Globally, plug-in electric car sales (including plug-in hybrid sales) will hit 1 million next month, September 2015.
Global sales reached ~910,000 at the end of June, and with ~40,000 plug-in sales globally each month now, that makes September practically a given for the 1 million marker. These million sales have basically come in the last 5 years. Sales grew 729% in 2011 compared to 2010, then 150% in 2012 (from ~50,000 cars a year to ~110,000 cars a year , then nearly 100% in 2013 (to ~200,000 cars a year), then ~50% in 2014 (to ~300,000 cars a year). The expectation is that 2015 will see about 430,000 plug-in car sales worldwide.
As shown in a great infographic the other day*, the clear leaders in terms of total sales are the US, China, and Japan. However, on a percentage of total car sales basis or per GDP basis, the leaders shift to Norway, the Netherlands, and Iceland. While the US is far in the lead in terms of cumulative electric car sales, Europe and China have now passed it in terms of monthly sales.
Of course, some countries are seeing very fast growth in 2015. Jeff Cobb notes, “five nations had sales growth over 50 percent [in 2014]. These are the UK (247.2 percent), China (185.8 percent), France (86.7 percent ), Germany (67.3 percent ) and Norway (66.4 percent).”
This is all just cars, though. One country is flying forward in terms of electric heavy-duty vehicles as well. That country would be China. Mario R. Duran, who tracks global sales, “China is the absolute king in heavy-duty PEV sales, with over 22,000 during the first half of 2015, and 53.7K cumulative sales.” The country is quickly rolling out electric BYD buses, among other things. And other countries are slowly starting to follow suit, most notably the UK, which just ordered 51 BYD electric buses and aims to have all of London’s single-deck buses be completely emissions-free by 2020.
*Note some discrepancy in that and the numbers above, particularly what seems to be a typo/chart error for 2012 — probably meant to be 120,000.