Percentage-wise, 400,000 vehicles in the global fleet of cars is a small, small number. If 2011 estimates of a billion cars worldwide is accurate, 400,000 is basically a rounding error. Still, since those 400,000 are electric vehicles, it's a number worth celebrating.

The top three EV markets are the US, Japan and China.

The Zentrums für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (which roughly translates as the Center for Solar and Hydrogen Energy Research in Baden-Württemberg, known as ZSW) has put together some numbers for the state of the EV fleet as the end of 2013 and finds it to be over 400,000. ZSW lists the top three EV markets as the US (174,000 vehicles), Japan (68,000) and China (45,000). There are almost 30,000 EVs in Holland and 17,500 in Germany.

If we look at the company-specific totals (as seen in the graph above), the clear winner is Nissan (over 90,000 EVs sold, which sounds about right since the company trumpeted sales topping 100,000 in late January) followed by General Motors with over 60,000 Amperas and Volts sold and then Toyota with over 40,000 Prius Plug In Hybrids on the road. Tesla's in there with a little over 25,000. Standard hybrids, motorcycles and large vehicles (trucks and buses) were not counted.

While the companies compete amongst themselves, the overall number keeps on roughly doubling each year. ZSW says that there were around 100,000 EVs at the start of 2012, 200,000 when 2013 got going and now we have the 400,000 number. Who thinks this doubling trend will continue into 2015? ZSW doesn't quite think so but is predicting that the growth curve shows we'll have over a million EVs on the road at the start of 2016.


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  • 13 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 8 Months Ago
      The doubling trend won't continue.... it will accelerate faster. Not every automaker is even in the game yet. Still more model segments left untouched too. What happens when the first non compliance SUV EV hits market? And pickup trucks?
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        :-) I doubt that is true but I voted it up anyway. Actually, it could be true if Tesla pulls off the Gigafactory or gas prices spike up. But I think we'll have relatively steady oil prices for a couple of years so we might plateau for a bit.
      purrpullberra
      • 8 Months Ago
      You go Nederlanders! Almost 30k EV's for such a tiny country is spectacular. Norway might be getting close to that soon. Isn't California alone number one in the world then? But if there are results including the Volt/Ampera then we aren't talking PURE BEV's so that sort of skews things if you ask me. But it's progress nonetheless.
        Ziv
        • 8 Months Ago
        @purrpullberra
        Who you calling "tiny"!? ;-)
      • 8 Months Ago
      Buying a LEAF would be a mistake. Leasing is a better option, if you can't go Tesla. With all the problems it has, and the refusal of Nissan to address them, I regret being an owner.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Hmm, I've had my LEAF for almost 2 years and have been to the dealership twice, each time for the scheduled tire rotation...total spent: $32. I can't say that about any other car I've ever owned! Other LEAF owners I've met here in town have reported the same.
      Rotation
      • 8 Months Ago
      It includes Plug-in Priuses too. You didn't think Toyota sold a lot of RAV4 EVs, did you? What's Mercedes selling? A class EVs?
      DarylMc
      • 8 Months Ago
      According to Wikipedia we have in Australia a total of 700 EV's as of 2013. 300 total sales in 2013. I hope we too will be well on track to achieve double that in 2014. Especially since Tesla Model S is soon to be available. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is just out now too. Lacklustre review here if anyone is interested. http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/mitsubishi-outlander-phev-first-drive-review-20140321-358iq.html
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        @DarylMc
        Australia is screwed as far as EVs go. The previous government didn't get any incentives for EVs passed and this regressive theocrat Abbot certainly will not do so. Australia may find itself in trouble by becoming so reliant on resource extraction for the economy. If China decides to stop buying so much coal, what is Oz going to do? Their manufacturing base is shrinking as GM and Toyota pull out.
          DarylMc
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Hi Spec You seem to know a bit about Australia. You're not from here are you? Loss of manufacturing is a disaster but we do have other resources to sell aside from coal. Right now it seems petroleum refining is another industry to leave the country. Goodness knows what that will mean for the quality of fuels not to mention national security. I think in the long term it will be seen as a mistake. I certainly wish there were more EV options here and I suppose that will happen eventually.
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