Despite the Covid-19 pandemic causing the global auto industry to shrink 16 percent, electric vehicle sales actually posted strong growth during the crisis. A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that the number of electric cars, vans, trucks and buses is expected to grow from 11 million this year to 145 million by 2030. By the end of the decade, the figure could be as high as 230 million if goverments accelerate their efforts to reach climate targets.
A record three million electric cars were registered globally last year, 41 percent higher than in 2019. That trend has continued into 2021 with 2.5 as many registrations recorded as during the same period last year. The growth is being driven by strong sales in Europe and China with 450,000 and 500,000 EVs sold, respectively. The United States has also experienced a doubling of its sales compared to the first quarter of last year.
In 2020, customers spent $120 billion on electric car purchases and governments supported them with $14 billion in subsidies, a 25 percent increase on 2019. This was driven by strong incentives in Europe that have seen the continent surpass China as the world's largest EV market for the first time.
The figures reported by the IEA are set to have major repercussions for the global oil market with millions of barrels set to be wiped out. There are expected to be two million barrels of petrol and diesel fewer per day by 2030 with the equivalent of 120 million tonnes of carbon dioxide saved. If governments raise their goals in line with global climate targets, 3.5 million barrels could be removed by the end of the decade with the carbon savings nearly doubling.