There’s a lot of data, statistics, facts and figures concerning electric cars. Here, we’ve consolidated the most important and poignant for complete ease of access.
Here’s an overview of our statistics roundup:
- The average distance of a car journey in England is only 8.3 miles
- Tesla’s market cap of $690.76 B is around $90 B more than the trailing seven OEMs’ market cap combined.
- September 2022 marked the registration of the 1,000,000th plug-in car in the UK.
- China currently produces 76% of the world’s lithium-ion batteries
- The world’s best-selling electric car is the Tesla Model 3
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Electric car statistics UK
Since 2019, manufacturers have been scrambling to offer up as many all-electric models as possible. With the average development of a car from concept to sales floor being around two to five years, the amount of electric cars sold year-on-year since 2018 seems even more impressive.
By the end of 2022, many project that sales of electric cars could shoot up to 300,000 units. September’s stats make this a hefty goal, but encouraging nonetheless.
With the all-electric revolution in full swing, let’s take a look at how healthy the UK’s electric car market is.
September 2022 marked the registration of the 1,000,000th (one millionth) plug-in car in the UK - a huge milestone. Not only that, but September also saw the cumulative number of pure electric cars on UK roads reach over 572,000.
So, with over half a million on the road, what were the best selling electric cars of 2021?
It will probably come as no surprise to most that the Tesla Model 3 takes the top spot, selling nearly 3x as many units as its closest rival. The Model 3’s reign will long continue; however, the Kia Niro EV stands as one of the best deals in motoring, full stop. Its combination of range, practicality and bulletproof reliability all come at an incredibly affordable monthly lease price.
If you’d like a more detailed rundown of how much loveelectric’s salary sacrifice can save you on an electric car, we’ve gone through some real-world examples of exactly how much it’d cost to take out a lease with us.
It’s not just electric cars that are seeing a dramatic uptick in popularity though. Electric light commercial vehicles, such as vans, are becoming more prevalent up and down the country. As of September 2022, there were c.30,000 all-electric vans on UK roads.
This rapid uptake is mainly due to the vast increase of models on offer. Vans like the Ford E-Transit and E-Transit Custom offer businesses a familiar and reliable workhorse - without the associated emissions from dirty diesel engines. It’s especially useful for business operators in London, who are able to swerve the Congestion Charge and ULEZ payment entirely thanks to the zero tailpipe emissions an all-electric van offers.
2021 was also the year that saw a 240% increase in growth for electric van registrations upon the previous year. We’ll touch on this in more detail later, but it’s incredibly important if we’re to reach our net zero goals, for heavy industry to make the switch to all-electric powertrains.
The used electric car market
As our previous graph demonstrates, the mass uptake of electric cars only really began in 2019. This put the used electric car market on hold. But as 36 month lease deals came to an end, HP terms were completed and a plethora of new models hit the market - a strong used market began to emerge.
In 2021, demand increased by 119.2% resulting in 40,228 second-hand electric cars being sold. Now, with 7,530,956 used cars changing hands the same year, c. 40,000 electric cars doesn’t sound like many.
But, by the end of Q2 2022, electric cars accounted for 1 in every 105 used car transactions - a boost of 57.1%. This ever-increasing figure is a big win for electric cars.
An even more encouraging prediction is that electric cars will edge out diesel cars in popularity among buyers by the year’s end. Month-on-month, statistics show an increasing lack of popularity for the coal-rolling combustion engine - down another 14.5% in September 2022.
To round out the UK statistics, let’s take a brief look at the latest sales figures.
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Electric vehicle sales statistics
Now that we’ve got a firm understanding of how the UK’s electric car market is looking, let’s zoom out and examine how EVs are doing globally. After all - if the planet is to reach its Net Zero Goal by 2050, the vast majority of personal transport will need to be decarbonised.
Which OEMs are selling the most electric cars?
As would be expected, Tesla dominates all-electric car sales across the globe. The American automaker holds an 18% share of all EVs sold worldwide - an astronomical figure when taking into account the number of competitors.
Here’s a rundown of the automakers leading the way in global EV sales (as of 2022 H1):
- Tesla Inc. - c. 550,000
- BYD - c. 325,000
- General Motors - c. 250,000
- Volkswagen Group - c. 225,000
- Hyundai Motors - c. 190,000
With Tesla shifting in excess of 200,000 units more than its closest competitor, Musk’s all-electric brainchild certainly has the market in its grip.
However, companies such as BYD and General Motors (now a subsidiary of Wuling Motors) are certainly nipping at the heels of the top spot. Neither are household names to drivers in the UK. But both companies are investing hugely in the Asia Pacific market - producing nearly all of the electric cars on offer to the Chinese market.
The result is a clear split between Western and Eastern markets. Tesla has a monopoly over Europe and North America, with BYD and Wuling Motors battling for the incredibly important Chinese domestic market.
Some of the globe’s most established automakers - Honda, Toyota and the Stellantis group, for example - are really falling behind with their electric offerings.
For now at least, here’s how the world’s largest automakers are shaking up.
Largest manufacturers by market cap:
- Tesla - $690.76 B
- Toyota - $182.65 B
- BYD - $95.79 B
- Porsche - $84.37 B
- Volkswagen - $76.33 B
- Mercedes-Benz - $59.69 B
- BMW - $50.02 B
- General Motors - $49.03 B
(Source: Companies Market Cap)
What’s extraordinary, is Tesla’s market cap of $690.76 B is around $90 B more than the trailing seven OEMs’ market cap combined - topping out at $598.15 B.
As would be expected, this market domination translates to cars on the road. Below are the globe’s best-selling electric cars of 2021.
The globe’s best-selling electric cars of 2021
- Tesla Model 3 (501,000)
- Wuling HongGuang Mini EV (424,000)
- Tesla Model Y (411,000)
- Volkswagen ID.4 (122,000)
- BYD Han EV (87,000)
Unsurprisingly, the Model 3 and Model Y alone accounted for 912,000 of all electric cars sold across the globe in 2021. Eastern outlier Wuling (parent company of General Motors) managed to eke out the Tesla Model Y to the number two spot with the HongGuang Mini EV.
This little electric car couldn’t have a more divergent design philosophy to the Tesla, but may just represent a revolutionary way of considering what an electric car can - or indeed should - be.
So, what’s the best deal in all-electric motoring?
With a retail price equivalent to only £3,400, the Wuling HongGuang Mini EV may just be the most affordable way to get behind the wheel of an electric car. For that price, expectations may be low. Simply nothing more than a novelty.
But that’s not the case. With a range of 106 miles from its dinky 13.9kWh battery and a top speed of 62mph - the HongGuang Mini EV may just be the perfect city car.
Electric car battery statistics
The headline component for all electric cars is the battery pack. It largely determines the range of the car and has a huge impact on the overall cost of electric vehicles in general. In fact, the average cost of an EV’s battery pack is around £5,600.
Headline battery facts
The most popular type of battery to use in electric cars is a lithium-ion battery.
The weight of the battery pack typically depends on the capacity, however they can weigh anywhere between 100 - 600kg. Here are two real-world examples:
- The 85kWh battery in a Tesla Model S 2017 model, weighs 544kg. This is around 25% of the car’s overall weight (2,188kg).
- A more modestly sized 22kWh battery from the Renault Zoe weighs 235kg, which is only 16% of the car’s total weight (1,470kg).
- Using the table below as a guide, the Tesla Model 3’s 75kW battery weighs around 538kg - nearly a third of its total 1,700kg kerb weight.
As battery technology continues to advance, the significant weight of battery packs should improve.
There are typically three types of cell formats used in electric car batteries, these are:
- Cylindrical cells - The most cost-effective and common in all-electric cars. They’re manufactured in a smaller format than the other cells on this list to ensure heat is efficiently dissipated - prolonging the life of the battery. Common formats of cylindrical battery are 18650 and 21700, with the number essentially determining the size of the battery and its capacity.
- Prismatic cells - Ranging between 20 to 100 times larger than cylindrical cells, these cells can deliver more power and store more energy. Their unique casing allows superior heat management than cylindrical cells, too. This type of cell is the most popular among Chinese manufacturers. However, they’re steadily gaining popularity amongst Western manufacturers and may soon become the go-to choice for electric cars.
- Pouch cells - The most powerful of all cell types. Pouch cells are created to deliver maximum output whilst using up the smallest physical footprint. Unfortunately, they’re also the most mechanically sensitive. Because of this, extra structures and protection are required during the assembly process to protect them from damage.
The weight of a battery pack doesn’t determine its overall efficiency within a vehicle. Battery tech is perpetually evolving and improving, with engineers constantly squeezing higher-energy density cells into batteries.
This constant battle between weight and capacity culminates in a ‘sweet spot’ for electric cars. The following graph demonstrates the kg/kWh for specific electric models - the lower the figure the better.
As demonstrated by the above graph, Tesla continues to outclass much of its competition. Even though most of its models tip the scale at around 2,000kg, the use of high-energy dense battery cells gives the American automaker an edge and a much higher efficiency rating than its competition.
This extra Tesla magic does come at a cost though. A very literal, higher, financial cost.
As the size of the battery pack drops, so does kg/kWh efficiency. But vehicles such as the Fiat 500e and Honda e (34.8 kg/kWh and 45.6 kg/kWh respectively) are not designed to travel incredibly long distances.
They’re the perfect city car. Zero tailpipe emission driving at a far lower cost than petrol/diesel alternatives.
Due to the astronomical demand for lithium-ion batteries, countries around the globe are trying their best to ramp up production.
- China currently produces 76% of the world’s lithium-ion batteries
- The United States creates 8%
- The remaining 16% of production is spread mainly across Europe
With China leading the way in regards to battery production, Europe is ramping up its efforts and opening a number of gigafactories across the continent.
A gigafactory is a very large battery production facility, deriving its name from the gigawatt (GW) - a unit of energy equivalent to 1,000,000 x kilowatts (kW).
Tesla will soon have three gigafactories to its name: Nevada, Berlin and Texas.
Britain is going to need 175 GWh of battery capacity by the year 2035 to supply the estimated 3 million+ EVs on UK roads. As it stands, the UK currently only has three gigafactories planned or open:
- Envision AESC in Sunderland. Open. Capacity: 1.9 GWh in 2025, 1.9 GWh in 2030.
- Britishvolt in Blyth. Under construction. Capacity: 20 GWh in 2025, 30 GWh in 2030.
- Envision AESC in Sunderland. Planned. Capacity: 11 GWh in 2025, 25 GWh in 2030.
The projected output of 57 GWh in 2030 is simply not enough to meet demand and a measly amount compared to European counterparts. By 2030, Germany will provide around 34% of Europe’s GWh capacity. Britain’s input? 5%.
A topic occasionally mentioned by drivers reluctant to make the switch to electric, battery degradation is often presented as the ‘smoking gun’ against EV uptake. In reality, the effects are negligible.
- Battery degradation averages only 12% after 6 years of use.
- The globe’s most popular electric car - the Tesla Model 3 - has a battery degradation rate of only 2.5% after 18 months of use.
- German engineering prevails with the Volkswagen e-Golf, losing only 3.1% of its capacity after three years.
Unlike a petrol or diesel car, which is completely scrapped at the end of its life, electric cars have a circular economy. That is, even when a battery pack degrades to the point of being unusable in an electric car, it’s recycled. The precious heavy metals within the old battery are recovered and reused in fresh new batteries.
Not just that, but old batteries are also used to bolster the electricity grid. This takes the pressure off the grid at peak times.
If you’re worried about the battery degradation of a specific vehicle, check out Geotab’s EV Battery Degradation Comparison Tool.
Battery degradation and constant improvements to battery tech are two of the strongest arguments for leasing an electric car via salary sacrifice. Once the average 36 month lease is completed, the battery may have somewhat waned and tech will have significantly improved. With salary sacrifice, the leasing company takes on that risk.
Simply hand the car back at the end of your term and replace it with a brand new one. 100% battery health with all of the latest battery advancements.
If you’d like to learn more about leasing via salary sacrifice, why not get in touch and see how we can save you £100s per month on the latest electric car.
Electric vehicle charging statistics
Fast chargers (22kW or more) account for only one in seven of all EU charging points. This is considered inadequate for real-world usage.
The Netherlands is the gold standard for EV infrastructure
- The Netherlands is by far and away the leader with the number of charging stations. With around 80,000 charging points across the country, the Government has managed to nigh-on wipe out the term ‘range anxiety’. This is even more impressive when taking into account that the Netherlands is the 31st largest country in Europe.
- 75% of all electric car charging points across the EU are located in just four countries. As of the end of 2020: Netherlands: 25.4% Germany 20.3% France 15.2% United Kingdom 14.3%.
- The Netherlands has 64.3 charging points per 100km of road. This is the best in Europe, followed by Luxembourg with 57.9 charging points/100km and Germany a distant third place with 25.8 charging points/100 km.
- The Netherlands has one charger for every 1.5km of road.
- The Netherlands charging network is so impressive, that Tesla decided to open up its Supercharger network to other OEM brands there first.
In regards to the increased load on electricity grids thanks to the uptick in EV adoption, grid simulations suggest that between now and 2030, EV loads in major car markets should not pose significant challenges. This impact should be even further mitigated via the introduction of more domestic smart chargers.
Electric vehicle green and emission stats
Decarbonising personal transport is imperative in keeping the globe’s temperature from rising by 1.5°C. Cars and vans accounted for around 8% of global direct CO2 emissions in 2021. However, road transport alone is responsible for 17% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has grown by 2-3% each year over the past 20 years (Mercure et al. 2018), a figure which loveelectric is helping to reduce.
For reference, the average reduction in specific fuel consumption (measured in litres of gasoline equivalent per 100 km) between 2010 and 2015 was 1.5%.
By 2020, the European market had seen a huge surge in electric vehicle sales as increasingly stringent CO2 emission limits were introduced. The result? A decrease of 12% in specific fuel consumption, the largest year-on-year change ever recorded on the continent.
Due to the manufacturing process of batteries, electric cars do have a larger upfront carbon cost initial carbon outlay to produce them. However, over the entire lifecycle of the vehicle, a petrol car emits more than 3x the CO2 than an all-electric alternative.
Any electric car bought from 2030 onwards will be even greener, decreasing CO2 emissions fourfold thanks to an EU energy grid that’s increasingly more reliant on renewable energy.
The best electric cars for acceleration, range and towing
Top 10 Fastest Accelerating Electric Vehicles
Thanks to the instant torque and immediate power delivery an electric motor offers, the average 0-62mph time for an electric car is 7s. Below are the quickest accelerating electric cars. We’ve excluded variations of the same model as it would just be filled with variations of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan. All times denote the 0-62mph time in seconds.
- Tesla Model S Plaid - 2.1s
- Tesla Model X Plaid - 2.6s
- Porsche Taycan Turbo S - 2.8s
- Audi e-tron GT RS - 3.3s
- Mercedes-Benz EQS AMG 53 4MATIC+ - 3.4s
- Kia EV6 GT - 3.5s
- BMW iX M60 - 3.8s
- BMW i4 M50 - 3.9s
- Fisker Ocean Extreme - 3.9s
- Smart #1 Brabus - 3.9s
Top 10 Electric Cars with the Longest Ranges
The term ‘range anxiety’ definitely holds less heft than it did even three years ago. Battery packs are constantly improving, offering better efficiency and lengthier stints between charging points. Infrastructure across the UK is also much better than it was even just a few years ago, alleviating the fear of being caught with no juice and no charger.
The average range for an electric car is 214 miles, however if you’d like a range figure of c.300+ miles - here are your best options. Slight variations of the same model have been excluded and all figures are based on EVDB’s ‘real range’ figures.
- Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ - 395 miles
- Tesla Model S Dual Motor - 360 miles
- Mercedes-Benz EQE 300 - 320 miles
- BMW iX xDrive 50 - 315 miles
- BMW i7 xDrive60 - 315 miles
- Fisker Ocean Ultra - 315 miles
- Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - 305 miles
- Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor - 300 miles
- Hyundai IONIQ 6 Long Range 2WD - 300 miles
- Porsche Taycan Plus - 295 miles
As impressive as these range figures are, it’s important to put into perspective what most of us actually need on a daily basis. According to the Department for Transport, the average car trip distance in England is only 8.3 miles.
For a lot of people, the ‘one big trip’ a year is what holds them back from making the switch to an electric car. But not getting an electric car because you’d have to charge up a couple of times on a single journey, once a year, is like wearing ski boots year-round because you go to the Alps for a week in February!
In fact, the average UK citizen has cut their yearly mileage by 40% since 2002, down from 7,193 to 4,334 miles. That includes every form of transport too; walking, cycling, railway, bus, driving etc.
Top 10 Electric cars with the biggest towing capacity
With all the torque offered by an electric motor, most larger capacity all-electric cars make excellent tow vehicles. With lots of city cars on offer, the average tow weight capacity for an electric is only 881 kilograms, however we don’t want that to dissuade the caravan aficionados among our readers. Here are the vehicles with the largest towing capacity (in kg) - minor variations of the same model have been omitted.
- BMW iX xDrive 40 - 2,500kg
- Tesla Model X Dual Motor - 2,300kg
- Polestar 3 Long Range - 2,200kg
- BMW i7 xDrive60 - 2,000kg
- Fisker Ocean - 1,815kg
- Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC - 1,800kg
- Audi e-tron 55 quattro - 1,800kg
- Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Pure Electric - 1,800kg
- Kia EV6 GT - 1,800kg
- Mercedes-Benz EQA 300 4MATIC - 1,800kg
Whether it’s towing a caravan, outpacing a supercar or travelling 390 miles on a single charge - loveelectric has access to every electric car on the market. Get behind the wheel for a fraction of the usual cost.
Future of electric vehicles
What does the future hold for electric cars? Personal transport must decarbonise, at scale, in order to hit GHG targets. Aside from ditching your car completely, switching to an electric car is the most impactful thing an individual can do to reduce their carbon footprint. The easiest way for this to be achieved is ditching ICEs and going electric. World leaders and the greatest global economic superpowers know this, which is why a slew of emission regulations continue to be introduced.
Global regulations coming into play
The CAFE standard
The most common regulatory structure to incentivise rapid adoption of lower emission technology, is the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard.
Unfortunately, CAFE standards didn’t drive down fuel consumption in the EU between 2017 and 2019. However, in 2020, a new EU target was introduced dropping average CO2 emissions by 12% in a single year. This may sound like a modest figure, but that’s the same reduction achieved during the entirety of the 2010s.
In May 2022, further increases in the stringency of fuel economy regulation was introduced. This most recent regulation mandates yearly improvements of 8% until 2025 and 10% in 2026.
ASEAN member countries
After a series of workshops in 2021, ASEAN created a report to address emissions targets. It contained a number of recommendations of how to ensure that fuel economy standards became a priority and would contribute to economic, environmental and societal goals.
The Fit-for-55 package includes a regulation requiring fleet emission reductions - from 2021 onwards - of 55% for cars and 50% for vans by 2030, and 100% for both by 2035. This legislation essentially mandates that all new cars and vans sold from 2035 onward must have zero tailpipe emissions.
Car makers respond and commit
All-electric cars are the future. The world’s largest automakers are responding to legislation and the seismic shift in buying habits, committing big in 2021 to electrified offerings:
- Toyota: 3.5 million annual electric car sales by 2030 and the rollout of 30 BEV models
- Volkswagen: All-electric vehicles to exceed 70% of European and 50% of Chinese and US sales by 2030, and by 2040 nearly 100% to be ZEVs
- BMW: 50% of vehicles sold to be fully electric by 2030 or earlier
- Volvo: Become a fully electric car company by 2030
- Mercedes-Benz: All newly launched vehicles will be fully electric from 2025
Announcements made in 2022:
- Ford: One-third of sales to be fully electric by 2026 and 50% by 2030, with all-electric sales in Europe by 2030
- General Motors: 30 EV models and BEV production capacity of 1 million units in North America by 2025, plus carbon neutrality in 2040
The auto industry’s commitment to ditching petrol and diesel coincides with an ever-increasing number of charge points across the UK. Experts predict that by 2030, there’ll be c. 300,000+ public charge stations - equivalent to nearly 5x the number of fuel pumps currently on UK roads.
Trucks also need to adopt all-electric powertrains in order to reach the net zero CO2 emissions target by 2050
- More than 170 electric truck models were available outside of China in 2021
- Electric trucks accounted for only 0.3% of global truck sales in 2021
- In line with the IEA’s Announced Pledges Scenario, electric trucks must account for 10% of global truck sales by 2030, and 25% by 2050 to reach Net Zero goals.
Electric Car Stats - Numbers go up, CO2 comes down
These electric car statistics are just a minor cross-section of an incredibly deep and complex industry. However, the outlook is positive. Manufacturers are producing more electric cars, batteries are becoming cheaper and charging stations will soon be as common as pumps.
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