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This article was published on August 26, 2020


Europe overtakes China as biggest consumer of plug-in electric vehicles

Times are changing

Europe overtakes China as biggest consumer of plug-in electric vehicles
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

China has long been recognized as the world’s biggest consumer of electric vehicles. It’s also the world’s largest producer of EVs. But that appears to have changed.

According to figures compiled by Bloomberg, in the first half of 2020 European drivers bought more plug-in electric vehicles than Chinese consumers.

Bloomberg, sales, units, cars, evs, plu-in, hybrid
Credit: Bloomberg
Thanks to sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles, Europe is a bigger consumer of electric vehicles than China. The Asian country still leads when it comes to pure electric battery-powered vehicles, though.

Figures suggest that over the first half of the year, European consumers bought over 350,000 hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles.

[Read: Tesla driving YouTuber warned: Don’t use Autopilot on UK roads, it’s illegal]

When it comes to sales of battery electric vehicles — those that are powered entirely by electricity — China is still the leader, having sold nearly 250,000 units this year. In comparison, Europe sold just over 200,000.

That’s not the only good news to come out of the European electric vehicle industry.

Earlier this month, figures tracking the growth of electric vehicle charging infrastructure found the Netherlands has the fastest growing charging network in the world.

Back in January, the UK surpassed the 30,000 mark for EV charging connectors installed in the country.

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