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iea Global EV Outlook 2017 - 2 million EVs

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Executive summary (partial, see report for diagrams/figures)

New registrations of electric cars1 hit a new record in 2016, with over 750 thousand sales worldwide. With a 29% market share,2 Norway has incontestably achieved the most successful deployment of electric cars in terms of market share, globally. It is followed by the Netherlands, with a 6.4% electric car market share, and Sweden with 3.4%. The People’s Republic of China (hereafter, “China”), France and the United Kingdom all have electric car market shares close to 1.5%. In 2016, China was by far the largest electric car market, accounting for more than 40% of the electric cars sold in the world and more than double the amount sold in the United States.

The global electric car stock surpassed 2 million vehicles in 2016 after crossing the 1 million threshold in 2015 (Figure 1).

Figure 1 • Evolution of the global electric car stock, 2010-16 Notes: The electric car stock shown here is primarily estimated on the basis of cumulative sales since 2005. When available, stock numbers from official national statistics have been used, provided good consistency with sales evolutions. Sources: IEA analysis based on EVI country submissions, complemented by EAFO (2017a), IHS Polk (2016), MarkLines (2017), ACEA (2017a, 2017b) and EEA (2017).

Key point: The electric car stock has been growing since 2010 and surpassed the 2 million-vehicle threshold in 2016. So far, battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake has been consistently ahead of the uptake of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Until 2015, the United States accounted for the largest portion of the global electric car stock. In 2016, China became the country with the largest electric car stock, with about a third of the global total. With more than 200 million electric two-wheelers, 3 3 to 4 million low-speed electric vehicles (LSEVs) and more than 300 thousand electric buses, China is also by far the global leader in the electrification of other transport modes.

As the number of electric cars on the road has continued to increase, private and publicly accessible charging infrastructure has also continued to grow. In 2016, the annual growth rate of publicly available charging (72%) was higher, but of a similar magnitude, than the electric car stock growth rate in the same year (60%).

Despite a continuous and impressive increase in the electric car stock, electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) deployment and electric car sales in the past five years, annual growth rates have been declining. In 2016, the electric car stock growth was 60%, down from 77% in 2015 and 85% in 2014. The year 2016 was also the first time year-on-year electric car sales growth had fallen below 50% since 2010.

Declining year-on-year increments are consistent with a growing electric car market and stock size, but the scale achieved so far is still small: the global electric car stock currently corresponds to just 0.2% of the total number of passenger light-duty vehicles (PLDVs)4 in circulation. Electric vehicles (EVs) still have a long way to go before reaching deployment scales capable of making a significant dent in the development of global oil demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Research, development and deployment (RD&D) and mass production prospects are leading to rapid battery cost declines and increases in energy density. Signs of continuous improvements from technologies currently being researched confirm that this trend will continue, narrowing the cost competitiveness gap between EVs and internal combustion engines (ICEs). Assessments of country targets, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) announcements and scenarios on electric car deployment seem to confirm these positive signals, indicating a good chance that the electric car stock will range between 9 million and 20 million by 2020 and between 40 million and 70 million by 2025 (Figure 2). Figure 2 • Deployment scenarios for the stock of electric cars to 2030