Electric vehicles go up by 60 percent worldwide in 2016


The number of electric cars on the roads around the world rose by 60 percent year-on-year to 2 million in 2016, following a year of strong growth in 2015, according to the latest edition of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Global Electric Vehicles Outlook on Wednesday.

The report says that China remained the largest market in 2016, accounting for more than 40 percent of the electric vehicles (EV) sold in the world.

"Between 9 and 20 million electric car could be deployed by 2020, and between 40 and 70 million by 2025, according to estimates based on recent statement from carmakers," according to the IEA.

The report also states that the electric car market is set to transition from early deployment to mass-market adoption over the next decade or so.

With more than 200 million electric two-wheelers and more than 300,000 electric buses, China is by far the global leader in the electrification of transport.

China, the U.S. and Europe made up the three main markets, which totaled over 90 percent of all EVs sold around the world.

The report also highlights that electric car deployment in some markets is swift.

"In Norway, electric cars had a 29 percent market share last year, the highest globally, followed by the Netherlands with 6.4 percent, and Sweden with 3.4 percent," the report says.

EVs, however, only made up 0.2 percent of total passenger light-duty vehicles in circulation in 2016.

"They have a long way to go before reaching numbers capable of making a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. In order to limit temperature increases to below 2°C by the end of the century, the number of electric cars will need to reach 600 million by 2040," according to IEA's Energy Technology Perspectives which also added that strong policy support will be necessary to keep EVs on track.

Support has come from four major U.S. cities - Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Portland. These cities are leading a partnership of over 30 cities to mass-purchase EVs for their public fleets including police cruisers, street sweepers and trash haulers. The group is currently seeking to purchase over 110,000 EVs - a significant number when compared to the 160,000 total EVs sold in the U.S. in 2016.

The report offers a comprehensive collection of national-level data on EV deployment based on primary data collected from member governments of the Electric Vehicle Initiative (EVI).

The report also indicates that clear and ambitious policy support is vital to keeping the growth of EVs on track with IEA low-carbon scenarios, to improve urban air quality, and diversify transport energy sources.

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