15 European Countries Have 15%+ Electric Car Sales (New Car Sales)


There are now 15 European countries that have 15% or more of new-car buyers buying plugin electric cars (full electric cars or plugin hybrids). There are 12 European countries that have 10% or more of new-car buyers buying full electric vehicles (BEVs). China also passed those milestones in 2021 (15% plugin vehicle share and 12% BEV share). Let’s look a little closer at these trends in electric car sales in each of these markets. But first …

Note that the centerpieces of this article are interactive charts that are only available on CleanTechnica Pro. (Direct link to article here.) Also, note that those charts are much easier to view and interact with on a normal computer rather than a mobile phone. (The screen of a phone is just too small.)

The first takeaway from these charts and graphs is that EV adoption has skyrocketed in more than a dozen European markets in the past few years, demonstrating exponential growth and true auto industry disruption.

The leader, years ahead of others, is clearly Norway — I’ve been writing about its leadership for nearly a decade, since EVs hit 13% of auto sales in the country — but what’s especially exciting now is that EV adoption curves in countries more recently passing 10%, 15%, or 20% market share have seen more rapid growth from 2% market share to 10%+ market share than Norway saw when it was making that climb a decade ago. That’s logical when you look at how much broader the EV market is today, with electric cars in basically every category and class. Still, it’s an exciting trend to highlight when we consider how quickly the world needs to decarbonize transportation.

The interactive version of the following graph is a must-see, in my opinion, but here’s a static version of it:

15 European Countries Have 15%+ Electric Car Sales

This chart shows that several countries have gone from ~2% of new car sales being fully electric to 10%+ being fully electric in just two years. It took Norway three to four years to make a similar climb. The question now is: does the growth level off a bit or does it keep spiking in these countries? While Norway shows one path to 65% BEV sales and 86% plugin vehicle (PEV) sales, we have to acknowledge that it has taken its own route and other European countries are not on the same curve. Also, importantly, growth has not exactly been stimulated by the same things.

Another way of viewing EV adoption in these countries is putting them all on a graph covering the years 2012–2021. This better shows the sharp uptick in EV adoption across a dozen European markets in the past few years.

15 European Countries Have 15%+ Electric Car Sales

Below is a similar graph, but showing adoption of PEVs (rather than just BEVs) in those same countries. I’ve also added China in for this one.

15 European Countries Have 15%+ Plugin Car Sales

Again, interactive versions of these graphs are on CleanTechnica Pro.

Aside from the graph view, we can explore these topics via bar charts for another perspective. Below are bar charts showing 1) all of these 15 European markets (BEV chart) and 2) these markets as well as China (plugin vehicle chart).

Two more interactive charts are on CleanTechnica Pro, in which you can select each country individually and see its growth from year to year. Here are non-interactive examples of Norway:





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