Global EV Registrations in 2021 See Huge Jump Across, Surpass 2020 Registrations in H1

With the looming pressure to reduce carbon emissions in order to meet the Paris Agreement commitments, countries are looking at the transportation sector which contributes nearly 16.2% [1] of all global emissions. Switching to Battery operated electric vehicles is seen as the technology that will disrupt the traditional transport chain. In 2020, the entire EV supply chain was disrupted due to the global impacts of the COVID pandemic, slowing down this transition. However, EV registrations have since then jumped to reach record highs in the first half(H1) 2021 as shown in the figure below.

Fig 1: Year-on-year growth over EVs from 2019-present

Leading Markets

For 2021, all regions and most countries will witness strong increases in EV sales, with growth rates 3 to 8 times higher than for total light vehicle markets. The share of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) in global light vehicle sales increased from 3 % in 2020 H1 to 6,3 % this year. Europe leads with 14 % EV share for the first 6 months combined, up from 7 % a year ago. A caveat is that half of Europe’s EV sales are PHEVs, compared to 80 % pure electric outside Europe. The tailpipe emissions of PHEVs are completely depending on the charging and driving habits of their users, whatever the catalog value says. To their benefit it can be said that countries with high PHEV market shares usually have high BEV market shares as well.

Fig 2: Market-wise growth of EVs in 2021

Top models

Consistent, steep increases of EV sales in all regions enabled nearly all OEM to grow their sales over 2020 H1. Global EV deliveries increased by 168 % y/y in total; OEMs with higher growth have increase their share in the EV sector.

Tesla has more than doubled deliveries compared to last year and stays on top. More sales of Model-3, the Model-Y intro and higher production/sales in China were the main drivers. VW is closing in, esp. by more sales in Europe; their growth in PHEVs was somewhat higher than in BEVs, even with the ID.3 and ID.4 launches.

Despite its absence in Europe, GM posted huge gains from their joint ventures for mini EVs with Wuling and SAIC, also sold more Bolt EVs in the USA. The few PHEVs are from Buick in China. Stellaris is rapidly expanding its EV portfolio across multiple brands on common architectures, including a large array of new light commercial vehicles, which has not ramped up to full potential, yet. BMW needs more BEVs to grow faster. The i4 and iX are still some months off. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance lost ground in all regions and most product categories.

BYD, like many other Chinese OEM, are recovering from the slump in 2019 H2 and 2020 H1. For BYD, Geely, BAIC, JAC, FAW, JMC, volumes have returned to the level of 2019 H1, not more. The Chinese start-ups Nio, X-Peng, Hozon, Li Xiang (CHJ), Leap Motor are gaining sector share from low volume bases. SAIC is the EV export leader among China based OEMs. Within their 95k volume for H1, 22k were exported, mostly to Europe. Tesla (25k) and Volvo (26k) exported slightly more from China.

Among Europe OEM, Porsche and Volvo have the highest share of EVs (BEV+PHEV) in their sales; over 30 % for Porsche and 20 % for Volvo. Japanese OEM are growing from low bases and have BEV+PHEV shares of 1 % or less in their sales. This compares to a 6,3 % market average.

Fig 3: Global EV Sales by OEM

Author: Ayush Jadhav


  1. Emissions by sector – Our World in Data
  2. EV-Volumes – The Electric Vehicle World Sales Database