All Electric Vehicles Still Represent The Majority Of Plug-In Sales Worldwide

JUN 23 2016 BY MARK KANE 30

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Closing in on the mid-way point of 2016, now seems like a good time to pause and check the pulse of what type of plug-ins are most popular.  All-electrics or plug-in hybrids.

Depending on the country, and its specific ‘triggers’ for a plug-in purchase (incentives, loyalty to national brands, charging infrastructure,etc), there is highly disproportion ratio between all-electric and plug-in hybrid sales by country.

Looking worldwide, the average splits stands at 58% BEVs (-4% year-over-year) and 42% PHEVs.

It is clear that PHEVs are gaining share throughout the world in 2016…even more so than the 4% gain in 2016 would indicate, as the BEV numbers have been reinforced this year by a China-specifc sales surge.

The most BEV-focused country is France, where not only incentives for BEVs are higher, but also the major players (Renault, PSA), don’t offer plug-in hybrids at this time. A few years ago Norway was leading the way with all-electric vehicles, but now the situation (incentives) has changed.

On the other side of the coin, UK, Sweden and Belgium note about 70% of plug-in sales to PHEVs.

Chevy Bolt EV retail production kicks off in October - sales get underway in earnest in early 2017

Chevy Bolt EV retail production kicks off in October – sales get underway in earnest in early 2017

Looking to the 2nd half of 2016, PHEV sales should narrow the gap with all-electrics even further, with many new extended range offerings hitting the market (including the highly anticipated Prius Prime this FAll).

However, 2017 should see BEVs retake all of the lost ground from 2016, as the new Chevrolet Bolt EV, next generation LEAF will go on sale in the first half, with the Tesla Model 3 joining the action later in the year.

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30 Comments on "All Electric Vehicles Still Represent The Majority Of Plug-In Sales Worldwide"

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Many hybrid owner have the tendency to use only gas instead recharge battery. I don’t think hybrid is a good choice for fighting against global warming. Increase the incentives of BEV and decrease on PHEV and put heavy punishment on fossil fuel. We want clean air.

Many? What evidence do you have? Or it is just your assumption?

If you look at GM and Ford telematics data, Volt owners drive on electric miles more than 60% of the time, and Energi owners about half (the battery is much smaller than the Volt). Why do you think the Prius Pimes will use a large battery?

Well I can see that owners of plug in hybrids with 20km of electric range see the plugging in as a hassle. In case of the Outlander and the Ampera it’s a different story since plugging in results in quite significant savings.

But I can relate to the comment, lease drivers in NL have their fuel paid for in the contract, they really don’t care, unfortunately.

Private owners on the other hand do care quite a bit more as you can imagine. There is also the perception that a plug in hybrid is just like a normal hybrid, charging is optional. It’s a hard image to fight.

I’m going to echo EMC2; where is your evidence for this?

volt-stats.net reports 71% of miles driven in Volts are EV miles, not gas-powered ones. That pretty strongly indicates that the vast majority of Volt drivers are charging up regularly.

I’m sure you can come up with some anecdotal evidence of some drivers that treat their PHEVs like mild hybrids, but anecdotal evidence never indicates a trend.

Rodrigo Henriques Negreiros Magalhaes

“Well I can see that owners of plug in hybrids with 20km of electric range see the plugging in as a hassle”

Then honestly, why buy the Plug-In Variant.
Plug in drivers are using the plug.

I typically drive 2000 miles on only 10 gallons of gas. That ONLY can happen because I Plug-In.

“Then honestly, why buy the Plug-In Variant.”

There are various incentives for Plug-in hybrids that aren’t available for conventional hybrids in some places. For example, California allows plug-in hybrids to use the carpool lane (although the current limit of 85,000 “green” stickers has been reached at this point). The US government and some state governments also offer financial incentives. Neither carpool lane access nor the financial incentives require actually plugging the car in.

“There is also the perception that a plug in hybrid is just like a normal hybrid, charging is optional. It’s a hard image to fight.”

That is why we need to call those weak PHEVs “hybrids” but cars like the Volt EREVs to encourage more EV usage.

Incentives in the Netherlands are focused on business users. These users use business duel cards. The statistics of the fuel efficiency of different types of cars can be viewed publicly. (www.werkelijk verbruik.nl)

The 2013 Outlander PHEV uses on average 6 liters per 100 km or 16,7 km per liter. That’s worse than a conventional Hybrid Prius.

The exact reasons are unknown, but clear reasons are the long distances business users Travel per day + the amount of highway miles driven + not always plugging in. When not driving electric these vehicles aren’t fuel efficient at all.

This is the reason the Dutch government is nearly killing incentives for PHEV in the coming years. Focus will be on BEV (and in the margin FCEV).

“Many hybrid owner have the tendency to use only gas instead recharge battery.”

Based on observations in my neighborhood and at work, this depends greatly on what kind of plug-in hybrid you are talking about. I’ve seen numerous prius plug-ins and Ford Fusion/CMAX energi’s parked on the street and not charging. But the Volt’s and BMW i3 REXs always seemed to be parked off-street and presumably charging (I only see them driving or pulling in or out of a garage).

At work, the Volts actually use the chargers more frequently than the BEVs since most BEV owners charge at home and have enough range for the round trip commute. The prius plug-in, fusion energi, and CMAX energi are not frequency users of the chargers.

I have watched a bmw I3 review by it’s owner where he proudly said that he never used electric options cause he thought it’s needless. That’s why I think many owner like him in the world might buy phev but use electric quite often. I don’t know the exact percentage but this kind of owner must exist in the world. If they don’t have the option then they cannot utilize cheap oil. But friend I am from south asia, don’t know well about ev. It’s pleasure for me to come here and know about ev. It’s a great feelings to know that maximum hybrid owners actually drive electric more than gas. Thanks for your comment.

“I have watched a bmw I3 review by it’s owner where he proudly said that he never used electric options cause he thought it’s needless.”

In the US version of the I3 rex, the range extender only comes on when the battery is almost depleted. When this happens, the car doesn’t have enough power to keep up with the flow of traffic in many parts of the US and it doesn’t have enough power to climb steep hills very quickly or accelerate quickly. So I’m willing to bet the vast majority of i3 owners in the US plug their cars in on a regular basis. This may not be the case in the rest of the world.

As a single-car family an affordable BEV wouldn’t work for us – we don’t live in the big city, either, though we’re in a walkable neighborhood. Our C-Max Energi has run >95% electric so far.

Where does Masum get his information? I recently leased a Volt. So far- 1170 miles, 100% electric, 0% gas. That included a 78 mile trip with a 4 mile charge in the middle and 3 electric miles left over! Not bad for a 53 mile electric range car.

Not only will PHEVs NOT really help the air, BUT, otherwise, they will increase electricity costs to all of us.
The reason I say that, is that many owners who DO plug-in, will plug-in during the daytime and and increase costs.

Really? Most Volt owners plug in at 120 volts. And the standard charge rate is around 950 watts (0.95 kw).

Even if they charge during the day (unlikely – mine charges throughout the whole after midnight period), why is a miniscule less than 1 kw complained about, yet Teslas using 130 kw or so (from the power line) never get criticized for using so much daytime electricity?

From one Tesla S charging during the day at the SuperCharger (I see one cheapskate retired doctor there with his S all the time – he never charges at home), you could use the equivalent amount of power and charge 136 volts instead. Seems hypocritical to me. I pick on him since he always hogs the public chargers at all the EV events, saying he needs a ‘cushion’ to get home, when he could easily make the round trip if he bothered to fully charge beforehand with some trivial planning.

Another thing: In the winter time, the Volt wins the efficiency game hands down.

mere citation of percentages is pretty meaningless because it doesn’t tell you how large or small the market for *ev’s is relative to the general market. the current market is an early adopter market, so these results say nothing about the potential appeal of *ev’s in the broader automotive market.

And if this article was about the size or potential of plug-ins to the general market, your comment would mean something

PHEVs would pick-up if they made PHEV pickups and SUVs.

But they they are trying to squeeze out their ICE profits as long as they can.

I completely agree with this Speculawyer.

To make the biggest impact on the environment and energy independence, we should start to focus on electrifying the vehicles with the highest fuel use, trucks, SUVs and semis. They aren’t going away, so why not make them more efficient?

the problem with electrification of big vehicles is one of energy density: you won’t get much range, and if it is a working vehicle, the electric range would have such minimal impact on overall operating cost that it wouldn’t be worth the purchase.

for applications such as the ones you suggest, people are just going to have to wait for the technology to develop a bit more. my personal thinking is that fuel cell is probably the way to go in such applications. with working vehicles, you can’t have the long recharge times that come with bev’s. but fuel cell technology is very early stage right now.

Meh. With the current tax-credit, a 16KWH battery is essentially free to the automaker. And a 16KWH battery should be able to get even a big SUV some 30+ miles. And with just 30+ miles, you will save HUGE amounts of gasoline because people don’t realize how little driving they actually do most days.

There is somewhat more than purely anecdotal accounts that many people driving PHEVs as company cars don’t bother to plug them in, because they’re reimbursed for gas but not electricity, so why bother?

Also, it’s unquestionably true that some fair number of PiPs in California were bought/leased solely to get the green Single occupant HOV lane stickers, and were never plugged in – there’ve been more than a few owners who’ve said they did this. Come January 2019 (when the stickers expire), those cars will be increasingly available on the used market for people who will use them as intended.

All available statistics have shown that almost all PHEVs sold by western car companies (have not seen any statistics from Chinese manufacturers) are being plugged in regularly and that miles driven on electricity is almost directly proportional to the range showing that frequency of plugging in is as high or higher for short range PHEVs as longer range PHEVs.

If someone has seen any statistics or reports saying anything else I would be very happy to see read them.

GRA said:

“There is somewhat more than purely anecdotal accounts that many people driving PHEVs as company cars don’t bother to plug them in, because they’re reimbursed for gas but not electricity, so why bother?”

Okay, so it’s “outlier evidence” rather than “anecdotal evidence”.

In either case, it’s far outside the norm, and indicates neither a trend nor that a substantial portion of PHEV owners are acting in such a perverse fashion. And in fact, the reason you have heard about this is precisely because it’s so far out of the norm that people take notice of it and repeat the story.

I can show you a photo of a Tesla Model S being used to pull a lawn mowing machine; that doesn’t in any way prove that substantial numbers of people are buying Model S’s to mow their lawns!

Incentives in the Netherlands are focused on business users. These users use business fuel cards. The statistics of the fuel efficiency of different types of cars can be viewed publicly. (www.werkelijkverbruik.nl)

The 2013 Outlander PHEV uses on average 6 liters per 100 km or 16,7 km per liter. That’s worse than a conventional Hybrid Prius.

The exact reasons are unknown, but obvious reasons are the long distances business users travel per day + the amount of highway miles driven + not always plugging in. When not driving electric these vehicles aren’t fuel efficient at all. Even when plugged in every night, it still runs lots of inefficiënt kilometers on fuel.

This is the reason the Dutch government is nearly killing incentives for PHEV in the coming years. Focus will be on BEV (and in the margin FCEV).

So the problem here is: Incentives focus on ownership of green cars, not green use of these cars. The result is a very poor real world fuel efficiency.

To be clear: the above numbers are real world average numbers of thousands of fuel card users. Nothing “anecdotal” about those numbers.

The Outlander PHEV is very fuel efficient compared to most other SUVs at its size, weight and capacity.

If you should compare then compare apples with apples. In the case of the Prius it’s easy to compare with the plug-in Prius which was a lot more efficient (about 30%) even though it had puny electric range.

I can agree with that. The problemen is that if it weren’t for the incentives these buyers would never have bought such a big SUV, but a much more economical diesel or gas car.

In the Netherlands the SUV is much less common than in the US, but since the plugin Outlander and XC90 T8 they are suddenly popular. So the incentives had the wrong effects here. They make that the buyers chooses pears instead of apples now. So the comparison should actually be apples to pears here.

For private owners it would be different, they pay their own gas. But incentives are more for business drivers here.

LOL! That Tesla lawnmower is hilarious. It looks like 7 old push lawn mowers welded together.

PHEV was the only real choice for my family. We don’t have the luxury of owning one vehicle for driving around town and another for making longer trips, so PHEV was the only economical solution for us. Tesla makes fine cars, but unless you are a millionaire, you can’t afford one. Nissan Leafs are cute, but they are basically golf carts for scooting around the neighborhood. Our family’s Ford C-Max Energi has enough electric range for running errands around town, going shopping, going to nearby towns, etc. just on electric, but when we need to travel farther — like 100-200 miles to visit family out of state — we can still do so. And we are a typical middle class family, so it’s affordable for us.