The future of EV driving and ownership report


The future of EVs and ownership report header

The future of motoring is heading in one direction – electric. Whether that’s a mix of hybrid-battery cars, or fully electrically operated, the cars on our roads are beginning to change. We’re seeing a big rise not only in the uptake of electric cars around the world, but also in overall market share [1]. 2021 saw the growth in EV market share almost double from the previous year, sitting at 8.3% worldwide, with the total sales up 108% from 2020. 

But what are some other figures and factors that are driving this boom in EVs on our roads? We decided to dive deeper looking at  the future of EV driving, analysing key data sources and asking UK motorists whether or not they plan to move from an ICE (internal-combustion engine) to an electric vehicle, and if so, when. 

Global BEV and PHEV sales from 2012-2021

Market share for EVs nearly doubles in a year

There’s no doubt that we’re seeing an EV boom across the globe. Rising fuel prices have acted as an accelerant for motorists making the switch to an electric car. Our study found that in 2021, battery-electric vehicle and plug-in-hybrid vehicle sales reached 6.75 million – more than double that of 2020 [1].

More importantly, we’re starting to see how electric vehicles are growing in overall car market share. With the Government announcing that we will be ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 in the UK, with all new cars and vans having zero tailpipe emissions, [2] global market share of EVs is undoubtedly going to grow as other countries take inspiration.

So far, we’ve seen almost a doubling in the global EV market share between 2020 (4.2%) and 2021 (8.3%) and it’s exciting to see what’s in store for 2022. 

China holds the highest number of EV car sales, but Norway is leading the way to a fully-electric transition

Number of BEV and PHEV cars in each country in 2021

Perhaps unsurprisingly, China is leading the way in global car sales for battery-electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles. At more than 3 million in 2021, China is well clear of second-placed Germany. 

China’s approach for a move towards a fully electric motoring industry began with the country creating more than 450 EV car companies. 

It may come as little surprise too that Volkswagen is the best selling electric car brand in Germany. Research has shown Volkswagen took a 20.3% share of all battery-electric cars sold in Germany in 2021 – a higher market share (18.7%) than Volkswagen has in the total German new-car market – showing how electric cars are beginning to overtake ICEs. [4]

Which countries are leading the way in transitioning to fully electric? 

Our study also looked into EV sales during 2021 across some of the major countries. Norway ranks as the country leading the way in its transition from ICE to electric vehicles, with the highest number of sales per 10,000 capita, suggesting that they could have the first fully electric motoring industry.  

Sweden, ranking second, had more than half the number of EV sales in 2021 – showing just how far ahead Norway really is. The UK and USA have some way to go before they start to catch the front runners. But with much larger populations and much more capable production speeds, we could see both countries catch up as we edge closer to 2030 and beyond.

The Netherlands is best prepared for an electric car transition

Number of publicly available EV chargers in 2020 by major country

Much like ICE vehicles and fuel stations, the number of electric charging points helps to determine how well a country can cope with increasing numbers of EVs on the road. 

Our study looked into the number of public electric charging points per 10,000 drivers to find out which countries are best equipped for the transition from combustion engine to electric. The Netherlands ranked first, with 75.6 chargers per 10,000 drivers. The country is best known for its high level of sustainable travel, most noticeably the popularity of push bikes. So it’s no surprise to see they’re also leading the way in turning to a more sustainable way of driving also. 

Despite China having the highest number of public chargers, and by some distance, its large population means it’ll have a big demand should all drivers change to electric. There’s no doubt that the country has the infrastructure and ability to meet these demands, but it appears unlikely we will see them catch up with both Norway and the Netherlands in the near future. 

A deeper dive into the UKs EV sales and infrastructure

With the UK government committing to all cars registered in the UK being fully electric by the end of 2030 [1], how is the country coping with its current demands for charging? We delved into the number of ultra-low-emission-vehicle sales from 2010 to 2021, as well as the growth in the number of electric vehicle public charging points across the same period to see how they’re matching up. 

No. of new ULEV registrations (UK) 

Line graph showing the total no. of ULEV registrations between 2010-2021

Over the past decade, the number of new ULEVs has seen a drastic increase from 6,012 to more than 1.5 million. With this increase in car sales – and removing home-charging stations from the equation – the demand for public charging ports has also greatly increased. 

If the UK is not able to keep up with more EVs hitting the roads by investing in public charging infrastructure at a similar pace, we would expect to see a let down in user experience for EV drivers during the early years of the transition.

Olly Jones, co-founder of elmo comments:“If the UK is to be a leading country in the transition to electrified transport, it is imperative that the investment and rollout of public charging infrastructure is sufficient to meet the demands of motorists.”

No. of EV public charging devices (UK)

Line graph showing total no. of EV chargers between 2015-2022

So how well is the UK dealing with the increase in electric vehicles on the roads and will we ever meet our charging demands? 

Looking at the figures across the latest 10-year period, from 2011 to 2021, ULEV sales have risen more than 17,000%. Compare that to the increase in public charging points from 2012 to 2022, we’ve seen a 1,100% increase. 

It’s worth noting that there will always be more cars on the roads than charging points, and for many, home charging will be their main source of energy when powering their cars. But should public charging spots be popping up a little faster to ensure we don’t fall into a trap?

What are the UKs plans for making the switch?

We asked 2,000 UK motorists [5], who do not own an electric car, what their thoughts on EVs are and whether or not they’re looking to make the switch.

Just one in five (22%) said their next car will be electric. When asked when this might be, the most answered between seven months and one year (44%), with a further 42% saying in the next two to three years.

A staggering 50% said they’re undecided whether or not to switch. So why might this be?

We also asked what puts drivers off the most when it comes to electric cars. The most selected answer, by a distance, was the purchase price. The price of new electric vehicles has been a talking point for some time. This is one of the main reasons why here at elmo, we offer an alternative solution to owning an EV. Our subscription model gives motorists an all-inclusive price covering everything from insurance to servicing, with the freedom of various contract lengths starting at a minimum term of 60 days and with no upfront deposits.  

Interestingly, the lack of charging points was the second most common reason, with 20% of drivers selecting it. 

This is consistent with our research on the growth in public charging points and confirms there is a strong correlation between their rollout, and the readiness of drivers to change to an electric vehicle. 

So when will we be seeing a fully electric motoring industry and how far do you think we still have to go? 

For more information on our study, please get in touch at


How fast is the EV market growing?

The market share for EVs nearly doubles every year! In 2019 the EV share of the overall market was 2.5%, this grew to 4.2% in 2020 and 8.3% in 2021!

Which countries are leading the way in total EV sales?

This probably won’t be a surprise due to their population, China is top of the list with 3,396,000 electric car sales, this then drops dramatically with Germany being second with 690,000 EV sales, followed by USA in third with 668,000, UK fourth with 326,000 and France fifth with 315,000.  

Which countries are leading the way to full EV adoption?

The top 5 countries leading the way in becoming fully electric are: Norway who are storming ahead in the race with 287.7 registered EVs per 10,000 capita. Sweden came second with 135.4, followed by Germany with 82.3, Belgium with 60.9 and Netherlands with 57.0.

Which countries are best prepared for EV adoption with publicly available EV chargers for drivers?

Our study looked into the number of public electric charging points per 10,000 drivers to find out which countries are best equipped for the transition from combustion engine to electric. These were the top 5 countries ranked by the number of chargers per 10,000 drivers… 

1st = Netherlands with 75.6 chargers

2nd = Norway with 60.6 chargers

3rd = China with 26.7 chargers

4th = South Korea with 26 chargers

5th = Sweden with 21.3 chargers


We took and analysed an array of sources to show the current state of the EV market across the globe, raising awareness on how quickly we could be seeing a transition and also where countries rank against one another.

Partnering these sources, we asked 2,000 UK motorists what their attitudes and feelings are towards EVs and whether or not they can see themselves making the switch in the near future. 








You can view the full data set here