China, Europe Lead record global EV sales in 2021

Highlights :

  • Even as the global EV market moves from strength to strength, India has reason to worry.
  • A vast auto manufacturing ecosystem faces the challenge of adapting even as a price sensitive domestic market changes slowly, thanks to high prices of EV’s.

A research report from global data firm Canalys says that 2021 saw nearly 6.5 million Electric vehicles sold, including fully electric as well as hybrid passenger vehicles. Tesla led the global manufacturer stakes with a 14% share of the market, even as 2021 sales beat 2020 sales by 109%. Tesla ended the year with over 900,000 (936,000) vehicles sold finally, making the one million mark all but certain in 2022. However, it does have competition bearing down quickly on its lead, which should be under threat from multiple players, from Volkswagen(12% market share)  to China’s SAIC (11% market share) .

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The EV market performance meant that EV’s outgrew the ICE market massively, even as overall share of EV’s in global auto sales went to 9%. ICE vehicle sales grew just 4% globally in 2021 over 2020. A number that is expected to stagnate by 2024 and degrow post that.

Tesla has China and Europe to thank for its strong numbers, as its base country, US , saw just 535,000 EV’s being sold in 2021. China accounted for 3.2 million EV sales, while Europe accounted for a large chunk too.

For firms and countries around the world, the EV transition has been a period of unprecedented jostling to rearrange the pecking order of players and manufacturing powerhouses. With China, that accounts for almost half of global sales, clearly determined to make EV manufacturing its domestic champion, thanks to massive investments in manufacturing as well as the battery ecosystem that goes with it. The country’s battery dominance has all but ensured that wherever you manufacture, doing it without importing China made components, especially lithium ion batteries, will be very very tough.

For countries like India, which had just about had a decade of success with auto manufacturing, and a thriving auto component sector to boot, its going to be a tough route to balance the present with the future, with the fear of missing out on the future increasingly impacting plans already. So even as two wheeler manufacturing seems up to speed and future ready, 4 wheeler auto manufacturing faces an unprecedented challenge as a domestic market takes time to evolve, thanks to high EV prices.

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