The number of electric cars sold worldwide hit a record lvel of 750,000 last year, bringing the total number of electric vehicles driving on the roads around the globe to 2 million.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), which complied the data, attributes the rise to a number of factors which also include lower prices, longer battery life, and the increased deployment of charging points.
China, the US and Europe accounted for more than 90% of electric vehicle sales last year, with China the single biggest market, according to research by the International Energy Agency.
Thanks to very aggressive policies from Chinese federal and local governments, the country has gone from 100,000 electric cars on roads in 2014 to 650,000 just two years later. Chinese electric-car buyers can be exempted from certain taxes, and can get waivers from license plate restrictions.
In some European countries, growth has been so fast that electric cars are taking significant market share from petrol and diesel cars.
In a sure sign of the electric vehicle market’s prominence, last month Tesla announced it is to double its charge network ahead of the release of its Model 3 – its first mass-market electric car.
Chris Lilly, content manager at Next Green Car points out that although the number of plug-in cars on the road is relatively small, growth has been “rapid”, and he expects things to continue at pace.
He also notes that the UK has become one of the most important markets for the progressive vehicles.
“The rate of progress in the EV market has been astonishing, and we are on the verge of a true second-generation of EVs due in the next year or so,” he added.
“Despite this, there has been regular and rapidly rolled-out powertrain development, with the likes of the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Renault Zoe, and VW e-Golf all seeing significant increases in range in the past year or so.”