Jan 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Electric vehicle sales far surpass pandemic expectations
New International Energy Agency preliminary data shows that worldwide sales grew by an estimated 40% last year, exceeding the agency's expectations.
Why it matters: The increase occurred despite a drop on overall global vehicle sales.
- "Backed by existing policy support and additional stimulus measures, the IEA preliminary estimate is that electric car sales worldwide climbed to over 3 million and reached a market share of over 4%," they write.
Reality check: "While impressive, the share of electric vehicles in total car sales is still only one-tenth that of conventional SUV sales," IEA analysts noted in their commentary alongside the data.
How it works: IEA sees a few reasons EV sales didn't fall sharply alongside conventional car sales, even though COVID-19 initially hindered both manufacturing and demand.
- One was that policy support was strong, especially in Europe.
- There were also continued declines in battery costs, more models coming to market, and enthusiasm among affluent car buyers less affected by the economic crisis.
What we're watching: The trajectory of U.S. sales in the years ahead, which were essentially flat year over year in the United States.
- But more models are coming to showrooms, and Biden hopes to implement policies — ranging from tougher emissions rules to charging infrastructure support — that will expand deployment.