Population of 146M Russia Sold A Whopping 53 EVs in 1Q 2021

No doubt we are seeing a mass adoption of electric vehicles worldwide. Currently, 56% of all new car sales in Norway are pure electric cars (75% if you include hybrids), and they are planning to stop selling fossil fueled cars by 2025. China, a country of about 1.4B people, has a mandate to have at least 25% of its new car sales made of so-called new energy vehicles (electric or hybrids). Even the gas-guzzling country like ours, there are mandates at the state and local levels to encourage switch to EVs. But don’t tell that to the Russian government.

According to autostat, in the first quarter of 2020, a total of 53 electric vehicles were purchased in the three months. The number actually was a decrease from the same period in 2019, they sold 66 units in Q1 of 2019. The decrease is understandable due to the pandemic and worldwide lock down. But the lack of electric vehicle adoption is apparent.

Here is a breakdown of the 53 electric vehicles by model:

  • Jaguar I-Pace (18 units)
  • Nissan Leaf (15 units)
  • tesla Model X (8 units)
  • Telsa model 3 (7 units)
  • JAC IEV75 (2 units)
  • Renault Twizy (2 units)
  • Hyundai Ioniq (1 unit)

Russia EV Adoption

A country with population of about 146M people, as of January 1st, 2020, there are about 44.5M cars roaming the roads of Russia. Of those, only a tiny percentage of them are electric vehicles. As of the same period, only about 6,300 of them are electric vehicles, which is about 0.014%, or 1 in every 7,000 cars.

Majority of these electric vehicles (83%) are represented by the Nissan Leaf, which is not sold directly in the Russian market. Most of these vehicles were actually purchased in the secondary market. These Leafs have steering on the right side, like the models sold in Japan.

tesla only makes up 6.5% of all electric vehicles in Russia, or a total of 410 units.

Why is Russia not developing electric vehicles?

Russia is a net exporter of oil. They are an oil rich country that is highly dependent on revenue generated from selling their energy resources, including oil and gas. In 2017, gas export made up 59% of Russia’s total export, which accounted for 25% of its revenue. Russia’s oil product is so high that they were notably in the news recently for instigating an oil price war against Saudi Arabia that bought the price of oil briefly below $20.

Russia has their financial interest to protect by not promoting EV. But similar gas depend countries in the Gulf region have been moving to decrease their dependence on oil. Dubai has reportedly aimed to reach 10% EVs by 2030.

Lets hope Russia will join the revolution, especially if the battery technology continues to get better. Do it for humanity!