Plug-In Electric Car Sales Hit Record 173,000 In December

FEB 23 2018 BY MARK KANE 31

The year 2017 was, once again, a record-setter for plug-in electric cars. Sales entered growth mode and surged to all-time highs.

In December, we saw a new monthly record of around 173,000 sales (up 67% year-over-year) of plug-in electric cars globally.

For the full year, approximately 1,224,000 plug-in cars were sold (up 58% year-over-year)

Top Selling Plug-In Cars

The BAIC EC-Series didn’t give any other car a fighting chance to be the first. With more than 13,000 sales in December alone, the Chinese city BEV ended the year with 78,000.

Four top global models were forced to fight for second place and the Tesla Model S beat Toyota Prius Prime, Nissan LEAF (first and second generation) and Tesla Model X.

Chevrolet Bolt EV (with Opel Ampera-e included) managed to stay within the top 10.

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

Top Plug-In Car Manufacturers

In the case of manufacturers (or rather, particular brands), BYD won the rank for the third time in a row thanks to over 109,000 plug-in cars sold in 2017.

BAIC and Tesla were nearly at the same result of 103,000 and BMW, without around 6,000 MINIs added in, was at 97,000.

See Also – BYD #1 In World For Plug-In Electric Car Sales In 2017, Beats Tesla Again

There is huge gap between the top four brands and the rest.

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

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

Just to have a comparison we would like to add the numbers for the hydrogen fuel cell cars, which noted only 3,382 deliveries for all of 2017 – growth of 46% is lower than in the case of plug-ins, too.

  • Toyota Mirai – 2.689 (up 32%)
  • Honda Clarity FCEV – 524 (slightly up)
  • Hyundai ix35/Tucson FCEV – 169 (up 6%)

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

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31 Comments on "Plug-In Electric Car Sales Hit Record 173,000 In December"

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Fantastic. Continued 58% growth year on year would get ev sales to 100% market share in about 10 years. Of course that won’t happen but it does indicate how we can get there quicker than most people think.

I think 90% is totally possible. Think about the EV or even plug hybrid market in 2007. There was nothing. We’ve come so far now, that every OEM but Mazda is planning to electrify all their models in the next couple of years.

Oil isn’t going to be much cheaper, but batteries and electricity will be.

100% is totally possible. Once you get the price down to current Corolla levels, why would anyone want a gas car?

Good analogy , 10 years and we could be driving fun cars , quiet cars , that can self drive on long trips

Data is wrong. BMW cleared 100,000 mid-December.

If Tesla and BAIC numbers are correct, BMW may have placed as high as second, but I can’t find an exact number published.

BMW is officially behind Tesla but only a few cars. I guess in 2018 they won’t have a chance to beat Tesla either.

This is by brand and not group wish you can see here. If you add together Mini and BMW you should add Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, Audi and Volkswagen and many more.


The caption under graph reads “World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers”. As you note it is not the same as brand. Mini isn’t separate automaker for decades, just a brand.

You may put Renault and Nissan Alliance together, some publications do it. But it is a bit dubious as unlike BMW, Renault do not fully own Nissan shares, just 43% of it.

Do car rental agenicies like Hertz, Avis etc. rent Teslas at there agenicies?

Hertz does. I saw a couple of Model S at their Miami Airport facility.

I’m curious what will happen to all those FCEV after free fuel period expire in about 2 more years. Prices haven’t changed in over a year, unlikely to do so any time soon. Who in their right mind would pay $16.50/kg or even 1/4 of that?

They will all end up being crushed. I don’t know for certain but I don’t think any of them are being sold, they are all being leased.

If it weren’t for Tesla’s roadster and (re)jumpstarting the EV-olution and thus inspiring the Leaf/Volt/Model S just think, Toyota might’ve gotten their way and we’d see lots more hydrogen cars from them and other OEM’s now and big oil would’ve still had their sticky fingers in the pot longer.

I don’t think so. No matter how hard Toyota and other auto makers try to push fool cell cars, very few people are actually foolish enough to buy them. Even with Toyota’s very limited production (and even more severely limited production from Honda and others), they still are selling less than Toyota planned.

It’s not so much that fool cell cars can’t compete with plug-in EVs, as that they can’t compete with gasmobiles.

Since a hydrogen station costs $1,000,000, there was always going to be a S-L-O-W rollout. Just what the oil industry wanted. A no-solution solution.

On the nose!

This # excludes heavy vehicles like buses and trucks of which another 198,000 were sold in China alone. Add that and you will get 1,422,000 vehicles + few 1,000 heavy vehicles in rest of the World. 2017 is certainly the greatest year. I hope this year will exceed that as the Jan is going towards 70,000 sales which is at least 30,000 more than Jan of last year.

EC180, Leaf and Model-3 will take the lead for electrics while Prius, Clarity, Ioniq, Niro could do the lead for plugins. And don’t forget Toyota alone sole 1.5 million hybrid vehicles in 2017 and this year, it could increase as they reduced the price on many hybrid models.

If the electric + plugin combo overtakes hybrids, then its a setback for Toyota. I guess Honda, Nissan, Ford and others would have sold another 400,000 hybrids taking the total hybrid sales to around 1.9 million while the electric + plugin combo has 1.4 million. Numbers gets interesting.

Inspiring thoughts, Don! I hope the change comes fast because driving around the sea of new SUV’s and new mega-pickups here in central Florida is depressing. At least here the millenials here seem to be driving more compact cars. Retirees are often in hybrids but more often its CUV’s. Those darn soccer moms and rednecks don’t seem to be listening to climate scientists much though 🙁

Climate scientists don’t advise on better way to emit greenhouse gases either. Giga-battery production, gas & coal burning, or conventional gasoline burning, all emit GHG. Though admittedly classic American pickup truck with brick like aerodynamics is hard to beat here :/

Since electric/plugin vehicles go 3 times the distance for a given amount of fuel, they emit less GHG even after including the battery production and coal burning.

Of late the solar and wind power supply has increased and this will make it even more greener. That’s the solution and the whole World is racing towards it.

Coal production of US electric supply is now down to 30% nationally. With more coal plants planned to be closed. — Economics.

20 US Tax Credits for Frackers killed coal.
Thank your local Republican.

Fracking is North American phenomena, rarely seen elsewhere in the world.

Natural gas is somewhat better than coal, but it is as clean as “clean diesel”, and only around third of its energy is converted to electricity at outlet when you burn it in real life power plants.

I don’t know if fracking is better than nuclear plants that it also replaces in the long run along with coal. Each has its own different nasties.

A lot of the energy needed for battery is electricity. With more wind & solar on the grid, making batteries suffers the same advantage as EV’s: it emits less GHG over time.

‘battery’ –> ‘battery production’

“Giga-battery production, gas & coal burning, or conventional gasoline burning, all emit GHG.”

Notice how Big Oil shill zzzzzzzzz lumps making batteries in with producing gasoline, as part of his anti-EV propaganda.

Batteries need to be made for PEVs exactly once over the lifetime of the car. The gas tank in a gasmobile needs to be filled several hundred times over the lifetime that sort of car.

Another case of false equivalency from a plug-in EV basher.

Pu-pu doesn’t miss opportunity to pump more meaningless fanboy drivel as usual, as he lost cognitive abilities long time ago, assuming he ever had them.

“Batteries need to be made for PEVs exactly once over the lifetime of the car.” – of course, once you are hit with 100 kWh battery replacement cost for whatever reason, lifetime of the car most likely is over, it may go to junk yard. 17 tons of CO2 emissions from 100 kWh battery production stays in atmosphere no matter how many miles you driven or not..

In California combined sales of all-electrics and plug-in hybrid cars surpassed conventional hybrids for the first time in 2017 Plug-in cars had in a market share of 4.8% while hybrids had 4.6%.
Check more details here:

It would be more interesting if it would had surpassed e.g. non-hybrid light truck or heavy SUV sales.

Now it sounds like competition for the same government incentive niche. Isn’t that all kinds of hybrids were supposed to reduce emissions and stay here after subsidies dried out?

So many records were set in 2017.

1. Worldwide plugin sales crossed 1 million mark.
2. 4 companies sold 100,000 + plugins.
3. Tesla sold 100,000 + pure BEVs.
4. Toyota sold 1.5 million electrified vehicles (hybrid, plugin & fucell).

Records already set in 2018’s 1st 2 months.
1. Leaf sales crossed 300,000.
2. Tesla sold 300,000 vehicles with their 4 models (Model S/X/3 and Roadster).
3. Hyundai sold 100,000 Ioniq with its 3 powertrains (hybrid, plugin & electric).

Let’s wait and see what the next 10 months are going to bring.

The BMW i3 will probably reach 100,000 units delivered globally in February. The BYD Qin will reach this milestone soon.