More than 740,000 Cars Worldwide Powered by Electricity

The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) reports another powerful surge in electric mobility’s growth. According to its scientists’ calculations, more than 740,000 electric cars were on the road worldwide in early 2015. Some 320,000 vehicles were registered last year, enabling car battery suppliers to generate considerable revenue of around €2 billion euros. The Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In headed up the registration statistics in 2014.

The USA stood out among the countries with the highest absolute growth rates with another 117,000 cars powered by electricity, bringing the stateside count up to around 290,000, a 69 percent bump. The figure for China also spiked with nearly 54,000 more electric vehicles bringing the count up to just short of 100,000, an increase of around 120 percent. China’s fleet puts it at no. 3, just behind Japan, where the 100,000 mark in electric cars has been exceeded, but at a relatively low growth rate of 45 percent.

What these leading countries have in common is that electric mobility’s upward trajectory is largely attributable to market incentives. In contrast, a lack of market incentives has resulted in Germany taking just seventh place in absolute numbers (around 29,600 cars) and eighth in new registrations (around 11,700). As in preceding years, Norway is living up to its reputation for pioneering this trend. Some 2.64 million automobiles are registered in the Scandinavian country, just over 1.6 percent of which are battery-powered, so electric mobility is a fixture of everyday life. Norway is the world leader measured by percentage share.