EVs will make up just 4% of US car sales in 2021, compared with 9% in China and 14% in Europe and must drastically increase to hit 50% target by 2030.

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This is in line with a distinct recent trend – while electric vehicles are on the rise in the US, with sales climbing at an annual rate of 28% between 2015 and 2020, the other major car markets have pulled significantly ahead. The electric vehicle fleet grew at 51% a year in China over the same five-year period, while Europe has seen a 41% annual increase.

A lack of federal government support for electric vehicles, cheap gasoline prices in the US and a paucity of charging infrastructure is holding back progress, the report by ING found, with a drastic increase to nearly 9m zero-emission car sales needed by 2030 to hit the administration’s goal.

“What happened is that Europe set new carbon dioxide limits for cars while Donald Trump took the US backwards,” said Margo Oge, who previously oversaw vehicle regulation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in reference to the former president’s decision to weaken pollution standards for new vehicles. “The policies of the Trump administration are reflecting the US being behind. But the US can catch up if it does the right things.”

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