Electric car

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An electric car or battery electric car is an automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using energy stored in batteries. Compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, electric cars are quieter, have no exhaust emissions, and lower emissions overall.[1] In the United States and the European Union, as of 2020, the total cost of ownership of recent electric vehicles is cheaper than that of equivalent ICE cars, due to lower fueling and maintenance costs.[2][3] Charging an electric car can be done at a variety of charging stations; these charging stations can be installed in both houses and public areas.[4]

Out of all cars sold in 2020, 4.6% were plug-in electric, and by the end of that year there were more than 10 million plug-in electric cars on the world's roads, according the International Energy Agency.[5] Despite rapid growth, only about 1% of cars on the world's roads were fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars by the end of 2020.[5] Many countries have established government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles, tax credits, subsidies, and other non-monetary incentives. And several countries have legislated to phase-out sales of fossil fuel cars,[6][7] to reduce air pollution and limit climate change.[8]

The Tesla Model 3 became the world's all-time best-selling electric car in early 2020,[9] and in June 2021, became the first electric car to pass 1 million global sales.[10] Earlier models with widespread adoption include the Japanese Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Nissan Leaf.


Venn diagram of electrified vehicles: PHEVs, BEVs, HEVs, and BAHVs

Electric cars or all-electric cars are a type of electric vehicle (EV) that has a rechargeable battery pack onboard that can be charged from the electric grid, and the electricity stored on the vehicle is the only source that drives the wheels for propulsion. The term "electric car" generally refers to highway-capable automobiles, but there are also low-speed electric vehicles with limitations in terms of weight, power and maximum speed that are allowed to travel on public roads. The latter are classified as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) in the United States,[11] and as electric motorised quadricycles in Europe.[12]


Gustave Trouvé's personal electric vehicle (1881), world's first full-scale electric car to be publicly presented
Early electric car, built by Thomas Parker, photo from 1895[13]
NASA's Lunar Roving Vehicles were battery-driven
The General Motors EV1, one of the cars introduced due to a California Air Resources Board (CARB) mandate, had a range of 260 km (160 miles) with NiMH batteries in 1999
The Tesla Roadster helped inspire the modern generation of electric vehicles.

The first practical electric cars were produced in the 1880s.[14] In November 1881, Gustave Trouvé presented an electric car at the Exposition internationale d'Électricité de Paris.[15] In 1884, over 20 years before the Ford Model T, Thomas Parker built a practical production electric car in Wolverhampton using his own specially designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries, although the only documentation is a photograph from 1895 (see below).[16][17][18] The Flocken Elektrowagen of 1888 was designed by German inventor Andreas Flocken and is regarded as the first real electric car.[19][20][21]

Electric cars were among the preferred methods for automobile propulsion in the late 19th and early 20th century, providing a level of comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline cars of the time.[22] The electric vehicle stock peaked at approximately 30,000 vehicles at the turn of the 20th century.[23]

In 1897, electric cars found their first commercial use as taxis in Britain and the US. In London, Walter Bersey's electric cabs were the first self-propelled vehicles for hire at a time when cabs were horse-drawn.[24] In New York City, a fleet of twelve hansom cabs and one brougham, based on the design of the Electrobat II, were part of a project funded in part by the Electric Storage Battery Company of Philadelphia.[25] During the 20th century, the main manufacturers of electric vehicles in the US included Anthony Electric, Baker, Columbia, Anderson, Edison, Riker, Milburn, Bailey Electric, and Detroit Electric. Their electric vehicles were quieter than gasoline-powered, and did not require gear changes.[26][27]

Six electric cars held the land speed record in the 19th century.[28] The last of them was the rocket-shaped La Jamais Contente, driven by Camille Jenatzy, which broke the 100 km/h (62 mph) speed barrier by reaching a top speed of 105.88 km/h (65.79 mph) in 1899.

Electric cars were popular until advances in internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and mass production of cheaper gasoline and diesel vehicles led to a decline. ICE cars' much quicker refueling times and cheaper production costs made them more popular. However, a decisive moment was the introduction in 1912 of the electric starter motor that replaced other, often laborious, methods of starting the ICE, such as hand-cranking.[29]

Modern electric cars[edit]

The emergence of metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) technology led to the development of modern electric road vehicles.[30] The MOSFET (MOS field-effect transistor, or MOS transistor), invented in 1959,[31][32] led to the development of the power MOSFET by Hitachi in 1969,[33] and the single-chip microprocessor in 1971.[34] MOSFET power converters allowed operation at much higher switching frequencies, made it easier to drive, reduced power losses, and significantly reduced prices, while single-chip microcontrollers could manage all aspects of the drive control and had the capacity for battery management.[30] Another important technology that enabled modern highway-capable electric cars is the lithium-ion battery,[35] invented by John Goodenough, Rachid Yazami and Akira Yoshino in the 1980s,[36] which was responsible for the development of electric cars capable of long-distance travel.[35]

In the early 1990s, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began a push for more fuel-efficient, lower-emissions vehicles, with the ultimate goal being a move to zero-emissions vehicles such as electric vehicles.[37][38] In response, automakers developed electric models. These early cars were eventually withdrawn from the U.S. market.[39]

California electric automaker Tesla Motors began development in 2004 of what would become the Tesla Roadster, which was first delivered to customers in 2008. The Roadster was the first highway legal all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells, and the first production all-electric car to travel more than 320 km (200 miles) per charge.[40] The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, launched in 2009 in Japan, was the first highway legal series production electric car,[41] and also the first all-electric car to sell more than 10,000 units. Several months later, the Nissan Leaf, launched in 2010, surpassed the i MiEV as the all-time best selling all-electric car.[42]

Starting in 2008, a renaissance in electric vehicle manufacturing occurred due to advances in batteries, and the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve urban air quality.[43] During the 2010s the electric vehicle industry in China expanded greatly with government support.[44] In the early 2020s tightened European emissions standards squeezed its manufacturers of fossil fuelled cars.[8]

In July 2019, US-based Motor Trend magazine awarded the fully electric Tesla Model S the title "ultimate car of the year".[45] In March 2020, the Tesla Model 3 passed the Nissan Leaf to become the world's all-time best-selling electric car, with more than 500,000 units delivered,[9] and reached the milestone of 1 million global sales in June 2021.[10]


Manufacturing cost[edit]

The most expensive part of an electric car is its battery. The price decreased from €600 per kWh in 2010, to €170 in 2017, to €100 in 2019.[46][47] When designing an electric vehicle, manufacturers may find that for low production, converting existing platforms may be cheaper, as development cost is lower; however, for higher production, a dedicated platform may be preferred to optimize design, and cost.[48]

Total cost of ownership[edit]

In the EU and USA, but not yet China, the total cost of ownership of recent electric cars is cheaper than that of equivalent gasoline cars, due to lower fueling and maintenance costs.[49][50][51]

The greater the distance driven per year, the more likely the total cost of ownership for an electric car will be less than for an equivalent ICE car.[52] The break even distance varies by country depending on the taxes, subsidies, and different costs of energy. In some countries the comparison may vary by city, as a type of car may have different charges to enter different cities; for example, in England, London charges ICE cars more than Birmingham does.[53]

Purchase cost[edit]

Several national and local governments have established EV incentives to reduce the purchase price of electric cars and other plug-ins.[54][55][56][57]

As of 2020, the electric vehicle battery is more than a quarter of the total cost of the car.[58] Purchase prices are expected to drop below those of new ICE cars when battery costs fall below US$100 per kWh, which is forecast to be in the mid-2020s.[59][60]

Leasing or subscriptions are popular in some countries,[61][62] depending somewhat on national taxes and subsidies,[63] and end of lease cars are expanding the second hand market.[64]

Running costs[edit]

Electricity almost always costs less than gasoline per kilometer travelled, but the price of electricity often varies depending on where and what time of day the car is charged.[65][66] Cost savings are also affected by the price of gasoline which can vary by location. [67]

Environmental aspects[edit]

The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is one of the largest known lithium reserves in the world[68][69]

Electric cars have several benefits when replacing ICE cars, including a significant reduction of local air pollution, as they do not emit exhaust pollutants such as volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen.[70] Similar to ICE vehicles, electric cars emit particulates from tyre and brake wear[71] which may damage health,[72] although regenerative braking in electric cars means less brake dust.[73] More research is needed on non-exhaust particulates.[74] The sourcing of fossil fuels (oil well to gasoline tank) causes further damage as well as use of resources during the extraction and refinement processes.

Depending on the production process and the source of the electricity to charge the vehicle, emissions may be partly shifted from cities to the plants that generate electricity and produce the car as well as to the transportation of material.[37] The amount of carbon dioxide emitted depends on the emissions of the electricity source and the efficiency of the vehicle. For electricity from the grid, the life-cycle emissions vary depending on the proportion of coal-fired power, but are always less than ICE cars.[75]

The cost of installing charging infrastructure has been estimated to be repaid by health cost savings in less than 3 years.[76] According to a 2020 study, balancing lithium supply and demand for the rest of the century will require good recycling systems, vehicle-to-grid integration, and lower lithium intensity of transportation.[77]

Some activists and journalists have raised concerns over the perceived lack of impact of electric cars in solving the climate change crisis[78] compared to other, less popularized methods.[79] These concerns have largely centered around the existence of less carbon-intensive and more efficient forms of transportation such as active mobility,[80] mass transit and e-scooters and the continuation of a system designed for cars first.[81]


Acceleration and drivetrain design[edit]

Typical "skateboard" layout with the battery as floor and a motor at one or both axles

Electric motors can provide high power-to-weight ratios. Batteries can be designed to supply the electrical current needed to support these motors. Electric motors have a flat torque curve down to zero speed. For simplicity and reliability, most electric cars use fixed-ratio gearboxes and have no clutch.

Many electric cars have faster acceleration than average ICE cars, largely due to reduced drivetrain frictional losses and the more quickly-available torque of an electric motor.[82] However, NEVs may have a low acceleration due to their relatively weak motors.

Electric vehicles can also use a motor in each wheel hub or next to the wheels, this is rare but claimed to be safer.[83] Electric vehicles that lack an axle, differential, or transmission can have less drivetrain inertia. Some direct current motor-equipped drag racer EVs have simple two-speed manual transmissions to improve top speed.[84] The concept electric supercar Rimac Concept One claims it can go from 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) in 2.5 seconds. Tesla claims the upcoming Tesla Roadster will go 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 1.9 seconds.[85]

Energy efficiency[edit]

Energy efficiency of electric cars in towns and on motorways according to the DoE.

Internal combustion engines have thermodynamic limits on efficiency, expressed as a fraction of energy used to propel the vehicle compared to energy produced by burning fuel. Gasoline engines effectively use only 15% of the fuel energy content to move the vehicle or to power accessories; diesel engines can reach on-board efficiency of 20%; electric vehicles have efficiencies of 69-72%, when counted against stored chemical energy, or around 59-62%, when counted against required energy to recharge.[86][87]

Electric motors are more efficient than internal combustion engines in converting stored energy into driving a vehicle. However, they are not equally efficient at all speeds. To allow for this, some cars with dual electric motors have one electric motor with a gear optimised for city speeds and the second electric motor with a gear optimised for highway speeds. The electronics select the motor that has the best efficiency for the current speed and acceleration.[88] Regenerative braking, which is most common in electric vehicles, can recover as much as one fifth of the energy normally lost during braking.[37][86]

Cabin heating and cooling[edit]

While heating can be provided with an electric resistance heater, higher efficiency and integral cooling can be obtained with a reversible heat pump, such as on the Nissan Leaf.[89] PTC junction cooling[90] is also attractive for its simplicity — this kind of system is used, for example, in the 2008 Tesla Roadster.

To avoid using part of the battery's energy for heating and thus reducing the range, some models allow the cabin to be heated while the car is plugged in. For example, the Nissan Leaf, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Renault Zoe and Tesla cars can be pre-heated while the vehicle is plugged in.[91][92][93]

Some electric cars (for example, the Citroën Berlingo Electrique) use an auxiliary heating system (for example gasoline-fueled units manufactured by Webasto or Eberspächer) but sacrifice "green" and "Zero emissions" credentials. Cabin cooling can be augmented with solar power external batteries and USB fans or coolers, or by automatically allowing outside air to flow through the car when parked; two models of the 2010 Toyota Prius include this feature as an option.[94]


Side impact test of a Tesla Model X

The safety issues of BEVs are largely dealt with by the international standard ISO 6469. This document is divided into three parts dealing with specific issues:

  • On-board electrical energy storage, i.e. the battery[95]
  • Functional safety means and protection against failures[96]
  • Protection of persons against electrical hazards[97]


The weight of the batteries themselves usually makes an EV heavier than a comparable gasoline vehicle. In a collision, the occupants of a heavy vehicle will, on average, suffer fewer and less serious injuries than the occupants of a lighter vehicle; therefore, the additional weight brings safety benefits (to the occupant).[98] An accident will, on average, cause about 50% more injuries to the occupants of a 2,000 lb (900 kg) vehicle than those in a 3,000 lb (1,400 kg) vehicle.[99] However heavier cars are more dangerous to people outside the car if they hit a pedestrian or another vehicle.[100]


The battery in "skateboard configuration" lowers the center of gravity, increasing driving stability, lowering the risk of an accident through loss of control.[101] And if there is a separate motor near or in each wheel this is claimed to be safer due to better handling.[102]

Risk of fire[edit]

Like their ICE counterparts, electric vehicle batteries can catch fire after a crash or mechanical failure.[103] Plug-in electric vehicle fire incidents have occurred, albeit less per distance travelled than ICE vehicles.[104] Some cars high-voltage systems are designed to shut down automatically in the event of an airbag deployment,[105][106] and in case of failure firefighters may be trained for manual high-voltage system shutdown.[107][108] Much more water may be required than for ICE cars, and a thermal imaging camera is recommended to warn of possible re-ignition of battery fires.[109]


As of 2018, most electric cars have similar driving controls to that of a car with a conventional automatic transmission. Even though the motor may be permanently connected to the wheels through a fixed-ratio gear, and no parking pawl may be present, the modes "P" and "N" are often still provided on the selector. In this case, the motor is disabled in "N" and an electrically actuated hand brake provides the "P" mode.

In some cars, the motor will spin slowly to provide a small amount of creep in "D", similar to a traditional automatic transmission car.[110]

When an internal combustion vehicle's accelerator is released, it may slow by engine braking, depending on the type of transmission and mode. EVs are usually equipped with regenerative braking that slows the vehicle and recharges the battery somewhat.[111] Regenerative braking systems also decrease the use of the conventional brakes (similar to engine braking in an ICE vehicle), reducing brake wear and maintenance costs.


Prototypes of 75 watt-hour/kilogram lithium-ion polymer batteries. Newer lithium-ion cells can provide up to 280 W·h/kg and last through thousands of charging cycles.

Lithium-ion-based batteries are often used for their high power and energy density.[112] Batteries with different chemical compositions are becoming more widely used, such as lithium iron phosphate which is not dependant on nickel and cobalt so can be used to make cheaper batteries and thus cheaper cars.[113]


Comparison of EPA-rated range for model year 2020 electric cars rated up until January 2020.[114]
NIO ES8 has a swappable battery pack

The range of an electric car depends on the number and type of batteries used, and (as with all vehicles), the aerodynamics, weight and type of vehicle, performance requirements, and the weather.[115] Cars marketed for mainly city use are often manufactured with a short range battery to keep them small and light.[116]

Most electric cars are fitted with a display of the expected range. This may take into account how the vehicle is being used and what the battery is powering. However, since factors can vary over the route, the estimate can vary from the actual range. The display allows the driver to make informed choices about driving speed and whether to stop at a charging point en route. Some roadside assistance organizations offer charge trucks to recharge electric cars in case of emergency.[117]

Longest range in 2021 was 800 km[118] and several companies aim to reach 1000 km on a single charge in the mid-2020s.[119][120]


BYD e6 is able to recharge to 80% in 15 minutes


Most electric cars use a wired connection to supply electricity for recharging. Electric vehicle charging plugs are not universal throughout the world. However vehicles using one type of plug are generally able to charge at other types of charging stations through the use of plug adapters.[121]

The Type 2 connector is the most common type of plug, but different versions are used in China and Europe.[122][123]

The Type 1 (also called SAE J1772) connector is common in North America[124][125] but rare elsewhere, as it does not support three-phase charging.[126]

Wireless charging, either for stationary cars or as an electric road,[127] is less common as of 2021, but is used in some cities for taxis.[128][129]

Home charging[edit]

Electric cars are usually charged overnight from a home charging station; sometimes known as a charging point, wallbox charger, or simply a charger; in a garage or on the outside of a house.[130][131] As of 2021 typical home chargers are 7kW, but not all include smart charging.[130] Compared to fossil fuel vehicles, the need for charging using public infrastructure is diminished because of the opportunities for home charging; vehicles can be plugged in and begin each day with a full charge.[132] Charging from a standard outlet is also possible but very slow.

Public charging[edit]

Public charging stations are almost always faster than home chargers,[133] with many supplying direct current to avoid the bottleneck of going through the car's AC to DC converter,[134] as of 2021 the fastest being 350 kW.[135]

Combined Charging System (CCS) is the most widespread charging standard,[123] whereas the GB/T 27930 standard is used in China, and CHAdeMO in Japan. The United States has no de facto standard, with a mix of CCS, Tesla Superchargers, and CHAdeMO charging stations.

Charging an electric vehicle using public charging stations takes longer than refueling a fossil fuel vehicle. The speed at which a vehicle can recharge depends on the charging station's charging speed and the vehicle's own capacity to receive a charge. As of 2021 some cars are 400 volt and some 800 volt.[136] Connecting a vehicle that can accommodate very fast charging to a charging station with a very high rate of charge can refill the vehicle's battery to 80% in 15 minutes.[137] Vehicles and charging stations with slower charging speeds may take as long as 2 hours to refill a battery to 80%. As with a mobile phone, the final 20% takes longer because the systems slow down to fill the battery safely and avoid damaging it.

Some companies are building battery swapping stations, to substantially reduce the effective time to recharge.[138][139] Some electric cars (for example, the BMW i3) have an optional gasoline range extender. The system is intended as an emergency backup to extend range to the next recharging location, and not for long-distance travel.[140]

Charging station at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This station is run by Petrobras and uses solar energy

Vehicle-to-grid: uploading and grid buffering[edit]

During peak load periods, when the cost of generation can be very high, electric vehicles with vehicle-to-grid capabilities could contribute energy to the grid. These vehicles can then be recharged during off-peak hours at cheaper rates while helping to absorb excess night time generation. The batteries in the vehicles serve as a distributed storage system to buffer power.[141]


As with all lithium-ion batteries, electric vehicle batteries may degrade over long periods of time, especially if they are frequently charged to 100%; however, this may take at least several years before being noticeable.[142] A typical warranty is 8 years or 100 thousand miles,[143] but they usually last much longer, perhaps 15 to 20 years in the car and then more years in another use.[144]

Currently available electric cars[edit]

Highway capable[edit]

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, as of December 2018, there were almost 180 models of highway-capable all-electric passenger cars and utility vans available for retail sales globally.[145]

Tesla became the world's leading electric vehicle manufacturer in December 2019, with cumulative global sales of over 900,000 all-electric cars since 2008.[146][147] Its Model S was the world's top selling plug-in electric car in 2015 and 2016,[148][149] and its Model 3 has been the world's best selling plug-in electric car for three years in a row, from 2018 to 2020.[150][151][152] The Tesla Model 3 surpassed the Leaf in early 2020 to become the world's cumulative best selling electric car, with more than 500,000 sold by March 2020.[9] Tesla produced its 1 millionth electric car in March 2020, becoming the first auto manufacturer to do so.[153] Tesla has been listed as the world's top selling plug-in electric car manufacturer, both as a brand and by automotive group for three years running, from 2018 to 2020.[154][155][156][150]

As of December 2020, the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance is listed as one of the world's leading all-electric vehicle manufacturers. Since 2010, the Alliance's global all-electric vehicle sales totaled over 900,000 light-duty electric vehicles through December 2020, including those manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors, now part of the Alliance.[157] Nissan leads global sales within the Alliance, with about 500,000 cars and vans sold by April 2020,[158] followed by the Groupe Renault with more than 397,000 electric vehicles sold worldwide through December 2020, including its Twizy heavy quadricycle.[159] Mitsubishi's only all-electric vehicle is the i-MiEV, with global sales of over 50,000 units by March 2015, accounting for all variants of the i-MiEV, including the two minicab versions sold in Japan.[160] The Alliance's best-selling Nissan Leaf was the world's top-selling plug-in electric car in 2013 and 2014.[148] Through 2019, the Nissan Leaf was the world's all-time top-selling highway-legal electric car with global sales of almost 450,000 units.[9][161]

Other leading electric vehicles manufacturers are BAIC Motor, with 480,000 units sold, SAIC Motor with 314,000 units, and Geely with 228,700, all cumulative sales in China as of December 2019,[162] and Volkswagen.[163]

The following table lists the all-time best-selling highway-capable all-electric cars with cumulative global sales of over 200,000 units:

All-time top selling highway-capable(1) all-electric passenger cars
Company Model Market launch Image Annual global sales Total global sales Total sales through Ref
Tesla Motors.svg Tesla, Inc. Tesla Model 3 2017-07 2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD Front.jpg 365,000 (2020) 1,032,000 2021-06 [10][150]
Nissan Motor Corporation 2020 logo-local file.svg Nissan Nissan Leaf 2010-12 Nissan Leaf 2018 (31874639158) (cropped).jpg 55,740 (2020) 535,000 2021-07 [150][164][165]
Groupe renault smal.svg Renault Renault Zoe 2012-12 Renault Zoe R110 Z.E. 50 Experience (Facelift) – f 22112020.jpg 102,868 (2020) 317,729 2021-06 [159][166]
SAIC-GM-Wuling Wuling Hongguang Mini EV 2020-07 Wuling Hongguang Mini 001.jpg 127,651 (2020) 316,296(2) 2021-07 [167][168]
Tesla Motors.svg Tesla, Inc. Tesla Model S 2012-06 2018 Tesla Model S 75D.jpg 28,000 (2019) 308,000 2020-12 [169][151][170][171][172][173][174]
Tesla Motors.svg Tesla, Inc. Tesla Model Y 2020-03 2020 Tesla Model Y, front 8.1.20.jpg 79,734 (2020) ~250,000 2021-07 [10][150]
Chery Chery eQ 2014-11 Chery eQ China 2016-04-07.jpg 38,249 (2020) 210,558 2021-07 [175][176][177][178]
BMW.svg BMW BMW i3 2013-11 2018 BMW i3 facelift (1).jpg 41,800 (2019) 210,000(3) 2021-07 [179]
BAIC BAIC EU-Series 2016-01 2018 BJEV EU5 (front).jpg 23,365 (2020) 205,934(2) 2021-07 [180][181]
BAIC BAIC EC-Series 2016-12 BJEV EC5 001.jpg 27,350 (2019) 205,600(2) 2020-12 [169][162][182][183]
(1) Vehicles are considered highway-capable if able to achieve at least a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
(2) Sales in main China only.
(3) BMW i3 sales includes the REx variant (split is not available).

Electric cars by country[edit]

Despite rapid growth, about 1 out of every 100 cars on the world's roads were fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars by the end of 2020.[5] China has the largest all-electric car fleet in use, with 2.58 million at the end of 2019, more than half (53.9%) of the world’s electric car stock.

All-electric cars have oversold plug-in hybrids since 2012.[184][151][152]

Annual sales of plug-in electric passenger cars in the world's top markets between 2011 and 2020[185][186][187][188][189][190][191][192]
Evolution of the ratio between global sales of BEVs and PHEVs between 2011 and 2020.[184][151][152]

Government policies and incentives[edit]

A dedicated electric car free charging and parking lot in Oslo
4 out of 10 Europeans interviewed for the European Investment Bank climate survey thought subsidies for electric cars should be a priority to fight climate change.

Several national, provincial, and local governments around the world have introduced policies to support the mass-market adoption of plug-in electric vehicles. A variety of policies have been established to provide: financial support to consumers and manufacturers; non-monetary incentives; subsidies for the deployment of charging infrastructure; and long-term regulations with specific targets.[185][193]

Timeline of national targets
for full ICE phase out or
100% ZEV car sales[185][194]
Selected countries Year
Norway (100% ZEV sales) 2025
Denmark 2030
Netherlands (100% ZEV sales)
United Kingdom (100% ZEV sales) 2035
France 2040
Canada (100% ZEV sales)
Germany (100% ZEV sales) 2050
U.S. (10 ZEV states)
Japan (100% HEV/PHEV/ZEV sales)

Financial incentives for consumers are aiming to make electric car purchase price competitive with conventional cars due to the higher upfront cost of electric vehicles. Depending on battery size, there are one-time purchase incentives such as grants and tax credits; exemptions from import duties; exemptions from road tolls and congestion charges; and exemption of registration and annual fees.

All-electric car on a bus lane in Oslo.

Among the non-monetary incentives, there are several perks such allowing plug-in vehicles access to bus lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes, free parking and free charging.[193] Some countries or cities that restrict private car ownership (for example, a purchase quota system for new vehicles), or have implemented permanent driving restrictions (for example, no-drive days), have these schemes exclude electric vehicles to promote their adoption.[195][196][197][198][199][200]

Some government have also established long term regulatory signals with specific targets such as Zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandates, national or regional CO
emission regulations, stringent fuel economy standards, and the phase out of internal combustion engine vehicle sales.[185][193] For example, Norway set a national goal that by 2025 all new car sales should be ZEVs (battery electric or hydrogen).[201][202]

EV plans from major manufacturers[edit]

As of Manufacturer Investment Investment
# EVs Year
2020-11 Volkswagen $86 billion 2025 27 2022 Plans 27 electric vehicles by 2022, on a dedicated EV platform dubbed "Modular Electric Toolkit" and initialed as MEB.[203] In November 2020 it announced the intention to invest $86 billion in the following 5 years, aimed at developing EVs and increasing its share in the EV market. Total capital expenditure will include "digital factories", automotive software and self-driving cars.[204]
2020-11 GM $27 billion 30 2035


Announced that it’s boosting its EV and self-driving investment from $20 billion to $27 billion, and it currently plans to have 30 EVs on the market by the end of 2025 (including: the Hummer EV; the Cadillac Lyriq SUV; Buick, GMC, and Chevrolet EVs; and a Chevy compact crossover EV).[206] CEO Barra said 40% of the vehicles GM will offer in the United States will be battery electric vehicles by the end of 2025.[207] GM's "BEV3" next-generation electric vehicle platform is designed to be flexible for use in many different vehicle types, such as front, rear and all-wheel drive configurations.[208]
2019-01 Mercedes $23 billion 2030 10 2022 Plans to invest $23 billion in battery cells through 2030 and to have 10 all electric vehicles by 2022.[209][210]
2019-07 Ford $29 billion


2025 Will use Volkswagen's Modular Electric Toolkit ("MEB") to design and build its own fully electric vehicles starting in 2023.[212] The Ford Mustang Mach-E is an electric crossover that will reach up to 480 km (300 miles).[213] Ford is planning to release an electric F-150 in the 2021 time frame.[214][215]
2019-03 BMW 12 2025 Plans 12 all electric vehicles by 2025, using a fifth-generation electric powertrain architecture, which will save weight and cost and increase capacity.[216] BMW has ordered €10 billion worth of battery cells for the period from 2021 through 2030.[217][218][219]
2020-01 Hyundai 23 2025 Announced that it plans 23 pure electric cars by 2025.[220] Hyundai will announce its next generation electric vehicle platform, named e-GMP, in 2021.[221]
2019-06 Toyota Has developed a global EV platform named e-TNGA that can accommodate a three-row SUV, sporty sedan, small crossover or a boxy compact.[222] Toyota and Subaru will release a new EV on a shared platform;[223] it will be about the size of a Toyota RAV4 or a Subaru Forester.
2019-04 29 automakers $300 billion 2029 A Reuters analysis of 29 global automakers concluded that automakers are planning on spending $300 billion over the next 5 to 10 years on electric cars, with 45% of that investment projected to occur in China.[224]
2020-10 Fiat Launched its new electric version of the New 500 for sale in Europe starting in early 2021.[225][226]
2020-11 Nissan Announced the intention to sell only electric and hybrid cars in China from 2025, introducing 9 new models. Nissan other plans includes manufacturing, by 2035, half zero-emission vehicles and half gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles.[227] In 2018 Infiniti, the luxury brand of Nissan, announced that by 2021 all newly introduced vehicles will be electric or hybrid.[228]
2020-12 Audi €35 billion 2021-2025 20 2025 30 new electrified models by 2025, of which 20 PEV.[229] By 2030-2035, Audi intends to offer just electric vehicles.[230]


Total global EV sales in 2030 were predicted to reach 31.1 million by Deloitte.[231] The International Energy Agency predicted that the total global stock of EVs would reach almost 145 million by 2030 under current policies, or 230 million if Sustainable Development policies were adopted.[232]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reducing Pollution with Electric Vehicles". www.energy.gov. Archived from the original on 12 May 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  2. ^ Preston, Benjamin. "EVs Offer Big Savings Over Traditional Gas-Powered Cars". Consumer Reports. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
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