Which Countries Have The Most Electric Vehicles

Description of the history, present and future of electric cars, in which countries there are the most electric cars. Video about electric vehicles.

Various vehicles were at one time attributes of luxury, and later turned into a generally available commodity. More recently, electric cars and hybrid cars were considered 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 all kinds of tasks.

Even though EVs are still quite expensive, buyers are enthusiastic about green technologies and are willing to pay for them.

In this review, we will collate all the latest facts, figures and predictions regarding the electric vehicle market, its history and prospects.

The beginning of the story

Michael Faraday

In 1821, Michael Faraday showed how continuous rotation can be created using electromagnetism, and thereby laid the foundation for the electric drive.

Since the 1830s, the variety of electric motor and battery options has led to a host of experimental models. In this field, Sibrandus Strating, who supplied the boat with an electric motor, and Thomas Davenport, who tested his electric motor on a home-made locomotive running along a rail circle with a diameter of about one meter, especially distinguished themselves.

There was also a Scotsman Robert Anderson, who built an electric cart in Aberdeen in 1832 and in 6 years brought it to a state that gave the right to be called an electric car.

In history, there are many names of inventors who created certain types of electric vehicles, and many countries ascribe to themselves the primacy in the construction of electric vehicles.

But technically, they could only be called vehicles for transporting people, with at least four wheels. So the first “officially recognized” electric car from Gustave Trouve arrived in Paris in 1881, and the first mass-produced passenger car with an electric drive was the Flocken (1888), produced by A. Floquin’s machine plant in Coburg.

Around the same time, Russian craftsmen Yablochkov and Romanov presented their interpretation of the electric machine to the world. Electric cars were technically superior to their steam-powered predecessors and early combustion-powered competitors, which have formed the backbone of the automotive industry since 1910.

The great era of electric vehicles

In 1897, the founding meeting of the Central European Automobile Association was held in Berlin. His verdict: “As vehicles that carry energy for movement, three types are currently identified, namely: moving on steam, on oil products and on electricity. The first class is likely to be mainly used in the future for rail cars and heavy vehicles. The main, vast territory of the regions will be riddled with “oil” cars, and the smooth streets of big cities will liven up with cars powered by collector electricity. ” Well, for the most part, the prediction came true.

In the early 1900s, about 34,000 electric vehicles were in service in the United States alone. The share of sales of these cars grew and fell, but they continued to live and develop.

From 1896 to 1939, 565 brands of electric vehicles were registered worldwide. From about 1910, competitors with internal combustion engines began to gradually displace them from the streets, which led to desolation in the “electric” niche.

The demise of electric vehicles began when starting gasoline engines became much more convenient: pressing the starter is easier than turning a crank. The expanded assortment and stable supply of cheap petroleum products have become another factor in reducing the demand for smoothly working electric vehicles with their “sensitive” batteries.

Gasoline has become the main fuel in all countries affected by Standard Oil. In some tourist regions (for example, in the Swiss resort of Zermatt since 1931), electric cars still dominate traffic, but in general, already in the 1920s, cars with electric motors ceased to play a serious role.

In the 90s, active research into new battery technologies and electric drives resumed. The tests were carried out on a number of prototypes – small batches of existing production vehicles and completely new models. The main reasons for the surge in interest have been growing air pollution in urban areas due to the widespread use of vehicles with internal combustion engines, problems with oil supplies and efforts to curb climate change.

Some of these experimental versions have come down to us. Albeit in a radically changed form, but they can be found in the list of serial production electric vehicles.


Renaissance of electric vehicle production

People have long foreseen a new round of development in the automotive industry. Electrified cars have expectedly replaced gasoline and diesel “brothers” – like digital cameras that replaced analog prototypes at one time.

In a 2011 study, consultancy McKinsey showed what type of vehicle is most economical for what price of gasoline or battery. According to her calculations, an electric vehicle with a battery pack would be most economical when gasoline prices are above $ 1 per liter, and batteries are below $ 300 per kWh. In fact, as of November 2013, the cost of fuel in many countries was in excess of $ 1 per liter, and the price of batteries was no more than $ 200 per kWh. The profitability has become evident.

After entering commercial markets in the first half of the decade, sales of electric vehicles have skyrocketed. And if in 2010 there were only about 17,000 electric vehicles on the roads of the world, then by 2020 this number exceeded 7.5 million, and 47% of them travel on the roads of the PRC. More than 100,000 electric vehicles are in service in nine countries; in at least twenty, their share exceeded 1%.

Covid-19 pandemic slowed down the spread of electric vehicles, albeit to a lesser extent than conventional cars. Based on sales data from January to June 2020, the passenger car market declined 15% from 2019, while sales of electric vehicles – private and light commercial vehicles – were broadly flat last year.

The next wave of the pandemic and a slower-than-expected economic recovery could make adjustments in all areas of life, including the strategy of automakers, and, according to experts, 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 seductive national and local subsidy schemes.

Modern tendencies

Tesla logo

Today, the electric car segment is most actively developing in China, ahead of the established rival of the United States. In China, mainly Chinese brands are sold, in the USA – mostly Tesla.

Western Europe is also seeing an increase in the share of electric vehicles in new car registrations (mainly due to strong government subsidies), while conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines are increasingly moving into the niche product category.

Among the largest modern manufacturers of electric vehicles, the leaders are:

  • Tesla (USA);
  • BYD (China);
  • BAIC (China);
  • SAIC (China);
  • Mahindra Electric and Tata Motors (India);
  • Nissan (Japan).

The list is constantly growing, replenishing with such well-known companies as Renault, Mercedes, BMW, Chevrolet, VW, Smart, Skoda, Hyundai, Audi, Kia, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, etc. Even small companies that previously specialized in street scooters and budget compact cars now develop electric vehicles.

In addition, some manufacturers are converting existing cars, trucks and buses for power supply and filling them not only in private garages, but also in the fleets of large transport companies.

In 2013, 40% of all electric vehicles in the world drove on US roads, a quarter in Japan. Some countries, such as France or the United States, subsidize electric vehicles by reimbursing customers several thousand euros per car.

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

The European Union, which is constantly tightening its CO2 emissions legislation, is helping to promote emission-free vehicles on European roads. Similar effects are observed in the policies of the United States and many other countries concerned with environmental problems.

In 2017, the EV30 @ 30 project was launched, promoting the spread of clean energy (30% share of electric vehicles by 2030). The participating countries are Canada, China, Finland, France, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Today we can distinguish several countries with the most developed electrification in the field of automobiles… In addition to the United States and China, these are:

  • Norway;
  • Germany;
  • France;
  • Italy;
  • Netherlands;
  • Great Britain;
  • Finland;
  • Sweden;
  • Austria;
  • Switzerland;
  • Iceland;
  • Hungary, etc.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, for this is far from a complete list of “electrifying” countries, and it is constantly growing. In this list, market share is defined as the share of new EV registrations as a percentage of total new vehicle registrations, and EV refers to vehicles in the light-duty passenger car segment that can be charged via a plug – electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It does not include conventional hybrids that cannot be plugged into the grid, and 2-3-wheeled vehicles, otherwise India, Japan and South Korea will take the lead.

You can find differences in the ratings compiled by different expert organizations and Internet resources. Do not wonder. Some also include fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) in their statistics, some take into account the total number of cars sold, others only those remaining in the country and registered locally, and still others look at the percentage increase in sales.

Another factor is the difficulties with calculations due to the Covid-2019 pandemic. Constant rearrangements are also confusing: in each of the leading countries, electric cars are sold and operated in solid volumes, and the top nominees are intensely competing within the group, now rising to the top positions, now giving way to neighbors.

For example, the United States, which has been holding the lead for many years, is losing to China today (but still leading by a large margin from the rest), Britain slipped, France rose, and Germany managed to squeeze Norway.


According to an analysis by McKinsey & Company, America, China and Europe remain the largest e-vehicle markets. Sales in Europe increased by 44%, in China – by 3%, in the US they fell by 12%.

By 2024, the world will see 600 new electric models, and German manufacturers will be the leaders in the global electric car market.

“China remains the largest market in the world,” says Nikolai Müller, senior partner at McKinsey’s Cologne office. “However, demand in Europe has skyrocketed. Germany shows extraordinary dynamism and, along with Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands, is at the top of this part of the world. The choice of models here is also great – against the background of huge China with about 170 models of electronic cars on sale in Germany, it looks great with more than 80 models. “

The International Energy Agency predicts the number of electric vehicles on the roads worldwide will reach 125 million by 2030. A According to analysts from Global EV Market Outlook, there are two possible scenarios:

  1. The “public policy” plan assumes that by 2030 the global stock of electric vehicles (excluding two / three-wheeled vehicles) will approach 140 million and will account for 7% of the global vehicle fleet.
  2. Another, more ambitious project, known as the EV30 @ 30, suggests that in 10 years at least 30% of all vehicles other than two-wheelers will be electric.

Time will tell which of the predictions is closer to the truth.

Video about electric vehicles:

Description of the history, present and future of electric cars, in which countries there are the most electric cars. Video about electric vehicles.

Which countries have the most electric vehicles


  1. The beginning of the story
  2. The great era of electric vehicles
  3. Renaissance
  4. Modern tendencies
  5. Video about electric vehicles

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