Global EV market continues to grow with record sales in Q3 2017

22 November 2017

22 November 2017

Global electric vehicle (EV) sales continue to grow, with the third quarter of 2017 seeing record figures as strong demand in China boosts the market. 

Sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids exceeded 287,000 units in the three months ending in September, 63% higher than Q3 2016 and up 23% from Q2 2017, according to a report released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) 

China accounted for more than half of global sales as its market for EVs doubled amid government efforts to curb pollution. 

′The Chinese government is very focused on pushing up EV sales,’ said Aleksandra O’Donovan, advanced transport analyst at BNEF and one of the authors of the report. ′One reason for that is the local pollution levels in the cities, and a second is for China to build domestic heroes to compete internationally in this market.’ 

Europe was the second-biggest market in the third quarter for EVs, with 24% of sales, followed by North America. 

The rising volumes in China are supported by government incentives.The national subsidies can make EVs up to 40% cheaper than regular internal combustion cars,’ O’Donovan said. 

BNEF expects global EV sales to surpass 1 million units this year for the first time. The market for electrified transport is starting to pick up speed as charging infrastructure becomes more accessible and manufacturers roll out models with longer driving ranges. 

Manufacturers including Volkswagen (VW), Daimler, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW and Volvo have announced ambitious plans to expand their line-ups to include EV models to meet growing demand. While most have announced plans to electrify models in their line-ups, Volvo has committed to selling only hybrid and electric vehicles from 2019. 

Governments around the world have also announced targets for cleaner transport. Both France and the UK have stated that they will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, while Norway is attempting to phase out traditional engines by 2025. China is also considering a ban on petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, and has already announced the implementation of quotas in 2019 

However, the uptake of EVs in Europe is being hit by market fragmentation. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has″¯published new data highlighting the correlation between the uptake of electrically chargeable vehicles (ECVs) and both GDP and consumer incentives to switch to the cleaner emission technology. 

The information shows″¯that a share of above 1% only occurs in Western European countries with a GDP per capita of more than €30,000. By contrast, almost half of all EU member states have an ECV market share of 0.5% or lower. 

The share drops close to zero in countries with a GDP of €17,000 or less, which includes new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Greece, which has seen itself in a financial crisis in recent years.