The global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in 2020 increased by 39 per cent year on year to 3.1 million units in 2020,according to new research from Canalys.

The increase in the sale of EVs compares with a sales decline of 14 per cent of the total passenger car market in 2020.

The report further estimated that the number of EVs sold will rise to 30 million in 2028 with EVs representing nearly half of all passenger cars sold globally by 2030.

“In a tough 2020 for the automotive industry, the strong demand for EVs has been a real bright spot. This will continue around the world in 2021 and beyond, despite the economically adverse conditions,” said Chris Jones, Chief Analyst for automotive at Canalys.

EVs accounted for nearly 5 per cent of all new car sales in 2020.

Other findings

“EVs are forecast to reach over 7 per cent of new car sales worldwide in 2021, a further 66 per cent growth, to exceed 5 million units sold,” the report said.

Nearly 1.3 million EVs were sold in both China and Europe last year, four times the EV sales in the US.

“EV sales in the US represented just 2.4 per cent of new cars sold there, despite it being home to Tesla, the world’s leading EV manufacturer. Even policies from a more supportive US government won’t change things overnight,” said Jones.

“Rapid growth will continue as more electric vehicles launch and governments set and maintain policies to stimulate EV production and sales. Reducing ‘range anxiety’ with increases in performance and charging infrastructure will be vital to entice more buyers,” said Sandy Fitzpatrick, VP at Canalys.

“The automotive industry is currently facing crippling semiconductor shortages, so managing future supply chains and production systems to cope with the growth will be make or break for any electric vehicle strategies,” added Fitzpatrick.