Year over year, the overall value of exported electric cars increased by 57.2% from $37.8 billion for 2020.
Compared to $710.4 billion in overall international sales for all types of cars in 2021, electric cars represent 8.4% of global revenues from exported cars. The percentage of electric cars sold in 2021 is a strong increase from 5.4% in 2020 and even more so when compared to 1.5% for 2018.
The 5 biggest exporters of electric cars are Germany, Belgium, mainland China, South Korea and the United States of America. Collectively, those 5 leaders in exporting electric cars generated almost three-quarters (73.9%) of global revenues in 2021.
Among continents, suppliers in European countries sold the most exported electric cars during 2021 with shipments valued at $39.8 billion or 67% of the world total. In second place were Asian exporters at 25% while 7.8% of the international sales of electric cars originated from North American countries mostly the United States of America and to a lesser extent Canada.
Tinier percentages came from African exporters (0.12%), Australia in Oceania (0.02%), and Latin America (0.004%) led by Colombia and Chile.
For research purposes, the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 870380 for motor vehicles powered by electric motor only (also called electric smart cars). This is a relatively new HTS code since 2017 is the first year for which trade data specific to electric cars was available.
Top Electric Cars Exports by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of electric cars during 2021.
- Germany: US$15.6 billion (26.2% of exported electric cars)
- Belgium: $9.9 billion (16.6%)
- China: $8.1 billion (13.7%)
- South Korea: $5.6 billion (9.5%)
- United States: $4.6 billion (7.8%)
- Slovakia: $2.58 billion (4.3%)
- Czech Republic: $2.57 billion (4.3%)
- Spain: $2.1 billion (3.6%)
- France: $2.1 billion (3.5%)
- United Kingdom: $1.7 billion (2.9%)
- Italy: $1.1 billion (1.8%)
- Japan: $1 billion (1.7%)
- Austria: $776.9 million (1.3%)
- Slovenia: $712.6 million (1.2%)
- Netherlands: $197.5 million (0.3%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 98.9% of globally exported electric cars in 2021.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing exporters of electric cars since 2020 were: mainland China (up 415.8%), Italy (up 230%), Slovenia (up 185.5%) and the Czech Republic (up 162.6%).
Three top suppliers posted declines in their international sales of electric cars namely the Netherlands (down -75.8%), United States of America (down -24.7%) and Austria (down -12.8%).
Countries Earning Largest Trade Surpluses from Electric Cars
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for electric cars during 2021. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported electric cars and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- China: US$7.4 billion (net export surplus up 1076.7% since 2020)
- Germany: $6.7 billion (up 82.6%)
- South Korea: $4.4 billion (up 41.3%)
- Belgium: $3.4 billion (up 12.4%)
- Czech Republic: $2.5 billion (up 192.3%)
- Slovakia: $2.5 billion (up 20.8%)
- Spain: $1.2 billion (up 55.9%)
- Slovenia: $620.7 million (up 231%)
- Morocco: $67 million (up 229.2%)
- North Korea: $79,000 (up 558.3%)
- El Salvador: $20,000 (reversing a -$415,000 deficit)
Mainland China generated the highest surplus in the international trade of electric cars. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms China’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
Countries Facing Worst Trade Deficits from Electric Cars
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for electric cars during 2021. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported electric cars purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- United Kingdom: -US$6.1 billion (net export deficit up 113.9% since 2020)
- Norway: -$5.6 billion (up 75.7%)
- Sweden: -$2.6 billion (up 143%)
- Canada: -$2.34 billion (up 41.1%)
- Netherlands: -$2.31 billion (up 36.3%)
- France: -$2.26 billion (up 328%)
- Switzerland: -$1.5 billion (up 56.8%)
- Denmark: -$1.2 billion (up 84.7%)
- Australia: -$723.4 million (up 252.1%)
- United States of America: -$716.1 million (down -116.3%)
- Finland: -$578.4 million (up 184.7%)
- Austria: -$501.6 million (down -343.3%)
- Portugal: -$492.8 million (up 90.4%)
- Israel: -$470.9 million (up 743.5%)
- Poland: -$411.7 million (up 94.3%)
Overtaking Norway in 2021, the United Kingdom incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of electric cars. These negative cashflows highlight both countries’ apparent competitive disadvantages for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for suppliers of electric cars to better meet the growing consumer demand for more environmentally friendly products.
Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles
Below are major global automobile makers with facilities for producing electric plug-in cars or hybrid vehicles. Shown within parenthesis is the country where each corporation has its headquarters.
- BMW i (Germany)
- BYD Auto Co. (China)
- Daimler AG (Germany)
- Ford Motor Company (United States)
- General Motors (United States)
- Nissan (Japan)
- PSA Group (France)
- Renault (France)
- Rimac Automobili (Croatia)
- Tesla (United States)
- Toyota (Japan)
- Volkswagen Group (Germany)
Searchable List of Exporters for Electric Cars in 2021
The following automated database presents the 78 countries that exported electric cars during 2021, ranked by international sales in 2021.
|Rank||Exporter||Electric Cars Exports||2020-1|
|52.||United Arab Emirates||$372,000||-95.5%|
The fastest-growing exporters of electric cars from 2020 to 2021 were Montenegro (up 722.2%), Ireland (up 660.9%), Canada (up 617.7%), North Korea (up 558.3%), Ukraine (up 529.9%) and Kazakhstan (up 527.6%).
You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of the above table’s columns. An entry of 0% in the right-most column means that 2020 data was unavailable.
See also Electric Cars Imports by Country, Cars Exports by Country, Cars Imports by Country and US Exported & Imported Cars by State
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on July 14, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on July 14, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 14, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 14, 2022
Wikipedia, Electric vehicle manufacturers. Accessed on July 14, 2022