Published on June 5th, 2016 | by James Ayre


Electric Car Sales Increased 42% Globally In Q1 2016

June 5th, 2016 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Global electric vehicle sales figures for Quarter 1 2016 were recently released by EV-Volumes (along with preliminary figures for April), revealing that plug-in sales in 2016 to date totaled 180,500 units. That’s a roughly 42% year-on-year increase as compared to the same period of time in 2015.

The above figures, it should be noted, are with regard to all-electrics (EVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and also light-commercial electric vehicles.

EV volumes quarter Q 2016 global

While growth was still high in Quarter 1 2016, it didn’t quite match the highs of late 2015. EV-Volumes provides more on that:

Growth slowed down compared to (late) last year, which was 71% higher than 2014. Q4-2015 was particularly strong, in anticipation of lowered incentives in a number of markets for 2016, notably in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and for mini-EVs in China.

Many of these preempted sales were subtracted from the 1st quarter of 2016. In terms of volume growth, +52,500 units is still a progress over the +45,300 increase in the year before. More than half of the 52,500 increase goes to plug-in hybrids (+27 k) and they increased their share by another %-point to 42%.

As far as the electric vehicle sales split by region, China remains the top dog, with a very rapid rate of growth being achieved throughout Quarter 1 2016. Year-on-year electric vehicle sales volume in the market more than doubled as compared to 2015.

Sales volume growth in the European region, in the US, in Japan, and elsewhere, was a fair bit lower — with a growth rate of 27%, 19%, 36%, and 0%, respectively.

EV volumes quarter 1 2016

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'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. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • jburt56

    It’s now about 1% of global sales.

  • JamesWimberley

    The first bar chart doesn’t show anything like a 42% YOY increase.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    I find it interesting that in the USA sales grew less than 20% while China’s grew over 100%. Surely there is some data missing that explains why the EV market in the USA is worse than all the other nations in the report?

    • neroden

      National Auto Dealers Association accounts for it, I suspect.

    • jeffhre

      Might be just a coincidence, but the large truck and SUV market exploded in the US for 2015. The last time that happened there were huge numbers of people looking to get fuel efficient cars, and the bottom dropped out of pricing for large SUVs – when gas prices went back up.

      That was about 3 years before plug-ins were available from OEM’s.

      • Matt

        Note the price point on gas to get this effect is not that high. The highways and bridges in US are in very bad shape. Since that spending is split between states and fed, a $0.50/gal going up $0.10/month until $1.50-$2.00/gal split between state/fed with half going to public transportation and bike lanes would correct this hole very nicely. Of course diesel should start at $1.00/gal and then go up since they heavy cars/trucks cause the most damage and the street level pollution is so bad for health.

    • China has been offering stronger and stronger EV incentives, and against gasmobiles.

    • super390

      A. China is starting from a very low base of production

      B. A lot of Chinese are buying their first cars, under urban conditions very hostile to car ownership of any kind. In America, you pretty much have your people who have always owned ICE cars and are reluctant to change, and your urban people who have decided it’s too much of a hassle to own a car in such a place.

      Thus, the SUV/pickup truck Frankenstein just keeps overrunning the American countryside and driving the sales figures while people in cities have money but no room to park.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        Good points. I wish the original article touched upon them and showed enough stats so we could indeed verify.

      • Bob_Wallace

        B-more. China is a country where over 200 million people are riding electric bikes. Plugging in is well understood. Plugging in your car will be more of a natural transition than in countries with long ICE histories and little experience of electrified transportation.

        • Matt

          Was in China in July 2014, and there were already tons of electric bike, motorcycles, and rickshaws. Enough that when we did rickshaws (often) we only would ride in electric ones. And while my daughter in law got loudly berated for sending ICEs on their way. We never had to wait to find a EV. Spent more time agreeing on a price 😉

      • marouet

        21,000 cars is not a low base.

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