Figures… “Impact of COVID-19 in the Electric Vehicle Market. A Zoom In on the Western World”

As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded in early 2020 and lockdowns were implemented in countries around the world, global car sales experienced an unprecedented drop. Several surveys have shown that the drop in global sales in 2020 settled around -14% and that it was significantly larger than the one observed during the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. The question is, do we know if electric vehicles were impacted the same way? Anna Mª Francino, Business Developer, CityVitae

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As the pandemic began, there was a general expectation that electric car markets would likely be more resilient than the general automotive sector. Today, sales figures have confirmed that the Electric Vehicle (EV) market has had an extraordinary positive performance.

In this post, we have analyzed the 2020 Plug-In Electric Vehicles sales in three geographic areas, namely, Latam, North America, and Europe.


  • Internal Combustion engine, the traditional non-electric car. (ICE),
  • Plug-in Electric Vehicles, those that need plugging in order to charge their batteries (PEVs),
  • Plug Hybrid Electric Vehicle, those that need plugging to charge the electric battery but also have a combustion engine (PHEV),
  • Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV),
  • PEV Fleet: Existing number of registered Electric cars out in the streets
  • Note 1: as a reminder, Hybrid vehicles that do not need plugging (i.e. Prius) are not considered Electric in the literature.
  • Note 2: all figures take into account passenger cars and light commercial vehicles


According to 2020 figures, Total vehicle sales (Electric + Non-Electric) in all three geographic areas have strongly decreased: (outstanding examples: ▼35.09% in Ecuador, to ▼15.01% in the USA and ▼74.67% in Spain).

2020 vs 2019 PEVs sales have increased in all our monitored countries, except for Chile (▼33.77%):

▲14.90% in Colombia,

▲3.96% in the USA,

▲180.07% in France and ▲249.57% in Germany.

Argentina and Ecuador absolute figures are very marginal but have increased anyway:

▲278% in Argentina and ▲1.94% in Ecuador.

2020 PEVs registrations geographic area leaders area.

México (2.059 units) in Latam,

California (412.769 units) in North America,

Germany (388.033 units!!!) in Europe.

2020 PEVs market share (PEVs sales vs Total Vehicles’ sales) geographic area leaders:

Colombia 0.85%, México 0.22%,

USA 2.30%, Norway 76.37%, and

Germany 12.26%.

2020 PEVs market share increase vs 2019 (PEVs sales vs Total Vehicles’ sales between the two years):

Colombia ▲0.33%, Mexico ▲0.11%,

USA ▲0.42%,

Norway ▲31.22%, Spain ▲10.44%, and Germany ▲9.42%.

The following snapshot summarizes the main KPIs for PEVs sales in each market from 2020 versus 2019.




Chile                   The pandemic crisis has hit hard the Chilean automotive market!

Total vehicles from 372,882 to 258,835 (▼30.59%).
EVs from 302 to 200 (▼33.77%). PEV Fleet 924.

Argentina         Still reduced total electromobility figures, yet, the percentages with respect to 2019 seem to be taking off.

Total vehicles from 456,632 to 342,474 units (▼25.00%). PEVs from 74 to 280 units (▲278.38%). PEV Flt 465.

Colombia          Leader of the Latam PEV market.

Total vehicles from 261,915 to 184,435 units (▼29.58%). PEVs from 1,352 to 1,565 units (▲14.90%). PEV Flt 4,523.

Ecuador            Marginal figures, increase of PEVs despite the pandemic.

Total vehicles from 132,208 to 85,818 units (▼35.09%). EVs from 103 to 105 units (▲1.94%). PEV Flt 461.

Mexico               Big potential ahead!

Total vehicles from 1,317,727 to 948,763 units (▼28.00%). EVs from 1,440 to 2,059 units (▲42,99%). PEV Flt 7,404.

Perú                    Small relative and total figures.

Total vehicles   from 151,997 to 112,181 units (▼26.20%). PEVs from 14 to 36 units (▲157.14%). PEV Flt 60.


North America


USA                     New EV-friendly administration and launching of new EV models anticipate a great 2021.

Total vehicles from 16,755,597 to 14,240,036 units (▼15,01%). PEVs from 315,539 to 328,022 units (▲3,96%). PEV Flt 1,775,434.

California          US electromobility leader, with 44.6% share of all 2020 US PEVs sales. PEV Flt 834.518.




Norway              PEV market share leader!

Total vehicles from 180,117 to141,416 units (▼21.49%). PEVs from 81,328 to 108,003 units (▲32,80%). PEV Flt 463,513.

France                Plug-in meteoric growth in 2020 despite the pandemic!

Total vehicles   from 2,692,654 to 2,006,027 units (▼25.50%). PEVs from 69,303 to 194.094 units (▲180.07%). PEV Flt 466.835.

Spain                  2020 PEV market has proved to be resilient against Covid, with a market share of 11,63%.

Total vehicles from 1,473,424 to 373,254 units (▼74.67%). PEVs from 17,448 to 43,399 units (▲148.73%). PEV Flt 96,483.

Germany           The biggest European automotive market with growing environmental awareness.

Total vehicles from 3,912,223 to 3,164,988 units (▼19.10%). PEVs from 111,004 to 388,033 units (▲249.57%). PEV Flt 620,447.

Portugal            Slowly but surely, Portugal has ended 2020 with a PEV market share higher than France!

Total vehicles from 262,253 to 170,464 units (▼35.00%). PEVs from 12,918 to 20,609 units (▲59.54%). PEV Flt 66.523.


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Anna Mª Francino, Business Developer, CityVitae

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