China boasts world’s highest sales volume of electric vehicles

China currently makes up half of the global EV market, according to IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2018. China’s efforts in pushing EV sales paid off as they surpassed the world’s second largest EV market, the US, by more than double in 2017. China sold 579,000 EVs seeing an increase of 72% from 2016. This dramatic spike reflects how the country, along with Europe, now has the fastest development of EVs while the US slowed in EV uptake du­­­e to lower taxes on petroleum fuels compared to China, Europe, and Japan.

The global stock of electric passenger cars exceeded 3 million last year, up 57% from 2016. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) made up two-thirds of the world’s EV stock but plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) are more common in Japan, Sweden, and the UK. Not including electric passenger cars, there were close to 250,000 light commercial vehicles (LCVs) driven last year. China has the largest LCV fleet in the world, 99% of which are BEVs. France and Germany also accounted for a significant portion of LCVs on the road.

The IEA report noted that countries participating in the Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI), a multi-governmental policy forum, had the “largest and most rapidly growing EV markets worldwide and accounted for the vast majority of global EV sales in 2017.” Among the bottom three countries in the first graph, only India was part of the EVI which is already planning an all-EV fleet by 2030.