auto manufacturers, have been the main factors driving the development in China.

In contrast, the American market is still receptive to electric vehicles. The U.S. market share still has a long way to go, with an ambitious objective of 50% by 2030. However, the region stood out for having the largest growth rate in the first half of 2022, hitting 7%, three times higher than in 2020, thanks to recent advancements in the infrastructure for charging EVs and tax benefits for EV sales

Source: European vehicle market statistics | The ICCT

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Historic develop- ment of the share of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle models among all new vehicle registra- tions, as well as future targets, for China, Europe, and the United States
Source: European vehicle market statistics | The ICCT
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