Electric Car Sales Are Up Over 70 Percent In Europe And The United States

CREDIT: AP / Rick Bowmer

A Nissan Leaf charging in Portland, OR.

Electric cars are doing well across the pond: sales have jumped 77 percent in Europe from where they were at this point last year.

EV Obsession was able to pull the numbers for European countries as a whole from the monthly electric car and plug-in hybrid sales numbers put out by Avere France. That allowed them to tease out the sales for the first half of 2014 versus the first half of 2013.

The expansion was primarily driven by Norway, which saw its sales increase 302 percent, from 2,373 in the first half of 2013 to 9,550 in 2014. France actually dropped about 12 percent over the same period, but that still left it with a strong 6,405 EV sales for 2014 so far. Germany also saw a 78 percent jump to 4,230 sales, and the United Kingdom increased 120 percent to hit 2,570 sales.


CREDIT: EV Obsession

The Nissan Leaf’s 7,109 sales represented the top rank of electric cars sold, followed by Tesla’s Model S with 5,330 sales, and the Renault Zoe at 3,669 sales. Norway pulled in over 3,000 of the Tesla Model S sales, while over 1,600 of the Renault Zoe sales were concentrated in France.

Here in the United States, sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids reached a cumulative total of 64,996 in July of this year, almost 75 percent over where they were in July of 2013. In October of 2013, U.S. sales had only jumped 30 percent from where they were at that point in 2012.

The Chevrolet Volt is currently selling for $34,000 in America, and can drop well into the $20,000s when the federal tax credit is added in. The Nissan Leaf was already down below $30,000 in 2013, and the tax credit could drive it under $20,000. Tesla is hoping its upcoming gigafactory will drive down the cost of its batteries enough that it can also compete in the average consumer electric car market, by releasing a new model that will sell for $35,000 — and presumably in the high $20,000s with the tax credit.

The bad news is electric cars and plug-in hybrids still make up an extremely small slice of the U.S. auto market (around half a percent of total sales), not to mention the world auto market. A recent report by the International Energy Agency suggested three-fourths of global automobile sales will need to be in electric cars or plug-in hybrids by 2050 if the transportation sector is to do its part to kept the world’s average temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius.