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What Percentage of Car Sales are Electric?

The sale of electric cars in Europe has soared by more than 40%, and there are now more than 1 million electric cars in Europe. The continent managed to reach this turning point by nearly a year after China. In China, the sale of new electric vehicles registered surged by 72%, or 580,000 units, in 2017. This, in turn, pushed the total ownership of electric vehicles to over 1 million.

Not only is China succeeding in personal cars, but it is also driving growth in electric buses and two-wheeled vehicles. This is about 99% of the globe’s stock of fast-growing categories. The US also has a large market for electric cars given their new appetite for the new Tesla Model. However, the American customers are not easy to woo as they are concerned over the driving range, safety and the lack of charging stations across the country. 

Norway is leading the electric car sales in Europe. According to the Guardian, the country managed to register sales of over 20,000 units for the pure electric cars and 15,000 units for plug-in hybrids. These figures are based on the first half of the year 2018. Plug-in hybrids are those that can travel a short distance off a battery before switching to a conventional engine. As much as plug-in hybrid sales are increasing in Europe, they only account for 2% of all new car and van registrations. It has been revealed that by the end of the year, the forecast will hit 2.35%.

citroen c-zero electric car

UK Electric Car Sales

The UK sold 30,040 plug-in hybrid cars and vans in the first half of the year. This brought about a surge of 50%. However, the sales of fully electric cars dwindled by 6%. This has been attributed to access to low costs and well-located charging from abundant power sources.

nissan leaf electric car

The sale of electric vehicles is said to have reached a record high in August 2018, accounting for one in every 12 new cars purchased in the UK. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the figures show that hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars made up 8% of the overall market. At the same time last year, the cumulative number of vehicles was up by 23%. 

It is important to note that regulatory changes were brought into force at the beginning of September. This, in turn, led to generous deals being offered that boosted the sales in August 2018. Moreover, the prices of petrol and diesel have been on the rise in the UK. The prices of fuel have set the highest record since July 2014 which may have contributed to the boom in plug-in sales.

The electric car models that have recorded high sales in the UK include the Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV. It was one of the top-selling plug-in cars with 26,000 units registered through December 2016. This accounted for 50% of all plug-in hybrids sold in the UK since 2010. The all-time best selling pure electric car is the Nissan Leaf with 15,000 units sold by September 2016. The BMW i3 sold for 4,457 units, while the Renault Zoe registered 4,339 units. Both of them were registered at the end of June 2016.


Read more about buying an electric car in the UK.