December sales stats for Japan won’t be available until the end of this month, but the count from 2009 through November 2013 of over 68,000 battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles puts it firmly in second place.
Japan evenly matches the U.S. with 0.53 units per 1000 people, but its population is of course smaller, with over 127.1 million people.
Market share is 0.85 percent of all passenger vehicles sold in Japan – in qualified terms.
For the 0.85 percent estimate, sales counted are for 2,872,111 new cars. However, in Japan they have tiny kei cars, and adding these in brings the registered fleet to 5,375,513, lowering the share to 0.45. We are going with the higher number to stay more apples-to apples with other nations.
Japan is a major manufacturing base for cars like the Nissan Leaf, home also to Honda and Toyota which are also at work on plug-in and other advanced electrified technologies.
The perceived need for these products and industry drivers are similar in kind in Japan.