Sales of fully electric and partially electrically powered cars continue to rise strongly, after the record sales of a year earlier. The IEA (International Energy Agency) comes with new figures.
Sales of all-electric models and plug-in hybrids doubled in 2021 to a record number of 6.6 million vehicles. This year, sales are up again, with more plug-in cars being sold each week than in all of 2012, according to the latest edition of the annual Global Electric Vehicle Outlook.
In the first quarter of this year, two million (fully and partially) electric cars were sold worldwide. This represents an increase of three quarters compared to the same period a year earlier. There were about 16.5 million on the world’s roads at the end of 2021, three times the number in 2018. In China, sales of electric cars nearly tripled to 3.3 million last year, accounting for about half of the total. the global total. Sales in Europe also grew strongly with a plus of 65 percent to 2.3 million. In the United States, this is a doubling to 630,000 vehicles.
According to the energy agency IEA, the increase is related to a deluge of new models in combination with government policies to make the vehicle fleet greener. Governments together spent about $30 billion (€28 billion) on subsidies and other incentives, according to the IEA. That was twice more than a year earlier. However, the agency warns that “great efforts” are needed to maintain growth. For example, bottlenecks in the supply chain must be properly anticipated. The extraction of critical raw materials for the production of batteries, for example, is also a matter of concern.
Furthermore, the agency points out the short-term obstacles that can hinder sales. These include the rapidly rising prices for a number of essential minerals for battery production. Supply chain disruptions caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine and ongoing corona measures in some parts of China could also pose a problem. In the longer term, according to the IEA, more needs to be done in the field of charging infrastructure. The number of charging stations is not yet sufficient to meet the expected growth in electric car sales, the report said.