The Pure Electric Car Market and Horizon - PART III

The Pure Electric Car Market and Horizon - Part III

in the United States and Global Markets

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we discussed current sales and stock figures for pure electric vehicles (PEVs or EVs) within the United States, including why US sales numbers have trailed behind global markets a bit. 

In this Part, III, we investigate the three largest electric car markets in the world -- China, Japan, and Europe (as a sales region made up of individual countries/parties). 


In 2015, (according to IEA), China emerged as the world's primary electric vehicle market. Their 2015 EV stock (according to IEA EV Outlook 2016) was 312,300. 2016 sales (YTD as of August) have been 109,622 (data from In this way, China's EV market is an explosive force right now. The Chinese government is offering huge incentives to electric vehicle manufacturers, spurring the development of many, many, affordable, mid-high range pure EVs. Yet, EVs still only have a 1% market share in China, so there is still much growth to be seen in the EV industry. 

An interesting concept I found while researching is that China's top-selling EV models are Chinese models, not available in the US or Europe, whereas most of Europe's top selling models are available in the US and vice versa. This was kind of fun because the Chinese EVs take on a unique spirit that doesn't seem to consciously compete with the (quite frankly gorgeous) exteriors of new internal combustion engine cars. This isn't to say that the Chinese EVs aren't aesthetically pleasing, more just unaware of what could be called the classical tradition of car body styling.  (More on these models in a November blog). 

According to the IEA EV Outlook 2016, China's goal is to have 4.6 million EVs on the road by 2020, which will represent an estimated 6% market share of the Chinese car industry in 2020.


For the purposes of these data, I considered Europe as one region by adding the EV stock of the nine highest-adopting nations in the European Union. Coincidently, the countries with the highest market share and stock of EV were Western European countries. This observation keeps in line with the highest proportion of EVs being found in wealthier cities/countries. Hopefully, as I have stated, global production competition and improvements in battery technology will lower the price of electric vehicles and increase affordability/access.

As a region, Europe has roughly 270,000 EVs (According to IEA). 2016 sales (YTD as of August) have been 55,100 (EVObsession). The Tesla Model S, BMW i8, Nissan Leaf, and European special model Renault Zoe represent the vast majority of these sales. In Europe as a region, electric vehicles hold an impressive 1.41% market share. In specific countries, however, market share is even higher. In Norway, for example, market share is an incredible 23%! The next highest European EV market share country is Netherlands at 10% market share. See Figure 3 below.

Special Note on INDIA

India is an upcoming market for electric vehicles that we believe will become crucial in future years. For countries like China and India that are so highly populated with bustling cities and incredibly high traffic density, daily commuter routes produce a lot of greenhouse gases when every commuter/taxi is driving a standard gas car. Imagine if all of those cars in bumper-to-bumper traffic were electric! Zero-emission commutes! Along the same lines, the Indian government is recognizing the importance of EV technology and the legislative environment is progressively becoming more friendly to zero emission electric vehicles. 

The BMW i3 (current high seller in USA and Europe) and the Nissan Leaf (one of the best-selling global pure EVs) will hopefully launch in India in 2017/2018. The Indian car manufacturer Tata is also planning on launching several all-electric models, including the Tata Megapixel, an adorable four-seater hatchback reminiscent of the Mazda 2 hatchback body style. The Tata fleet is expected in 2017/2018. 

The Paris Agreement

On November 4, 2016, the "world's first comprehensive climate agreement" (CBS News) will come into force -- The Paris Agreement. This document, already signed by over 80 countries, calls for a systematic worldwide decrease of greenhouse gas emissions, with an ultimate goal of ZERO greenhouse gas emissions by 2060// especially by 2100. These goals are part of a larger effort to mitigate the effects of global climate change. 


Cars are a primary source of emissions... so, zero-emissions, pure electric vehicles are going to be key to living out the mission of the Paris Agreement in the coming decades, worldwide. In keeping with the spirit of the Paris Agreement, the IEA released an EV market/worldwide stock timeline that is even more aggressive than the timeline suggested in the Paris Agreement. 

2020 - 12.9 million

2030 - 100 million

2040 - 400 million (interpolated)

2050 - 900 million

In light of this timeline, Drover anticipates becoming a solely pure electric, zero emissions rideshare service by 2030. 

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Patrizio Murdocca is Chief Web Architect at Drover Rideshare, a student at Vanderbilt University, and President of Interfaced Ministries