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article imageGlobal electric car sales surge to record in 3rd quarter

By Ken Hanly     Nov 21, 2017 in Environment
In the third quarter of 2017 electric vehicle (EV) sales soared 63 percent higher than the same period last year setting a record. The uptick was mainly fueled by rising demand in China.
China is making the transition to EV's a priority. EV powerhouse Tesla has recently partnered with a local manufacturer in China to further the popularity of electric cars in this booming market.
EV sales increase year by year
A sales record was set in 2016. The International Energy Agency (IEA) claimed that more than 750,000 EVs were sold worldwide last year. In 2015 only 547,000 were sold.
By June of this year there were more than 2 million EVs on the road globally. However, this makes up only a minuscule 0.2 percent of the total light-duty vehicles in use around the world.
In the U.S. only 30 percent of buyers consider purchasing an EV and of those only three percent actually buy one.
Sales for EVs and hybrids in third quarter of this year
The sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids was more than 287,000 units in the quarter ending this September. This was up 63 percent from last year and 23 percent from the previous quarter according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report.
More than half of these global sales were in China.
China encouraging EV purchases
Aleksandra O'Donovan, an advanced transport analyst, and one of the authors of the BNEF report, said: β€œThe Chinese government is very focused on pushing up EV sales. One reason for that is the local pollution levels in the cities, and a second is for China to build domestic heroes to compete internationally in this market.”
Xin Guobin, vice-minister of the Industry and Information Technology Ministry said that the country had started research on a timetable to phase out production and sales of vehicles that run on fossil fuels. Although he noted that the new measures would bring profound changes to the automotive sector he gave no indication as to when they might come out. Experts believe the ban will not take effect until 2040 at the earliest.
China has over 60 million cars on the road now. To help create an infrastructure to serve EVs the government has pledged to build 12,000 new charging stations by 2020
China is now the world's largest EV market. Its own manufacturer BYD is larger than Tesla.
China has tax exemptions, discounts for purchases, and government mandates to buy EVs. O'Donovan said: "The national subsidies can make EVs up to 40 percent cheaper than regular internal combustion cars.”
Chinese sales of EVs have been increasing year by year. In 2016 China sold 507,000 commercial and passenger EV's including hybrids. This was 53 percent higher than in 2015. Pure EV sales rose even more by 65 percent to 409,000 accounting for 80 per cent of EV sales.
North America lags behind China and Europe in EV sales
Europe was the second biggest EV market in the third quarter with 24 percent of sales. North America was third.
Both France and the U.K. claim they will ban sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2040. Netherlands is setting a target of just 2030 for all new cars sold to be emissions free.
In North America, California is also considering a ban on new fossil fuel cars being sold there.
In Canada sales of EVs are also on an upward trend, but they are still a minuscule part of the global market.
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