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Global EV Sales on Rise as US EV Sales Level Off

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Electric-Drive-Event-238 BMW i3

It seemed that EV sales were in trouble in the United States when, after four years of steady growth, plug-in EV sales were more or less flat last year as more and more people opted to purchase SUVs and trucks over more fuel-efficient or electric vehicles amid falling gas prices. Sales of EVs actually decreased from 2014 to 2015, from 118,882 in 2014 to 115,262 in 2015, despite record new car sales in general. As such, EV sales still account for a tiny fraction of new car sales in the US.

However, outside the US, EVs are doing much, much better. Global EV sales actually increased significantly in the last year, according to data from the Department of Energy. How significantly? An increase of around 80%, from 315,519 EVs sold in 2014 to 565,668 in 2015. Chinese EV sales in particular expanded wildly from 61,984 total in 2014 to 214,283 in 2015. Chinese brand BYD sold 61,772 battery EVs and plug-in hybrids in 2015—more than any other automaker in the world.

Other markets that saw increases included Western Europe (102,565 to 184,500), Japan (30,567 to 46,339), and even Canada (1,521 to 5,284). Along with China and the US, these markets accounted for 95% of all global plug-in sales.

That increase is expected to continue, and the downturn in the United States is expected to eventually turn around as automakers produce more and better electric vehicles, and as various entities continue to work on expanding charging infrastructure.

News Source: Christian Science Monitor