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Published on November 4th, 2017 | by Zachary Shahan


Electric Car Sales Trends, Forecasts, & Insights (CleanTechnica Interview)

November 4th, 2017 by  

If you’re a regular CleanTechnica reader, you know EV Volumes well, and you probably also recognize Viktor Irle’s face. We’ve been enjoying and sharing data from EV Volumes on a regular basis for a long time, and Viktor has joined us for most of our Cleantech Revolution Tour conferences.

For those just checking in, though, the quick summary is that EV Volumes is a top source of EV data globally — EV sales data, EV specs, and now EV charging stations. Prepping for the next portion of our Cleantech Revolution Tour conference series, I’ve been publishing interviews with presenters and panelists coming in from Norway, the Netherlands, the UKGermanyUkraineSlovakiaNamysłów, and elsewhere. This time, it’s Sweden’s turn. Yes, the whole country of Sweden! Wait, no, it’s just Viktor’s unique opinions. But I do recommend you check them out! (Just go book a spot at our “West Meets East” EV charging conference in Warsaw first.)

1. EV Volumes tracks EV sales data around the world more closely than any outfit I know. Clearly, you are anticipating leaps in sales as the Tesla Model 3, next-gen Nissan LEAF, etc. hit the market. When do you expect we’ll have 10 markets with at least 10% of new cars being electric (fully or PHEV) in a single month?

When these cars are coming, the market will explode. However, the market is already going well, with strong increases in most markets. Obviously, there are also a lot of potential buyers who are waiting for these vehicles instead of purchasing something currently available. So, the future could be said to hurt the present somewhat.

The Norwegian market is currently well above 10% in new vehicle sales, Hong Kong has been sometimes been but not constantly. Iceland, Sweden, Ukraine, and Belgium are currently above 2%, with Iceland coming close to 8% and Sweden touching 4%.

However, already by 2020, 10 markets will be above 10% in sales, during that complete year.

2. EV charging infrastructure is a bottleneck in many markets. Aside from major markets (Norway, Netherlands, USA, China…), do you see strong growth in EV charging infrastructure? Across the board or just in certain countries here or there?

Not as strong as EV growth. However, there is no lack of infrastructure. Only sometimes. 90%+ of charging is done at home.

We know that some markets have lack of infrastructure, including China. And there will be issues once the mass market vehicles hits the roads.

3. Fast charging station per 1000 electric cars is a stat you’re now reporting by country in Europe. It’s a very interesting stat and is super thought-provoking to see Norway’s share low. As the subheading for that section says, “Charging queues in Norway more common” — no surprise looking at the data! What do you estimate is a good figure for that metric? Or a good range? 20–40 stations per 1000 BEVs? 30–50 stations? 40–60? 100?

This question is somewhat country dependant, there are external factors such as travel distances, number of apartment dwellers, outdoor parking, garage parking, etc. that do influence what’s a good rate of chargers per car.

However, 60+ chargers / 1000 BEVs is a sign of a healthy market without many lines to access the chargers. The more, the merrier, right? Norway probably needs to invest a little more in charging infrastructure. But so far, they are doing well, and demand will increase the supply.

Last time I went to Norway, I had range anxiety in a petrol car! Luckily, I made it down from a mountain, with no gas left.

4. How useful do you think 50 kW stations are in an era when we’re moving to (or talking about moving to) 100–400 kW?

50 kW chargers are still good, like 7kW chargers are also good today — even if there will be superfast infrastructure with 100kW+ in the future. If you stop along a highway, you probably want it to go very fast. If you stop somewhere to have a bite, you won’t care if it takes 10 minutes or 40 minutes.

And about the CCS standard, most stations are probably going to be upgraded, as the standard supports higher power.

5. Are there any markets where you’re particularly excited about the EV infrastructure rollout?

Yes, Ukraine. The number of CHAdeMO stations in Ukraine suddenly exploded. As well as the market for EVs.
Ukraine has very low priced electricity (nuclear, for good or bad), and does not emit very much CO2. Ukraine is among the top in share of nuclear on the grid, after France, and it is shutting coal plants down at the moment — due to instability or “wars” in far east Ukraine.

*In case you’ve somehow missed it, CleanTechnica and GreenWay are co-hosting a Central & Eastern Europe EV charging conference in Warsaw November 6–8. We have EV charging leaders coming in from the Netherlands, Norway, Costa Rica, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and the USA to discuss ways of advancing EV charging and EV adoption both in the region and globally. We’ve also convened a working group to create a white paper on EV charging guidelines for cities. Join us in Warsaw! (Jump straight to the tickets here.)

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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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