Electric Vehicle Sales Review Q4-2021

China growth outstrips other regions


China’s BEV sales almost trebled in the third quarter of 2021 in comparison with the equivalent quarter in 2020

Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) surged by 123% in all the markets analyzed in the third quarter of 2021 versus the corresponding quarter last year. China led the way with sales of 782,000 BEV units during the quarter, amounting to growth of 190%.

BEV sales growth was substantial in Europe in Q3 too (an increase of 53% in the largest five European markets in comparison with last year), albeit somewhat less than it has been in recent quarters. Even steeper growth was only thwarted by the global semiconductor shortage, which has slowed vehicle production markedly and lengthened waiting times for in-demand cars.

The market share for all EVs in Europe, including PHEVs and hybrids, has mushroomed in the last two years and is rapidly approaching parity with ICE vehicles. For the largest five European markets, EV market share has increased from 8% in 2019 to 38% for the year 2021 to date.

OEMs, suppliers and governments are adapting their strategies accordingly to fit a changing world. OEMs are diverting resources to build EV manufacturing capacity and launch a range of new EV models. Given the inevitable sharp fall in fuel duty that lies ahead, particularly with ICE sales bans in several countries on the horizon, governments are now pondering how they will manage to safeguard this tax revenue from BEVs.

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Top findings

  • E-vehicle market share in Germany doubles year-on-year to 40.2% in first three quarters
  • China continues to focus fully on pure battery electric cars (+190%)
  • Pure electric vehicles (+63%) also remain most popular in Germany, ahead of plug-in hybrids (+38%)

Electric Vehicle Sales Data

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK

In the third quarter of 2021, BEV sales in the top 5 European markets showed substantial growth, increasing by 53% from the corresponding period in 2020. Growth was particularly marked in Germany (63%) and Italy (122%), albeit the latter from a much lower base. Certain manufacturers played a major role in this increase. For example, for Europe as a whole, Volkswagen reported BEV growth of 81% in Q3 2021 vs Q3 2020.

In a time period of less than two years, the increase in market share of electrified vehicles (including BEV, PHEV and hybrid) has been dramatic. For the year 2019, the respective market shares of ICE vehicles and EVs in the European top 5 were 92% and 8%. By the end of Q3 2021, those proportions had undergone a far-reaching transformation for the year to date – to 62% and 38% respectively. Parity is now within reach. During this period, the total EV market share has jumped in the UK from 9% to 44%, and in Germany from 8% to 40%.

Further European markets (+5)

Austria and Sweden boasted the highest year-on-year BEV growth rates for the third quarter among the smaller European markets, increasing by 112% and 109% respectively.

Total EV market shares have experienced similar trajectories to those witnessed in the larger European markets. In Norway, the EV market share for the first three quarters of the year is the highest in the world, at 91%. In Sweden (48%), Netherlands (46%), Switzerland (42%) and Austria (36%), the total EV market share is rapidly nearing parity with that for ICEs.

Focus market: Turkey

Turkey, as potential future electric vehicle market, continued to grow through the last quarter. While the overall sales of BEVs (1,560 units) and PHEVs (473 units) are still low through September 2021, hybrids were able to increase their market share to 6.9% – similar to the share of hybrids in Norway (6.2%).


Growth rates in China comfortably outstripped the other regions of the world. BEV sales almost trebled compared to the equivalent quarter in 2020, while PHEV sales climbed by 164%. BEV market share continues its steady increase, and now stands at 9.5% year to date.


Japan’s EV market continues to rely almost exclusively on the sales of hybrids, which amounted to 256,000 in Q3. Hybrid market share stands at 41%. BEV sales increased by 94%, but from a very low base, to 7,000 units.

South Korea

BEV sales increased by 178% in South Korea in Q3 2021 vs Q3 2020. BEV market share has reached 5.8% for 2021 to date, a sizeable increase from 2.3% for the year 2020.


In the third quarter of 2021, the United States recorded a significant increase in BEV, hybrid and particularly PHEV sales, up by 34%, 58% and 162% respectively from the corresponding period in 2020. However, this growth starts from a relatively low base, with market shares for the year to date now standing at 2.4% for BEVs, 5.1% for hybrids and 1% for PHEVs.

Talk of an expansion of tax credits for BEVs, and the examples set by the states of California and New York in committing to sales of only zero-emission cars and light trucks by 2035, continue to raise hopes of a rapid increase in market shares over the coming years.

About the „Electric Vehicle Sales Review“ by PwC and Strategy&

PwC Autofacts® and Strategy& have analyzed electric vehicle sales worldwide in the third quarter of 2021.

Steven van Arsdale also contributed to this report.

Contact us

Felix Kuhnert

Felix Kuhnert

Partner, PwC Germany

Dr. Jörn Neuhausen

Dr. Jörn Neuhausen

Director, Strategy& Germany