Leading the Charge 🔌 🚘: 10 Charts on Electric Vehicles in Plotly

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This post is the first in a two-part series. We’ll share some fresh visualizations on the world of electric cars: who’s leading the way, the costs of going electric, which manufacturers are most represented out on the road, and more.

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1. Who drives the most?

Following the low-population Republic of San Marino, the United States has the dubious distinction of having the most motor vehicles per 1,000 people. There are 910 motor vehicles for every 1,000 people.

Of countries with more than a million inhabitants, New Zealand is next on the list. The country, whose tagline is “clean and green,” has 774 cars per 1,000 folks. Italy (679), Canada (662), and Finland (612) follow closely.

On the other side of the spectrum, West African Togo (2), Bangladesh (3), Liberia (3), and the Solomon Islands (3) have the fewest cars per 1,000 individuals.

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2. Which country boasts the largest proportion of electric vehicles?

Norway. Nearly 40 percent of total new car sales between 2013–2017 were electric, meaning this Scandinavian nation has the most plug-in electric vehicles (EV) per capita in the world.

In fact, Oslo, Norway, is recognized as the EV capital of the world.

What’s the secret? Ninety-eight percent of Norway’s electricity comes by way of hydropower, making the country’s fleet of electric cars one of the cleanest on the globe. All electric cars and vans in Norway are exempt from on-purchase taxes.

In second place is Iceland at 14 percent electric, and in third place, Andorra at 5.6 percent. Although the United States has the most motor vehicles per 1,000 people, only 1.1 percent of them are electric.

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3. Which U.S. states are winning the EV race? 🏎️

California, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Georgia — in that order. Those states have more than two EVs registered per 1,000 people.

On the flip side of the coin, Mississippi is dead last with one EV for every 6,667 people. Arkansas, West Virginia, and Louisiana aren’t far behind.

EV registrations within a state are influenced by a variety of factors, including state and local incentive programs, charging infrastructure, and fuel pricing.

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4. Who’s who in the EV biz?

Perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise, but over 90 percent of Tesla’s manufactured vehicles are electric. This number dwarfs the second place company, China’s Zhidou (31 percent), and third place BYD Auto (12 percent), also of China.

Other notable electric producers include BMW (0.7 percent), Nissan (0.6 percent), and General Motors (0.3 percent).

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5. Tesla’s slide in European markets

Tesla’s sales fell in several European countries in early 2018.

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A blend of stiffer competition, like Porsche’s all-electric Taycan (pictured below), and a lack of significant rebates, contributed to the downturn.

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan, the first battery-powered car from the iconic German sports car maker.

Jaguar is also delivering its new and (relatively) affordable I-Pace, an all-electric sport-utility vehicle, seen as direct competition to Tesla.

“The data from both IHS and regional transportation departments is not reflective of actual sales data,” Tesla countered (Behrmann and Kehnscherper, Bloomberg, 2018).

6. What does it cost to charge an EV? 💰

Average retail electricity prices have gradually ticked upward over the past several decades. During 2017, the average price for one kilowatt hour of electricity was about 11 cents — although there is significant regional variability. Prices even change depending on the time of day.

Every EV has a kWh/100 mile figure. Take the Nissan Leaf for instance: 29. Simple math tells us that it would cost $3.19 to travel 100 miles (29*11).

However, the cost of electricity is based on the rates set by utility companies, and typically, the more you use, the more you pay. Therefore, you might find yourself paying much more than the national average to charge your EV.

You’d be better off juicing up the battery at the mall during your lunch break!

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7. EV batteries have become much less expensive

Despite how pricey it is to charge them, lithium-ion batteries used in EVs have been dramatically cheaper. From 2009 to 2017, the average price had decreased from $1,000 per kWh to $209 per kWh. For EVs to become cost-competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles, the price needs to reach approximately $100 per kWh, which isn’t far off.

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8. China is the lithium ion battery powerhouse

The Tesla Gigafactory 1, based in Sparks, Nevada, in the U.S., will not only be the world’s biggest lithium ion battery plant when construction finishes — but possibly the biggest building in the world, full stop.

Tesla’s Gigafactory 1, Sparks, Nevada, USA [image source]

Despite that impressive feat, China is still expected to dominate EV battery production over the next decade.

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9. and 10. Which countries offer the most charging ports?

In 2017, France was the king of EV charge points 🥇

A whopping 11,987 additional charge points were installed in the country, which was 4,050 more than Germany, which came in second.

The remainder of the top 10 included many European countries: U.K., Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Italy, Belgium, and Sweden, in that order.

Canada followed in 10th place with 1,070 charge points installed during 2017.

By 2020, The City of Montreal, where Plotly is based, will have a network of 1,000 charging stations of its own, with a price tag of $10 million. In our next post, we’ll explore how Montreal and the province of Quebec are promoting EV use.

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Tesla’s “Supercharger network” accounts for 1,317 chargers globally. This particular charger gives the Tesla Model S one hundred and seventy miles of range in just 30 minutes and a full charge in 75 minutes.

Tesla vehicle charging station, Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand

In our next post, we’ll look at how Plotly’s home base of Quebec, Canada, is trying to make it easier for drivers to go electric ⚡️