Insight Report

PWC Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q3 2021

6 Sep 2021

China reclaims global BEV leadership

Top findings

  • The BEV market in the European core regions grows by 147% year-on-year in the first half of 2021, with a total of 336,000 units sold
  • PHEV sales increase up by 248% to 350,000 units
  • Germany is the dominant market within Europe, accounting for 44% of all BEV sales in the five European core markets in the first half of the year, and 47% of PHEV sales


China has returned to lead the global BEV market

At the end of 2020, the average market share for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the Western Europe 5+5 countries was higher than in China. In the six months since, however, BEV market share in China has almost doubled, from 5.2% to 9.8%, propelled by an extension of government subsidies, and has overtaken the WE 5+5 average again (now standing at 8.6%).

Nevertheless, if we break down Europe into its constituent countries, the picture becomes more dynamic. Germany (10.7%), Norway (a huge 57.3%), Sweden (12.6%), Austria (11.4%), the Netherlands (10.7%) and Switzerland (9.9%) are all ahead of China in terms of market share. The UK (8.1%) and France (7.9%) do not lag too far behind, but Italy (3.4%) and Spain (2.3%) have much ground to make up.

Given the EU proposal from the 14th of July for a complete ban on the sale of non-electric cars by 2035, such disparities need inevitably to disappear over time if market shares are to make the necessary consistent strides to meet the eventual target.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the highly successful launch of the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck, the electric version of the most popular vehicle in the country, has raised expectations that BEVs are about to enter the mainstream of American driving for the first time.

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