E-Mobility Sales Review Q4

Favorable conditions unleash EV potential

While there is increasing demand for better products, automotive manufacturers face numerous and complex challenges from the rapid growth of EV markets.

Europe has confirmed its position as the leading market in the global electric vehicle market, boasting both the highest growth and the highest market share in the third quarter 2020. As customer interest and demand for electric and hybrid vehicles is spurred by numerous local and national incentive programs, manufacturers are struggling to increase production and advance product launches. Technical issues and supply limitations are creating operational challenges for automotive companies.

Despite the overall market decline earlier in 2020, sales of battery electric vehicles in the European top 5 markets have more than doubled for the year to date compared to the same period last year (+120%). While conventional powertrains have felt the full brunt of the market downturn, customers have flocked to electric vehicles due to increasingly attractive products and higher battery capacity, efficient sales processes, and more affordable prices.

More plug-in hybrid vehicles have become available from premium brands in Q3, further boosting overall EV sales in Europe. As these products become rolled out globally, the segment is expected to expand in other regions as well.

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Top findings

  • While e-mobility sales in the five largest European markets grow by 146% and the market share rises to over 19%, Europe confirms its key role in the further development of global electromobility
  • While the COVID-19 pandemic has severely hit the market for gasoline and diesel vehicles, has not curbed the enthusiasm for alternative e-drives
  • Waiting times of up to one year for some models show that electric cars will continue to gain momentum in Germany and Europe in the third quarter of 2020
  • New plug-in hybrids drive growth in the German e-mobility market with an increase of 466% year-on-year
  • China records a 49% increase in sales of e-cars
  • USA remains at the bottom of the table with 8.3% growth

E-Mobility Sales Data

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK

Sales have been growing rapidly in the EU top 5 markets since the temporary blip during the COVID-19 lockdown earlier in the year. There were 579,000 new EV registrations in Q3 alone, an increase of 146% compared to the equivalent quarter in 2019. This growth can be attributed to continually growing customer interest, the launch of new models by popular domestic brands and greatly expanded availability after the supply disruptions of the lockdown period. OEMs and suppliers are increasingly struggling to keep pace with demand.

Sales of PHEVs were up more than 400% in France and Germany compared to the same period last year, while BEV sales at least doubled in all five countries. The total EV market share for the EU top 5 for the year to date stands at 19%.

Further European markets (+5)

When including Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden, the overall growth in EV sales compared to Q3 sales last year is 128%. Norway’s overall EV market share continues to outstrip the remainder of the region, at 82%.



Overall EV sales grew by 49% in Q3 over the same quarter last year, with the market powered by an extension of tax breaks announced in June 2020. Sales of BEVs amounted to 279,000, an increase of 66%, while PHEV sales reached 66,000, an increase of 29%. Overall EV market share for the year to date stands at 6%.


Overall, Japan is struggling with an economic downturn and there has been limited focus on BEVs. This is reflected in the sales data. Overall EV sales fell by 19% in Q3 from the same quarter last year. Sales of BEVs amounted to 3,300 a decrease of 46%, while PHEV sales reached 3,000, a fall of 48%. However, the total EV market share stands at 25%, as hybrids are hugely popular. 

Other Asian countries

South Korea recorded a marked increase of EV registrations over the same quarter last year, up by 56% to 48,000 units. The South Korean government has announced a multi-billion dollar investment in subsidies and charging stations with the aim of increasing the number of electric cars tenfold by 2025.


EV registrations in USA have not enjoyed the same growth witnessed in other regions. Although hybrid sales grew by 17% compared to Q3 last year, BEVs only grew by 2% and PHEV sales even fell by 16%. Total EV sales amounted to 216,000, an increase of 8%, while overall market share for the year to date stands at 5%.

Consumer surveys consistently demonstrate considerable interest in EVs within the US market. However, a pause of new product entries has dampened market growth. The resulting lack of market penetration in turn discourages domestic manufacturers from making the necessary investments to up their game in the EV field.

About the "E-Mobility Sales Review" by PwC and Strategy&

PwC Autofacts® and Strategy& have analyzed e-mobility sales worldwide in the third quarter of 2020.

Contact us

Felix Kuhnert

Felix Kuhnert

Partner, PwC Germany

Dr. Jörn Neuhausen

Dr. Jörn Neuhausen

Director, Strategy& Germany

Christoph Stürmer

Christoph Stürmer

Global Lead Analyst PwC Autofacts®, PwC Germany