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China and Europe drive growth in global EV sales

Analysis from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie highlights the disparities in growth of electric vehicle sales across China, Europe and the US over the last 12 months.

Global electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to surpass six million units in 2021 after sales tripled worldwide during the first six months of the year, compared with the same period in 2020, says energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie in a new analysis.

While the share of EVs in global car sales doubled to 7% over the last year, some of this increase is attributed to a fall in total vehicle sales during the pandemic in 2020.

Subsidy policies and green economic recovery efforts in China and Europe appear to have had a positive effect as annual sales in each region are expected to exceed 2.5 million units, the analysis states. 

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The Volkswagen Golf GTE electric plug-in car charged with green energy at a public charging station. (Photo by Mino Surkala /

China led the EV market during the first half of 2021, as the share of EVs grew to 9.3%, nearly 2% higher than in Europe. In absolute terms, sales in China reached 900,000 units, nearly twice the European number.

While China and Europe are “the vanguard for transport decarbonisation”, the analysis calls for a focus on turning it into a global phenomenon; EVs' share in the US only increased by 1.4% during the first half of 2021.