2017 saw record levels of electric and plug-in hybrid cars on roads worldwide, with numbers exceeding 3 million - a 54% increase on 2016 - according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) latest Global Electric Vehicles Outlook.
China remained the largest electric vehicle market in the world, accounting for half sold - or nearly 580,000 - in 2017; a 72% increase from 2016. The US claimed the second highest market, with around 280,000 cars sold in 2017; up from 160,000 in 2016.
Nordic nations remain the world leader in terms of the proportion of electric vehicles sold, with electric cars accounting for 39% of new car sales in Norway - making it the global leader. New electric vehicle sales in Iceland made up 12% of the total, while the share reached 6% in Sweden. Germany and Japan also experienced strong growth, with sales more than doubling in both countries from their 2016 levels.
Electric buses also enjoyed strong growth in 2017, with the stock of electric buses rising the 370,000 from 345,000 in 2016, while electric two-wheelers reached 250 million. This growth has been driven almost entirely by China, which accounts for more than 99% of both electric buses and two-wheeler stock, however, registrations in Europe and India are also growing.
Extract from Energy World magazine (published by The Energy Institute). July/August 2018 edition, page 5.