Worldwide Plug-In Car Sales Hit By Chinese Downturn In January, But Still Go Up

6 months ago by Mark Kane 11

World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars – 2017 January (data source: EV Sales Blog)

January was seriously affected by a 74 percent drop in plug-in electric car sales in China, one of the three largest markets for EVs. According to EV Sales Blog, strong growth in North America and Europe enabled the market to achieve growth with a 2 percent year-over-year increase, to 39,380. So, maybe that’s not so bad after all.

Nissan Leaf

Without many Chinese models, the sales ranks were very interesting in January.

  • The Nissan Leaf, being the oldest car in the Top 10, had a decent month with 3,679 sales and taking #1.
  • The Renault ZOE joined its alliance partner with second place with the first 41-kWh battery pack deliveries.
  • The all-BEV Top 5 is rounded out by the BMW i3, the Tesla Model X, and the Tesla Model S, followed by five plug-in hybrids.

Even more surprising is that, when you rank sales by manufacturer, BMW easily took first place. Nissan and Tesla are fighting for Number Two, but non-specific sales estimates and registrations in many markets makes it impossible to tell who sold more.

BYD did not crack the Top 10 as Chinese company would like to forget about January.

World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers – 2017 January (data source: EV Sales Blog)

Our thanks to EV Sales Blog for tallying up and estimating the individual sales by OEM.

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11 responses to "Worldwide Plug-In Car Sales Hit By Chinese Downturn In January, But Still Go Up"

  1. Roy_h says:

    It’s nice to see pure BEVs outshining PHEVs as most of us consider PHEVs a stepping stone to BEVs. That’s not to say that PHEVs aren’t still the best choice in certain situations just that I think this proves that range anxiety is now a thing of the past.

    1. As EREV Type of PHEV’s, with longer base EV range arrive, and that don’t engage the gas or diesel engine at normal Freeway speeds, and more people spend less time at gas stations, drive more miles in EV mode, they begin to discover that a 150-200 mile range per charge BEV could do fine for them!

      As infrastructure for EV’s improves, and becomes more redundant, with multiple L2 plus DC QC’s at charging points, range anxiety (to quote GM pitches), becomes less of an issue!

      Sure, many will hold out for 300 miles range per charge, under $30,000 price points, we are coming closer to that than ever before!

      With current offers – we are basically at 220-230 miles in the $40,000-$70,000 point, and up to 335 miles range is available, from the Tesla Model S 100D (Or the Tesla Roadster, with the 3.0 Battery upgrade!)

      The next 3-4 years will bring more new choices, than the last 6 years have! So 200 miles range will become the new base target for many, with 300 miles ranges being offered by a number of new players!

      Sub 100 mile range EV’s, can now be had, used, for $15,000 and lower, and very likely no new EV’s will come out with that low range going forward!

    2. Tom says:

      I don’t think that’s it at all.

      The top three manufacturers sell worldwide. However, the fourth–Chevrolet–sells Volts and Bolts in N. America only, at least currently.

      The Volt is the #1 plug-in the U.S. I can think of no reason why that wouldn’t be true worldwide if it were available worldwide.

      1. Euro point of view says:

        Because in Europe American made car don’t sell .

      2. Mikael says:

        It was available world wide, and that didn’t help its sales much.

        The Bolt on the other hand, it could be sold easily in a few thousands copies per month in Europe. It is like made for us.

      3. mr. M says:

        Do you know the Ampera-e? It is the same as the Volt in the USA. It is known as expensive & small and sold really bad.

      4. Jason says:

        Volt was sold in Australia, so they made a RHD version. It was AUD$60k+, which was really just too much for what it was.
        Also, these new vehicles need time to get established. Leaf and Tesla really have taken a good 10yrs for main stream public to recognise them, enthusiasts to promote them and cost ratio to improve. Doing a 2-3yr vehicle run will get nowhere.

  2. Pete says:

    The Renault Zoe is only Europe, with the big battery its a stunning performance also in February!

    1. kimmi says:

      True, the Zoe is going for another great result in February.

  3. Viktor says:

    GM have been very proud of being first to offer a affordable electric car with great range wish made me to expect it to be one of th best selling EVs, at least top 10 in the world. Now they did deliver some in Canada to so they did come over 1000 units in February but that will probably don’t be enough to reach top 10 even if the Chinese market is close to dead. I will give them some more time to prove that they do try to sell it and that’s a great car but they really do need to come at least reach top 10 in the world this year.

    Tesla won’t be able to have three cars that sells better then Bolt this year or will they? That would be a bit embarrassing.

  4. Mister G says:

    Middle class Chinese need to buy more EVs before Lenfen, China pollution spreads to all major Chinese cities.