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Global Electric Car Sales Surpasses Half A Million In 2015

Originally published on EV Obsession.

More than half a million plug-in electric vehicles were delivered to buyers globally in 2015 — just under 540,000, to be nearly exact — according to new figures from EV-Volumes, an EV sales database and consultancy now partnering with EV Obsession and CleanTechnica.

These new numbers represent a roughly 70% increase over the figures for 2014 — and that’s after the 2014 figures represented a roughly 50% increase on the 2013 ones. The above figures relate to both all-electrics (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

Global EV sales 2015 ev volumes

The year-end spike in EV sales seen in the graph above relates to the fact that EV incentives in some countries (Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc) were slated to be slashed in 2016 — so interested buyers rushed to purchase EVs before the cuts went into effect, likely siphoning sales from early 2016.

EV-Volumes provides more on that, and other things as well:

The accelerated growth is a good sign for EV adoption. Nearly 200,000 plug-ins were sold in Q4 alone! Admittedly, some special events inflated the quarter 4 results much beyond the trend of Q1-Q3. There was the run on plug-in hybrids in the Netherlands and Sweden (lower incentives for 2016), the boost in mini-EV sales in China (lower subsidies, depending on range) and the Tesla hype in Denmark (revised tax exemption schemes), to name the most significant.

More natural demand was created by a spree of new plug-in hybrids during the 2nd half of 2015: BYD Tang, Chevy Volt II, Passat GTE, BMW X5, and Volvo XC90. Accordingly, sales volume of plug-in hybrids increased faster (+80%) than for pure EVs (+64%). The global ratio of EV:PHEV is now 60:40; PHEV gained 2% in the mix during 2015.

EV sales growth global 2015 ev volumes

That said, the share of the total global auto market held by electric vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) was in 2015 still only 0.6%. Cumulative numbers are starting to get up there, though, with PHEV numbers passing the 1 million mark sometime around September 2015.

Image Credits: EV-Volumes


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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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