IEA: Global EV sales soared by 40% in 2020

More than ten million EVs are now on the streets globally, IEA estimates

The Big Zero report

Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have survived the shock the car industry faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, recording a 40% increase last year, compared to 2019.

A new report, published today, by the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates a record three million new EVs were registered in 2020.

The data suggests the electric segment of the automotive industry continued its strong momentum this year, with sales in the first quarter reaching nearly two and half times the level it had in the same period last year.

The growth helped the number of EVs on the streets globally to more than ten million with an estimated another one million electric vans, heavy trucks and buses.

In terms of the geographic expansion of the EV population, IEA highlights that Europe overtook China for the first time last year as the leader of the global electric car market.

The analysis estimates electric car registrations in Europe more than doubled to 1.4 million, while in China they increased 9% to 1.2 million.

The body predicts global electric car sales are on track for a decade of further strong growth as the number of electric cars, vans, heavy trucks and buses on the roads worldwide is projected to reach 145 million by 2030.

However, IEA stresses the need for governments to accelerate their efforts in building the required infrastructure while maintaining their climate targets.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said: “While they can’t do the job alone, electric vehicles have an indispensable role to play in reaching net zero emissions worldwide.

“Current sales trends are very encouraging, but our shared climate and energy goals call for even faster market uptake.

“Governments should now be doing the essential groundwork to accelerate the adoption of EVs by using economic recovery packages to invest in battery manufacturing and the development of widespread and reliable charging infrastructure.”

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast