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IEA: Electric vehicles posted strong gains in 2016; 2M now in global parc

With more than 750,000 units sold over the year, the number of electric vehicles in the global parc—primarily Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)—surpassed 2 million units in 2016, following a year of strong growth in 2015, according to the International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook 2017. This is up 60% from 2015, indicating rapid market evolution.

In 2005, electric cars were still measured in hundreds. 2016 also saw more than 200 million electric two wheelers on the road and 345 thousand buses, primarily in China. China remained the largest market in 2016, accounting for more than 40% of the electric cars sold in the world. China, the US and Europe made up the three main markets, totalling more than 90% of all EVs sold around the world. Six countries more than over 1% electric car market share in 2016: Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom and China.

The electric car stock shown here is primarily estimated on the basis of cumulative sales since 2005. When available, stock numbers from official national statistics have been used, provided good consistency with sales evolutions. Sources: IEA analysis based on EVI country submissions, complemented by EAFO (2017a), IHS Polk (2016), MarkLines (2017), ACEA (2017a, 2017b) and EEA (2017). Click to enlarge.

The electric car stock has been growing fast since 2010, with a fairly consistent distribution of BEVs (60%) and PHEVs (40%) across the years.

Electric car deployment in some markets is swift. In Norway, electric cars had a 29% market share last year, the highest globally, followed by the Netherlands with 6.4%, and Sweden with 3.4%. The electric car market is set to transition from early deployment to mass market adoption over the next decade or so. Between 9 and 20 million electric car could be deployed by 2020, and between 40 and 70 million by 2025, according to estimates based on recent statement from carmakers.

Sources: IEA analysis based on EVI country submissions, complemented by EAFO (2017a), IHS Polk (2016), MarkLines (2017), ACEA (2017a, 2017b) and EEA (2017). Click to enlarge.

Still, the IEA noted, electric vehicles only made up 0.2% of total passenger light-duty vehicles in circulation in 2016. They have a long way to go before reaching numbers capable of making a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

In order to limit temperature increases to below 2°C by the end of the century, the number of electric cars will need to reach 600 million by 2040, according to IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives. Strong policy support will be necessary to keep EVs on track.

Cities are taking leadership roles in encouraging EV adoption, often because of concerns about air quality. Major urban centres often achieve higher EV market shares compared to national averages. A third of global EV sales took place in 14 cities in 2015.

Paris, for example, has mandated that any electric car is allowed to re-charge at the re-charge stations of its car-sharing program Autolib. Amsterdam has a unique strategy of offering the installation of charging points on public parking spaces to people who make a request, ensuring that charging infrastructure is installed where it’s actually needed. London for its part encourages EV adoption by waiving its congestion charge.

The IEA analysis shows that fleet procurement is an important means of encouraging early EV uptake. Fleet operators, both public and private, can contribute significantly to the deployment of EVs, first from demand signals that they send to the market, and second thanks to their broader role as amplifiers in promoting and facilitating the uptake of EVs by their staff and customers.

In that respect, four major US cities—Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Portland—are leading a partnership of more than 30 cities to mass-purchase EVs for their public fleets including police cruisers, street sweepers and trash haulers. The group is currently seeking to purchase more than 110,000 EVs, a significant number when compared to the 160,000 total EVs sold in the United States in 2016.

The report offers a comprehensive collection of national-level data on EV deployment based on primary data collected from member governments of the Electric Vehicle Initiative (EVI). The EVI is a multi-government policy forum established in 2009 under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), dedicated to accelerating the deployment of EVs worldwide.

EVI members will also launch the EV30@30 campaign during the Eighth CEM Meeting on 8 June in Beijing. The campaign will set a collective aspirational goal for all EVI members of a 30% market share for electric vehicles in the total of all passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, buses and trucks by 2030. The campaign will also raise support for accelerated deployment of charging infrastructure, commitments on fleet procurement, and exchange and replication of best practices for the promotion of EVs in cities.



Folk, this is a lie and many electric car have shrinking sales like bmw i3, i8 , imiev, prius and the rest of evs lose a lot of money overall. I hope trump and pruitt stop these carbon taxe schemes, it's killing manufacturers and especially taxpayers. The best selling car in japan is a gasoline serial hybrid beating all prius variant sales, this is only sold in japan but it gonna go mainstream everywhere. We gonna harvest exhaust heat and pressure and go hcci with this setup that can also apply to big tractor-trailer trucks. Don't buy any car, ev or gasoline till it happen.


The plug-in hybrid is the way to go for now.  At 50 GWh of battery packs per year, just one Gigafactory could electrify 1/3 of annual US LDV sales with 10 kWh per vehicle; three of them would handle just about everything.

IME, electrification knocks off 2/3 of liquid fuel consumption pretty easily.  Since the LDV fleet travels half its lifetime mileage in its first 6 years of life, if new sales were 100% PHEV it would cut LDV fuel consumption by 1/3 or more in just 6 years.  That would improve to at least 50% after 12 years.

The schedulable demand would have substantial effects on the electric grid.  "Renewables" (unreliables) would be easier to accomodate, but the real impact would come from replacement of peaking turbines with CCGT plants and improved economics of nuclear.  All categories of air emissions would drop steeply.


I don't know which Japanese vehicle gorr is talking about but out new excellent Toyota Prius consume 50% less than the national fleet average and only 1/3 large SUVs. It is a good start using a very small 1.9 KW battery together with a decent price.

Of course, PHEVs with much larger batteries, will do a lot better (75% or so) but require access to charging facilities.


From 2016 onward, China will be the leader for electrified vehicles, production and sales.


You are probably right, time will tell. The central Chinese communist government is all for EVs, they don't just talk about it they DO it.


A lie? How would he know? He's an expert of nothing, making stuff up because he doesn't like the look of the figures put before him by professionals in the field like this article. Where have we seen that before? Oh, yes: the "friends" he says will fix everything. Trolling doesn't change the facts you don't like.


You could add Very High Speed (VHS) electric trains to the list with China way ahead of USA.

Their new China-Western Europe (soon to go all the way to England) direct rail road is in operation and will most properly be improved with higher speed rails in the next few years.



He's bitter, scientifically and numerically illiterate, and old and poor from the looks of it.  A sad case all around.


BEVs with acceptable range require 100 to 150 kWh battery packs and would be too heavy with current battery technology. Long charging time, even with 800VDC/400KW charging facilities, is another challenge.

PHEVs with much smaller batteries and limited e-range could reduce fuel consumption to around 125 milles/gallon or about 5 times less than current fleet average. An acceptable (first/early generation) solution at an affordable price.

New Toyota HEVs, with very small (1.5 KW) batteries, will do about 55 miles/gallon or a bit more than twice the national fleet average at very little extra cost.

Batteries essential for all weather extended range 500+ KM BEVs could equip 5+ PHEVs and up to 100 HEVs. A mix of BEV-PHEV-HEV and FCEVs could replace most if not all current ICEVs.


Well, great, Harvey!  You're saying what I've been saying for 2-3 years now.

Maybe you can actually learn something, if it's repeated to you enough times.


As you know, each situation is different and may require a different interim/permanent solution.

In our family, we are currently (and for the last 4 years) been using 3 excellent 45/55 mpg Toyota HEVs, due to lack of charging facilities.

We would quickly switch to PHEVs or a mix of PHEVs and extended (500+ KM) range 'all weather' BEVs or FCEVs whenever H2 or e-charging facilities become available.

It is just a question of time, sometime between 2020 and 2025?


Almost everything you post is written from the assumption of power from Hydro Quebec, living in Montreal, in your particular apartment/condo building, and that nothing is within your power to change.  It's all "what about MEEEE?"

If you were able to step outside your particular circumstances, you might do a better job of understanding (a) what's actually possible, and (b) what the points of leverage on the system are.  That would make you a far more effective advocate.

For instance, if you got Montreal to require electric power at covered parking in all new construction, and some timetable for retrofitting existing construction, you wouldn't have to convince your condo board or whatever to spend money.  It would be "well, we have to do this, let's get some bids!"  Once you had power next to the parking, somebody would be bound to think "hey, I can buy a Leaf now and never have to deal with gas pumps again!" and it would be on.

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