Climate Action

There are now 3 million electric vehicles on the road

Sales of electric vehicles continue to go from strength to strength.

  • 01 June 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

Sales of electric vehicles continue to go from strength to strength.

According to new data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), a record 1 million units were sold over the past year, meaning a total of 3 million electric and hybrids are now on the roads.

As expected, China continued to fuel this growth with 580,000 electric cars sold, a huge 72 percent increase on the previous year.

This was closely followed by the United States with 280,000 sales in 2017, up from 160,000 on 2016.

Norway also remained a leader in market share with EVs accounting for 39 percent of all new car sales. Growth in Germany and Japan was also strong and doubled on previous years.

This backs up provisional data from the independent Centre of Automotive Management in Germany which showed a similar level of global sales.

This growth doesn’t come without its challenges though and closer attention needs to be paid to a battery’s end-of-life and its recycling processes, according to the report.

The IEA attributed the rise of EVs to a number of interweaving factors, but was “largely been driven by government policy.”

This included financial incentives which has helped reduce costs, and the introduction of stricter fuel standards and regulations on emissions.

“Further battery cost reductions and performance improvements are essential to improve the appeal of EVs,” the report concludes. These are achievable through increasing the scale of production, battery sizes and using different technologies besides the dominant lithium-ion battery.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently produced its own forecasts for the EV market, which anticipated sales reaching 30 million by 2030. This is roughly in line with the IEA’s own scenarios work, which predicts a range of 21.5-38 million sales at this stage. This would represent a global stock of considerable variation: between 125-220 million vehicles.  

                                                   Onwards and upwards

Source: IEA