China Expected to Lead Soaring Global Demand for Electric Vehicles

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The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is increasing rapidly, with the global stock numbers crossing the 1 million mark in 2015 and then 2 million in 2016. A new market research report by BIS Research shows that the global market for EVs is estimated to grow in volume at a compound annual growth rate of 28.3% from 2017 to 2026.

According to BIS Research analyst Surabhi Rajpal:

The increased demand for fuel efficient vehicles, and the continued governmental initiatives for the promotion of electric vehicles, along with the decline in the prices of battery, are expected to propel the growth of the global electric vehicles market. Geographically, Asia-Pacific dominated the global electric vehicles market and is also expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.

Recent UBS research suggests that 16% of new cars sold in 2025 will be EVs. Among the most important reasons for the surge is a forecast that EV prices will fall enough to make them available to the general public. UBS said:

Our second UBS Evidence Lab consumer survey of ~10k consumers in the six largest car markets underscores a positive trend in consumer interest in electric cars (particularly in the fleet segment) whereas the popularity of diesel cars has dropped sharply. We raise our global EV sales forecasts to 16.5m (from 14.2m) in 2025, on (1) higher demand in China supported by survey data and regulation; (2) higher 2017 ytd sales in several key markets. Our new forecasts imply 16% EV sales penetration in 2025, or almost every sixth car sold globally. We expect every third car sold in Europe to be electric by then.

Global sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) totaled more than 764,000 units in the first nine months of this year, according to research firm EV-Volumes. That was up 46% compared with sales in the same period last year. September unit sales topped 120,000 units to set an all-time monthly sales record.

The largest gain came in China, where nine-month sales rose by 113,000 units to 340,000. Japanese sales doubled to 36,000, while European sales rose 39% to 215,000 units and U.S. sales rose 31% to 142,000.

In Europe, German sales doubled and smaller markets rose sharply from low starting points. Iceland, for example, saw sales rise 268%, while sales in Ukraine rose 304% and in Slovakian sales jumped 800%.

The firm also reported that the top-selling EV in the third quarter was the BJEV EC180 from China’s Beijing Automotive, with sales of nearly 20,000 units, followed by the Tesla Model S with more than 14,000 units sold in the quarter.

See the full BIS Research report for comprehensive analysis on global EV demand.