Electric Vehicle Sales Break Through One Million Barrier Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Sep, 26 2015 | 3 Comments

There’s now one million electric vehicles potentially travelling the world’s roads, according to reports out of the US, with sales passing the significant milestone last month.

Some may lay dormant, some may have been written off and replaced (even with fossil fuel-powered vehicles), but the industry and early adopters will no doubt welcome the arrival of seven-digit sales figures.

The figures, compiled by hybridcars.com, include all-electric and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles that are road-registerable and offered for sale in various markets around the world.

Furthermore, the figures show EV sales have exploded in the last 12 months, with the half-million sales mark chalked up as recently as July last year.

By December last year, the figure was 712,000, meaning around 300,000 units have been sold worldwide in the last eight-and-a-half months.

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S

The official sales tally was 985,000 at the end of August, excluding figures from the Japanese market which were yet to be confirmed, and by the middle of this month the figure had hit 1,004,000.

Breaking the figures down further shows 38 percent of the one million sold were plug-in hybrids while all-electric cars got the lion’s share of sales at 62 percent.

When compared to ‘non plug-in’ hybrids, such as Toyota’s original Prius, EVs took roughly half the time to reach the one-million sales mark since the technology went ‘mainstream’. It’s estimated hybrids passed through the one million-sales barrier in 2007.

The figures also show that EV uptake began to take off around 2010 - the year that both the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet (and Holden) Volt arrived in various high-volume markets.

2016 Nissan Leaf
2016 Nissan Leaf

The Leaf has contributed the most to the one million sales tally, with the Volt in second place. The Renault-Nissan Alliance in June of this year celebrated its 250,000th EV sale, and the Leaf was again the main contributor.

The Tesla Model S is next on the list, followed by the Prius PHEV with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in fifth place.

The rest of the top ten is comprised of the Mitsubishi i-MIEV, China’s BYD Qin, the BMW i3, Renault Zoe and Ford Fusion Energi. Together, the top ten list accounts for 93 percent of EV sales.

US customers are buying more EVs than in any other country, but the report notes President Barack Obama’s goal of seeing one million EVs on US roads alone by the end of this year is going to fall short by around 600,000.

Other countries with strong EV sales include China, Norway, Germany, the UK and France.

MORE: Ultra-Fast Model S P85D Leads Tesla Sales In Australia
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