EV Global Sales Projections

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By David Waterworth

Will we see 6 million plugin vehicles sold globally this year? The math seems to indicate that it might even be more!

From 2010 to 2018, EV sales grew at 60% per year. Starting at 1 million vehicles (just because the math is easier), this is what that looks like in numbers:

Punching those numbers into a chart-maker gives you this graph:

So, it is pretty obvious at that growth rate that in around 10 years most new vehicles would be plugins (full electrics/BEV or plugin hybrids/PHEVs).

But what has actually happened? 

The world reached 1 million plugin vehicle sales in the year 2017 … 

2019 was an anomaly caused by the removal of subsidies by the Chinese government for EVs that were not of appropriate standard (i.e., not highway capable). This has led to a revitalized Chinese EV industry, which is poised to export to the world. 

What happens next? 

Looking at figures published on InsideEVs and CleanTechnica, we seem to be headed for a bumper year for EV sales with numbers that may exceed the projections above.

For example, the April figures for the USA stand at 135,000. If we assume that will be the same for each month of the year, we would get 1,620,000 plugin vehicle sales for the year. I know this is simplistic. Also, sales figures for vehicle sales seem to rise as the end of the year approaches. Hence, I would argue that this figure is at the lower end of what is likely. Plus, we have Giga Texas coming online towards the end of the year and many new models about to launch. The May figures for China are 185,000 plugins sold. Annualized, that would equal 2,200,000. Europe, meanwhile, is heading towards 2 million.

There are many smaller markets not represented here that will add to the total. Even my home country of Australia may contribute a few thousand.

All up, we are getting close to the possibility of 6 million. 

I know that this is speculation. I am hoping it will create a conversation. Overall, history and statistics are on the side of EVs. 

David is a retired teacher with a passion for electric vehicles and renewable energy. He drives a Tesla Model 3 and owns 5 shares in TSLA. 

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