2018 Was A Huge Year For Electric Vehicles (In Charts)

2018 was a record-smashing year for electric vehicles (EVs) in almost every way. After getting the data from December, the following records were set:

  • Most sales in a year (2,018,247 units)
  • Highest sales in one month (268,367 units)
  • Highest annual plug-in sales market share (2.1%)

The fantastic growth of electric vehicles can best be summed up in one chart:

Source: EV Sales Blogspot / IEA

Sales grew an astounding 72% over 2017, as growth rates are showing zero signs of slowing down as market share rises. 2017 was the first year EV sales managed to crack the 1 million units mark, and in 2018 sales have topped 2 million units.

A common concern is that EV’s won’t be able to maintain the strong growth percentages as their market share grows. So far, we can’t see any indication that is the case in the data:

Sales grew at a fastest annual pace since 2012, when EV market share was just 0.17% of sales. Sales and market share appear to be on an S-shaped curve.

Another positive development in 2018 was the continued rise of all-electric vehicles over plug-in hybrid ones. We can see that split here:

Sales of all-electric vehicles have been steadily over-running plug-in hybrid sales for some time now, so we can likely expect the continued decline of plug-in hybrid market share to continue.

When we break it down geographically, we can see China is dominating the EV market (where 4.2% of vehicles sold were electric in 2018).

However, this shouldn’t be construed as China driving all growth. We can see the market is growing across all regions:

Even the relatively sluggish growth of Europe or the rest of the world is still impressive. In fact, many European countries are leading the way in market share.

The global stock of plug-in vehicles is steadily moving upwards as well (although 2018 figures aren’t out for this one yet). As of 2017, 0.3% of all vehicles on the road were electric. This will be higher as of 2018.

Source: International Energy Agency

We can see the best selling units this year here:

The Tesla Model 3 dominated this year, beating its next closest competitor by over 50,000 units. Tesla also topped the list of top EV brands, but by a smaller margin.

We can likely look forward to an even more exciting 2019.