In 2011, President Barack Obama predicted there would be 1 million EVs sold in the U.S. by 2015. He would have been correct if only he had expanded the scope a bit … to the world.
More than just a call to action as part of that year’s State of the Union speech, the administration implemented several federal policies aimed at trying to make that happen, including a $7,500 tax credit toward the purchase of an EV.
In total, the government will spend $7.9 billion through 2019 trying to bolster the appeal of and raise the purchase numbers of battery electrics, plug-in hybrids, etc. Critics have been quick to call the effort a failure, and if one only takes a cursory look at the numbers, they would be correct.
However, a deeper examination shows that despite remarkably low gas prices – the biggest disincentive to EV purchases – EV sales are continuing to ramp up in the U.S. and globally. The global number just surpassed 1 million units last month.
As of August 2015 about 985,000 units had been sold worldwide, not including Japanese sales numbers which were not reported yet. That number jumped to an estimated 1,004,000 PEVs though the middle of this month, according to HybridCars.com. The breakdown is about 62% battery electric and 38% plug-in hybrids.
(Volkswagen, Audi announce plans to “electrify” entire line-up. For more, Click Here.)
The U.S. accounts for more than a third of those sales, while China and Japan make up about 15% and 12%, respectively. The surprising country holding down the fourth spot? Norway. The Scandinavian country boasts 66,000 plug-in vehicles sold there. The Netherlands rounds out the top five, according to the site.
The top 10 selling EVs globally, which account for more than 93% of the sales, include:
- Nissan Leaf (200,00)
- Chevy Volt (100,000)
- Tesla Model S (85,000)
- Toyota Prius (74,000)
- Mitsubishi Outland PHV (70,000)
- Mitsubishi i-MIEV (50,000)
- BYD Qin (38,900)
- BMW i3 (31,600)
- Renault Zoe (31,400)
- Ford Fusion Energi (24,100)
(Click Here for details about Ghosn’s commitment to electric, autonomous vehicles at Nissan.)
However, the biggest thing to note is not the total number, but the number sold in the last 14 months, which is about half of the total. Driven by growing sales of the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, which account for 20% and 10% of the 500,000 units sold during that time, sales of EVs got to 1 million faster than hybrids (the non-plug variety).
It helps that there are a growing number of options across the pricing spectrum ranging from the Tesla Model S, which can top $100,000, to the Kia Soul, which can be had for under $20,000. Additionally, the segment is growing.
(To see more about how GM plans to bolster EV sales, Click Here.)
During the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen all introduced new EV versions popular models and the latter two committed to producing electric versions of all the models in their line-ups at some point in the future.