World EV Sales Hit Record 103,000 Deliveries In December, Almost 800,000 For 2016

FEB 6 2017 BY MARK KANE 17

World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars – 2016 January-December (data source: EV Sales Blog)

December was not only a record month for plug-in electric car sales in the US (up more than 70%), but also worldwide, as ~103,527 EVs were sold – up 20% year-over-year.

The last month of the year marked the first time the industry has eclipsed the 6 digit/100,000 level.

Nissan LEAF

Total sales for 2016 amounted to 774,384,which was up 40% year-over-year.  The result was good enough for a 0.85% market share for plug-in vehicles globally.


EV Sales Blog’s data indicates that in 2016, the best selling model was again Nissan LEAF, which just outpaced the Tesla Model S by less than 1,000 copies (51,882 vs ~50,944).  Had it not been for difficulties “transitioning” to new enhanced autopilot hardware this Fall, the Model S definitely would have taken down the title this year.

The two all-electric cars combined outpaced the rest of the pack by a huge margin – nearly 20,000 sales each.

The BYD Tang’s sales weakened in the last couple of months, but the Chinese plug-in hybrid’s gains from earlier in the year was enough to hold off another regional offering, the surging Chevrolet Volt in the US.

Top Manufacturers

Among manufacturers, BYD exceeded 100,000 sales for the year (the first OEM to ever do so), and in so doing, became the #1 EV maker for the second year in a row.

High sales of Tesla Model S, and a broad (and ever-expanding) lineup of plug-in hybrids enabled Tesla and BMW to take second and third places respectively:

World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers – 2016 January-December (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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17 Comments on "World EV Sales Hit Record 103,000 Deliveries In December, Almost 800,000 For 2016"

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We will see the 1% market share of global sales soon!

…and not included in BYD’s tally are another ~15k buses, which in terms of total battery produced actually “outpower” the cars and SUVs it makes.

Great graphs and stats Mark!

Hopefully we will hit 10% soon.

At 0.85 percent, this means 100 million cars which imbibe gasoline and petrol and various rendered dinisaur oils have been added to the world of harmful emissions. So many more millions of kids with asthma and brain damage including frank Autism. So sad.

I’m repeating myself here but Nissan-Renault could be counted as one entity (they now also control Mitsubishi, so basically 3-in-1 in 2017).

As such this alliance would be the global #1 in plug-in sales.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi only started in October 2016, so even grouping brands by Groups, BYD would lead the tally.

In 2017 The Alliance will have all three brands counted together and will possibly become the largest PEV group.

Possibly, because BYD will go for 200k this year and Tesla could also reach that number, so if The Alliance wants to beat both of them, they need to step up sales.

If there are 10 million EVs on the roads then we will do without 1 million barrels of oil per day from say Saudi!

Hitting 1 million plug-ins per year should provide a nice PR boost to EVs.

I think 2017 should be that year, 1 million plug-in cars and vans sold, and cum global sales achieving the 3 million milestone by year end.

Now that the major obstacles have been overcome (range, cost, charging networks, and charging speed), it is reasonable to expect 50% growth worldwide (probably more this year) from now on. So, 2016: 0.85%, 2017: 1.28%, 2018: 1.91%, 2019: 2.87%, 2020: 4.30%, 2021: 6.45%, 2022: 9.68%, 2023: 14.5%, 2024: 21.78%, 2025: 32.68%.

I would love to see 50% growth but I think it is too early to say that either charging or cost issues were overcome. UK has one of the best charging networks in Europe but if you check forums like speakev you will find EV adopters are still quite unhappy about the state of it. Once other manufacturers catch up with the range of Tesla cars it should be easier to build better network as you don’t need to space them so close nor do you need them so often with bigger batteries.

“UK has one of the best charging networks in Europe but if you check forums like speakev you will find EV adopters are still quite unhappy about the state of it.”

It’s Britain, the fact that no one is ever happy with anything is why it is one of the worlds biggest economies despite having nothing to speak of in terms of natural resources or any other economic edge over its rivals.

Just look at the stink kicked up about having to pay 6 pounds to use a fast charger – it really doesn’t matter, deep breath get on with it, paying 6 pounds once a month is not the end of the world.

Also growth rate of 50% a year would require at some poing building several gigafactories a year at cost of 5-6 bln USD each year. Car manufacturers prefer to buy batteries rather than make their own. So where is the money coming from to build all these factories?LG might be able to borrow some cash for 1 or 2 factories but we will need dozens. Until car companies start making partnerships like Tesla did with Panasonic I can see a problem here.

Maybe (just a thought), one could use the money that otherwise is invested in exploring new oil ressources, or merely wasted to build new refineries and oil tankers? The car manufacturers could also scale down ICE development cost just a wee bit.
Or ask investors. When there is a sufficient ROI and low risk of failure, people will invest. Especially rich ones.
Or if all else fails, just ask US government NOT to invade some other country for e.g. 1-2 years and spend the savings to build several state owned gigafactories for creating jobs. I once read that the adventure in Afghanistan so far totals to one trillion dollars (or 100-200 Gigafactories, the amount that roughly would be enough for full retreat from fossil fuels worldwide). Instead there are a few craters in the desert, many terrorists still alive as proven by almost daily attacks (probably partially funded by rich Arab oil countries), women still have basically no rights there, and thousands of brave American soldiers returned in flag covered boxes. If the world goes off oil, terrorism will probably reduce significantly, as the Saudis go bankrupt and without funding, any “dschihadi mission” likely becomes more difficult…

You are absolutely right. I am not saying money is not there. I am saying car manufacturers do not want to commit to investing billions like Nissan did because Nissan got burnt. They were unable to keep up with improvements achieved by panasonic and lg and even they now want to buy them from lg. Still building partnerships like Tesla will be the only way to see EV penetration exceed 5% globally.

I posted similarly optimistic assumptions for sustained exponential growth back in 2014, based on the startling high percentage growth in North American sales during 2012 and 2013. Sadly, my hopes were dashed; the actual sales numbers were too small, and the sample size was much too low, to be representative of a long-term trend.

Here’s hoping that your prediction proves far more successful than mine!
🙂 🙂 🙂

Combining the Energi twins (since they are one architecture that gives you a choice between hatchback or sedan) you get 23895 (not counting a small amount from Canada) which puts them between the Model X and the Zoe.