US, Europe catching up in global e-car market

August 15, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
While China continues to be the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, the distance to its pursuers is shrinking, a study from the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) finds. The U.S. market is currently significantly outgrowing China. Amidst a hefty controversy about the ecological viability of diesel engines, even the German market shows first signs of life.

According to CAM, an independent research institute based in Bergisch Gladbach (Germany), the sale of New Energy vehicles in China during the first half of 2017 amounted to 195.000 units. The term New Energy includes battery-electric vehicles (BEV) Plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and fuel cell vehicles and also buses. This figure represents a rise of 14% over the same period last year. The market share among new admissions rose to 1.5% from 1.3%. In China, it is noticeable that the number of purely electric vehicles (BEVs) with 160,000 units (82%) is much higher than that of plug-in hybrids (PHEV), which are only 35,000 units (18%). The number of plug-in hybrids has fallen by more than 20 percent in the first half of the year. The most popular e-car models are built by local OEMs; Tesla is the only non-Chinese vendor in the top 20.

In the USA, new registrations of electric cars have risen by 36 percent compared to the first half of 2016. More than 87,000 electric vehicles were sold from January to June 2017, with approximately 44,000 battery-electric vehicles (BEV) among them (+ 29%). Market leader is Tesla, whose models S and X account for almost half of the sales, followed by Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf. Compared to the same period last year, the plug-in hybrid increased by 44 percent, mainly due to increases in the Chevrolet Volt, the Toyota Prius and the Ford C-Max Energi.

Japan is taking a leap forward and can almost double the e-car sales. The Toyota Prius PHV accounts for about half of the E-car sales in Japan, followed by Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander.


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