Which countries and companies are poised to win the electric car race?

Electric cars are on a collision course with the status quo. Oilprice just published an article titled, Electric Vehicles And The 5 Trillion Dollar Market Transition, in which Peter Tertzakian writes, "There is little debate in my mind that big changes are forthcoming... When it comes to oil and autos, big is a word that is not big enough. Transitioning not one, but two of the largest industries in the world simultaneously is unprecedented. Both have multi-trillion-dollar roots" and the stakes are high.


Above: Tesla's Model S (Instagram: pixersring)

That said, who's poised to win this epic vehicle electrification race? Which countries and carmakers are best positioned? It turns out that there's a company trying to figure all this out. Quartz reports that, "AlixPartners, a global business advisory firm, launched a new index this month to track the progress of companies and countries electrifying their vehicle fleets. As a whole, the world is barely off the starting line." Ladies and gentlemen, start your... ummm, batteries.


Above: AlixPartners' Marcus Kleinfeld and Jens Haas discuss global changes impacting electric vehicle adoption (Youtube: AlixPartners, LLP)

First, which automaker is leading the electric race towards the future? No surprise here — Tesla is clearly the company that's all-in on EVs. "Tesla leads the world in devoting its entire lineup to electric vehicles, but... China’s market, split among dozens of EV manufacturers, has also seen several manufacturers make EVs a centerpiece of their lineup... The rest of the field will have to play catch up. Behind Tesla and eight Chinese companies, BMW brings up the rear with 0.7% share of is vehicles as EV in the second quarter of 2017."

Above: Electric vehicle share of each automakers volume in Q2 2017 (Chart: Quartz via AlixPartners)

Next, which country is out front on the world's EV stage? According to AlixPartners, China's electric cars are really racking up the miles. And, "what ultimately matters [most] is miles. For electric cars to dent emissions and fossil fuel consumption, the cars must displace conventional vehicles. To measure this potential, AlixPartners summed the total electric battery range of all hybrid and EVs sold. It found that China leads the pack with total potential range of 13 million miles for all-electric vehicles, nearly triple the US, its nearest contender." That said, there's a big opportunity for automakers that sell their electric cars in China, especially Tesla.  


Above: China sells the most electric range capacity for e-cars in the world (Chart: Quartz via AlixPartners)

Not surprisingly, Tesla is looking to establish a wholly-owned factory in Shanghai in order to take advantage of this fast-growing customer base in the Chinese electric car market. It turns out that China is also the world leader for electric car registrations. In fact, "China seized the lead [from the U.S.] in 2014, and shows no signs of slowing. It is growing at twice the global average rate of 42% per year, according to Fleetcarma, despite being the world’s largest market. Globally, China accounted for 45% of all EV sales last year." 


Above: China is leading the world in the number of new EV registrations (Chart: Quartz via AlixPartners)

So China is the winning country in the worldwide electric car race, right? Not so fast. "No country has done more (on a per capita basis) than Norway to go electric. In September, all-electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for a record 60% of new car sales, reports the Financial Times (paywall).... [and] those numbers are still rising fast thanks to generous subsidies and incentive policies. The country is aiming for zero emissions of all new cars by 2025. Even AlixPartners’ analysis which excludes hybrids and EVs with ranges below 311 miles (500 km)—most of the country’s EVs still have less than 400 km range—Norway is leading the way."


Above: When analyzing electric vehicles as share of total sold, by country, Norway tops the charts (Chart: Quartz via AlixPartners)

So depending on how you look at it, Norway and China are leading the world (via different metrics) toward an exciting, electric vehicle future. And, although China has a number of fast-growing electric automakers, AlixPartners concludes, "Tesla Inc. is by far the top-ranking manufacturer in the auto-company measures, with sales in the second quarter of 2017 (the most recent quarter measured in the Index) totalling 6.6 million miles’ (10.6 million kilometers’) worth of e-range and with a fleet e-share of 100%."


Source: Quartz via AlixPartners