In Which Year Will An EV 1st Break Into The Top 10 Of Global Auto Sales? (Poll)

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A few hours ago, I shared the results of our poll regarding which EV will be first to break into the top 10 of global auto sales. It was a fun poll, and it was very interesting to see the results. Of course, the year an EV first breaks into the top 10 would provide a big hint as to whether that EV would indeed be one of the models on the list or an unknown model not yet unveiled. If an EV breaks into the top 10 in 2015, it could very well be the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Spark EV, Toyota Prius PHEV, Tesla Model S, or something else currently on the market. If an EV breaks into the top 10 in 2018, it’s less likely such models would still be around*, but the likelihood of the Tesla Model “C” being the first to break into the top 10 certainly picks up in likelihood. The year an EV breaks into the top 10 of global auto sales is, of course, interesting beyond its relation to which EV claims that record first. It’s also a sort of indicator of when EVs “go mainstream” and how quickly we deal with global warming and the melting of the friggin’ North Pole!

So, it was nice to see a reader and early voter in the above poll make the wonderful suggestion to do a poll on the year this all goes down. I’m dying to see what year rises to the top in this poll, and how the spread looks, so let’s dive into it:

*Naturally, some models do run for many years (e.g., the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Ford Focus, etc.). So, there is a chance a new version of the Leaf, Chevy Spark EV, or other current EV could still be created each year up through 2017, 2020, 2023, or even later.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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4 thoughts on “In Which Year Will An EV 1st Break Into The Top 10 Of Global Auto Sales? (Poll)

  • The Golf is number 10 and last year 650,000 units were sold. Renault-Nissan has just recently broken 100,000 unit sales all-time. The best-selling Leaf has yet to break 50,000 total global sales There is still a long way to go before any one model even sniffs the top ten. There is still a ways to go until the combined sales of all electrics come close to the number 10 spot. It will come but it won’t be in the 2010’s.

    • Six more years. I’d stick a “probably” in that last sentence were it mine.

      Hypothetical: GM announces that the Envira battery is a total success and later this year releases the 2014 Spark EV with a 180 mile range and a $23,000 price tag.

      650,000 per year by 2019? Probably would happen.

  • You need a ford focus, mazda 3 or honda civic ev with 500km range to make the top 10…

    • You don’t need that much range. 300km/180 miles will be plenty.

      Few people drive 300km a single day very often.

      On the few days they drive all day long (800km/500 miles) they will be able to do that with two <20 minute stops during which they can eat, pee, walk the dog, shop, check their messages, nap. That extra stop won't be bothersome.

      It is more likely that a major car manufacturer will get there first. They have the capacity and capital to go big quickly. But if a new/smaller manufacturer locks in exclusive use of a superior battery then the little dog wins.

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