The United States has overtaken Europe in the league of markets buying electric cars. Around 361,000 EVs were sold in the USA in 2018, compared with 302,000 in Europe.
That US figure also makes up 2.1 percent of market share, compared with Europe’s two percent.
It’s a curious development during the presidency of Donald Trump, who is hardly know for his environmental concerns.
The American market actually saw a 120 percent surge in sales of electric cars during the last quarter of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017. Over the same period, Europe was up 33 percent.
The tables could soon turn, however. America has the advantage of being the home market for Tesla, including the newly-released – and more affordable – Model 3.
Added to that, Europe actually saw a slowdown of debuts for electric models in 2018 compared with 2017. Just seven new EVs came to market.
This year and in years to come, that’s due to increase dramatically, with the Model 3 among the 20 electric models due to hit showrooms. A lot of these debuts will be more affordable, too. Honda’s E Prototype looks particularly appealing, along with Peugeot’s electric 208.
That number increases to 33 in 2020 and 45 in 2021. So maybe 2018 was a bit of a fluke for America.
Tesla takes the credit?
Over the course of last year, the Tesla Model 3 became the USA’s best-selling luxury car. The entry-level model from Elon Musk’s breakout electric car manufacturer made up 68 percent of electric car sales in the final quarter of 2018 in the USA.
The maturity of the European market must be commented on, too. While Tesla is the electric beacon in the US, Europe’s long-standing car manufacturers are gearing up for major investments in electric vehicles. Volkswagen is even offering out its Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) architecture for sale to third parties.
Audi, Mercedes and BMW have their own new EV onslaughts to come. Where we all stand globally in 2019 and 2020 will be very interesting, as will how market share for electric vehicles progresses.
Either way, neither Europe or America was going to come close to China. Electric vehicles had a four percent market share, with more than 150,000 EV sales in December alone. For reference, that’s half of the annual EV sales in Europe.