Electromobility: China remains lead market, Europe lags

October 30, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
China is continuing to press ahead in the market for electric cars (including hybrid drives), while the gap to the U.S. has widened. Europe is still in waiting mode, but the breakthrough is gradually coming in sight, according to a new study by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM).

According to the study, global electromobility will continue to be determined by the lead market of China, which is experiencing high growth. The gap to the second largest market, the USA, has widened considerably. In the first nine months of the year, 398,000 electric cars were sold in China (New Energy Vehicles, including fuel cells, commercial vehicles, and buses). Sales of electric vehicles thus increased by 38 percent year-on-year. At the same time, the market share of e-vehicles rose to 2.0 percent of new registrations (comparable period of the previous year: 1.5%). In particular, the number of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has increased and, at 325,000 units (82%), remains far higher than that of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which stagnate at 73,000 units (18%).

In the USA, new registrations of electric cars rose by 29 percent this year. More than 140,000 electric vehicles were sold between January and September 2017, including 74,301 battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) (+25%). The market leader is Tesla with its models S and X, followed by Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf. Compared to the same period last year, the number of plug-in hybrids grew by 35 percent, mainly due to increases in the Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max Energi.

The increasing discussions about "Dieselgate" and imminent driving bans on diesel vehicles have been fueling a strong uptrend of e-car sales in Germany for the first time. From January to September, 36,849 electric vehicles (+116%) were sold, doubling the market share from 0.7 to 1.4%. Sales of plug-in hybrids, which grew to 20,416 (+117%), were significantly stronger, while sales of pure electric vehicles rose to 16,433 (+114%). According to the study, leading manufacturers of electric vehicles in Germany are BMW, Renault and VW.

During the same period, diesel-powered vehicles suffered a significant decline in unit sales; the diesel engine now only has a market share of 40.3 percent, compared with 46.5 percent in the same period last year.


s