The number of electric cars has doubled over the past 12 months, increasing by 200,000 units, according to an analysis conducted by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) in Germany.
The researchers found that demand is greatest in the USA, Japan and China, which are currently the globally leading markets. Germany is just seventh in the ranking, trailing France, the Netherlands and Norway.
The most telling statistic is that countries with incentive programs have taken the lead in electric mobility, a market with a bright future. The top-selling cars are made by Japanese and American automotive companies; batteries are sourced mainly from Asia. Incentive programs have sparked a run on electric cars in the lead markets. This benefits especially the pioneering companies Nissan, General Motors and Toyota.
According to ZSW’s study, the number of registered electric vehicles increased at an annual growth rate of over 100 percent in the last three years. Nearly 100,000 electric cars were on the road worldwide in early 2012. A year later the vehicle count came to 200,000, and already reached 405,000 early this year. If the past three years’ growth rates are sustained, then more than one million electric vehicles will be out and about worldwide as early as the beginning of 2016.
The researchers tallied the global registration numbers for cars with battery-powered electric drives, range extenders and plug-in hybrids. They did not count motorcycles, trucks, buses or full hybrid vehicles, of which there are now more than six million.
Picture credit: 2014 Nissan LEAF