Despite 2020 being a sluggish year for the global automobile industry, electric car sales continued to grow. According to the latest edition of the International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook, electric passenger car sales climbed despite the total automobile industry contracting by 16 percent. While Europe overtook China to become the world's largest EV market for the first time last year, China still had the largest number of electric cars on its roads last year with a total stock of 4.5 million.
As the following chart shows, the past decade has been one of rapid growth for electric cars, even though we’re still at the beginning of the transition to cleaner, more sustainable mobility. Despite the fact that the number of electric passenger cars in use globally increased from close to zero to 10.2 million between 2010 and 2020, electric cars and plug-in hybrids accounted for just 4.6 percent of global passenger car sales last year.