Currently reading: More electrified cars sold in Europe than China so far this year
Some 14,000 more electric vehicles changed hands in the Western European car market than in China

More electrified vehicles were sold in Europe than in China for the first seven months of this year, according to a report by an independent German car analyst.

China, which bought more than 1.2 million EVs in 2018, has consistently been the world’s largest market for EVs by a significant margin.

However, Matthias Schmidt reported that the Western European car market, which comprises the original EU member states plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, bought 500,000 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) during the first half of 2020. That's 14,000 more than changed hands in China in the same period.

Schmidt cited “generous” government- and manufacturer-backed purchase subsidies and fiscal subsidies in major markets in response to the pandemic as the main reason for the surprising result.

The fact that China has been reducing subsidies in an attempt to make car makers more independent will also have been a large factor, as well as the particularly harsh effect of Covid-19 on its populace.

Europe bought 231,000 PHEVs during the first seven months of this year, more than double the amount sold in China (108,000), but the world's largest new car market still leads for BEV sales, with 378,000 to Europe’s 269,000.

At this rate, Europe is set to exceed a million sales of EVs this year. The chances of reaching this milestone will be boosted by the arrival of several highly anticipated models, most notably the Volkswagen ID 3 family hatchback, which will touch down in Europe and the UK in September.

However, don’t expect Europe’s lead to last long. Last year, Tesla received final permission to start Model 3 production in its $2 billion Gigafactory in Shanghai. This facility is capable of producing 500,000 vehicles per year, and if even a fifth of that number is sold, China would reclaim its place as the foremost electrified vehicle market.


Volkswagen ID 3: vital EV revealed with up to 341-mile range 

New Volkswagen ID 3: UK orders open for electric hatchback 

Volkswagen to launch high-performance ID 3 R by 2024

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Rick Maverick 18 August 2020

ZOE leads

Not a word about Europe's best selling BEV. Not Model3 but Renault Zoe..Now for something shocking: last night Tesla's market cap ($335 bn) almost equalled that of ALL car manufacturers o/t globe. Bizarre for all the right reasons. Still not convinced? Telsa's market value equals $1.000.000 per vehicle. That's pretty unsustainable. Worse to come: Tesla (great cie btw) will have to share the market with 100+ Chinese EV producers. Of these, 80% will go bust shortly. But the other 20% could become a fearsome force for Musk cs: Check the sleek and elegant BYD HAN on InsideEV. Blows Model 3 out of the water in terms of power/torque. luxury, design, room and price. 

WinstonAlexanderson 18 August 2020

Keep supporting EU car makers

Keep up the good work europe!The more we support real EU car makers, like JLR, VW, Audi the better.We need to stamp our authority on chinese car makers like Volvo and ensure their sales dwindle to nothingness by the end of 2020.Volvo needs to die off to show the chinese we are serious. There must be no slave labour used in the development of our vehicles! 

FRI2 17 August 2020

Try $2 billion not $2 million

Try $2 billion not $2 million.Typos are son prevalent with Autocar articles. Do you guys ever proofread or is that up to the reader to proofread for you. 

bol 18 August 2020

Not as prevalent as they are in the comments

As you've just demonstrated FRI2 my so