Electric vehicle market share in 19 countries

How do electric vehicle sales compare to overall consumer vehicle sales? Check out the answer for 19 countries in the charts below!

Commenting on my last article here on ABB Conversations, which was about the top electric cars in 17 European countries, ABB solar expert Pablo Astorga suggested writing an article featuring the percentage of the total car market that electric vehicle sales represented in each of those countries. I thought it was a great idea since it shows who’s leading in relative terms. I also put together separate rankings for 100%-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. You can find charts and commentary below regarding these 3 market share rankings.

Overall EV Market Share

As many EV fanatics know, Norway is king when it comes to EV market share (6.1%). What EV fanatics might not know is that the Netherlands was right behind it in 2013 (5.5%), driven mainly by government incentives that were due to expire at the end of the year.

For that reason, the Netherlands is unlikely to hold its place in the rankings in 2014, but the story in Norway should be even better (in December, EV market share reached 13.5%). Top sellers in recent months were the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S (in September—Model S, October—Leaf, December—Model S, and January—Leaf) and you can expect that trend to continue.

A few other countries are on the verge of breaking the 1% market share milestone. Iceland (#3), Japan (#4), and France (#5) are all very close, followed by Estonia (#6), Sweden (#7), and the US (#8). Next in line at the moment is ABB’s Switzerland (#9). Perhaps with a little push from ABB leadership the Swiss could jump in front of some of those other countries. And rounding out the top 10 is Denmark, just ahead of Austria and Germany.

Notably, ABB has been a key partner in EV fast-charging projects in the Netherlands (the largest fast-charging network in the world), Denmark, and Estonia. Watch a short video about the Estonian project, the first nationwide fast-charging network in the world, here:

100%-Electric Market Share

The picture is rather different when you look at 100%-electric vehicle market share only. The Netherlands falls off considerably, whereas Norway is still way out in front, with nearly the same market share as in the overall ranking above. The Netherlands is still at #2, but it falls from 5.55% market share to 0.83%. France pulls up into #3 in this case (0.79% market share), Estonia pulls up a little to #4 (with the same market share as it had for overall EV market share), and Iceland rounds out the top 5 (0.69%). Japan is solid at #5, but Switzerland isn’t too far behind. Sweden breaks into the top 10 in this ranking (#7), followed by Denmark (#8), the US (#9), and Austria (#10).

Plug-in Hybrid Market Share

As you would expect, based on the above, the Netherlands was far and away the leader for plug-in hybrid market share. Sweden—home of the popular Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid—rose considerably to #2, and Japan—home of the also popular Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid—rose to #3.

Norway still ranked fairly well here, coming in at #4, and the US climbed up to #5. In the US, the Chevy Volt, two Ford plug-in hybrids, and the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid consistently do quite well. The market share drop-off is much steeper for plug-in hybrids. This is due to a number of factors. For example, most countries have stronger incentives for 100%-electric vehicles than for plug-in hybrids—the Netherlands was an exception in 2013. Additionally, the Tesla Model S is widely considered the best mass-manufactured car on the market—of any type—and the Nissan Leaf is a very cost-competitive car available to middle class consumers worldwide, which puts it way at the top of EV model sales.

The Big Picture

Overall, we’ve got a long way to go until EVs make up a large portion of the market. However, disruptive technologies gobble up market share, and many of us in this field see EVs as genuinely disruptive technologies. 2014 will again be a much better year for EVs than the preceding year. I’m looking forward to seeing how much the market penetration levels increase in each of these countries!

Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Zachary Shahan, editor of CleanTechnica and Planetsave. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of ABB or its employees.

Feature image credit: Arthur40A under a cc license via flickr


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About the author

Zachary Shahan

I'm the director of the CleanTechnica and Planetsave news sites. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. I'm also the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity.
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