Top 6 Plug-In Vehicle Adopting Countries

A Half Dozen Countries Leading the World

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It’s been said of the still-new breed of “plug-in vehicles” that the proverbial horses have broken past the gate, there’s no putting them back, and more precisely, during 2013 these “horses” crested past the one-third million global unit mark.

Counting reported registrations and sales of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles since a few came to market as far back as 2003 – and the real game got started in 2010 – a cumulative total of about 380,000 had been delivered as of December.

On the following pages, we’ve compiled a list of the half-dozen countries buying the most of these vehicles.

Together, these countries account for over 353,000 vehicles out of the total – 93 percent of the plug-in electrified vehicle (PEV) stock.

Their counts in cases includes some commercial and low-speed vehicles because some countries lump in data for types of plug-ins other than regular road-going varieties and there is no way to distinguish between these. In other cases, for similar reasons, we have only battery electric cars, and no plug-in hybrids.

As the world approaches 400,000 plug-in vehicles in use, also true is there has been pushback against them, and earlier optimistic projections have been tempered. What is more, the cumulative total is not really a lot compared to tens of millions of conventional cars and trucks sold over the same period.

But it is what it is, and the plug-in market is expanding; many more vehicles are coming, even if it’s not as fast as some proponents would like.

Core motivations behind the push for these advanced gas-electric vehicles include national and regional government regulations. Those reasons plus the underlying environmental and energy concerns that gave rise to mandates – and generally shared sentiment held by consumers – is continuing to spur demand.

Countries which showed the highest rate of growth from 2012 to 2013 were the Netherlands (338 percent), Norway (129 percent), Germany (105 percent) and the U.S. (81 percent).

Despite Germany’s growth however, it yet lags behind in a distant seventh place with only 11,702 plug-in vehicles purchased since 2009. This amounts to 0.14 plug-in vehicles per 1000 people in the premier-automotive manufacturing country of over 80 million people, and Germany’s market share for plug-ins (among the entire passenger vehicle market) is 0.20 percent.

Those countries with the highest market share in 2013 were Norway (5.6 percent), the Netherlands (5.37 percent), France (0.65 percent), Sweden (0.57 percent) and the U.S. (0.62 percent).

As for the actual car brands, names you are likely familiar with are leading the way, but smaller fish also round out the counts. Our HybridCars.com Dashboard shows all sellers in the U.S.

In Europe notable brands include Renault-Nissan, Mitsubishi (and re-badged variants), General Motors’ brands have a growing presence, and Tesla Motors is on the rise also.

But without further deliberation, following are the top six by volume: