[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Honda Motor Europe: 2/3 of European sales to feature electrified powertrains by 2025; “Electric Vision”
March 07, 2017
Speaking at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Honda Motor Europe’s President and COO, Katsushi Inoue outlined Honda’s commitment to an electric future in Europe, with a specific aim to have electrified powertrains in two-thirds of Honda cars sold in Europe by 2025.
Honda’s focus on electrification in Europe will initially be driven by a roll-out of hybrid technology across its automobile range. The first new hybrid model, which will feature Honda’s two-motor hybrid system, will go on sale in 2018.
Volkswagen Group returns to profitability with new record for sales revenue and operating result in 2016
February 27, 2017
The Volkswagen Group made progress in 2016 in overcoming its self-inflicted diesel crisis. Sales revenue in fiscal year 2016 rose by €4.0 billion (US$4.22 billion) to €217.3 billion (US$229.4 billion). At €7.1 billion (US$7.5 billion), the Group’s operating result, which dropped into the red in the previous year due to the diesel issue, was back in strongly positive territory. Before special items, the Group’s operating result reached a new record and at €14.6 billion (US$15.4 billion) was substantially higher than the prior-year figure (up 14%); the operating return on sales rose to 6.7% (6.0%).
In spite of further challenges resulting from the diesel issue and the persistently difficult conditions in vehicle markets such as Brazil and Russia, the Group delivered 10.3 million vehicles to customers worldwide in the past fiscal year—up 3.7% from 9.931 million in 2015. The Group therefore reached not only its targets for 2016 but also a new record, helped in particular by increases in Western and Central European markets and in the Asia-Pacific region.
Cumulative worldwide sales of Toyota hybrids surpass 10 million units; Europe outpaces N America in 2016
February 14, 2017
Cumulative worldwide sales of Toyota Motor Corporation hybrids reached 10.05 million units as of 31 January, scooting past the 10-million unit mark. Toyota said that this milestone demonstrates the staying power of a technology that is now emerging as a mainstream solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.
Toyota launched the Coaster Hybrid EV in August 1997 and the Prius—the world's first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle―in December of the same year. This latest milestone of 10 million units was achieved just nine months after total sales reached 9 million units at the end of April 2016. Although hybrid sales in Japan have stalled, and have dropped in North America, Europe and other regions have been the growth engine.
Volvo Buses receives order for 90 electric hybrid buses and fast charging stations from Belgium
February 10, 2017
Volvo Buses has secured its largest order yet for complete solutions for electric bus traffic. The Belgian cities of Charleroi and Namur have together ordered 90 Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid buses as well as 12 charging stations. The buyer is public transport company TEC Group. The charging stations will be delivered by ABB.
The order from TEC Group covers 55 buses for Charleroi and another 35 buses for Namur. ABB will supply 4 charging stations to Charleroi and 8 charging stations for Namur. Delivery and installation will get under way this autumn. After the delivery, the TEC Group will have ordered in total 101 Volvo electric hybrids and 15 ABB charging stations.
Renault-Nissan Alliance delivers significant growth in 2016; cumulative EV sales hit nearly 425,000
February 09, 2017
The Renault-Nissan Alliance delivered significant sales growth in 2016, with global sales of 9.96 million vehicles—including Mitsubishi Motors sales of 934,013 vehicles globally. Mitsubishi Motors joined the Alliance last fall with Nissan’s acquisition of a 34% equity stake in the company. (Earlier post.) The Alliance brands accounted for about one in nine cars sold worldwide last year.
The car group also reinforced its leadership in zero-emission vehicles with cumulative sales of 424,797 electric vehicles since the introduction of the Nissan LEAF in 2010, followed by the Renault ZOE. In 2016, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, including Mitsubishi Motors i-MiEV series, sold 94,265 EVs, up more than 8% from 2015.
Navigant: 2016 advanced battery shipments through Q3 = 323M cells and $3.8B in sales
January 26, 2017
According to a new report from Navigant Research, the shipment volume of advanced batteries for the first three quarters of 2016 equates to more than 323.5 million individual battery cells, 16.1 GWh of energy capacity, 61.4 GW of power capacity, and $3.8 billion in sales. The majority of the advanced batteries in 2016 have been manufactured in Asia Pacific and shipped around the world.
For the purposes of the report, advanced batteries are defined as rechargeable batteries with a chemistry that has only entered into the market as a mass-produced product in the last two decades for use in the automotive or stationary energy storage system sectors. The report does not include experimental batteries that have not yet reached mass production. The chemistries that are included in the report are all lithium ion (Li-ion) chemistries, flow battery chemistries, sodium-metal halide, and advanced lead-acid.
New Flyer zero-emission bus deliveries increased by 48% to 213 EUs in 2016
January 12, 2017
Deliveries of New Flyer of America zero-emission buses (ZEBs) in 2016 reached their highest level in company history, delivering 213 equivalent units (EUs) in 2016. (One equivalent unit represents one 30-foot, 35-foot or 40-foot heavy-duty transit bus or one motor coach. One articulated transit bus represents two equivalent units.) This represented an increase of 48% from 144 ZEB EU’s delivered in 2015, and is represents 8.3% of New Flyer’s total heavy-duty transit bus production in 2016.
New Flyer manufactures all three current types of ZEBs, including: battery-electric, trolley-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. This design and manufacturing capability allows transit authorities the ability to optimize charging method, infrastructure and range capability for their specific needs.
BYD the recommended company for Argentinian tender for 50 electric buses
BYD has been officially selected as the recommended company by the evaluation committee in Argentina for the purchase of 50 electric buses on behalf of the Ministry of Environment.
The tender was launched by the Ministry of Environment as a pilot project for the introduction of electric public transport in different cities throughout the country. The bid evaluation committee chose BYD amongst a pool of 5 bidders for its successful 12-meter electric bus, which is already used in cities such as London, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, etc.
Reseachers attribute suddent surge in China PEV sales to massive subsidies and huge non-monetary incentives
January 09, 2017
Sales of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) in China—battery-electric and plug-in hybrid—suddenly soared 343% in 2015 to about 331,000 units—more than 3 times the number sold in the US that year. China-based BYD is now the world’s leading manaufacturer of PEVs, jumping ahead of Nissan and Tesla. Six other China OEMs are among the top 20 PEV manufacturers.
However, notes a team from the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis and CATARC (China Automotive Technology and Research Center), just the year before PEV sales were stagnant, despite large subsidies and incentives. In a new paper in the journal Energy Policy, they explore the factors behind the surge and ways to maintain the strength of the market.
GM posts 2016 delivery record in China; 3.87M vehicles, more than 1/3 of global sales
January 06, 2017
General Motors and its joint ventures delivered a record 3,870,587 vehicles in China in 2016, which was an increase of 7.1% from the previous high in 2015. China remained GM’s largest market in terms of retail sales for the fifth consecutive year, accounting for more than one-third of the company’s global sales. For comparison, GM brands reported retail sales in the US of 2,446,582 vehicles for CY 2016.
Last year, GM launched 13 new and refreshed models in China, putting it on track to fulfill its plan to introduce 60 models through 2020. It is focused on the luxury, SUV and MPV segments. About 40% of GM’s product launches in China through 2020 will be SUVs and MPVs.
Honeywell Transportation Systems Forecast: turbocharged vehicles to account for 48% of annual global sales by 2021; electric boosting emerges
December 09, 2016
Honeywell’s Transportation Systems Forecast projects that turbocharged vehicles will acount for 48% of annual global sales by 2021, up 9 percentage points from 2016. This annual sales estimate, combining both passenger and commercial vehicles, would add more than 232 million turbocharged vehicles globally between 2017 and 2021—an increase of 35% from today.
This year’s forecast recognizes an industry trend for slightly bigger engine sizes in Europe and China as automakers adapt powertrain strategies to tackle updated emissions regulations developed for real-world driving conditions. In these regions, a typical powertrain is a three- or four-cylinder engine with a displacement size between 1.2 liters and 1.7 liters. By rightsizing engines with available technologies, automakers are able to continue applying the benefits of smaller turbocharged engines while fine-tuning powertrain systems to further optimize fuel economy, emissions and performance.
J.D. Power, LMC: new vehicle sales in US slide again, 6th time this year
November 24, 2016
For the second time in three months and the sixth time this year, new-vehicle retail sales in November are expected to slip from year-ago levels, according to a monthly sales forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. US new-vehicle retail sales in November are projected to reach 1,128,900 units, a 2.0% decrease from November 2015 on a selling-day adjusted basis, while total new-vehicle sales are expected to drop 3.4% to 1,381,800.
While the presidential election had the potential to disrupt vehicle sales in the first half of the month, in reality, the impact was minimal, the companies said. This is consistent with past elections when a small suppression of sales during the election was offset by gains post-election.
T&E report: electric cars sales in Europe doubled in 2015; now at 1% market share
November 14, 2016
Roughly 145,000 new electric vehicles (EV) were sold in Europe in 2015—double the 2014 tally, according to a recent T&E report. EV sales have now reached the milestone of a 1% market share; figures for 2016 to date suggest significantly more than 200,000 plug-in vehicles will be sold in Europe this year. That would take the total number of EVs on the road to more than half a million cars.
Currently, there are 34 EV models on the European market available, including battery-, plug-in-hybrid- and range-extended-electric vehicles. Established manufacturers have announced new plans to expand their portfolio of EVs within the next five years. Although EVs still constitute only a fraction of all car models available, Europe (including Switzerland and Norway) is the second biggest EV market in the world behind China.
ICCT paper assesses leading regional EV markets in US and policies behind them
November 11, 2016
A new white paper from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) assesses which policy actions are behind the regional leading markets in the US for electric vehicles. The white paper identifies the areas with the highest shares of EVs and catalogues the actions that support EV uptake. The assessment includes promotion actions by state policy (e.g., regulation, purchasing incentives), local policy (e.g., parking and lane access incentives, building codes), utility actions (e.g., charging infrastructure incentives, preferential charging rates), and public charging availability.
The base regional unit for the study was the metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The authors defined regions as the Midwest, Mountain, Northeast, South, and West, based on the US Census (2016). Within the West region, they considered California separately because the state’s long-time focus on emissions regulations and electric vehicles makes it an outlier and benchmark for the rest of the country. In each region, the authors identified the four leading metropolitan areas with the highest electric vehicle share in each region. Only areas with populations of more than 50,000 were included in the study.
Berkeley study finds clean vehicle rebates have predominantly benefited wealthy, white Californians
November 08, 2016
The distribution of California’s clean vehicle rebates across different socioeconomic groups has been uneven, with higher income groups more likely to receive rebates, according to a new study by a team from the University of California, Berkeley. The analysis, published in the journal Transportation Research Record further suggests that census tracts where the majority of the population is Hispanic or African-American are less likely to receive rebates, even when income is accounted for.
Researchers Dana Rubin and Evelyne St-Louis, two recent graduates of the University of California, Berkeley’s master’s program in city and regional planning, analyzed 98,901 rebates issued to Californians buying or leasing low-emission vehicles from the inception of the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project in 2010 through March 2015.
BMW has sold more than 100,000 EVs and PHEVs worldwide over three years
November 03, 2016
The BMW Group has now delivered more than 100,000 purely electric-powered cars and plug-in hybrids to customers worldwide since the launch of BMW i in November 2013. The BMW i3 alone has reached a figure of more than 60,000 units, making it the most successful electric vehicle in the premium compact segment. More than 80% of BMW i3 customers worldwide are new to BMW.
The BMW i8 ranks first among electrified sports cars, with more than 10,000 delivered since the middle of 2014. (For comparison, Tesla sold approximately 2,400 units of the Roadster.) Additionally, there are the approximately 30,000 plug-in hybrids (BMW iPerformance) sold to date.
Volkswagen Group outselling GM in China
October 18, 2016
The Volkswagen Group is having a very strong sales year so far in China. For September, deliveries were up 20.1% to 382,300 units compared to September 2015. For the nine-month period from January to September, VW Group deliveries were up 10.7% to 2,853,900 from the year before.
As a result, the Group is outselling GM, which itself has been posting record results. General Motors and its joint ventures in China delivered a September record 343,773 vehicles, up 16% year over year. For the first nine months of 2016, retail sales by GM and its joint ventures in China increased 9% on an annual basis to a record 2,718,315 units.
Cumulative plug-in vehicle sales topped 500K units in US in September
October 17, 2016
Cumulative sales of plug-in vehicles in the US topped 500,000 units in September, according to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE).
The introduction of the first mass market plug-in vehicles occurred in December of 2010 with the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. By the end of 2012 there were 11 different plug-in models available, and by September of 2016 there were 27 different models.
Toyota Motor Europe hybrid sales up 45% year-to-date; targeting 50% hybrid take-rate by 2020
September 27, 2016
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) reported that sales of hybrids have increased 45% so far this year compared with the same period in 2015—which was already a record year. The company is tracking to sell close to 300,000 hybrids this year, said Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice President of TME.
31% of Toyota Motor Europe’s customers have opted for a hybrid powertrain in 2016; 41% in Western Europe alone. Toyota’s target is to reach 50% of its European sales with hybrid vehicles by 2020, with a hybrid version in every major market segment.
Renault-Nissan Alliance EV sales hit 350,000 mark
September 13, 2016
Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold its 350,000 electric vehicle since December 2010 when the Nissan LEAF went on sale. The Alliance achieved the milestone in August, while also setting an industry record of 100,000 EVs sold in a single year.
The Alliance today accounts for half of the EVs sold worldwide. The Nissan LEAF remains the industry’s best-selling EV, with more than 230,000 units sold globally. Renault is the best-performing EV brand in Europe. (Earlier post.)
ICCT analysis of California top EV cities finds link between EV uptake and many underlying factors
September 12, 2016
A detailed, city-level multivariate regression analysis of EV penetration in California has found a link between electric vehicle uptake and many underlying factors. A team at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) found that electric vehicle model availability; public electric vehicle charging network; local promotion activities for electric vehicles (e.g., outreach events, informational websites; electric car sharing services; and government and fleet programs) and median income in each city to be correlated significantly with new electric vehicle sales share. They cautioned that causality could not be determined within the analysis.
The team drilled into the activities of the 30 California cities with the highest rates of electric vehicle penetration, examining how local organizations—regional and city governments, utilities, businesses, and nonprofits are promoting electric vehicles through a wide array of activities. In these 30 cities, electric vehicles account for 6% to 18% share of new vehicle sales—this is 8 to 25 times that of the US average in 2015. These vehicle markets range greatly in size, from hundreds of electric vehicle sales up to approximately 4,000 (San Jose).
BMW says electrified models exceeding sales expectations, especially in Europe
August 11, 2016
BMW said that its electrified models continue to exceed expectations, especially in Europe. While 4% of all BMW sales in Western Europe in July were electrified vehicles, that percentage increases significantly in markets where innovative electric mobility is supported through financial and infrastructure measures.
In the Netherlands, 43% of BMW 3 Series registrations are for the plug-in hybrid BMW 330e model and 26% of 2 Series Active Tourer registrations are for the BMW 225xe. In Scandinavia, those figures are even higher, with the plug-in hybrid versions accounting for 45% of all BMW 3 Series sales and 55% of all BMW 2 Series Active Tourer sales.
Tesla posts $293M Q2 loss, up 59% from Q2 2015
August 04, 2016
Tesla reported a $293-million GAAP net loss for Q2, a 59% increase from the $184-million net loss for Q2 2015. This marks Tesla’s 13th consecutive quarterly loss. However, Tesla also completed a $1.7-billion equity raise to end the quarter with $3.25 billion in cash.
In Q2, Tesla delivered 14,402 new vehicles consisting of 9,764 Model S and 4,638 Model X. Tesla said that production and demand are on track to support deliveries of approximately 50,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles during the second half of 2016.
Sales of Ford Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi jump in LA in June; up 35% and 40% y-o-y respectively
July 26, 2016
Ford Fusion electrified vehicle retail sales spiked in the Los Angeles market during the month of June, the first month of availability for the new 2017 model. Based on Ford June sales figures, Fusion Energi (the plug-in hybrid variant) sales jumped nearly 40% in LA compared to June 2015. During the same time period, Fusion Hybrid sales jumped 35%. Both of these numbers are retail sales and do not include fleet sales.
By comparison, the total midsize sedan segment is down nearly 5% in LA through May, according to IHS Automotive data. Consumer demand for trucks and SUVs continues to rise in Los Angeles and across the country, but sales of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Fusion Energi plug-in are moving ahead.
Navigant: N. American PEV sales to hit almost 200K units this year; ~62% growth y-o-y
June 30, 2016
In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales in the US and Canada in 2016 will near 200,000 unit sales, growing by around 62% year-over-year. Navigant further expects significant growth in the North American PEV market over the next few years.
In 2016, Navigant Research expects growth to come from expanding sales of the Tesla Model X and the second-generation Volt, as well as the introduction of the Chevrolet Bolt 200-mile range battery electric vehicle (BEV), the Prius Prime PHEV, the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV later in the year.
WEC report: EVs need 16% market share by 2020 for fuel economy standards to be met
Electric vehicles (EVs) will need to increase their combined market share to 16% by 2020 for markets to achieve the aggressive fuel economy standards set by regulators, according to new research by the World Energy Council, the UN-accredited global energy body representing the entire energy spectrum.
While EVs currently represent less than 1% combined market share across the world’s largest markets for new passenger cars, they should be considered central to any policy and technology portfolio designed to lower transport emissions, WEC said.
Kiessling Transit orders 32 more Lightning Hybrids hydraulic hybrid buses
June 29, 2016
Kiessling Transit, a Massachusetts-based transportation company, is ordering 32 more hydraulic hybrid buses equipped with Lighting Hybrids’ Energy Recovery System (ERS) for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses.
This order for 32 units follows an order last year from the Boston-area transit company for 35 units that were commissioned in September 2015. (Earlier post.) Those vehicles have recorded close to a total of one million miles. The ERS has demonstrated improvements of 25% in fuel efficiency, and significantly reduced tailpipe emissions. In addition, Lightning Hybrids has identified ways to reduce vehicle idle time by up to 30%.
Lux: plug-in vehicle battery market to hit $10B in 2020; 6 carmakers = 90% of demand; VW to show most growth
June 28, 2016
Led by Tesla, China’s BYD, and Volkswagen, the battery market for plug-in vehicles will rise to $10 billion in 2020, with electric vehicles (EV) emerging as the drivetrain of choice, according to a new forecast by Lux Research. Volkswagen will show the most growth as it focuses on plug-ins following its emissions scandal, while Toyota will continue to lag in plug-in sales as it focuses more on hybrids and fuel cells.
Just six large carmakers will account for 90% of the battery demand: Tesla, BYD, Volkswagen, General Motors (GM), Renault-Nissan and BMW. Among battery-makers, Panasonic will keep its lead with 46% market share, followed by BYD, LG Chem, NEC, Samsung SDI and others.
Worldwide sales of Toyota hybrids surpass 9 million units; Prius family accounts for 63%
May 20, 2016
Toyota Motor Corporation announced that the cumulative figures for global sales of its hybrid vehicles reached 9.014 million units as of 30 April. This latest million-unit milestone was achieved in just nine months.
The Prius family still accounts for the majority of sales: 5.691 million units, or 63% of the total global cumulative number. (Prius: 3.733 million; Prius α, Prius v, Prius +: 0.634 million; Aqua, Prius c: 1.249 million; Prius PHV: 0.075 million). As of the end of April 2016, Toyota is selling 33 hybrid electric passenger car models (HEVs) and one plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model in more than 90 countries and regions.
Euro Big 5 auto markets up 8.6% in April, SUVs continue to dominate; shift in segment shares
May 13, 2016
Led by strong growth in Spain and Italy, new car registrations in Europe’s Big 5 markets grew by 8.6% to 958,400 units in April 2016, according to the latest figures from JATO Dyanmics. After the UK’s traditional volume peak in March, which saw registrations rise to 1.36 million, April produced further gains across the top five European markets with SUVs driving higher volume and counting for 24.4% and 24.9% of April’s and YTD’s totals respectively. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) came in at 11.35 million, up from March registrations of 11.04 million and significantly higher than the 10.48 million in April 2015.
Germany continued to lead the market, with volume up by 8.4% at 315,900 units, accounting for a third of the Big 5’s total. After a relatively flat March, April saw registrations grow healthily, bringing the YTD total to 1.11 million units, up by 5.6% over January-April 2015. April’s volume for Germany was the highest since 2009. The UK also saw positive growth—despite only seeing a 2.0% rise on April 2015, last month was the best April for UK car registrations for a decade.
Edmunds.com: EV and hybrid loyalty falls to all-time low
April 21, 2016
Only 27.5% of all hybrid and electric vehicle trade-ins in the US in 2016 have been applied to the purchase of another hybrid or EV, according to a new analysis from car shopping destination Edmunds.com. The rate is a sharp drop from the 38.5% of hybrid and EV trade-ins in 2015, and the findings reinforce a trend first identified last year by Edmunds that owners of alt-fuel vehicles are returning to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles in greater numbers than ever before.
Edmunds’ analysis found that a hybrid or electric trade-in is more likely to go toward the purchase of a SUV (33.8%) than another hybrid or EV. The trend is even more apparent when looking only at EV trade-ins—25.7% of EV trade-ins went toward the purchase of a SUV, compared to just 4.8% that went toward another EV.
Volvo Cars sets target of 1M electrified cars sold by 2025
Volvo Cars aims to sell a total of up to one million electrified cars by 2025. The Swedish company plans to achieve this aim by offering at least two hybrid versions of every model in its range and releasing the first all-electric car in 2019.
Volvo Cars has been readying itself for the emergence of electrified vehicles for the last five years. It has developed two all new vehicle architectures for larger and smaller cars—Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) (earlier post) and Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) (earlier post)—that can incorporate either hybrid or fully electric car technology.
Toyota Motor Europe hybrid sales up 38% in first quarter; 30% hybrid mix
April 14, 2016
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) reported a 38% increase in its Q1 2016 hybrid sales (Toyota and Lexus brands) versus the same period last year, representing 30% of total sales, compared to 24% for the full calendar year 2015. The Toyota brand hybrids accounted for 59,608 units (+43% year-on-year) for a hybrid mix of 27%; Lexus brand hybrids posted 12,141 units (+15% year-on-year), for a hybrid mix of 67%.
Total TME sales for the first quarter of 2016 were 241,600 Toyota and Lexus vehicles, an increase of 5.1% from Q1 2015, in a European market still split between growth in the West and Central Europe (+7.9%) and further decline in the East (-10%). Total market share for the group stood at 4.8%.
Ford logs strongest-ever calendar year start for SUVs in US; sales bolstered by women and Millenials
March 17, 2016
Ford recorded 115,228 SUV US sales at retail through the first two months of 2016, making for the best-yet calendar year start for Ford SUVs (Escape, Edge, Flex, Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility, Expedition) ever, highlighted by a best-ever February. Sales of Ford’s utilities for January and February 2016 were up 16.1% compared to the same period in 2015. As a comparison, over the same periods, total Ford brand sales rose 8.6%, with sales of Ford cars rising 3.0% and Ford trucks up 7.6%
Explorer sales rose 18% last month over February 2015; Explorer is Ford’s best-selling SUV with millennial buyers ages 25 to 34, and the best-selling midsize SUV with women, according to Ford analysis of the most recent personal new vehicle registrations in the US from IHS Automotive. Escape, coming off a record sales year in 2015, was up 14% through the first two months of 2016, while Edge sales jumped 56%.