China became the world’s largest market for electrified vehicles back in 2018 when a total of 1.2-million EVs and PHEVs were sold in one year. And it looked like it would increase its lead, yet now it has apparently been overtaken by Europe, at least in the first months of 2020.
Mattias Schmidt is an automotive industry analyst from Germany and he argues that Western Europe plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland have more combined sales of EVs and PHEVs than China. In total, the full number of electrified cars bought in the European markets amounted to 500,000 (231,000 PHEVs and 269,000 EVs).
That’s a some 14,000 more combined than were bought in China so far in 2020. Buyers in the People’s Republic purchased 108,000 PHEVs and 378,000, for a grand total of 486,000 vehicles. It has to be said, though, that China still leads Europe when it comes to BEV sales (378,000 versus 269,000).
All of this may also be due to the fact that China’s Q1 2020 EV sales decreased by 57 percent compared to Q1 2019, which is also what happened in the U.S. where the number of new EVs purchased dropped by 33 percent in the same time frame. Meanwhile, Europe (whose main EV markets by number of vehicles sold are Germany and the Netherlands) noted a 44 percent increase in sales and the upward trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.