There are now more than 2 million plug-in cars on the road worldwide according to International Energy Agency (IEA) figures, with the UK one of the most important markets for electric cars anywhere.
China leads the way in terms of outright sales with more than 325,000 units registered in 2016 alone, while the United States saw more than 150,000 plug-in car sales last year too. It is Norway – third place in last year’s EV sales table – that is proving most adept at encouraging plug-in car use, with a market share of almost 30%.
The next best nation is the Netherlands with around 6%, while Sweden is third in terms of market share with approximately 4%. The United Kingdom, Sweden, and China are the only other nations to have a plug-in market share of more than 1% – with the figure for 2017 to date at 1.6% in this country.
With more 37% of total EVs sold in 2016, the market is clearly accelerating quickly considering less than two thirds of the rest of existing plug-in cars around were sold in the previous five years.
The market remains a young one and relatively small in the grand scheme of things, but there is huge potential for similar growth in the next few years, with the Electric Vehicle Initiative (EVI) aiming for more than 200 million plug-in cars sold, at a market share of 30% for all electric vehicles worldwide, by 2030 in its EV30@30 campaign.
Calculations in the short-term future consider between 9 and 20 million electric cars sold worldwide by 2020, and between 40 and 70 million by 2025.
The EVI has ten member governments with the UK joined by China, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden – which combined represent the majority of all EV sales.
There were also an estimated 2.3 million EV charging points worldwide by the end of 2016, with the infrastructure growing slightly ahead of EV sales in the past year. Private charge points far out number the number of public units, with around 2 million outlets with private access.
Find EV charge points in the UK and Ireland on Zap-Map.