The total number of electric cars in Europe has reached the million mark, after sales increased by more than 40 percent in the first half of the year, said a report published by EV-Volumes, a database of electric vehicle sales.
About 195,000 plug-in vehicles were sold in Europe during the first half of 2018, 42 percent higher than for the same period of 2017. These include all Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV), passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
With this trend, the total number of European plug-in vehicles is expected to reach 1.35 million by the end of this year, according to the report.
Norway still leads the European country ranking as 36,500 plug-ins were sold in the first half of 2018.
The report expects 84,000 plug-in sales in Norway by the end of the year, a share of 45 percent in the country’s market of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
However, Germany might overtake Norway by the end of 2018 for total sales.
Europe hit the landmark of a million plug-ins about a year after China, but ahead of the United States, which is expected to reach the target later this year.
“A stock of one million electric vehicles is an important milestone on the road to electrification and meeting emission targets but it is of course not enough,” said Viktor Irle, a market analyst of EV-Volumes.
According to a study published in March by the German branch of the strategy consultancy McKinsey, the number of new electric car registrations across the world rose to 1.2 million in 2017.
More than 600,000 electric cars were newly-registered in China alone, marking a year-on-year increase of 72 percent from 2016.
Electric mobility also made inroads in the traditionally more diesel- and petroleum heavy German automotive market.
The number of electric registrations, including Plug-in-Hybrids, in Germany doubled to 58,000 in 2017. The new hybrid technology combines conventional petroleum-fuelled motors with a battery-powered electric motor which enables motorists to charge their vehicles with regular power outlets.
According to McKinsey, Asia still remains the dominant producer of electric vehicles with 41 percent of total cars manufactured in China and 19 percent manufactured in Japan. Germany only came third in the list with a global market share of 18 percent.
The study attributed China’s technological lead to the prior enactment of a legally-binding national quota for New Energy Vehicles (NEVs), as well as more generous subsidies for consumers buying electric vehicles (40 percent of the sales price in China vs. 20 percent in Germany).
As a consequence, Chinese consumers could choose from a globally unparalleled array of almost 100 different types of NEVs.