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Europe Leads in EV Sales, but for How Long?

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2020 EV Sales

The Briefing

  • Europe and China were the largest electric vehicle (EV) markets by a wide margin in 2020
  • EV adoption in the U.S. is expected to rise as the Biden administration works to increase industry incentives

Europe Leads in EV Sales, but for How Long?

Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) surpassed 3 million for the first time in 2020, despite the economic headwinds imposed by COVID-19.

This visualization presents a geographical breakdown of these sales, revealing that over 80% were made in either Europe or China.

CountryEV and Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020) Population (2020) 
European Union (EU)1,390,000747.6M
China1,330,0001.4B
U.S.328,000331.0M
South Korea52,00051.3M
Canada47,00037.7M
Japan31,000126.5M
Taiwan7,00023.8M
Other43,000-

The EU was the largest market by a margin of 60,000 cars, but given China’s larger population, it’s likely the two will switch places in the near future.

Government Incentives Play a Key Role

Government incentives have boosted the transition to battery power in recent years. For example, many countries offer a buyer rebate, which effectively reduces the price a consumer pays for an EV or PHEV.

In Germany, buyers can receive a subsidy of $10,800 when purchasing an EV with a list price of less than $48,000. China also offers a rebate program, where buyers of an EV with a travel range of at least 186 miles can receive a subsidy of $2,500.

Consumers should be aware that these incentives are likely to diminish over time, especially as EVs become more mainstream. In January 2021, the Chinese government announced it would reduce its existing subsidies by 20%.

Will EV Sales in America Catch Up?

In a 2020 survey, 71% of U.S. drivers said they were interested in getting an EV—so why are sales so far behind Europe and China?

In that same survey, 50% of drivers cited a lack of public charging stations as the main factor for preventing them from buying an EV. Concerns like these have led the Biden administration to propose a more aggressive EV strategy, which includes the installation of at least 500,000 charging stations by 2030.

»If you found this post interesting, you might enjoy this graphic that compares electric vehicle highway ranges

Where does this data come from?

Source: EV Volumes, Worldometer
Notes: Final figures rounded

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The Link Between Entrepreneurship and Mental Health Conditions

Research explores the link between entrepreneurship and mental health conditions such as ADHD and bipolar disorder

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The Briefing

  • Prevalence of ADHD, substance use disorders, and mood disorders appears to be higher in entrepreneurs than in the general public
  • One-third of entrepreneurs reported two or more co-occurring mental health conditions

The Link Between Entrepreneurship and Mental Health Conditions

Entrepreneurship has long been associated with traits like risk-taking, persistence, and creativity. It’s no surprise, then, many of the world’s most successful companies were brought to life by neurodivergent founders.

Neurodivergence refers to natural differences in brain function among individuals with conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and bipolar disorder. As this 2019 study demonstrates, entrepreneurs appear to experience mental health and addiction issues more frequently than the general public, and tend to have families with these illnesses at a higher rate.

Nearly half of entrepreneurs included in the study have one or more mental health conditions. Below the are the numbers for four of the conditions studied.

EntrepreneursGeneral Sample Group
ADHD29%5%
Depression30%15%
Bipolar11%1%
Addiction12%4%

The research also looked at anxiety, but found that levels were similar between entrepreneurs and the sample group.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), dyslexia, and Asperger’s Syndrome, which are not included in this research, are other noteworthy conditions that are sometimes connected with entrepreneurship.

Asperger’s, in particular, is present in a number of successful founders, including Elon Musk and Bill Gates. Peter Thiel, billionaire investor and serial entrepreneur, has argued that this mild version of autism could be an asset in founding successful companies.

An Open Question

There are two competing ideas around the link between entrepreneurship and mental health conditions.

First, some posit that traits associated with mental health conditions (e.g. hyperfocus for ADHD, or attention to detail for Asperger’s) are assets in the startup world.

Secondly, it is also thought that because neurodivergent individuals have more trouble succeeding in conventional frameworks in academia and business, they are more likely to forge their own path by founding companies and pursuing self-employment.

It’s entirely possible that both these ideas are true. The more research that is published around mental health and entrepreneurship, the clearer view we have on the traits associated with creating successful businesses.

The more open the conversation is around mental health, the more we can create conditions in the workplace that empower neurodivergent individuals.

Source: Freeman, M.A., Staudenmaier, P.J., Zisser, M.R. et al. The prevalence and co-occurrence of psychiatric conditions among entrepreneurs and their families. Small Bus Econ 53, 323–342 (2019).

Data notes: Data was analyzed from 76 MBA student and faculty pool participants, 149 psychology students, and 110 entrepreneurs not affiliated with the university. Participants from either recruitment group who reported a history of self-employment or founding or co-founding a for-profit or non-profit business were categorized as entrepreneurs (n = 242).

Hat tip: We discovered this research via The Generalist who published a fantastic post on who becomes an entrepreneur.

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