List of Countries Leading The Way In EV Adoption

The global electric vehicle market has gained popularity owing to numerous technological advancements and has taken a huge leap forward in the past decade. The adoption rate of electric vehicles is increasing and authorities around the world are looking to increase the number of low and zero-emission vehicles on their roads to reduce CO2 emissions and alleviate the dependence on fossil fuel consumption. Countries including Norway, Canada, France, India, the Netherlands, etc. have introduced various grants and incentives to boost the adoption of electric vehicles. According to the IEA’s Global Electric Vehicle Outlook, the number of electric cars, buses, vans and heavy trucks on roads is expected to hit 145 million by 2030. The global electric vehicle fleet could increase further, hitting 230 million by the end of the decade.

While Norway has the highest share of electric cars in total passenger car sales, China has a booming electric vehicle industry in terms of absolute market size. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales of fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids amounted to 1.00 and 0.25 million respectively in 2020, putting China way ahead of every other country in terms of EV sales.

Major automobile manufacturers are exploring opportunities and heavily investing in different types of vehicles including all-electric and plug-in hybrids to strengthen their position in the EV market.

Here is a list of a few countries moving towards electric transportation to reduce carbon emissions and combat global climate change.


Currently, Norway is the leading country in electric vehicle (EV) usage and has the highest per capita all-electric (battery only) cars in the world - over 1,00,000 in a country of just over five million people thanks to its e-mobility programme. In 2017, Norway's parliament imposed a 50pc rule and created a non-binding policy to ensure that all vehicles sold should be zero-emission by 2025, reflecting the country's push towards electric vehicles over the next five years.

In 2020, Norway's uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) hit a global record, as battery electric vehicles (BEVs) made up over 54% of all vehicles sold in the country during the year.

As per a CNN report, Volkswagen’s luxury brand Audi sold 9,227 units of its e-tron model in 2020, followed by Tesla’s Model 3, which sold 7,770 units while Volkswagen’s ID.3 came third at 7,754.

In terms of infrastructure as well, Norway is one of the leading countries with thousands of charging points. While the Netherlands has the most public charging points, Norway comes at fifth place with 10,000, giving it one of the highest charge points per capita in Europe.

The rapid uptake of EVs in Norway is closely related to expanded infrastructure, policy instruments and a wide range of incentives. The Norway government has announced several incentives and grants for electric cars until the end of 2021. The incentive schemes will be revised and adjusted as per the market development after 2021. Also, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved the VAT exemption for zero-emission vehicles in Norway until the end of 2022.

With an ambitious policy to incentivise electric vehicle use, Norway’s e-mobility programme also contributes to the global efforts in reducing dependency on fossil fuels by publishing reports that help other countries adopt a similar model. The e-mobility programme encourages the citizens to use EVs by providing free access to public spaces & garages, national subsidies, reduced taxes, free use of toll roads, bus lanes and domestic ferries. Norway’s e-mobility plan is contributing to the global efforts of reducing emissions and dependency on fossil fuels by publishing its e-mobility research that helps other countries adopt a similar model.


The Netherlands is one of the largest growing EV markets in the world. As per the report published by ICCT, 21% of all newly registered cars in the Netherlands were battery electric vehicles and 4% were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2020. The huge rise in the sales of electric vehicles is a testament to various electric vehicle grants and incentives implemented by the government over the past several years.

To lead the way for electrification, the Dutch government plans to allow only zero-emission vehicles to register as of 2030. The government has introduced a new subsidy scheme for electric vehicles and offers various incentives to reduce the cost for electric vehicle buyers and owners. Customers purchasing or leasing a new electric passenger car can claim back USD 4,833 from the government. In the case of a second-hand electric car, the amount is USD 2,416. In addition, owners of a BEV are exempted from the one-time registration tax and annual ownership taxes, or receive a reduction in case of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The country also has the biggest charging infrastructure in Europe, with one station for every five electric cars currently on the road. By 2030, the Dutch government plans to have an average of 400,000 EVs on the roads per year. For urban logistics, the government is aiming to have a minimum of 30 cities implementing zero-emission zones by 2025. Apart from policies, buyers can also choose from an increasing number of electric vehicle models for sale. Over 60 different models of BEV’s were newly registered in the country in the year 2020. With progressive policies playing a key role in driving electrification, The Netherlands is on a good course to reach its target to sell zero-emission cars only by 2030.


China has become the world’s fastest and largest growing EV market, with 2.3 million electric vehicles in active use. China encourages the adoption of fuel-efficient and zero-emission vehicles to sustain the continued growth of the country's automobile industry. The country has hundreds of electric auto manufacturers, many of which are owned by provincial or local governments. According to the Mordor Intelligence report, the Chinese EV market accounted for USD 98 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 31% between 2021 - 2026.

According to the research published by Canalys, a record 1.3 million EVs were sold in China in 2020 which represented 41% of global EV sales, just behind Europe with 42% of global EV sales.

The number of EV charging stations in China is growing rapidly as well. As per the reports published by the Chinese Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Agency (EVCIPA) in 2019, there are over 808,000 EV chargers in China, out of these 330,000 were public chargers and 480,000 were home chargers.

The Chinese government plays a key role in the growing numbers of EV sales through the introduction of incentive schemes. The government has spent around USD 60 billion to develop the electric-car industry including tax exemptions, research and development funding, EV quotas for vehicle manufacturers and importers, manufacturing subsidies and financing for battery-charging stations. The government of China has three principal goals: to reduce China’s oil import bills, clean the air in China’s cities and position China for global leadership in a strategic industry.


The United Kingdom has seen rapid growth in the electric vehicle market and the trend is expected to continue. According to preliminary data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a total of 108,205 EVs were sold in the UK in 2020, representing a 180% year-on-year rise and 6.6 % rise from 1.6% of the overall UK car market. Meanwhile, PHEV sales rose 90% to 66,877, rising from 1.5% to 4.1% of the market.

The UK government has announced a plan to end the sale of new fossil-fuelled vehicles from 2030 onwards, a part of a Ten-point plan to support its net-zero goals to 2050. The plan includes investment in electric vehicle incentives and charging infrastructure. The British government has committed around USD 1.7 billion investment for the development of battery technologies & infrastructure and is providing incentives to help people embrace electric driving technology. EVs (less than 51g/km of CO₂) and PHEVs are currently exempted from paying VED.

The United Kingdom EV market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 14% by 2026. The explosive growth of the EV market in the UK can be attributed to the government grants, increasing affordability of electric vehicles offered by the leading automobile manufacturers and rising need for zero-emission vehicles due to surging pollution levels.


With more than 65 000 electric vehicles on the road, France has consolidated its position as Europe's largest growing EV market. As per the National Association for the Development of Electric Mobility (AVERE), over 15,812 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were registered in France in January 2021, making up 9.8% of the market. The rapidly growing electric vehicle market of the country is projected to register a CAGR of about 20% by 2025.

France has set itself the ambitious target through its Climate Action Plan 2050 of achieving a 50% reduction in CO2 emission levels by 2050. The government is providing monetary benefits such as zero to a very little registration fee and exemption in import tax, purchase tax and road tax to EV owners. In May 2020, the French government presented a USD 9.6 billion rescue plan for the country’s automobile industry and announced a plan to offer some of the most generous incentives of any country to buy an electric vehicle. The incentives and grants will bring down the price of an electric vehicle by nearly 40% and in some cases, buyers will be eligible to receive up to USD 14,497.

The French government also announced a USD 120 million funding scheme to boost EV infrastructure in the country. As part of an effort to increase its infrastructure capacity, charging hubs must be equipped with at least four fast-charging stations, including at least two 150kW points to qualify for funding.


EV sales in Germany increased three-fold to more than 194,000 units in 2020, with a range of government incentives propelling Europe’s biggest auto market ahead of Tesla's home state. According to a report published by Berlin-based Schmidt Automotive Research, 98,370 fully electric cars were sold in Germany in the first nine months of 2020.

The nation’s auto industry is on its way to achieving the goal to have 7 million to 10 million registered electric vehicles on German roads by 2030, as defined in the 2030 Climate Action Programme. To achieve this ambitious objective, state-funded subsidies and several EV incentives of as much as USD 10,873 per battery-powered vehicle have been extended or added. In June 2020, Germany doubled incentives for electric cars, which included a USD 3,624 bonus for electric vehicles and a 2,718 bonus for hybrids costing below USD 48,332. The government is also planning to invest around USD 6.6 billion of funding for electric-car charging infrastructure, a significant show of support for one of the country’s core industries. The sales of EVs in Germany are expected to take up significant market shares within a few decades due to the government’s push to switch to greener transport.


According to a new analysis from IHS Markit, EV registrations in the US reached a record market share of 1.8% in 2020, demonstrating increasing demand and consumer interest for electric vehicles.

Due to government incentives for EV owners, the US electric vehicles market is expected to reach 6.9 million unit sales by 2025, up from the 1.4 million unit sales forecast for 2020, due to government incentives for EV owners. The U.S. government has initiated a tax credit for all the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Consumers can currently get a federal tax credit of up to USD 7,500 on a plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle, but not all cars are eligible. The U.S President Biden has signalled his support for a massive scaling-up of EV sales by promising USD 400 billion in public investment in clean energy, including battery technologies and electric vehicles. Part of the plan includes government investment and various incentive schemes to support electric vehicles, with 500,000 new electric vehicle charging outlets in the U.S by the end of 2030.


Thailand is the eleventh biggest automobile manufacturer in the world and the fourth largest in Asia. The country has managed to attract significant FDI especially in the electric transportation sector, the number of companies involved in the EV industry grew from 76 in 2015 to 420 in 2019. The Thailand Board of Investment has ratified 24 projects in 2020 by carmakers to manufacture electric vehicles in the country, with a capacity of over 500,000 units annually. The Thai government aims to accelerate the use and production of electric vehicles (EVs), with national strategies focusing on the environment and air pollution solutions.  By 2036, the government aims to boost the number of battery electric vehicles and passenger plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to 1.2 million units with 690 charging stations.

The Thailand government is increasingly favouring policies and incentive programs designed to push the country towards becoming a significant electric vehicle producer. The government also offers a 0% excise tax exemption to carmakers who manufacture BEVs (battery electric vehicles) in Thailand during 2020-2022. In addition, incentives to attract foreign investment have been provided by the Thai government to accelerate the Thai EV sector to become the EV hub in ASEAN.


Iceland has adopted the approach of green development, in terms of the automotive sector and has the second most electric vehicles per capita in the world.  

As per a report published by Iceland Monitor, fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids currently make up about 16,000 of the country’s vehicles (6,500 of the 16,000 are fully electric cars and 9,700 are plug-in hybrids).

The impetus for Iceland's sustainability push came from the realization that Iceland as an island country was overly dependent on imported petroleum fuels to meet its transport fuel demand. The government aims to have 30,000 electric vehicles in Iceland by 2026. The Icelandic government is implementing a state-financed incentive plan to increase the adoption of electric vehicles. The government currently provides incentives to EV consumers. Currently, there are also no import duties on EVs and EV buyers pay no sales tax on EVs. The Icelandic government plans to replace the Icelandic transportation system with electricity in the next decades. Among the government’s goals is a complete ban on the production of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.


The Indian automotive industry is the fifth largest in the world and is poised to become the third largest by 2030. The Government of India is working towards reducing the carbon footprint in India’s mobility sector by 2030. As per the report published by Allied Market Research, India’s EV Market was valued at USD 5 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 47 billion by 2026 registering a CAGR of above 44% (2021 - 2026).

The government of India is encouraging the development of zero-emission vehicles in an effort to cut global emissions and improve renewable energy infrastructure. Reiterating its commitment to the Paris Agreement, the government of India is obligated to bring down its share of global emissions by 2030. The government aims to target 30% electric cars adoption in the country by 2030 and has launched various schemes to promote electric mobility in the country. Incentive schemes like the National Electric Mobility Mission 2020, Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-II) scheme have also been launched to grow consumer inclination and encourage the adoption of environment-friendly EVs in the country. The Indian government has announced the acquisition of 7,000 electric buses, 55K four-wheelers, and 10,00,000 two-wheelers as part of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME). The Indian government will spend over USD 1.4 bn to acquire vehicles that operate on lithium-ion batteries, and/or on electric power trains.


Saudi Arabia has already put itself on the path to adopting EVs and is resorting to renewable energy technologies to reduce carbon emissions. The Saudi government is focused on the adoption of EVs to reduce environmental pollution and gasoline usage, as the country’s transport sector consumes almost a quarter of its total energy. As per research conducted by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, carbon emissions in Saudi would decrease, on average by 0.35%, if 100,000 combustion vehicles were replaced by the same number of EVs in the country.

As a fundamental part of its Vision 2030 program, the Saudi government is taking serious steps to boost its EV sector. In 2020, the Saudi government approved the commercial imports of EVs and their charging stations under specific procedures. Other initiatives such as the Saudi Electricity Company’s agreement with Nissan for the first EV pilot project in the country may contribute to the promotion of EVs in the country. Also, Schneider Electric Saudi Arabia and GREENER by IHCC have signed a partnership agreement to boost e-mobility infrastructure in the Kingdom’s fast-growing electric vehicle (EV) sector.


With 424 all-electric vehicles, 855 hybrids and 150 plug-in hybrids sold in the first three months of 2021, New Zealand’s electric car market is experiencing exponential growth thanks to Government carbon reduction policies. As a part of the EV adoption plan, the country will end the production of conventional vehicles by 2032 and as much as half of all light vehicles would be battery powered by 2035. This is in line with the ambitious goals to cut emissions from transport by bringing millions of electric cars onto the road which several other countries have also established.

According to a report published by Fitch Solutions, the Labour/Green coalition by the New Zealand government will increase EV sales from 2021, high enough to lead the Asia region by 2029. This will largely come from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s mandate for all government agencies, departments and ministries to exclusively use EVs, in order to reduce the carbon emission. The government has allocated USD 14.4 million to co-fund the cost of EVs and charging infrastructure across the country.


In Sweden, EV sales broke new ground in November 2020, taking a 38.7% share of the passenger auto market. Most of the sales recorded were of plug-in hybrids (10,337 registrations and up 222% year-over-year), but BEVs grew quicker (6,592 or 10% of the market and 310% increase year-over-year). The growing popularity of EVs in the country is due to increased incentives including tax subsidies and national grants.

The people of Sweden have an ambitious goal to move away from fossil fuel cars as fast as possible. The Swedish government is aiming to become carbon-neutral by 2045. To achieve this target, Sweden requires 2.5 million EVs and charging networks by the end of the decade. The Government of Sweden has introduced a Bonus-Malus system for incentivizing the purchase of electric vehicles. The buyers of all-electric vehicles with CO2 emissions of less than 70 g/km receive an incentive bonus of USD 6,885 while vehicles with CO2 emissions of more than 95 g/km are subjected to higher taxes as a malus. The bonus is paid directly to the buyer six months after the vehicle is registered, preventing the vehicle from being sold within that time period.

The EV market is expected to grow significantly in the near future and is likely to make conventional modes of transportation obsolete. Technological advancements in the EV sector, substantial investments from automakers and the global efforts of various governments toward a cleaner environment are the key factors driving the growth of the global electric vehicles and its infrastructure market. As per Canalys forecasting, EVs will continue to grow throughout the decade and will represent 48% of all new cars sold in 2030. Even though we’ve already seen some incredible growth in the number of EVs worldwide, industry experts suggest that we’ve only just scratched the surface.