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Electric vehicle sales to vault over 6 million in 2021

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Global electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to vault over 6 million this year, says Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk business (Nasdaq:VRSK).

EV sales in H1 2021 nearly tripled worldwide compared to the first half of last year. Some of the increase can be attributed to slow vehicle sales caused by the pandemic in 2020. Share of EV sales in global passenger car sales doubled compared to the same period last year and now stands at 7% globally. There has not been a year when ICE sales were displaced at this rate.

Wood Mackenzie’s Head of Road Transportation Ram Chandrasekaran said: “In the past three years, we have seen a clear trend of EV sales exploding towards the end of the year. As such, H2 2021 sales will likely outperform H1 sales of 2.4 million EVs. The current trend points to levels slightly over 6 million for the full year, with year-long sales exceeding 2.5 million each in China and in Europe.

“Policy measures passed by both regions for a green recovery from the Covid crisis appear to have a positive effect as far as the passenger transport sector is concerned.”

China led the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market in H1 2021. The country’s share of BEVs leapt to 9.3%, nearly 2% higher than the European share. In terms of total numbers, BEV sales in China reached 900,000 units, nearly double the sales in Europe.

Apart from the two-year extension of subsidy policy, China’s dominance in the BEV market is a result of strong promotion of BEVs at both ends of the price segments. At one end of the spectrum is Wuling’s Hongguang Mini which is priced at US$5,000 and has already achieved 180,000 in sales in first six months of 2021. At the other end of the spectrum, the second and third most popular BEVs in China in the same period are Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y which recorded 161,000 in sales in H1 this year and cost about 9 times as much as the Mini.

The EV share in the US has gone up by a modest 1.4%, resulting in over 270,000 sales in the first half of the year. Price continues to be a pain point for consumers as EVs are mostly catered to the luxury end of the segment. Although the new US administration has announced support towards transport decarbonisation, regulatory and legislative changes have been slow.

Chandrasekaran said: “Of larger concern is that while China and Europe combined accounts for 47% of all car sales globally, they contributed to over 85% of all EV sales in H1 2021. The two regions are clearly the vanguard for transport decarbonisation, but there needs to be a focus on making it a more global phenomenon.”

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