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Published on August 5th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


An Electric Car Will First Break Into The Top 10 Of Global Auto Sales In…

August 5th, 2013 by  

Time to report the results of our poll regarding the year an electric car will first break into the top 10 of global auto sales. The votes are pretty clustered between 2017 and 2020, with 2018 being the clear winner. Still, a couple dozen of you were quite optimistic and projected that it would happen in 2015 or 2016, while a dozen of you projected that it would take over a decade before an electric car broke into the top 10. Here’s a bar chart of the results:

1st year electric cars break into top 10 global auto sales

Overall, it’s an interesting spread and was a fun poll. We will certainly be watching EV sales growth and waiting eagerly for this point… whether it occurs in 2018, 2017, 2020, or some other year.

To put the target into a little better perspective, by the way, one notable point made by a commenter on the original post was that “the Golf is number 10 and last year 650,000 units were sold.” I’m actually seeing a different car at #10 in the study results I found, but the sales number is just about the same. According to research service R.L. Polk, as reported on USA TODAY, the rankings for 2012 and 2011 were as follows:

Rank/vehicle … 2012 … 2011

  1. Ford Focus … 1,020,410 … 879,914
  2. Toyota Corolla, 872,774 … 819,376
  3. Ford F-Series … 785,630 … 713,657
  4. Wuling Zhiguang … 768,870 … 729,328
  5. Toyota Camry … 729,793 … 558,000
  6. Ford Fiesta … 723,130 … 764,415
  7. VW Golf … 699,148 … 716,358
  8. Chevrolet Cruze … 661,325 … 606,825
  9. Honda Civic … 651,159 … 606,825
  10. Honda CR-V … 624,982 … 507,353



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About the Author

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] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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