The electric vehicle market is thriving. There is no doubt about it. The signs have been there for a while, with EV sales and market share increasing. Annual growth rates are frequently in the double digits, and in some markets and years, even triple digits. However, because the starting point is so low, it takes a long time to gain momentum. EVs accounted for slightly more than 3% of new car registrations in Europe in 2019.
Norway, the European EV industry’s poster child, has consistently led the way. Surprisingly, more fully electric cars were sold in the United States in 2019 than all other fuel types combined. Other countries followed Norway’s lead, but at a slower pace.
Everything changed in 2020. During the year when the world came to a halt, European EV sales went into overdrive.
Last year, car sales in Europe fell dramatically. New car registrations in Germany fell by 19%. They fell by 26% in France. By 29% in the United Kingdom. The rapid spread of COVID-19 slowed our economies across the continent, and we were all thrown into a world of uncertainty and economic gloom.
In spring 2020, as we faced a long year mostly confined to our homes, it was expected that EV sales would be hit similarly. In fact, the inverse occurred. In 2020, more than twice as many EVs were sold in Europe as in 2019. We had grown accustomed to EV market shares of 2%, 3%, and 4% in previous years. By 2020, the UK will have sold more than 10% of electric vehicles. It was 13% in Germany. 25% in the Netherlands.
Of course, the drop in conventional vehicle sales allowed EV shares to nearly double. The question is whether the current rate of growth can be sustained in the long run. Delta-EE believes the answer is ‘Yes.’
Delta-EE shares their thoughts on why the European EV industry is shifting faster than anyone predicted even a year ago, as well as our predictions for uptake rates through 2030.