Electric car sales surged 140 percent in the first quarter of the year, with China emerging as the biggest spender, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Around 500,000 electric vehicles (EV) were sold in China, the largest market for automobiles globally, followed by 450,000 across Europe, the Paris-based agency said in its Global EV Outlook 2021 report.
Sales in the US also doubled compared to the same three-month period last year. However, the increase was from a relatively lower base, the IEA said.
Higher EV sales this year come as demand for sustainable transport options grows. In 2020, consumer spending on EVs hit $120 billion while car registrations rose 41 per cent amid the pandemic.
EV sales received a boost as governments enforce measures to control pollution and embrace net-zero emission targets.
A record fall in emissions due to pandemic-led mobility restrictions last year has also led to a growing awareness about the health of the planet, prompting policy makers to opt for a more sustainable post-Covid recovery.
“Even before the pandemic many countries were strengthening key policies such as CO2 emissions standards and zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandates,” the IEA said in the report.
“By the end of 2020, more than 20 countries had announced bans on the sales of conventional cars or mandated all new sales to be ZEVs.” Global car sales fell 6 per cent in 2020, but around 3 million EVs were sold, accounting for a 4.6 percent share in vehicle sales.. —TLTP