Electric vehicle market growing 10x faster than gasoline equivalent

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Electric vehicles might remain a fraction of the global car stock, but the industry is growing about 10 times faster than the traditional ICE market.

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Credit: Flickr/ Paul Krueger
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Think Progress

Credit: Flickr/ Paul Krueger
Credit: Flickr/ Paul Krueger

Despite low oil prices, plug-in electric vehicles (EV) are charging forward worldwide, with more than 2 million expected to be on the roads by the end of 2016, according to recent market figures.

Around 312,000 plug-in electric cars were sold during the first half of 2016, according to analysts at EV Volumes — a nearly 50 percent increase over the first half of 2015.

The rise in sales is attributed to a growing Chinese market, followed by sales in Europe and the United States, where Tesla Motors Co. is now dominating the luxury sedan market, according to recent reports.

And though EVs are a fraction of the global vehicle stock — less than 1 percent— the industry is growing about 10 times faster than the traditional vehicle market.

“What we have seen over the past few months is a complete culture change.”

This increase could be significant for public health and the environment in the United States and elsewhere. In the United States, transportation is now topping the electricity sector as the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, a key factor in human-caused climate change.

Moreover, fossil-fuel vehicles are known to be major contributors of air pollution associated with asthma, allergies, cancer, heart conditions, and premature death, according to the United Nations. And while EVs can reduce air pollution in cities, they also mean less oil extraction, which comes with air pollution and environmental issues of its own.

Right now, EVs’ presence is too small to affect fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, according to a 2016 International Energy Agency (IEA) report. However, the IEA noted this could soon change, with countries like Norway, the Netherlands, and China boldly turning to EVs as they aim to slash emissions in the next few years.

Norway, a small but rich nation, is now leading the world in EVs. One in three new cars sold there is electric, and that proportion is increasing due to tax breaks and investment in charging infrastructure, The Guardian reported. The Netherlands is following closely, since, like Norway, it wants to phase-out fossil-fuel cars within the next decade. According to a Transport & Environment report released Thursday, EV sales in Europe doubled last year to 145,000.

In China, the rise of EVs is noteworthy, too. There, one in four cars is electric. “What we have seen over the past few months is a complete culture change,” said Greg Archer, clean vehicles director at Transport & Environment.

This growth is expected to continue around the world. Some studies suggest that by 2030, EVs could account for two-thirds of all cars in wealthy cities like London and Singapore. That is likely to happen thanks to stricter emissions rules, consumer demand, and falling technology costs.

Batteries, a major factor behind high EV costs, are getting 20 percent cheaper every year, according to EV Volumes.

Source: Think Progress. Reproduced with permission.

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11 Comments
  1. Petra Liverani 3 years ago

    One in three EVs in Norway now? Last I heard it was one in four. Good on Norway and bad on us.

    More people in the power echelons in this country need to watch Tony Seba’s presentation at the Nordic Energy Summit earlier this year so can they can open their eyes and get an understanding of what what the word DISRUPTION really means, how the future is shaping and realise that we need to wean off the fossil fuel teat ASAP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxryv2XrnqM.

    • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

      THERE IS NOT ONE BRAND NEW ELECTRIC VEHICLE FOR SALE IN AUSTRALIA TODAY.

      It will come in Australia eventually but the EV price must drop below the level where EV’s are charged luxury car tax. What people need to start realizing that owning an electric car has the same effect as solar panels on the roof of their house, the sun provides energy at no cost. However, another factor mitigating against this is fossil fuels:
      http://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/why-australians-arent-buying-electric-cars-yet-30869

      Another aspect is that dealers put their EV’s down the back of the showroom. Why? Every EV they sell reduces their income from maintenance as Tony Seba points out. Once again, the negativity and resistance to change is evident in Australia. People need to wake up to the fact that already owning an electric vehicle is cheaper in the long run, except for Australia. Don’t expect anything to change any time soon. The vested interests in fossil fuels have decreed that Australia will remain a renewable energy backwater.

      • john 3 years ago

        Ken i am hearing you about dealers very true.
        The under 30 year generation do understand the technology,
        They express the view that an EV will be their next vehicle.
        Well at least the ones i have spoken too.

        • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

          John, my next vehicle will be an EV, too and my generation is rapidly moving towards electric vehicles. They are marketed as mobility aids. Cheers!

          • MaxG 3 years ago

            I already own one of these :))

      • Barri Mundee 3 years ago

        Its easier though lazier to focus on business as usual. This could come back to bite them big time.

    • MaxG 3 years ago

      Thank you for sharing! I watched all of it, 53mins; and can only recommend it! Do not tune out, when it starts with the familiar; the pace will increase, and you will start to see what is coming. 🙂

  2. trackdaze 3 years ago

    Its looking increasingly likely the 2million evs sold in the 10 years to end 2016 will be joined by a further 2million next year mid 2018 latest.

    Take chinas and germanys plan for 5 million and 1 million ev’s by 2020 and its becomes clear why many vehicle manufacturers have rung the bell on investments in internal combustion engines.

    With bloomberg analysis predicting ev market penetration to materially effect oil markets by 2022 preceeding china’s explosive growth, 300thousand+ preorders for tesla 3 and gm getting into ev production early with the bolt its looking like oil consumption will be affected much earlier.

  3. Ian 3 years ago

    All very good news. Before we get pure EV and have to rely on PIHV, why not make these vehicle to grid. Ie exporting power from a plug-in hybrid to the home network. These would be a fantastic interim measure for those that want to go off-grid . Their Prius could double as a generator on cloudy windless days and serve as a gigantic middle finger to the network operators.

    • Just_Chris 2 years ago

      The outlander can do this via its chademo fast charge port – not available in Australia. In fact any of the Japanese ev’s can do this even the miria fuel cell car can do it.

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