Global EV growth is leaving the U.S. in the dust

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Global electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to top 6 million units this year, said Wood Mackenzie in a research note.

China and Europe combined accounted for 47% of all car sales globally, and contributed to more than 85% of all EV sales during the first half of 2021.

The EV share in the U.S., meanwhile, has grown by 1.4%, resulting in around 270,000 first-half sales. Wood Mackenzie said that price continues to be a pain point for U.S. consumers as EVs are mostly aimed at the luxury end of the market. It also said that although the Biden administration has announced support toward transport decarbonization, regulatory and legislative changes have been slow.

The firm said that global EV sales during the year’s first half nearly tripled compared to the same period of 2020. It attributed some of the jump to slow vehicle sales caused by the pandemic a year ago. Share of EV sales in global passenger car sales doubled compared to the same period last year and now stands at 7% globally.

Wood Mackenzie said that over the past three years, EV sales have grown toward the end of the year. The current trend points to levels slightly over 6 million units for the full year, with full-year sales exceeding 2.5 million each in China and in Europe.

China led the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market in during the first half. The country’s share of BEVs grew to 9.3. In terms of total numbers, BEV sales in China reached 900,000 units, nearly double the sales in Europe.

Wood Mackenzie said that China’s dominance in the BEV market is a result of strong promotion at both ends of the price spectrum. At one end is Wuling’s Hongguang Mini which is priced at $5,000 and notched 180,000 sales in the first six months of 2021. At the other end, the second and third most popular BEVs in China were Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y, which recorded 161,000 first-half sales and cost about nine times as much as the Mini.

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