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Which Countries Have the Most Electric Cars?

Vehicles of all kinds were once the attributes of luxury and later became a commodity available to the public. More recently, electric cars and hybrid cars were considered the new status symbols, and today they are massively moving into the category of everyday cars – pleasant to drive, environmentally friendly, suitable for fast inexpensive switching, and performing all sorts of tasks.

Despite the fact that electric cars are still quite expensive, buyers are enthusiastic about “green technology” and willing to pay for them.

In this review, we will compare all the latest facts, figures, and forecasts about the electric car market, its history, and prospects.

Renaissance of electric car manufacturing

In a 2011 study, McKinsey, a consulting firm, showed which type of vehicle was most economical for which price of petrol or battery. According to its calculations, a battery-electric vehicle would be most economical at petrol prices above $1 per litre and battery prices below $300 per kWh. In fact, as of November 2013, the cost of fuel in many countries was over $1 per litre and the price of batteries was no more than $200 per kWh. Profitability became apparent.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on the spread of electric cars, although to a lesser extent than conventional cars. Based on sales data from January through June 2020, the passenger car market is down 15% relative to 2019, while sales of electric cars – private and commercial light-duty vehicles – remained broadly the same as last year.

The next pandemic wave and a slower-than-expected economic recovery could make adjustments in all areas of life, including the strategy of automakers, and experts estimate that electric vehicles will account for about 3% of global sales by the end of 2020. These prospects are based on supportive policies, especially in China and Europe – both markets have tempting national and local subsidy schemes.

Current trends

Among today’s major electric car manufacturers, the leaders remain:

Tesla (U.S.)

BYD (China)

BAIC (China)

SAIC (China)

Mahindra Electric and Tata Motors (India)

Nissan (Japan).

The list is constantly growing, adding such famous companies as Renault, Mercedes, BMW, Chevrolet, VW, Smart, Skoda, Hyundai, Audi, Kia, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, etc. Even small companies that previously specialised in street scooters and budget small cars are now developing electric cars.

In addition, some manufacturers are converting existing cars, trucks, and buses to electric power and filling not only private garages, but also the fleets of large transportation companies with them.

In 2013, 40 percent of all the electric cars in the world drove on U.S. roads, a quarter in Japan. Some countries, such as France or the United States, subsidise electric cars, reimbursing buyers several thousand euros per car.

In 2015, about 550,000 new registrations were added in the States and 207,000 in China. The best-selling electric car in the world was the Tesla Model S in 2015-2017, replaced in 2018 by the Tesla Model 3.

The European Union, which is constantly tightening legislation on CO2 emissions, is promoting emission-free vehicles on European roads. Similar effects can be seen in the policies of the U.S. and many other countries concerned about environmental issues.

In 2017, the EV30@30 campaign was launched to promote clean energy (30 percent electric vehicles by 2030). The participating countries were Canada, China, Finland, France, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.