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Chinese cities lead the world in EV uptake, Europe lags behind - ICCT report

Wed 31 October 2018 | Back to news list

A new briefing from the International Council in Clean Transportation (ICCT) shows that Chinese cities are leading the way in terms of the numbers of electric vehicles in operation. Nearly half of the world's 3.1m EVs (end-2017) were in 25 cities. European cities lag behind; London is in 17th place behind Paris (15th) and Oslo (5th).
 
The briefing provides an update on the cities around the world with the largest electric vehicle markets. It focuses on 25 metropolitan areas which each have seen over 20,000 electric vehicle sales through 2017. In addition to analysing the electric vehicle sales and charging infrastructure in these markets, the briefing identifies and discusses the unique policies, actions, and programs in place that have enabled success in particular locations.
 
The briefing concludes that:
  • Nearly half of the world’s electric vehicles are in 25 cities. As of the end of 2017, these 25 cities were home to nearly 1.4 million of the world’s 3.1 million passenger electric vehicles. These 25 cities, representing just 12% of world passenger vehicle sales, account for 44% of the world’s cumulative electric vehicle sales through 2017. 
  • The electric vehicle market is accelerating, with China leading the way. Global electric vehicle sales increased by more than 50% from 2016, to about 1.2 million in 2017. Major cities like Beijing and Shanghai have implemented strong policies not found outside China, including large incentives and licensing and registration privileges for electric vehicles, to simultaneously tackle congestion and air quality. Other leading markets in Europe and the United States have similar but less extensive versions of the incentives and policy approaches of China.
  • The top electric markets are beginning to solve the infrastructure challenge. Charging infrastructure buildout is key driver to the growth of the EV market. Multi-faceted strategies are used to spur infrastructure investment, such as adopting building and parking codes to ensure broad access to charging over the longer term. The top 25 electric vehicle markets have, on average, about 24 times the available charging per capita as elsewhere. However, charging availability varies greatly among leading markets. 
  • A comprehensive policy package is necessary to launch the electric market. Nearly all global electric vehicles (98%) are in China, Europe, Japan, and the United States, which have regulations to ensure electric vehicle model availability, incentives to reduce vehicle price, infrastructure to ensure convenience, and campaigns to educate consumers. Comprehensive local-level policies are also a distinguishing feature of top electric vehicle markets. Although Beijing and Shanghai have uniquely strong electric vehicle licensing policies, many cities in China, Europe, and the United States provide substantial financial and non-financial perks. 

To see the full briefing, visit this link.

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