Visualization of 10 years of global electric vehicle sales by country
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In 2011, approximately 55,000 electric vehicles (EVs) were sold worldwide. 10 years later, in 2021, this figure had risen to almost 7 million vehicles.
As many countries jump on electrification, the global electric vehicle market has grown exponentially over the past decade. Using data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), this infographic shows the explosion in global EV sales since 2011, highlighting the countries that have emerged as the biggest EV markets.
The early days of electric vehicles
From 2011 to 2015, global electric vehicle sales grew at an average annual rate of 89%with about a third of global sales made in the United States alone.
|Year||Total EV sales||CAGR|
|Total Sales / Average Growth||1,448,162||89.3%|
In 2014, the United States was the largest market for electric vehicles, followed by China, the Netherlands, Norway and France. But things changed in 2015, when sales of electric vehicles in China increased by 238% compared to 2014, propelling it to number one.
China’s growth had taken years to prepare, with the government offering generous subsidies for electrified cars, in addition to incentives and policies that encouraged production. In 2016, Chinese consumers bought more electric vehicles than the rest of the world combined, and the country hasn’t looked back, accounting for more than half of global sales in 2021.
Sales of electric vehicles by country in 2021
After remaining relatively flat in 2019, global electric vehicle sales increased by 38% in 2020, then more than doubled in 2021. China was the engine of growth: the country sold more electric vehicles in 2021 than the rest of the world combined in 2020.
|Country||2021 EV sales||% of total|
|WE 🇺🇸||631 152||9.3%|
|Germany 🇩🇪||695 657||10.2%|
|United Kingdom 🇬🇧||326,990||4.8%|
|South Korea 🇰🇷||119,402||1.8%|
|Rest of Europe 🇪🇺||469,930||6.9%|
|Rest of the world 🌍||313 129||4.6%|
China has nearly 300 electric vehicle models available for purchase, more than any other country, and is also home to four of the world’s top 10 battery manufacturers. Moreover, the median price of electric cars in China is only 10% higher than that of conventional cars, compared to 45-50% on average in other major markets.
Germany, Europe’s biggest auto market, sold nearly 700,000 electric vehicles in 2021, up 72% from 2020. The country is home to some of Europe’s largest electric vehicle factories, with Tesla, Volkswagen and Chinese battery giant CATL planning or operating “gigafactories” there. Overall, sales in Europe increased by 65% in 2021, as evidenced by the seven European countries in the list above.
The United States also made a comeback after a two-year decline, with electric vehicle sales more than doubling in 2021. Growth was supported by a 24% increase in the availability of electric vehicle models, as well as by an increase in the production of Tesla models, which accounted for half of electric vehicle sales in the United States.
Tesla’s dominance in the United States
Tesla is the most renowned electric car company in the world and its dominance in the United States is unmatched.
Between 2011 and 2019, Tesla represented 40% of all electric vehicles sold in the United States. Additionally, Tesla cars have been the top-selling electric vehicle models in the United States every year since 2015.
|EV model||2021 sales||% of electric vehicle sales in the United States in 2021|
|Tesla Model Y*||185,994||29.5%|
|Tesla Model 3*||147,460||23.4%|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E||27,140||4.3%|
|Chevrolet Bolt EV/EUV||24,828||3.9%|
|Tesla Model S*||15,545||2.5%|
|Tesla Model X*||7,985||1.3%|
Share of total sales calculated from total US EV sales of 631,152 units, based on IEA data.
Tesla represented more 50% of electric vehicle sales in the United States in 2021, with the Model Y, launched in 2019, taking the top spot. Additionally, the Model Y remained the best-selling electric vehicle in the first quarter of 2022, with Tesla taking a massive share 75% of EV market share.
Despite Tesla’s popularity, it could face a challenge as other automakers roll out new models and expand production of electric vehicles. For example, General Motors aims to make 20 electric vehicle models available by 2025, and Ford plans to produce at least 2 million electric vehicles per year by 2026. This increased competition from incumbents and new entrants could erode Tesla’s market share in the coming years.