Published on April 7th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Plug-in Cars Increase 100+% In 2013, After Increasing 100+% In 2012 & ~200% In 2011

April 7th, 2014 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

A new report by by Zentrums für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), which Green Car Congress somehow ran across, shows that the number of plug-in cars on the roads more than doubled from the end of 2012 to the end of 2013. That followed doubling of the number of plug-in cars on the road the year before as well.

Globally, at the end of 2010, there were approximately 25,000 battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and extended-range electric vehicles registered. At the end of 2011, that had approximately tripled, becoming approximately 80,000. At the end of 2012, that rose to about 200,000. At the end of 2013, that more than doubled again to 405,000.

In terms of car companies, the clear leader is Nissan, which saw a particularly steep increase in sales in 2013. GM/Opel is a solid #2, while Toyota is a solid #3. Tesla and Ford are close there at #4 and #5.

electric car sales top manufacturers

Of course, Tesla sales have increased sharply as production of the Model S has gotten rolling. Demand is still higher than supply, but that’s also been the case for some other models. Ford also just began production of its popular Energi models at the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013.

There’s also a country-focused chart. The USJapan, and China are clearly the biggest markets. Following them, you have France, the NetherlandsGermany, and Norway. Have a look:

electric car sales top countries

Of course, per capita, Norway leads the pack.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Rick Kargaard

    Just a guess, but i think you and Shell are being a little optimistic from different viewpoints. I think Bob’s estimate is a little closer. I don,t think electric car sales can keep doubling for 10 years and I expect total car production to increase by more and more each year unless we see economic collapse in Asia. My own guess would be 2035 to 2040. That is a lot of oil that will need to be produced

  • drevney

    Just makes me wonder when will the gasoline prices start to fall as the oil companies will understand they need to sell what remains as fast as possible.

    • StefanoR99

      Indeed, it will be very interesting to see gasoline usage in the last few years in mature markets such as north america and europe (especially norway).

      Seeing that line head downwards on the chart is going to give some people sleepless nights.

    • spec9

      Yeah, that is not gonna happen. Gas cars are CHEAP. And there are literally hundreds of millions of them already out there. So most people will sadly remain addicted to gasoline & diesel.

      • Bob_Wallace

        EVs are highly unlikely to stay expensive. Quite likely they will be cheaper as things mature.

        And there will be used EVs. People with less money will seek out used EVs rather than used ICEVs due to the gas/maintenance savings.

        Typewriters were cheaper than computers. See any typewriters around lately?

    • Bob_Wallace

      At least a couple decades away. We’re a few years from an affordable long range EV. Hopefully Tesla will get us there in the next three years.

      Then 2-3 years for the market to realize what Tesla has given us. And for other car companies to rush their version to market.

      Then over the next five years the new car market will likely flit to mostly EVs.

      That’s about one decade. (My guessing.)

      Then another decade for most ICEVs to get used up and off the road.

      What will likely happen is not a “gas sale”, but more like a gradual decline in price as the higher cost suppliers get pushed off. Oil will have some use, some market, for a long time. Those who can sell the cheapest will dominate the market until they dry up.

  • JamesWimberley

    Good charts, with interesting laggards. Germany lags among rich countries (half of France in total, about the same absolute volume as small Norway). Among manufacturers, PSA (after a good start), Ford and above all VW. Ignore Renault; effectively, Nissan is Renault’s ev brand.

    • spec9

      Germany has no EV incentives at all, AFAIK. And they have 3 huge auto companies that up until very recently, only made internal combustion engine vehicles. However, BMW has started making a real EV with the i3. Daimler has the Smart ED but that is pretty niche. VW just rolled out the E-Up!, E-Golf, and GTE PHEV. So hopefully Germany will start to catch up.

  • drevney

    And just how much is it in percentage of the total car sold?
    And of the total car on the roads?

    If this 100% increase in a year will continue, when will the number of new car pass the 50% mark ? When will the total number of cars will pass it?

    • Rick Kargaard

      In 2012 over 60,000,000 cars were produced in the world.

      It is estimated that there are over one billion cars on the road

      If there are 500,000 plugins on the road that is .05% or one in 2000.

      Since there at least 1,500,000 more cars produced each year than the year before, plug ins are not keeping up to the increases in auto production.

      Although plug ins are showing encouraging results, they are a long way from having an effect on gasoline prices. My guess is that we will be looking at price increases for a long time to come. All the more reason to consider electric for your next purchase.

      • jeffhre

        All true, in perfectly clear foresight! Though continuous doubling does tend to use up all available resources in a very short time 🙂

    • D Wright

      Technology isn’t typically adopted over an even course of years so there’s no reason to believe electric cars will take decades to equal fossil cars.
      Like with so many other pioneering technologies, once the new product functions adequately and is accepted, it will very quickly be adopted as the new expected standard.
      Throw in a few serious spikes in the price at the pump and things can change real fast.

      • Rick Kargaard

        There are actually quite a few more requirements for a quick adoption of technology.
        First of all, it’s cost must be within reach of the masses and near that of any competition. Computers have been around since the sixties but only hit their stride in the last couple decades due to low prices and rapid improvements. Internet had a much faster acceptance but the cost is very low.
        Secondly, it must fill a clear need in the eyes of the potential market. The need for EVs is quite clear, but the urgency less so.
        Then it must be easily and quickly manufactured from easily available material. The Bic lighter was a good example.
        You also need an extensive marketing infrastructure in place. Bic lighters found a place besides nearly every cash register in the world.
        And it should be new and exciting, able to grab everyones attention quickly. There is nothing new about cars and electric vehicles have a long history.
        There must be adequate investment. This is a tough one, because success must be largely assured before investment starts flowing in large quantities. Electric cars will require massive investment in inventory and marketing infrastructure alone.
        Although much of the manufacturing of an EV can likely be done on existing assembly lines with a little retooling, there are bound to be bottlenecks. Batteries are one. Elon Musk obviously has forseen this and is funneling many resources towards battery manufacture.
        Industry is understandably cautous, and most will drag their feet until technology has given them a product that is easily marketed to the masses.

    • spec9

      How about instead of just asking questions, you find the answers and tell us.

Back to Top ↑