2015 Volkswagen e-Golf
  • 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf
    • Image Credit: Volkswagen

    Ranking The World’s Top EV Nations

    Norway was the world’s top electric vehicle market through the first quarter of 2015. While the Scandinavian nation trails the United States, China, and the United Kingdom based on raw volume, it leads by a wide margin when tracking the percentage of total registrations. In the first quarter of the year, a whopping one-third of the vehicles registered in Norway were plugin electric or plugin hybrid models, according to research by IHS Automotive. The Volkswagen e-Golf was the top model favored by Norwegians. By comparison, the United States had nearly twice as many total electric vehicle registrations, but they made up just 0.8 percent of the US market. Click through to see how the rest of the world order shakes out.

  • Road from Oslo to Bergen before sunset. Norway, scandinavian Eur
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    Norwegians like electrically powered vehicles, and they registered 8,112 of them in the first quarter, which was a third of the total number of vehicles registered in the nation. That means one in three Norwegians who registered a vehicle choose an EV, and it’s a 41-percent increase compared with the same time in 2014. IHS credits Norway’s lack of import taxes on EVs and other incentives for the robust market. The Volkswagen e-Golf was the top model.
  • Amsterdam with canal in the downtown Holland.
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    The Netherlands

    The Netherlands captured the second spot on this list, and six percent of its vehicle registrations have been EVs so far in 2015. That marks a stunning 74-percent increase compared with 2014, and the Dutch have registered 5,760 EVs this year.

  • UK, London, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge
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    The United Kingdom

    The United Kingdom racked up 8,684 registrations in the first quarter, good for third in overall volume, and percentage of total registrations. The UK’s tally was just ahead of Norway (8,112), but because the UK is a much larger market, EVs only made up 1.2 percent of it.

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    The United States

    The United States was easily the world’s largest for electric vehicles, with 14,832 registrations so far in 2015, though that only accounted for 0.8 percent of total US registrations. That puts the US at No. 4 in the world. In fact, only 33 more EV registrations were recorded in the US compared with the same time last year.

    IHS analyst Ben Scott said low fuel prices have stymied EVs in America even though there’s a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 available. States like California and Georgia that layer on additional incentives for EVs have fared better than the rest of the nation. “The adoption of these vehicles has been uneven, as consumer consideration and choice has skewed in favor of states offering additional incentives,” Scott said.

  • Paris, Arc de Triomphe at sunset
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    France tied with the US with just 0.8 percent of its vehicles registered plugging into the grid this year. Still, the French registered 3,626 EVs in the first quarter, more than double last year’s tally.

  • Hermannplatz (Hermann Sqaure) and Karstadt
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    Germany had 4,520 EV registrations in the first quarter, which made up 0.6 percent the total market. Germany’s total was nearly double last year’s number of registrations. The increase came without the aid of many incentives, IHS noted. Electrified versions of the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3 were popular with Germans.
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    Japan tallied 7,750 EV registrations, which was 0.6 percent of its total market. Japan was the only nation to post a drop in the first quarter, as its registrations plummeted nearly 20 percent. IHS points to the ending of several key incentives and a preference for non-plugin hybrids among Japanese drivers as the reasons for the decline.
  • Shanghai flyover interchange with traffic
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    China checked in behind the United States with 12,555 EV registrations in the first quarter, but that only made up 0.3 percent of the total market. Still, that’s significant growth compared with last year, when just 1,486 EVs were registered in China. Government incentives helped power the surge.   

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