Electric Car Statistics in the US and Abroad

It’s 2020 and electric cars are paving the way to a healthier planet. Join the revolution by checking these most essential EV statistics both in the US and abroad.

Imagine being in your gas-powered vehicle, sitting in traffic or waiting to pull away from the lights. You might not notice the damaging greenhouse gas that your car emits but the results can still be felt across the globe. Enter climate change. Nevertheless, thanks to electric cars, there’s still some hope left for the planet. 

What’s more, as our electric car statistics are going to show, this new market is slowly but surely picking up speed. Apart from being environmentally-friendly, electric vehicles are surprisingly cheaper to drive than traditional, fossil-fuel cars. Hence, it isn’t surprising that this new breed of cars is becoming a common sight in the US as well as in other parts of the world. 

Now, this begs the question: how many electric cars are there in the world? Well, the latest figures show that there are over 5.6 million electric vehicles worldwide — a staggering 64% increase (2.2 million EVs) in 2018 saw the total number of EVs rise from 3.4 million to 5.6 million.

So, read on if you want to find out more about market shares, sales, and the general usage of electric cars both in the US and abroad.

↓ Jump to US EV Car Sales and Market Share by State (Map) ↓

Electric Car Statistics and Facts (Editor’s Pick)

  • China took the plug-in vehicle market by storm with 645,000 units sold in the first half of 2019. 
  • By 2024, the electric vehicle charging station market is expected to reach a CAGR of 38%.
  • In 2018, the US saw one million registered electric cars on the road.
  • By 2030, there will be around 4 million EVs in California alone. 
  • Electric vehicles are less likely to roll over than conventional ones during crashes.

Electric Car Statistics Worldwide

  1. China is the largest growth contributor to global plug-in sales 

In the first half of 2019, EV sales in China increased by a whopping 66%. Europe, on the other hand, is still being held back by tight inventories with a growth rate of 35%, whereas in the US, the growth rate was around 22%. 

Source: EV-Volumes

  1. Norway has the largest EV usage of all countries

58% of new car sales in Norway were electrically chargeable in the first half of 2019. Iceland takes second place with 18%, followed by Sweden with an 11% EV market share

Source: EV-Volumes

  1. The US sold 328,118 electric cars in 2018 

This translates to a 75% year-over-year increase which proves that the US is indeed driving the mass adoption of electric vehicles. Data also shows that Californians, in particular, are interested in EVs, contributing a massive 153,442 EV sales in 2018. 

Source: EVAdoption

  1. By 2024, the electric vehicle charging station market is expected to reach a CAGR of 38%

A lot of people are skeptical of the benefits of electric cars; the fact that there’s a gas station situated every few miles (which cannot be said for EV charging stations) only adds to this notion. However, as the global EV sales increase in number, this too will change. As of now, there are more than 57,000 charging outlets and 20,000 charging stations in the US alone.     

Source: BusinessWire

  1. By 2030, there will be around 4 million EVs in California alone 

The growing number of charging outlets and plug-in power stations have greatly contributed to the boom of EVs. What’s more, thanks to faster charging and more efficient batteries, long-distance travel is now more viable in the US. Hence, if this electric car sales trend continues, Californians can expect to see some 4 million EVs on the road 10 years from now. 

As illustrated on the map below, California is not the only state in the US that is welcoming the idea of using EVs over traditional, fossil-fuel vehicles; there’s a noticeable spike in EV usage in New York, Washington, Florida, and Texas as well.

Source: Statista

US EV Car Sales and Market Share by State

A map showing the number of EV car sales and market share by state in the USA

US Electric Car Statistics

  1. Tesla is the major contributing factor to the market growth of EVs in the US

In 2017, Tesla sold nearly 140,000 of its Model 3s. The following year became even more profitable for the company as they threw Model S and Model X into the mix. All in all, Tesla had over 50% market share of the total number of plug-in sales in the US in 2018.  

Source: Interesting Engineering

  1. Toyota Camry aced the list of top 5 best-selling EVs in the US 

Surprisingly, Tesla wasn’t the number one best-selling EV in the US despite having a huge amount of sales. Our Tesla electric car statistics show that the Tesla Model 3 sat at 4th place based on December 2018 sales data. Toyota Camry snatched the top spot, followed by Honda Accord and Honda Civic. 

Source: Clean Technica

  1. In 2018, the US saw one million registered electric cars on the road 

The US started pursuing the EV market in 2011. Although the one million-mark is fascinating, it’s clear that the country is progressing at a much slower pace compared to the leader of the pack — China.

Source: Scientific American

Electric Vehicle Sales By Year 

The table below shows the global plug-in sales from 2015–2019. The “Other” category includes over 30 countries in Africa, America, Asia/Oceania, and the Middle East.

2015 (Units) 2016 (Units) 2017 (Units) 2018 H1 (Units) 2019 H1 (Units)
China  190,000  351,000  606,000  388,000  645,000 
Japan 25,000  22,000  56,000  27,000  23,000 
Europe  196,000  222,000  308,000  194,000  261,000 
USA 115,000  157,000  200,00  122,000  149,000 
Other 20,000  23,000  55,000  44,000  55,000 
  1. China took the plug-in vehicle market by storm with approximately 645,000 units sold in the first half of 2019 alone

(EV-Volumes) 

According to China electric car statistics, the Sleeping Giant remains unchallenged in terms of plug-in vehicle sales. The strong EV adoption in China is said to be the result of climate concerns. The country wants EVs to account for about 20% of the annual new vehicle sales by 2025 — hence why it’s adding restrictions on the sale and overall production of fossil-fuel vehicles.     

  1. By 2030, Japan will see an estimated 210,000 EVs on the road out of a projected total of five million cars sold 

(Japan Times) 

Electric car sales statistics show that EV adoption in Japan has been somewhat slow (to say the least). In 2016, there were only 22,000 units sold, revealing that Japanese people don’t really consider environmental factors when it comes to discretionary spending. Government incentives may have pushed people to buy more electric cars, yet, without them, sales would have been significantly lower. 

Other concerns that hinder the Japanese to embrace electric cars include cost and inconvenience; they still prefer gasoline-powered cars in terms of practicality.

Electric Car Usage Statistics 

  1. California’s air-quality standards are driving the increasing US sales of EVs

California has a set of laws and incentives for EV users within the state; the most popular thus far is the provision of rebates for the replacement of vehicle components for electric and hybrid cars. Nine other states have also adopted the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards and this is also expected to contribute to the electric car sales growth in America.    

Source: Consumer Reports

  1. 70% of US drivers are on the road for less than 60 miles every weekday

Electric cars such as the Fiat 500e, the Ford Focus Electric, and Tesla Model S have a higher range than this number. This only means that EVs can be relied on for daily commute. 

Source: Arcadia

  1. Not all electric vehicles you see on the road are the same

Fun fact: there are three main types of electric vehicles. 

The first ones are called Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) which have rechargeable batteries and no gasoline engine — Tesla cars are a perfect example of this according to EV statistics

The second type is the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). This EV type can recharge its batteries by “plugging in” to an external source of electrical power. A popular example of this would be the Fiat 500e. 

Lastly, there’s the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) category, powered by both gasoline and electricity. Namely, Toyota Camry is a good example of this EV type, as hybrid and electric car statistics reveal.     

Source: Arcadia & EVgo

  1. 10% of American EV buyers are in the 25–34 age group 

The younger generations are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental benefits of EVs, yet the huge price of these vehicles is still getting in the way. As electric cars become more commonplace, the cost gap between electric and conventional models will shrink considerably. 

Source: CNBC

  1. Nissan Leaf could be a viable option for budget cars with a starting cost of just $29,990, electric cars statistics reveal.

Note that this price could get even lower when the $7,500 federal tax credit is factored in. If you’re planning to go green, it’s best to check your state’s tax credit first to save some cash. An auto loan is also an option if the budget is too tight.  

Source: EnergySage

Car Model  2019 Base Price 
Nissan Leaf S $29,990 
Volkswagen e-Golf $31,895 
Tesla Model 3  $35,000
Chevrolet Bolt EV  $37,500   
BMW i3  $44,450 
Jaguar I-Pace S $70,495
Audi e-tron (Premium Plus) $74,800
Tesla Model S $80,200 
Tesla Model X $84,990 

Electric Car Safety Statistics

  1. Electric vehicles are less likely to roll over than conventional ones during crashes

EVs are known for having a lower center of gravity than traditional cars, making them less likely to roll over while improving the overall ride experience. However, the silent operation of electric cars remains a concern as it could be a threat to pedestrians. 

Source: Energy.Gov

  1. Electric vehicles undergo rigorous safety testing and are required to meet the same safety standards as traditional cars 

Good news for electric car owners: statistics show that there are EV-specific standards in the US that have to be met. These cover chemical spillage from batteries, electric shock prevention, and securing batteries during a crash.

Source: Energy.Gov 

  1. The Tesla Model X was recently involved in an EV fire incident in Pittsburgh

Back in April 2019, a Tesla Model X SUV burned down after it was towed to a repair shop in Pittsburgh; the firefighters dealt with the blaze for four hours. The exact cause of the fire remains unknown.

Source: Business Insider

Electric Cars and The Insurance Industry

Electric cars are undoubtedly a great investment if you’re looking to go green. Nevertheless, when looking at recent electric car statistics and reports, it seems that insuring an electric vehicle is more costly than getting coverage for a gas-powered one. Two possible reasons — firstly, EVs are a lot more expensive than conventional cars, hence insuring them would naturally be pricey; secondly, EVs would cost more to repair considering their sophisticated battery technology and other advanced components.

Still, getting car insurance doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank either. There are ways to cut costs and you can start by comparing multiple carriers and considering discounts as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What percentage of cars are electric?

On a global scale, only 1 in 250 cars on the road is electric. Meaning, electric vehicles account for only 2.2% of the global vehicle market share. Meanwhile, in the US, plug-in electric cars account for less than 2% of the vehicle market. Based on these statistics, the transition to electric cars is clear but the speed of adoption remains debatable. 

Source: Quartz 

2. How many people own electric cars?

In 2018, there were a million electric cars on US roads. As the annual sale of EVs reaches the 1.4-million mark by 2025, there will be more than 18 million electric cars in the US alone. By that time, every EV owner will expect to charge their vehicles at home and outdoors — hence why the demand for a more robust charging infrastructure will grow as well. 

Source: EEI 

3. Which country uses the most electric cars?

Although China is leading the electric car market in terms of unit sales, Norway leads the race in overall EV ownership. With a 49.14% share for plug-in EVs, it is safe to say that Norway is truly a haven for electric car owners. By 2025, the Norwegian government aims to have all cars with zero emissions; this seems achievable seeing the continuous EV car sales growth in the country.  

Source: Silicon Republic

4. Is an electric car worth it?

Electric cars have their pros and cons. True enough, they can be a worthy investment if you want to go easy on the environment. The fact that electricity is cheaper than gasoline also makes EVs appealing. 

However, factors such as charging time, miles of range, and the availability of charging stations may cause you to think twice about owning an EV. Yet, if you don’t mind charging a car between 4 to 15 hours and you rarely go over 300 miles a day, EVs might just be the perfect fit for you. 

Source: Earth911 

5. Which electric car is the cheapest?

Some electric car statistics show that the 2018 Ford Focus is the cheapest at $29,200. However, with an EPA range of 115 miles, it may not be a good option for those who travel longer and more frequently. In this case, The Tesla Model 3 would be a much better option, available from $35,000 with an EPA range of 220 miles. After tax-credit it will cost around $31,000. 

Source: Santander Consumer USA

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