These countries are leading the way to an electric vehicle revolution

Countries worldwide are taking an aggressive stance in order to expedite the transition to electric vehicles. Yet automakers are moving slowly — the Big Three in Detroit are taking a wait-and-see approach with vehicle electrification. And Germany's finest are also dragging their feet. One automaker is leading the way. According to The Telegraph*, "Tesla, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, announced that its ‘budget’ Model 3 electric car went on sale earlier this month. This is the first Tesla car targeted for the mass market as it comes with a much more affordable [$35,000 USD] price tag."


Above: Tesla's Model X and Model S have set the stage for its new Model 3 (Instagram: autos_design)

Tesla can't overhaul the industry all by itself. That said, worldwide EV growth is encouraging, "as many governments look to cut down their carbon emissions. The production level of electric cars has increased in line with the growing demand. In 2016, there are more than two million electric cars on the roads globally. The number marked 1,500pc growth since 2005, when there were slightly more than 1,000 of them... Sales of electric vehicles reached a new record in 2016, with 750,000 new electric vehicles being sold worldwide."

Above: Total number of electric cars reached two million units worldwide in 2016 (Source: The Telegraph* via IEA)

Norway remains the worldwide leader (by market share) in electric cars: "Norway is currently the leader in deploying electric vehicles successfully in its car market. Almost a third of cars sold in 2016 in the country are electric. In one of its cities, Bergen, electric cars have an almost 50pc market share of the year's sales." 


Above: Norway leads the world in terms of electric vehicle market share (Source: The Telegraph* via IEA)

Norway's commitment to EV progress is unparalleled worldwide: "Norway’s success boils [down] to generous subsidies provided by the government. The country first introduced big incentives for electric cars in the 1990s. Electric car-driving Norwegians enjoy exemptions from purchasing taxes, no charges on toll roads, free parking and access to public bus lanes."


Above: An inside look at the influx of Tesla vehicles throughout Norway (Youtube: Vox)

Major change is also happening in China: "China, the biggest car market in the world, accounts for almost half of the [EV] sales figure in 2016. The country sold a total of 336,000 electric cars in the year... [and] China currently has the highest number of electric cars in the world. About 650,000 electric vehicles are on its roads, representing about a third of the world’s total. It has overtaken the US since 2014 to have the most number of electric vehicles."

Above: China is the biggest electric car market, by volume, in the world (Source: The Telegraph* via IEA)

India is joining China in setting aggressive EV targets: "China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has said it wants alternative fuel vehicles to account for at least one-fifth of its 35 million annual vehicle sales projected by 2025. India is mulling even more radical action, with plans to support electrifying all vehicles in the country by 2032... [which] would mean India needs to sell 10 million electric cars in 2030."

Above: Electric vehicle sales targets set by China and India are the most aggressive (Source: The Telegraph* via IEA)

The UK and France are also moving to the forefront of the EV movement: "The UK Government has committed to banning the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to switch to electric and hybrid vehicles. The Committee on Climate Change, an independent advisory body, has previously said that electric cars should make up at least 60pc of new cars and vans sold in the UK... [and] France will outlaw the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, its new environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, has announced."

Above: The UK and France are two of the latest countries setting goals to ban the sales of petrol and diesel cars (Source: The Telegraph* via IEA)

So what would it take for electric cars to become mainstream? "Various experts estimate that demand for electric cars will accelerate, with many revising their forecast figures upwards in 2016. Both Exxon Mobil and BP raised their forecast to 100 million electric cars by 2040 and 2035 respectively from their previous figures. The International Energy Agency more than doubled its base-case electric car forecast for 2030. OPEC also revised its forecast to 266 million electric cars in 2040, almost sixfold the estimate of 46 million in the year prior." And with new rumors emerging that the European Union may consider a unified electric car mandate, the future continues to look increasingly bright for zero emissions transport.


*Source: The Telegraph via IEA