Global electric car sales up over 50 percent in 2017: IEA

Electric cars are all the rage in Norway, where they have the highest market share in the world
Electric cars are all the rage in Norway, where they have the highest market share in the world

Electric car sales around the world rose by 54 percent in 2017, taking global stock across the three-million threshold, the International Energy Agency said in a report Wednesday.

In China, the world's biggest for , sales also grew by about half—but their market share remained small at 2.2 percent.

In Norway electric vehicles have by far the world's highest , but even there it is still only 6.4 percent, according to the IEA.

Nonetheless, the Paris-based agency was optimistic about the sector's prospects.

"Supportive policies and cost reductions are likely to lead to significant growth in the market uptake of (electric vehicles) in the outlook period to 2030," the report said.

Should policymakers honour their current commitments to the environment, "the number of electric light-duty vehicles on the road (would reach) 125 million by 2030," it added.

And should policy ambitions develop further, that number could become as high as 220 million in 2030, it said.

But the IEA said that in order for the cars of the future to overtake their petrol and diesel-powered competitors, governments will have to take the lead.

"The main markets by volume (China) and sales share (Norway) have the strongest policy push," the IEA said.

"Looking ahead, the strongest current policy signals emanate from electric car mandates in China and California, as well as the European Union's recent proposal on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards for 2030."

The EU has committed to cutting 40 percent of its from 1990 levels, and to boosting its use of renewable energy by at least 27 percent.

France, home to Europe's second-biggest car industry after Germany, has gone further by announcing a plan to end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, as part of an ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord.

Electric vehicles use batteries instead of petrol or diesel, thereby massively reducing their damage to the environment.

But they are not without controversy.

Key components in the batteries include the mineral cobalt, much of which comes from the unrest-hit Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rights groups have raised concerns about corruption in the cobalt industry and often poor working conditions for the miners in DR Congo.


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May 30, 2018
" but even there it is still only 6.4 percent, according to the IEA"

Stuff like this where a huge 'installed base' is swapped out doesn't happen overnight - but it does happen. Look at how renewables have progressed from "so small it will never be a player" to "provides the majority of electricity in some industrialized countries" in a very short time.

"Key components in the batteries include the mineral cobalt, much of which comes from the unrest-hit Democratic Republic of Congo."

True, but the amount of cobalt in Li-ion batteries has come down drastically just in the last few years. And there is a replacement option with nickel. Also we're using slave labor for basically everything. If we'd get riled up about this we should do away with everything from iPhones or cheap t-shirts.

May 30, 2018
nice article, thanks for this information

Dug
May 30, 2018
In 2018 total global EV sales are still under 2% ICE sales. "In 2016 while total world energy came from 80% fossil fuels, 10% biofuels, 5% nuclear and 5% renewable (hydro, wind, solar, geothermal), only 18% of that total world energy was in the form of electricity." (https://en.wikipe...mption).

There's a big gap between EV sales ambitions and the non-fossil fuel energy that would make them better for the environment - especially considering the fossil energy generation losses in mechanical energy, distribution, etc. The fact that we have yet to evolve an EV battery technology sustainability is another issue that keeps EVs from realizing their potential as a significant environmental benefit factor - well that and basic economics. In the best case we are decades away from a significant global fleet of EVs that aren't in reality running of fossil fuel generation.

Jun 05, 2018
"In 2018 total global EV sales are still under 2% ICE sales"

Look at the adoption curves of new technology
https://vmsec.wor...fecycle/

You may have experienced some of these in your own lifetime (computers, cellphone, smartphone, internet, ... )
These do start all the same way. If you have a minimal understanding of math and know what such a rate of change (+50% per year) means in the mid term (hint: the key word is 'exponential growth') then it's easy to see we're entering the liftoff phase. The same curve can be seen with the adoption of renewables. E.g. in germany the percentage of electricity from renewables has jumped by 8% within the last 4 years.

Considering how huge the energy sector (and the automotive sector) is in terms of installed base the numbers are quite awesome. Such huge systems don't change overnight, but the rate of change indicates that it will happen a LOT faster than if we extrapolate linearly.

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