Electric Car Sales Surge 63% Globally

Electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain momentum on the world market.

Global sales of electric and hybrid cars are 63 percent higher than the same quarter last year, and up 23 percent from the second quarter, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report.

China is the top market for EVs, accounting for roughly half of global sales in the third quarter. Europe and North American were the second- and third-biggest markets, respectively.

China offers incentives to help increase the number of low-emission cars on the road.

“The Chinese government is very focused on pushing up EV sales," said Aleksandra O'Donovan, BNEF advanced transport analyst and one of the authors of the report. “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."

Electric vehicle sales are poised to surge worldwide as an increasing number of countries such as China, Scotland, France and India announced intentions to ban diesel and gasoline cars in order to cut emissions.

Notably, global EV sales are expected to exceed one million units this year for the first time, BNEF said in its report.

Many major car brands have hopped onto the electric bandwagon. Volvo Cars announced in July that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking a "historic end" to the internal combustion engine. Then in September, Volkswagen Group, the world's biggest automaker, announced plans to offer an electric version across the company's 300 models by 2030, and to roll out 80 new electric cars under its multiple brands by 2025. The German company, which is trying to rebound after its emissions-cheating scandal, is investing more than 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in zero-emission vehicles to challenge Tesla.

In an earlier analysis, BNEF predicted that electric cars will outsell fossil-fuel powered vehicles within two decades largely due to plunging battery prices.

The growth of clean transportation is great news for the environment, as the Environmental Defense Fund wrote in a blog post:

"Cars, buses and trucks are the second biggest source of pollution in the U.S. after electricity production. They are responsible for more than 26 percent of emissions that adversely affect the health and well-being of the population, and put communities located close to highways and other major thoroughfares at risk. These communities, typically low-income, are often plagued by elevated asthma rates and other pollution-induced health conditions."

When thinking about ways to reduce pollution, EVs can make a world of difference. And, when charged using renewable energy sources, they produce no emissions and can be much cheaper to operate than traditional, internal combustion vehicles.

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