Have booming EV sales crossed the mass-adoption tipping point?

Analysts suggest the world could be nearing a critical electric vehicle sales tipping point, when volatile early adoption trends are overtaken by mainstream demand.

It is widely acknowledged that we are not acting quickly enough to address climate change. Global emissions have now exceeded pre-pandemic levels, China and India continue to build coal plants across their countries, and even the EU – long lauded as a climate leader – was told this month it needs to double the pace of its wind and solar roll-out to be on track for 1.5°C.

One area where progress has been pleasingly apace is the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Sales of EVs – defined in this article as both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) – doubled in 2021 on a year-on-year basis, to hit 6.6 million worldwide. Back in 2012, just 120,000 electric cars were sold.


Kia Soul EV 2020 (Image: Kia.com)

Kia Soul EV 2020 (Image: Kia.com)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its net-zero pathway that 60% of new passenger cars must be EVs by 2030 for the world to be on a trajectory for net zero by mid-century, with all cars being so by 2050. While sales of EVs only made up 8.3% of cars sold in 2021, projected exponential growth means that EVs are one of the few areas the IEA believes to be on track for net zero 2050.

Read more: EnergyMonitor

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