Quantcast

Electric Vehicle Sales More Than Doubled in 2017

Business

A record number of electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in 2017, more than doubling the number of EVs on the road, a report released Wednesday by the International Energy Agency (IEA) found.

The report, Global EV Outlook 2018, gave a summary of the state of EVs today and estimated their progress through 2030.


It found that more than one million EVs were sold in 2017, raising the total number of hybrid or electric cars on the road to more than three million. That's a 54 percent increase compared to 2016's sales, an IEA press release reported.

Half of those cars were sold in China, the largest EV market in the world. Electric car sales in China rose 72 percent in 2017 to nearly 580,000 cars. The U.S. saw the second largest number of total EV sales in 2017, at around 280,000 cars sold. German and Japan both made important progress, doubling EV sales from 2016.

When it comes to market share of EV sales, however, the nordic countries took the lead. Thirty-nine percent of new car sales in Norway were electric cars in 2017, the highest percentage of any country. Iceland followed at 12 percent with Sweden coming in third at six.

The report found that government policies supporting EV vehicles had been essential for the boost in sales.

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

Helpful policies included public procurement programs, financial incentives for purchasing EVs and tougher air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

The report also found that the lowered cost and improved efficiency of lithium-ion batteries helped drive growth, though more work needs to be done on both fronts to increase the appeal of EVs.

When it comes to the future growth of the EV market, the report found that government policies could continue to make a big difference.

The report ran two scenarios: the IEA New Policies Scenario, based on current government policies and countries' commitments under the Paris agreement, and the EV30@30 Scenario, based on an estimation of what would happen if governments worldwide adopted the EV 30@30 campaign launched by the Clean Energy Ministerial calling on member countries to make EVs account for 30 percent of vehicles sold by 2030.

Under the New Policies Scenario, the number of EVs would reach 125 million by 2030, but under the EV30@30 Scenario, that number could rise to 220 million.

The EV30@30 Scenario was also better for the global fight against climate change, nearly doubling the amount of greenhouse gas emissions avoided compared to the New Policies Scenario if the electric grid does not also switch to renewable energy sources. If the grid did "decarbonize," the emissions avoided under the EV30@30 would be four times the emissions avoided under the New Policies Scenario.

However, the report found one humanitarian and environmental challenge with the growth of EVs: the use of cobalt and other rare metals for batteries. As the press release notes, 60 percent of cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Humans rights groups have raised concerns over the working conditions for miners in the conflict-heavy country, AFP reported. But the EV30@30 Scenario could increase the demand for cobalt 25 times by 2030, the report found.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

David Gilmour performs at Anfiteatro Scavi di Pomei on July 7, 2016 in Pompei, Italy. Francesco Prandoni / Redferns / Getty Images

David Gilmour, guitarist, singer and songwriter in the rock band Pink Floyd, set a record last week when he auctioned off 126 guitars and raised $21.5 million for ClientEarth, a non-profit environmental law group dedicated to fighting the global climate crisis, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks during a forum April 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Trump administration ratcheted up its open hostility to climate science in a move that may hide essential information from the nation's farmers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
Protestors and police stand on ether side of railway tracks. dpa / picture-alliance

Police have cleared 250 climate activists who stayed overnight at the Garzweiler brown coal mine in western Germany, officials said Sunday.

Read More Show Less
Cecilie_Arcurs / E+ / Getty Images

By Megan Jones and Jennifer Solomon

The #MeToo movement has caused profound shake-ups at organizations across the U.S. in the last two years. So far, however, it has left many unresolved questions about how workplaces can be more inclusive and equitable for women and other diverse groups.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Cigarette butts are the most-littered item found at beach clean ups. John R. Platt

By Tara Lohan

By now it's no secret that plastic waste in our oceans is a global epidemic. When some of it washes ashore — plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers — we get a stark reminder. And lately one part of this problem has been most glaring to volunteers who comb beaches picking up trash: cigarette butts.

Read More Show Less

Andrea Rodgers, second from the right, takes notes during a hearing in the Juliana v. U.S. case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4. Colleague Elizabeth Brown sits to her left, while colleague Julia Olson sits on her right, with co-council Philip Gregory on Julia's right. Robin Loznak / Our Children's Trust

By Fran Korten

On June 4, Andrea Rodgers was in the front row of attorneys sitting before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court. The court session, held in Portland, Oregon, was to determine whether the climate change lawsuit (Juliana v. United States) brought by 21 young plaintiffs should be dismissed, as requested by the U.S. government, or go on to trial.

Read More Show Less
Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday. SCOOTERCASTER / YouTube screenshot

Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday as they demanded the paper improve its coverage of the climate crisis, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less