World’s Top 7 Electric Vehicle Adoption Countries for 2015

5 months ago by Assaf Oron 48

Fun Fact: The Tesla Model S Was The Best Selling EV Globally In 2015, Despite The Tesla Struggling Inside The World's Largest EV Market - China

Fun Fact: The Tesla Model S Was The Best Selling EV Globally In 2015, Despite The Tesla Struggling Inside The World’s Largest EV Market – China

World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers – 2015 January-December (data source: EV Sales Blog)

World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers – 2015 January-December (data source: EV Sales Blog)

Better late than never… here’s my second annual personal, non-scientific, non-binding, annual “Top EV Countries” list. I’m not doing a “Top 10” yet, because IMHO there are not quite yet 10 really strong EV countries in the world. The 2014 list was intended to have 5 countries, but ended up with 6 (5th place was a tie).

While we in the US have not felt it so much, 2015 was a year of spectacular progress, with global passenger EV sales rising some 70% year-over-year and crossing the half-million mark (for 2015 alone, not cumulatively; in fact, nearly hitting 550k passenger EV sales for the year).  So as long as we are making definite progress, I will extend the list every year, until we hit 10 solid EV countries. This year it’s 7. Without further ado, here they come.

7. South Korea

First year on list; local sales 2,500-3,000. Claim to fame: world’s #3 in EV battery making and #2 in EV battery export; also exporting the Soul EV. (hereafter just “Korea”)

South Korea-Based Hyundai Introduced The Sonata PHEV In 2015

South Korea-Based Hyundai Introduced The Sonata PHEV In 2015

Korea is my reminder that it is not just local EV sales – the focus of most reporting and hype – that matter. EV sales in Korea are still very modest, only a couple thousand in 2015, definitely an increase but unimpressive for a relatively wealthy industrial powerhouse with 50 million citizens.

That’s ok though, because just like CPU/RAM technology has been the heart of the computer revolution, so is battery technology for the EV revolution. And Korea is member to the select club of 3 East Asian nations, whose companies are in charge of almost all the world’s EV battery packs. And yes, I’m counting overseas operations like LG Chem’s Michigan plant, in Korea’s favor.

Speaking of LG Chem: in 2015 it has remained the world’s #3 EV battery company (passing Nissan/AESC, and hopped over by BYD). Its strategy is very impressive and Intel-like, playing team with any willing automaker, including all the American Big Three, Renault and VW, and reportedly also slated to make the Gen 2 Leaf batteries pretty soon. LG Chem nearly doubled its total EV battery output in 2015. And there’s Samsung, not chump change either. In short, without the Korean battery makers, we wouldn’t see the rapid adoption of viable plug-in models across so many automakers worldwide. In particular, GM could not be readying an affordable mass-market 200-mile BEV without LG Chem at its side.

Renault Samsung Motors EV sales in South Korea – December 2015

Renault Samsung Motors EV sales in South Korea – December 2015

We also note the Korean-designed-and-made Kia Soul EV, not a big volume player, but still a much-appreciated affordable BEV (whose battery is made by yet a third Korean battery outfit). Interestingly, the Soul EV is not #1 in its own domestic market; this crown belongs to Samsung SM3 ZE, a non-swap revival of the defunct Renault Influenza. And as this site reported recently, in 2016 Hyundai (which is joined at the hip with Kia) will start splashing out with its new Ioniq BEV/PHEV sedan beginning in the second half of the year. I hope they can crank up the volume.

6. Japan

Down from #4; local sales 25,000. Claim to fame: despite local market stagnation and Toyota’s dirty games, Japan still makes the world’s cumulative #1 EV (Leaf), the world’s #1 PHEV (Outlander), and hosts the world’s #1 EV battery maker (Panasonic).

2016 Looks To Be A Big Bounce Back Year For The 107 Mile Nissan LEAF. 2015? Well, let's not talk about that.

2016 Looks To Be A Big Bounce Back Year For The 107 Mile Nissan LEAF. 2015? Well, let’s not talk about that.

For Japan, like the US, it has been a “wait and see” year – in fact several years in a row like this – with the Leaf’s stopgap range bump kept under wraps for too long, then lingering on execution.

Yeah, yeah, we know all about that. OTOH, Mitsu’s Outlander PHEV has continued to make waves globally, taking the annual domestic crown from the Leaf (the two combined make up ~80% of 2015 EV sales in Japan), winning #1 in Europe for a second straight year, this time in a devastating manner with >31k continental sales (the runner-up Renault Zoe only sold <19k units). Globally it was #3 due to not yet selling in the US, but it was this close to overtaking the Leaf for #2. And Japan’s EV battery makers are still the world’s #1 (Panasonic), #4 (AESC/Nissan) and #5 (Mitsubishi).

However. However. Japan’s flagship automaker, Toyota, has decided to take the plug-in Prius (not an impressive EV to begin with) completely off the market, with a vague promise to return in the 2017 model. Why? Why???? Even freakin’ Fiat-Chrysler now has more EV presence, and will bring out its next plug-in model before Toyota. Fuel cells are no excuse.

Surely a 10-million-car-a-year automaker can walk and chew gum at the same time: play with its fuel-cell toys while still churning out some sort of respectable EV lineup, now that EV technology has become arguably plug-and-play? Japan’s government should hold Toyota’s feet to the fire, I’m sure they’ve gotten nice wads of Yens in support and subsidies for EV development in the past. And while they’re at it, light a little fire under Honda’s feet as well, even though the latter have at least been making the right kind of noises lately.

5. France

Last year tied for 5th. Local sales: 27,000. Claim to fame: #4 European market by volume and once again on the rise; still making most of its own EVs, including Europe’s #2 EV which is the #1 BEV (Zoe); is ahead of the European curve in swapping diesel for electric.

BEV Registrations in France – December 2015

BEV Registrations in France – December 2015

France has been the EV world’s oak tree: the same cocktail of home-brewed EVs, with gradually increasing sales numbers, year in year out. But 2015 has seen a substantial jump from 16k to 27k sales. The local flagship, the Renault Zoe, came out with a range bump in early 2015 (it’s likely >100 miles EPA, if they cared to ship it here), and exported nearly half of Zoe sales rather than remain confined to the French market, resulting in a 66% year-over-year increase.

Furthermore, France which used to be as enamoured of diesel as the rest of the continent, had started shaking the habit before most others: since last April the French government has been giving generous incentives for replacing diesel clunkers with new plug-ins. So they didn’t need to scramble for new solutions when Dieselgate broke out last fall.

4. Netherlands  

First year on list; local sales 43,000. Claim to fame: Europe’s sales volume leader (world’s #3), global #2 for EV market share (9.6%), PHEV heaven.

Meet the first “buyers only” country on our list, that is, a country distinguished solely by its domestic EV sales. A great product needs both great makers and loyal customers, right?

Netherlands Had A "Peak-and-a-half" In December Of 2015, Before Falling Back In Exhaustion in January

Netherlands Had A “Peak-and-a-half” In December Of 2015, Before Falling Back In Exhaustion in January

Last year I hesitated to put Netherlands on the list; its feast-and-famine sales pattern (it was actually down in 2014 vs. 2013), and dominance of PHEVs over BEVs, suggested a market more beholden to various tax loopholes than to actual EV adoption. But this year I’m giving in; strange patterns aside, in December 2015 alone, nearly 16k EVs sold in Netherlands, more than anywhere else in a single month, ever, except for China. Yup, more than the current US record, which was set that same month at <14k.

PHEVs’ total dominance in Netherlands – 90% of plug-in sales there in 2015 were PHEVs – has raised my eyebrows so many times it’s achieved the effect of a reasonable-quality plastic surgery.

Almost 9,000 Outlander PHEVs Were Sold In 2015, some ~3,750 in December

Almost 9,000 Outlander PHEVs Were Sold In 2015, some ~3,750 in December

Small country, decent quick-charge infrastructure, why not BEVs? All signs pointed to the incentive structure, and recently I’ve cracked the code: unlike anywhere else, Netherland’s generous EV incentive – at least 5k Euro over gas cars, and >10k Euros over diesel – is almost the same for PHEVs and BEVs, a difference of only a few hundred Euro. Some decoding of the table: the incentive is in the form of discount from the hefty tax paid according to the vehicle’s tailpipe CO2 emissions rating. BEVs are almost exempt, and then you still pay a relative pittance for the first 79 g/km. All regular PHEVs are rated lower than that.

The December 2015 rush was driven by a scheduled hike of those rates. To boot, a good chunk of Dutch auto sales are to large employers who then provide them to workers as benefit, and fleet managers being relatively conservative, they probably prefer to not go the full Monty and acquire BEVs, just yet.

Dutch participants here also claimed that their compatriots love taking their cars to neighboring countries on the weekend, and a PHEV serves the purpose better than a BEV. I cannot dispute that, but it doesn’t seem a complete explanation to me. Regardless, congrats Dutchfolk for your #4! Well done!

3. USA

Down from #1; Local sales 116,000. Claim to fame: global #2 by volume for 2015, and #1 cumulative; Tesla Model S world’s #1 selling EV for 2015; Chevy Bolt announced.

While Europe doubled in sales, and China zillion-tupled, the US was down slightly. As a result, we are not the 800-pound gorilla we used to be, going down in a single year from nearly 40% of global sales to barely 20%, and losing the world’s #1 volume spot to China.

2016 Will Be A Breakout Year For EV Sales In The US

The US Ended 2015 With Two Record Months, And 2016 Should Be A Breakout Year For EV Sales In The US

Still, at a broader look, 2015 demonstrates that the EV segment is resilient and on the up-swing in the US too.

*- The US plug-in market has been hit by a convergence of perfect storms in 2015: ridiculously cheap gas sending people back to SUVs and pickup trucks (and still, updating the Federal gas tax is not even on the political table!)? Check.

*- The Plug-In Prius, accounting for >12k US sales every year in 2012-2014, disappears mid-year? Check.

*- Outlander PHEV arrival delayed another year? Check.

*- Leaf blues waiting on a decent sized upgrade? Check.

*- Volt 2 and Model X delays? Check and check.

*- A leading EV state kills its incentives? Check.

You name it, we got hit with it last year. And yet, we’re down only 5%.

Moreover, the all-American Tesla Model S took both the global and the domestic sales crowns for the year. And GM gave lots reasons for EV hope, with the launch of Gen 2 Volt (this time backed by more competent marketing) and the announcement of the Bolt.

That said, it will be a steep challenge for the US to climb back up from #3, because….

2. Norway

same as last year; local sales 37,000-40,000. Claim to fame: far and away the world’s largest EV market share (23%!); EV models at top of overall sales list, and most of them BEVs.

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – December 2015

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – December 2015

Every year, people say “next year Norway’s EV boom will bust”, and every year it booms even higher. Norway EV market share has gone from 3% in 2012, to 6% in 2013, to 14% in 2014, to 23% last year, leaving all other countries somewhere far far below.  And in sharp contrast with runner-up Netherlands, three-quarters of Norway’s 2015 sales were BEVs.

Yes, there are generous incentives in Norway, but it’s also a culture that has made EVs part of its mainstream. Not only that, but Norwegian EV buyers are snapping up sales formally registered in other countries; if you go to the EV sales blog annual Norway summary, you’ll see “only” 34,300 sales. The true number is at least a few thousand cars higher, meaning the true EV market share is ~25%. More in a bit.

Other than that, not much to add about Norway that hasn’t been said already. I really wanted to give it the gold for 2015, but it became impossible – because look out, here comes…

1. China

up from #3; local sales 207,000, plus a lot more buses and commercial trucks. Claim to fame: easily overtook USA this year for the global volume title; increased 300% over 2014; most sales locally made by a diverse domestic industry; makes and deploys the vast majority of the world’s EV Buses.

China sales of New Energy Vehicles (Including passenger EVs, commercial vehicles, buses, trucks, etc) – December 2015

China sales of New Energy Vehicles (Including passenger EVs, commercial vehicles, buses, trucks, etc) – December 2015

China has once again proven that despite its huge size, it can turn its economy and industry on a dime. They’ve been doing this every few years now, in a manner rivaling what the USSR and USA accomplished during World War II.

As always, when you crank out an omelette this big, eggs will break. Indeed, the sooty fallout of last decade’s massive industrial push is one big reason why China is in such a hurry now to clean up its energy grid, and its car and bus fleet. Hopefully they are learning some lessons, and not just causing problems just as big downstream.

This concern is important. For example, in January Amnesty International published a meticulous report, showing that China’s Huyaou Cobalt company buys cobalt mined off of Congolese child and slave labor. It then sells the cobalt directly or indirectly to Li-ion battery makers, including BYD and interestingly, Korean LG Chem and Samsung. This must stop.

That said.

It is simply mind-boggling, that in 2012 China had all of 3,000 EV sales. The US was already at 52,000 at the time. Three years later, they have apparently crossed 200,000 sales for the year, with 35,000 EV sold in December 2015 alone.

BYD plug-in hybrid vehicles Qin and Tang

BYD Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles Qin and Tang Sold More Than 50,000 Copies Combined In 2015, The Tang Which Was Introduced In The 2nd Half Of The Year Sold 5,503 in December Alone

And the buses. Why can’t anyone else make good-range EV buses in meaningful quantities? By now the Chinese EV bus industry has acquired perhaps a half-decade’s head start over everyone else.

EV buses are mostly BYD, reporting some 6,000 buses delivered last year, and opening assembly operations in Thailand, Brazil and the US. But there are other major Chinese EV bus makers such as Foton buses with Microvast batteries and ultrafast chargers, which seem to dominate Beijing’s electric bus fleet. Speaking of batteries, BYD is the world’s #2, and I’m not sure the EV Sales Blog’s numbers include bus batteries. Positions 7-10 in the global top 10 are also Chinese companies.

BYD Motors Electric Buses

BYD Motors Electric Buses

Back to Chinese-made EV passenger cars: conventional wisdom dismisses them as golf-cart-like “neighborhood EVs”. This is not true anymore. The only EV among China’s 2015 top 10 arguably fitting the definition is the Kandi Panda EV – yes, the one that can be rented off of a vending machine. Kandi started selling them directly to the public in 2015, and they’re going like hotcakes, landing the Panda EV at the annual #2 spot (as well as its smaller/earlier sibling the K10 at the #8 spot), with 20k sales (28k together with the K10). The Panda EV has a 50MPH top speed and 50-mile range, so in American terms it is not quite a full-fledged vehicle. But in China they are allowed on the highway, and frankly, for a congested Chinese metropolis it is a perfectly suitable, low-cost, low-footprint car.

The Chinese Top 10 also includes a smattering of 4-seaters roughly equivalent to the MiEV, but just as common are decent-sized 5-seater sedans. In fact, the #1 seller for 2015 is the BYD Qin PHEV. Other non-tiny chinese EVs in the Top 10 are the SAIC Roewe PHEV, and the BYD e6 and BAIC BEVs (BAIC is the company making the Foton buses). Last but not least, the hottest items in the Chinese EV market is BYD’s Tang SUV, which came out mid-year, but is selling like crazy and already at the #3 spot for the entire year.

One can only wonder what the Chinese EV industry has in store for us in 2016. Whatever the speculation, there’s a good chance they’ll exceed expectations. But I do hope that global pressure will make Huayou Cobalt and anyone else who deals in child/slave labor products, clean up their act.

Honorable Mention: the UK (local sales 28,000)

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – December 2015

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – December 2015

I’m giving the UK this mention for the second year in a row. They would certainly be my #8 had I expanded the list to 8 this year. Maybe I should… but then who would fill the honorable-mention spot?

UK’s 2015 plug-in sales doubled 2014, which itself was a 3.5-fold increase over 2013. This is China-like growth, good enough for 1% market share and for the continent’s Bronze podium stand by volume. It is the only major market where Leaf sales increased year-over-year. Probably not a coincidence, given that Europe’s Leaf factory is in Sunderland. The Leaf still runs a very distant second to the Outlander PHEV among Brits. The UK, in particular England, also has an excellent quick-charge network on its highways; although lately, Brits have preferred EVs that still have a gas engine in them.

Dishonorable Mention: Germany (local sales 20,000-22,000)

Ach, Germany. In 2015, it suddenly slid into its historical stereotype as global villain, with its government bullying Greece and its automakers caught soot-handed cheating on emissions tests to prop up the fiction of “Clean Diesel”. Dieselgate alone (aside: I wonder whether in the year 3000, people will still attach -Gate to every scandal name without remembering why anymore?), Dieselgate alone disqualifies Germany from entering the Top 7 for 2015, despite VW ironically making great electrification strides.

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany - Growing Incredibly Fast Until The Emission Year Ended

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – Growing Incredibly Fast Until The Emission Year Ended

Kia Soul EV registrations in Germany - December 2015

Kia Soul EV registrations dominate sales in Germany during the last quarter – December 2015

Unfortunately, the cheating doesn’t end with diesel. On paper, 24k EVs were sold in Germany last year. But the identity of the supposed #1 selling model is less than believable: the lowly Kia Soul EV almost reached 4k sales for the year, nearly double its closest competitors. German consumers would buy that over their beloved BMWs and Golfs? Hmm. by sheer coincidence, over 2k Soul EVs were “imported” last year from Germany to Norway… what’s going on?

Germany is part of EU, and Norway isn’t. By registering the EVs in Germany then shipping them to Norway, Kia/Hyundai is able to lower its average EU fleet emissions, which are now heavily regulated and fined. In short, in 2015 Germany was implicated in not one but two separate auto-emissions laundering schemes. And the smuggled Soul EVs might be only part of the story. To add insult to injury, Germany’s government and automakers just wasted another year without agreeing on a consumer EV incentive.

To end on a high note:

What a year! Global sales outside the US have doubled, and next year seems even more exciting. From a global perspective, I wonder when the first mass numbers of affordable EVs will hit emerging markets other than China. Anyone knows about such plans? And will the Indian EV industry and market ever wake up? What about Latin America?

I’m also looking forward to see more automakers getting into EV buses in substantial volumes, now that battery costs have come down so much. Come on, this is a cookie-cutter segment: unlimited room at the bottom of the bus to stick the battery in, fewer and less finicky customers, more dependable incentives, just to name a few advantages. And post-Dieselgate, things should accelerate in the EV bus segment, where the ICE default is indeed diesel. There have been encouraging signs; I want to see big volumes.

So, until next year’s Top 8 or 9 or even 10… adieu!

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48 responses to "World’s Top 7 Electric Vehicle Adoption Countries for 2015"

  1. vdiv says:

    “…has raised my eyebrows so many times it’s achieved the effect of a reasonable-quality plastic surgery.”

    Nice!

    “Chevy Bolt announced.”

    Since when does an announcement win you awards?

    1. Assaf says:

      When the announcement is for a game-changing vehicle, when it is accompanied with a very viable prototype, and an aggressive timeline, to which management later keeps insisting and reporting that it will adhere.

      Besides, the US can hardly place anywhere lower then #3 even without the Bolt.

      1. vdiv says:

        In that case Audi would win all awards hands down as they are the masters of new EV announcements that don’t materialize. Should really consider the Bolt EV next year when it has had a chance to prove itself has having an impact on US EV sales. So far it has only had a negative one.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “Should really consider the Bolt EV next year when it has had a chance to prove itself has having an impact on US EV sales. So far it has only had a negative one.”

          Do you equally criticize Tesla for its Model 3 announcement and reservation system to hold off potential EV buying and $1000 for potentially up to 2 years?

  2. Emc2 says:

    The choice of the ranking is quite weird!

    Both Canada and Sweden sold much more cars than South Korea (abourt 6,600 and 8,900 correspondinly). And furthermore, as noted, the UK and Germany, as noted in the piece, are quite ahead, with the UK actually beating France and Japan. Also note that Germany has no purchase incentives and also beats Japan and Korea.

    1. Assaf says:

      Wow, am I that bad a writer?

      I thought I explained this is not a simple counting exercise of each country’s local EV market.

      You cannot have an EV without the battery, and Korea is the world’s #3 EV battery maker and #2 EV battery exporter.

      It’s written right there in the “Claim to fame”.

      1. Emc2 says:

        Then change the title of your piece. You are really mixing apples, oranges and bananas.

        Industrial production went global decades ago, just because they produce batteries does not means they are adopting EVS! Companies can manufacture parctically anywhere. just think, Tesla’s parts are coming from???

        In addition, the Japanese sales of EVs dropped significantly, just because they have a lot of the production does not means the country is adopting.

        A real adopting country is Germany, where folks are buying EVs without government subsidies, more than France, Japan and of course South Korea.

        1. Emc2 says:

          And for information, the surge in Chinese sales at the end of the year was due to a lot of cheating (China your #1). Do your homework and check what happened, there is an official investigation ongoing. Statistics have a difference of 30,000 passenger NEVs. If you do the count by model China sold just about 170,000 not over 200,000. See the note in the official report here: http://www.caam.org.cn/AutomotivesStatistics/20160120/1305184260.html

          So according to your logic, China should be out of the adopting list because there was some cheating? Your criteria is very inconsistent.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            Not to wade in on the back an forth discussion directly, but it many cases it falls to the editor to choose the title for the author in the end product…so in this case, you can blame myself for any confusion, (=

            1. Assaf says:

              Jay, seems like it’s Emc2 back-n-forthing with himself. I’m not planning to feed this troll any further 🙂

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Emc2 said:

          “Then change the title of your piece. You are really mixing apples, oranges and bananas.”

          * * * * *

          @Assaf: Gotta agree with Emc2 here. The article title “World’s Top 7 Electric Vehicle Adoption Countries” is highly misleading, given your rather subjective rankings. Battery production is a subject completely separate from EV sales rate, especially since batteries are often made in one country and put into EVs produced in another (Tesla Model S; GM Bolt). Also, from the overall subjective nature of this article, it should have been labeled an “Op-ed” piece.

          Next time, please consider giving your op-ed piece a title such as “My top picks for EV-friendly countries”.

  3. Assaf says:

    Forgot to add… much thanks to the EV Sales Blog and to insideevs, my two indispensable sources!

  4. kimmi says:

    ah ah, 5 star article, reminding something Jon Stewart would do if he were on this business.

    Just a few notes:

    – It’s not “Renault Influenza”, but “Renault Samsung Fluence / SM3 ZE”, ok, ok, the car is not good, but then to call it a disease…It’s not THAT Bad! 😀

    – To follow on your lead, Norway in 2016 is at 30% share(!);

    – EV Sales battery ranking: BYD numbers DON’T include buses, if they did, my rough calculation would say that it would be on the same level as Panasonic;

    – UK – It deserved more than na honorable mention 😉

    – Elsewhere in the World: Ukraine will be big in 2016, Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica are leading in Latin America, South Africa is is giving its first steps into EV Mobility, while the Renault Twizy is finding its way into markets like Morocco or Tahiti. Oh, and Teslas are appearing across the wolrd and being sighted in places like Uzbequistan…

    1. Assaf says:

      Wow, Jon Stewart, thanks… (blushing 🙂 )

      You’re reading my mind re: BYD and counting the bus batteries. In fact an earlier version speculated they *would* be #1 as you write. But then my own back-of-the-envelope calculation didn’t quite bear this out, at least not decisively.

      But on a second calculation, you might be right! The EV buses add at least a couple of GWh to BYD’s total, and it’s behind by 3 GWh.

    2. vadik says:

      You said Ukraine would be big. Ukraine unfortunately mostly imports used cars which are indistinguishable from new ones in the stats, plus the govt failed to adopt the tax breaks everybody was hoping for… so ok, yes, but nothing extraordinary (

  5. Michael says:

    Why don’t you do us all a favor and stop appending “gate” to every scandal yourself.

    Unless you stop doing it, you’re now part of the lazy press journalist corps who perpetuate this annoying cliché.

    1. Assaf says:

      Of course, because I am the one who had coined the term “Dieselgate”, and the rest of the world just followed me.

      Thank you for making my morning 🙂

      1. Michael says:

        I don’t mean this to be harsh or mean, but it seems as though you’re saying “I didn’t invent it, but let me feel free to criticize it as I help perpetuate it”.

        I’m looking forward to the end of that idiom. Participation while complaining won’t lead to its extinction, that’s all.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I think you’re being completely unfair. Assaf used the term “dieselgate” because it’s the term which is being used for that scandal. Sure, he could have written “VW’s fake diesel emission ratings scandal”… but why use six words when one word will do? Being excessively wordy is a mark of pedantry, and most readers find it annoying.

          I also agree with Assaf that it’s really annoying to see the media appending the suffix “-gate” to every label for a scandal, no matter how trivial it is. Watergate was a major scandal with far-reaching, long-lasting effect on American culture. Most of the other scandals given “-gate” labels… not so much.

          1. Michael says:

            What’s wrong with “diesel scandal” or “emissions cheating”? Sure, I could think of a six or even twelve word alternative as counterpoint but that, too, like your argument, would be a straw man.

            By now everyone knows that VW is in the midst of a diesel emissions cheating scandal, so shorter versions are just as valid (and far less annoying) than appending “gate” while complaining about everyone else doing the same. That would be like me driving a semi tractor as a commuter vehicle while complaining about all the “coal roller” diesel trucks in Kentucky.

            1. Assaf says:

              For the record: I’m not annoyed at -Gate, just amused.

  6. Joshua Burstyn says:

    Sadly Canada is not on the list. Us Canucks should be ashamed.

    1. G2 says:

      Concur, especially in coastal BC where it is never too hot, nor too cold, and people drive 20% less km than the rest if the country. ?

  7. Alex says:

    Toyota’s dirty games? What do you mean, they make Anti-EV advertisment, would be interested.
    Read an interview yesterday, Bob Lutz says Tesla will perish because GM, BMW will sell EV with losses until Tesla is dead. Could this be intention of Bolt or is Lutz too old for interviews?
    http://www.deraktionaer.de/aktie/schock-interview—tesla-wird-untergehen–da-bmw–daimler-und-gm-mit-verlust-verkaufen-219730.htm

    1. Alex quotes Bob Lutz “Bob Lutz says Tesla will perish because GM, BMW will sell EV with losses until Tesla is dead.” – and Bob forgets that BMW i3 sales have already taken a dive, but that hasn’t caused them to take a dive on their MSRP or cost to Dealer or down payments or even lease rates!

      Bob also forgets, there is still only one player in practical long range EV travlel, and that is Tesla. Bolt will be hobbled, in spite of its per charge range, due to no wide ranging plan for installing CCS in a logical freeway coordinated plan! Add to that, GM refuses to be involved in expanding ANY Public EV Charging Infrastructure, and have been quoted on that by myself and others!

      So, what good is a Bolt – even if cheaper than a Tesla Model 3 (not too likely), if you can’t go far with it? Is it just a better or bigger Spark EV?

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Alex said:

      “Read an interview yesterday, Bob Lutz says Tesla will perish because GM, BMW will sell EV with losses until Tesla is dead.”

      LOL! Right, just like Eastman Kodak will sell film cameras at a loss until the digital camera market dies away, and Blackberry will sell its smart phones at a loss until Apple stops selling iPhones. How did that work out for Kodak and Blackberry? Anybody? …Bueller? 😉

      If Tesla stopped selling cars tomorrow, that would simply open up the field for newer EV makers.

  8. Yoda says:

    Germany global villain???
    Because they outlaw fracking?
    Because they outlaw GMOs?
    Because they almost singlehandely created the affordability of cheap solar panels through policy?
    Because they probably have the cleanest energy grid in the world and are figuring it out for everyone…
    That is the actions of one company….
    If you look at enviortlmetisn you should try honesty and strike America and China off your list first…
    The 1940s are over…

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Villain in the EV sector.

      And some of their moves have been pretty questionable.
      -There is nothing wrong with GMOs.
      -They are shutting down nukes while building new coal plants.

  9. Speculawyer says:

    Germany is blowing it. Their protection for their local auto industry has caused them to fall behind in the technology. Only BMW has put out decent plug-ins and even those are quite questionable (i3 weirdmobile and i8 too expensive 3-cylinder supercar)

  10. Speculawyer says:

    South Korea only deserves an honorable mention. Until they actually start buying EVs they don’t deserve to be listed.

    1. Assaf says:

      I beg to differ. Someone has to buy, and someone has to make (see under: e.g., Toyota).

      And Korea has a Yuge footprint as an EV battery powerhouse.

    2. Jychevyvolt says:

      Tesla is opening a branch in Korea this year. Koreans love foreign cars after living with shitty Hyundai and Kia for years. I heard model 3 will cost $18,000 after all the incentives.

  11. Mathias says:

    (LG Chem) “reportedly also slated to make the Gen 2 Leaf batteries pretty soon”. This is news. The Leaf 60 KW batteries were to be manufactured at the Sunderland plant last I heard.

    1. Assaf says:

      I might be wrong, of course…. Jay, has LG Chem ever been mentioned w.r.t. Gen 2 Leaf?

      1. Jay Cole says:

        There has been some rumors, slips of the tongue – but no confirmations of anything. Quite honestly, good luck even having Nissan acknowledge the next generation LEAF at all (bad for today’s sales)…they just walk around everywhere with the IDS Concept in the back ground, lol.

        There is a co-operative/MOU type agreement out there with the Alliance, and Ghosn describes LG Chem as the “best” battery maker, the assumption is this is a 1+1 = 2 type thing and LG will take some of the non-US based production load when Nissan requires high volumes.

        The best specific information we have had yet comes from the IDS Concept’s debut from Nissan’s Advanced Technology Center in Atsugi, Japan late last year, where a leading Alliance engineer reportedly said the battery will be build “by us and LG Chem” before his handlers rustled him away and put him in a box or something.

        1. Josh says:

          My speculation of this: Nissan will be building a licensed battery technology from LG Chem in the markets where they have the capacity.

          In other markets or if there is low capacity, Nissan might just purchase the cells from LG Chem.

          Just my hunch

          1. Alex says:

            Sunderland will built next battery technology, just announced. But in Europe they sell less Leaf, so US will also built. For Japan i could imagine they remain at AESC, there is no competition in Japan for Nissan so they can go cheapest way.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Josh said:

            “My speculation of this: Nissan will be building a licensed battery technology from LG Chem in the markets where they have the capacity.

            “In other markets or if there is low capacity, Nissan might just purchase the cells from LG Chem.”

            I entirely concur, that’s what the public evidence seems to point to. Nissan dragging its feet before finally announcing that the Sunderland, UK battery plant will resume production, seems to support the scenario that they’ll be buying at least some batteries from LG Chem until they get their factories switched over to produced LG-licensed battery chemistry.

  12. Richard Joash Tan says:

    WHAT ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES?!

  13. Mark C says:

    I should think ALL of the island nations on this planet would make a very rapid transition to EV’s, with the danger than sea level rise presents most harshly to them.

    It’s not even difficult to do from a top down point of view. You just restrict the importation of fossil fuels and let it be known that allowed imports will be reduced by 5% (or 10%) of the original total importation each year until reduced to 0%. Who’d even want to buy a gasmobile after that type announcement?

  14. Josh says:

    Great article Assaf!

  15. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    @Assaf Oron

    Hey, thanks for your wonderful overview of the global EV market!

    I must say, though, the the “committee of one” subjective, opinion-based rankings on your list are less useful. How about using more objective, data-based criteria next time?

    1. Assaf says:

      Ummmm…. but this is more fun…. 🙂

      Besides, as a statistician I know how easy it is to mask your preferences biases and priorities, by bundling them into the fine print of an “objective” ranking system.

      But you know what, perhaps for next year poll insiders (e.g. this site editors) and readers, to brainstorm a list of rubrics and weights for such a score.

      If I have the energy for that, of course…

  16. Scramjett says:

    Ya know, I’ve long been in the “anything made in China is crap” camp, but I’m starting to rethink that view. I don’t think I’ll buy any Chinese made cars…ever…but I’ve heard great things about their Electric buses and their High Speed Rail trains.

    Unfortunately, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re totalitarian jerks.

    1. Scramjett says:

      Well, their government at least.

    2. Jychevyvolt says:

      That byd tang looks good.

  17. Battery Bro says:

    Great article. I suspect small countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Luxembourg will top the charts for electric car adoption from government effort in the coming years.

    A country like Singapore already disallows older vehicles. They seem to be a good point of adoption, I wonder why they haven’t made this list already.

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