EU Trade in electric cars steadily increasing


December 2, 2022


Electric cars are an important part of the energy transition. They are becoming increasingly popular, with international trade in hybrid (both plug-in and non-plug-in) and full electric cars on the rise.

In 2021, the EU spent €11.8 billion on imports of non-plug-in hybrid cars (41% of total extra-EU imports of hybrid and electric cars), €11.4 billion on full electric cars (39%) and €5.9 billion on plug-in hybrid cars (20%). For all three categories of cars, the value for imports was less than the corresponding value for exports from the EU. Exports of non-plug-in hybrid cars were valued at €22.9 billion, which was more than half of the total extra-EU exports of hybrid and electric cars (55%), full electric cars at €12.3 billion (29%) and plug-in hybrid cars at €6.8 billion (16%).


Total value of exports increased 800% compared with 2017
In value terms, total extra-EU exports of hybrid and electric cars in 2021 totaled EUR 42 billion, which was almost an 800 % increase compared with 2017 (EUR 4.7 billion). The total import value increased by more than 400 % from EUR 5.6 billion in 2017 to EUR 29 billion in 2021.

Imports of full electric vehicles increased 2400% compared with 2017
The value of imports for non-plug-in hybrid vehicles into the EU increased by 165 % in 2021 compared with 2017 (EUR 11.8 billion in 2021 compared with EUR 4.5 billion in 2017). In the same period, the value of imports of hybrid cars increased by almost 800 % (EUR 5.9 billion compared with EUR 0.67 billion) and that of electric vehicles jumped 2400 % (EUR 11.4 billion compared with EUR 0.46 billion).

In terms of exports, the largest increase was for non-plug-in hybrid cars; in 2021, exports increased by more than 5000 % compared with 2017 (EUR 22.9 billion in 2021 compared with EUR 0.4 billion in 2017). Exports of full electric cars increased by 660 % (EUR 12.3 billion compared with EUR 1.6 billion), while those of plug-in hybrid vehicles increased by 150 % (EUR 6.8 billion, compared with EUR 2.7 billion).

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Methodological notes:

Full electric: 87038010, 87038090
Plug-in hybrid: 87036010, 87036090, 87037000
Non-plug-in hybrid: 87034010, 87034090, 87035000