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Eurostat: International trade in hybrid and electric cars 2022

Electric vehicles offer huge potential for the decarbonisation of transport, as an important part of the energy transition.

The international trade in hybrid (both plug-in and non-plug-in) and electrical cars is on the rise, according to the latest statistics published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

The updated data shows the dynamics of imports and exports as well as the EU's main trading partners in 2021.


1. Power cord or Fuel storage 2. Lithium-Ion battery system 3. Electric motor 4. Regenerative braking 5. Transmission 6. Engine 7. Generator 8. Power cord

Interestingly, for all three vehicle categories, the value for imports was lower than the corresponding value for exports from the EU, as can be seen from the figure below. In 2021, the EU spent €11.8 billion on imports of non-plug-in hybrid cars, €11.4 billion on full electric cars and €5.9 billion on plug-in hybrid cars. Exports of non-plug-in hybrid cars were estimated at €22.9 billion, full electric cars at €12.3 billion and plug-in hybrid cars at €6.8 billion.

Compared to 2017, the growth in trade is enormous.  If we look at trade in value terms, in 2021 imports of non plug-in hybrid cars into the EU increased by 165% compared to 2017, hybrid cars by around 800%, and electric cars by as much as 2,400%. Even more rapid growth is shown by exports of non-plug-in hybrid cars, which increased by more than 5000%. Exports of electric vehicles increased by 660% and exports of plug-in hybrids by 150% over the period under review from 2017 to 2021.

The main figures for trading partners of the EU in all three categories of cars are as follows:

Electric cars: China with 43% was the largest importer, followed by South Korea with 20%, the USA with 17%, and Mexico with 10%. The United Kingdom (28%) was the largest export partner, ahead of Norway (24%) and the USA (20%).

Non-plug-in hybrid cars: Japan (23%) was largest origin of extra-EU imports of Non-plug-in hybrid cars, followed by the UK (19%), Turkey (19%) and South Korea (14%). The UK (28%) was the biggest export partner, ahead of Norway (24%) and the USA (20%).

Plug-in hybrid cars: the USA (42%), Japan (15%) and the UK (13%) were the largest import partners. As well as in two previous categories, the UK (30%) has become the largest export partner, followed by China (15%) and the USA (14%).