Thanks to Argonne National Laboratory (via U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy), we can take a look at the progress of plug-in electric vehicles sales globally from 2011 through 2015.
The overall volume of sales increased by around 80% in 2015 to over 565,000, compared to 2014.
Interesting is the different approaches of each of originally largest markets. In 2011 U.S., Japan and Europe began on similar level, while China was significantly behind.
Since then, U.S. market grew for awhile, but stumbled in 2015 thanks to a disturbance in the product pipeline of former best sellers (Volt/Prius PHV/LEAF) and a lack of new offerings, allowing both Europe and China (even moreso) to leap ahead; Japan also wasn't able to sustain its sold start being even more reliant of the likes of Japanese-based plug-ins.
Strong growth is expected in 2016 in most regions, with the China leading the way, but also with the US getting back on track. Europe overall's growth is expected to slow, at least in relation to 2015, due to changes in some incentive situations at the country-level that caused surges in 2015 (and a subsequent drag heading into 2016)
"Although plug-in light vehicle (PEV) sales in the United States declined by 3% in 2015, sales in China more than doubled, surpassing all other countries in the number of PEVs sold. Western Europe as a whole had the second highest volume of PEV sales in 2015 and saw an increase of 80% over 2014. Though Japan and Canada had lower sales of PEVs by volume, they both had significant increases in PEV sales from the previous year. In 2011, global PEV sales were just 50,000 units. years later, global PEV sales have increased more than ten-fold to over 565,000"
Global Plug-In Light Vehicle Sales, 2011-2015
Country/Region 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 China 5,202 10,699 15,004 61,984 214,283 Western Europe 14,160 40,000 71,233 102,565 184,500 United States 17,763 53,169 97,102 118,882 115,262 Japan 12,600 20,667 28,716 30,567 46,339 Canada 275 1,225 931 1,521 5,284 Total 50,000 125,760 212,986 315,519 565,668 Source: Data compiled by Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, February 2016.
"Notes: Japan data are estimated based on sales reported through August 2015.
These countries/regions account for about 95% of global PEV sales."