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Global Plug-in Vehicle Sales for 2017 – Final Results

Global plug-in vehicle deliveries reached 1 223 600 units for 2017, 58 % higher than for 2016.  These include all BEV and PHEV passenger cars sales, light trucks in USA/Canada and light commercial vehicle in Europe. 66 % of sales were pure electric (BEV) and 34 % were plug-in hybrids (PHEV). All-electric vehicles have been winning share, as the BEV-friendly Chinese market continues to win importance.

Growth rates were influenced by the booming Chinese NEV market (+73 %), with the USA (+27 %) and Europe (+39 % ) following it, albeit by a widening margin. In Japan, the Toyota Prius Prime PHEV was an instant best-seller and, together with the Q4 launch of the new Nissan Leaf, plug-in sales went up by 150 %. Globally, December was another sales record, with over 170 000 units delivered worldwide, another 17 % higher than the previous all-time-high in November. In December the global plug-in share touched the 2 % mark for the first time, following consistently strong increases during the last 5 months of the year. The global share for the complete year of 2017 stands at 1,3 %.

For 2018 we expect a sales increase to 1,9 million units, boosted by strong EV adoption in China and mass production of the long awaited Tesla Model-3. By the end of 2018 we expect over 5 million plug-in cars and light trucks to be in use, worldwide.

As usual, feel free to publish diagrams and text for you own purposes, mentioning us as the source.

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China storms further ahead

China remains the unchallenged #1 market for plug-in vehicles, or "New Energy Vehicles" as China calls them: Their volume increased by 73 % y-o-y, adding 255 000 units to the 2016 result of 351 000 units. China represented 49,5 % of the global plug-in sales. Japan and South Korea (+130%) contributed further to the momentum in the Asia-Pacific Region, which increased 76 % combined.

Europe increased by 39 % this year, with Germany as the largest growth contributor, up 108 % YoY, while some smaller markets did even better, Iceland (+248 %), Portugal (+126 %) and Slovenia (+166 %) are some examples.

USA developed slower than other regions; 27%  growth is still ok, considering the delays during the Tesla Model-3 production ramp-up. Our original estimate for Model-3 deliveries was 50 000 during 2017, all to US reservation holders. The actual number was 1770 units. Canada was less impacted by the delay and increased 72 % over 2016. "Others" include over 30 countries in the Americas, Africa, Middle East and Asia/Oceania, with Canada (18 600 units), South Korea (13 900 units) and Malaysia (7 400 units) being the three largest.
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China drives volume and growth

This shows the top-10 markets for plug-ins, underlining the significance of China in the development of global Plug-in volumes. Another phenomena is that 96 % of China's Never sales are from domestic production and from domestic brands. Check our China article for details.

These volumes don't say to much about the EV adoption trends in individual countries. Farthest ahead of the game is Norway, with 39 % of all new car sales (excl. LCVs) being plug-ins in 2017. Iceland had 14 %, and Sweden 5,3 %. In December, Norway reached 50 % plug-in share for the first time, 28 % bought BEVs and 22 % bought PHEVs. These numbers consider the passenger car market, without commercial vehicles.

The larger economies typically have only 1 %  or 2 % of their new vehicle sales chargeable. China had 2,4 % in 2017 as an average share for the year. The better news is that shares have been rising consistently throughout the year in most markets, reaching 4 % in China  and 2,3 % in Germany and France in December. We will cover this topic in one of our coming articles.


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