Electric cars growing 100% every year (graphs)

EV growth

Actually, electric car sales are growing a bit more than 100%.

Many of us quite familiar with electric cars believe they will "disrupt" the automobile industry, replacing gasmobiles just as cell phones replaced landlines and smartphones replaced first-generation cell phones. Electric cars are simply much better... in numerous ways.

As manufacturing has gotten rolling and costs of lithium-ion batteries have fallen (quite sharply), overall costs for electric cars have dropped down to commercially competitive levels. In the US, you can now buy 11 plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars for under $30,000, which is less than the average new car now. There are similar stories in Europe, Japan, and China.

Furthermore, operating costs are several times lower than with gas- or diesel-powered cars, electric cars drive much more quietly and smoothly, and their acceleration is much greater. Then there are other things that appeal to many consumers: electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions, they help tremendously to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and they cut our addiction to oil, improving national energy security.

For these reasons and more, electric car registrations around the world have been growing by over 100% a year the past few years.

As you can see in the graph below, there were approximately 25,000 battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and extended-range electric vehicles registered globally at the end of 2010, then approximately 80,000 at the end of 2011, then approximately 200,000 at the end of 2012, and then approximately 405,000 at the end of 2013.

Electric vehicles growth© ZSW

Such growth is the sign of a disruptive technology. In my opinion, an electric vehicle revolution is just beginning.

Clearly, the leading EV manufacturer at the moment is Nissan (see graph at top), thanks to the world-leading Nissan LEAF. Though, GM/Opel and Toyota aren't too far behind. Furthermore, Tesla has seen fast growth and is still "supply limited" rather than "demand limited," meaning that it is still working to get its manufacturing output up to consumer demand. And it plans to ramp up production capacity enough by 2020 to be able to sell a much more affordable electric car with similar specs to its highly acclaimed Model S.

BMW and VW have just recently jumped into the electric car scene and have some cars selling relatively well, so expect to see their position jump at the end of 2014.

Will 2014 registrations double again? I'm not sure, but they will certainly continue the industry's fast growth.

Have you bought an electric car yet?

Electric cars growing 100% every year (graphs)
Actually, a bit more than 100%.

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