Electric Vehicles to Surpass 2 Million Sales Globally in 2018

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For the first half of 2018, global sales of all-electric, battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) totaled 783,000 units. That represents a 66% year-over-year increase in sales.

BEVs accounted for 64% of global volume in the first six months of 2018 and PHEV’s accounted for 36%. The European market’s percentage of BEV sales was 51%, while China’s was 73% and the U.S. percentage was 53%. The data were reported Monday by EV-Volumes.com, a Sweden-based firm that provides research on the electric vehicle market.

The firm projects full-year 2018 sales of plug-in vehicles, both BEVs and PHEVs, will rise to 2.1 million, a 64% increase over last year’s total of 1.28 million sales. The projection is based on regional growth trends and seasonality. According to the researchers, 60% to 65% of sales happen in the second half of the year.

In its report, EV-Volumes also notes:

Medium and heavy commercial vehicles will add another 280 000 sales in 2018, nearly all of them in China. The global plug-in vehicle population will reach approximately 5.4 million light vehicles by the end of 2018, 64% more than at the end of 2017. Medium and heavy commercial vehicles add 800 000 units to the global stock of plug-ins.

The countries posting the fastest year-over-year growth in sales were China (105%), Canada (168%), the Netherlands (126%), South Korea (169%), Spain (99%), Finland (148%), Denmark (691%), Portugal (119%) and Australia (98%).

China is by far the volume leader, with first-half sales of 394,000 units. U.S. sales totaled 122,000 in the first half of the year, up 37% year over year. EV-Volumes expects rising sales of Tesla’s Model 3 to boost U.S. sales in the second half of 2018.

The leading Chinese electric car maker is BYD, which delivered 72,000 units in the first half of the year. Tesla ranked second with about 70,000. EV-Volumes expects Tesla to take over the top spot for the full-year with more than 200,000 units delivered.

Even with growth rates like these, the impact on the global vehicle fleet is barely noticeable. The 5.4 million plug-ins forecast to be traveling the world’s roads and highways this year represent just 0.4% of the global fleet of around 1.3 billion or about one in 250. As EV-Volumes comments, however, growth is exponential, and overall adoption of electric vehicles will change much faster than historic sales suggest.