by Julia Pyper
June 05, 2019

As we approach mid-2019 (how? when?), it only seems appropriate to check in on the state of the global electric vehicle sector.

Luckily for Electric Avenue readers, there is a wealth of new data to point to, including the International Energy Agency’s latest Global EV Outlook. Below we look at six stats related to current and future EV sales, EV investment, EV energy consumption and EV emissions.

1) Global EV sales increase by 63 percent

Electric mobility is accelerating at a rapid pace. According to the International Energy Agency’s recently released Global EV Outlook, worldwide EV sales exceeded 5.1 million in 2018, marking an increase of 63 percent (or 2 million units) from the previous year.

The People’s Republic of China is by far the world’s largest electric car market (as this column recently covered in a multipart series), followed by Europe and the United States. Around 45 percent of electric cars on the road in 2018 were located in China — for a total of 2.3 million — compared to 39 percent in 2017. Europe accounted for 24 percent of the global fleet last year, while the United States represented 22 percent.

Norway remained the global leader in terms of EV market share, with electric cars making up 46 percent of new car sales in 2018. That’s more than double the 17 percent of sales in Iceland, the second-ranked country in terms of market share.

According to the IEA, the number of electric two- and three-wheelers on the road exceeded 300 million by the end of 2018. The vast majority of these vehicles are located in China. The Asian economic powerhouse is also leading the globe on electric bus deployments. There were more than 460,000 plug-in buses around the world at the end of last year, up nearly 100,000 units over 2017. China makes up around 87 percent of the electric bus total.

In the freight transport sector, EVs are predominantly deployed as light-commercial vehicles. Last year their numbers rose to 250,000, up 80,000 units from 2017. Medium-duty truck sales totaled between 1,000 and 2,000 units last year, according to the IEA. Most of those sales were in (no surprise) China.