Argonne National Laboratory: Global Light-Duty EV Sales Surged 80% In 2015, Up To 565,668

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The latest global electric light-duty vehicle sales figures from Argonne National Laboratory, posted by the US Energy Information Administration, were just released, revealing that global sales surged by around 80% in 2015.

The surge in electric light-duty vehicle sales — up to 565,668 units sold during the year — was mostly due to booming sales in the Chinese market, and growing sales in the Western European and Japanese markets. The US market actually contracted during 2015 — with total electric light-duty sales figures falling by around 3%; down to 115,262 units sold.

Light-duty electric sales 2015

With many other markets surging, and the US market contracting, the share of the total global market represented by the US market fell considerably — down to only around 20%.

Electric light-duty vehicle sales in China rose by a substantial margin though, more than making up for the stagnation in the US. The Chinese market more than doubled, with more than 214,283 units sold during the year, going by the figures provided by Argonne National Laboratory.


The Western European market had a good year as well, with a roughly 80% growth rate seen during the year. The Japanese market saw surprisingly good growth as well, as did the Canadian one.

Total annual global light-duty electric sales increased more than 10 times over between the years of 2011 and 2015. (Global sales in 2011 totaled around 50,000.)

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James Ayre

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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9 thoughts on “Argonne National Laboratory: Global Light-Duty EV Sales Surged 80% In 2015, Up To 565,668

  • Looking at that information, Canada has about 10 % of the population of the US, but less than 5 % of EV sales, even with reduced EV sales in the US in 2015, very very sad. :((

    • I was going to say the same thing, even if you multiply the Canadian total by 10 to make up for the population differential the market penetration is still half that of the US.

      I am also a bit concerned by the market contraction in the US so early in a “transition” period. Could it be that the general population in North America is still wildly wasteful and not generally interested in efficiency? I know those of us reading here are likely environment minded but these statistics seem to say the general population isn’t as interested as we are… sad indeed.

      • 1. Gasoline taxes are very low in the USA compared to other markets, so the fall in the pump price has been proportionally more dramatic.
        2. (Speculation) The US market is for some reason more sensitive to model cycles. The Leaf and the Volt models started looking long in the tooth, and a lot of potential buyers decided to wait for the 2016 models or the Tesla 3. (The huge response to the Tesla 3 launch tends to confirm this theory.) The Mitsubishi Outlander, a hot seller in Europe, isn’t available. The BMWs are nice but in the luxury niche. The cycles will flatten when there are more real contenders and fewer compliance cars.

  • Impressive growth.

  • I think “down” needs to be replaced by “due” regarding the Chinese EV sales.

  • Annual increases in the last 5 years have ranged from 48% to 152%. At a 50% rate of increase the market will be 100% EVs by 2027.

    • I think it is important to remember that maintaining a 50% rate of increase gets increasingly more difficult as the total number becomes substantial. RIght now it is a lot easier to increase by 100% when the market is only 0.5%-1% of the market.

      • It’s actually quite typical for successful new technologies to to maintain a 50% annual rate of market increase or higher, at least until they have captured about 50% of the potential market, then growth starts slowing until it tapers off in a long tail.

        • Here are some examples of replacement technology growth…


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