By on December 16, 2014


Plug-in vehicles may be doing well as of late in the sales game, but a study by The Research Capsule says their gameplay needs more work.

According to AutoblogGreen, the group says only five countries have sold over 10,000 PEVs in 2014, which are likely the United States, China, Japan, Norway and France, respectively; the report costs $7,000 for a site license, so AutoblogGreen relied on sales blog EV Sales for its information regarding those countries.

The one useful (free) information from the press release focuses on geographic distribution of overall PEV sales. For example, 50 percent of the 100,000-plus plug-ins sold through November in the United States are in California. Meanwhile, Norway adopts technology left and right, while Sweden is still trying to figure out how to flat-pack a PEV for sale at IKEA, with an appropriate all-caps Viking name to match.

As for when things may improve, The Research Capsule forecasts it would take 10 years or more for PEVs to go mainstream, and that only one country “will break 10 percent of all vehicle sales during the coming five years.” The forecast is an extrapolation of one made by the group regarding sales through 2017.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!


37 Comments on “Study: Only Five Countries Sold Over 10K PEVs In 2014...”

  • avatar

    No surprise really. It’s emerging technology that requires some infrastructure to really allow for adoption. Tax breaks help too. I live on the north side of Chicago, and EV’s are common. Teslas, BMW i cars, etc are all over the place. I see probably 6 Teslas alone just on my daily commute. I would expect to see a jump once someone figures out the next battery. Gas at $4/gallon would probably help too.

  • avatar

    Love its nostrils. Should have a ring through them. Or four rings.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    So you’re telling me that there were over 50K PEV sales in the last year alone, right?

    So compare that to 5 years ago. How about 10 years ago? What kind of growth (or deduction) are we seeing?

    Electrics aren’t 100% ready for prime time. I’d say the Tesla S is about 90 to 95% there, but obviously it is just too expensive for most folks. However 10 years ago electrics were impractical for all but a very narrow number of use cases.

    Infrastructure, initial cost, and refueling speed still need to be addressed but I think we’re getting there. Many consider range to be an issue but I think we’re close enough for them to be practical if the infrastructure is there to support it.

    I was ready to pull the trigger on the Honda Fit electic with it’s crazy leasing program but they didn’t offer it in Texas. When I bought my house, I had the garage wired for 220 so it would be ready for the day I do finally get one.

    • 0 avatar

      exactly. when organic food made some huge year over year strides in total sales the industry went nuts and everyone had to have an organic line. never mind that the sales increases of 50% or more totaled to less than 1% of total food sales. getting involved was viewed as cheap and not getting involved was viewed as missing an opportunity.

      pevs are getting better and cheaper and more durable. for as long as they have been around they appeal to a certain portion of the driving public with small commutes, ready access to recharging stations either at home or home and work, a need for a simple transportation vehicle (no hauling), short errands before/after work if at all, and with the income to afford a second vehicle that is new.

      from where i live in a rural northern state that is a pretty narrow slice of the driving public.

      let me add too that weather extremes – very hot or very cold eat into the range. that further reduces the potential client base and that’s why most are sold in fair weather states.

  • avatar

    Saudis are now killing the EV through market manipulation.

    • 0 avatar

      Market manipulation? On the contrary, the oil market is functioning quite normally.

      An increased supply of oil from new extraction methods/locations has caused the price to go down. Continuing weak demand from countries in economic recession adds to this.

      Market manipulation would be if the Saudis pumped less oil than normal, thus artificially constraining supply and supporting higher prices. That would favor EV’s.

      • 0 avatar

        There is no normal for the Saudis, and I am pretty sure they recently announced increased production in spite of weak demand.

        OPEC is a cartel for manipulating the price of oil. The Saudis haven’t produced at capacity for decades. They are currently increasing output to drive down US production and prevent increased shale projects globally.

        The message is that if anyone endangers their market share, they will ruin them by flooding the market (the Standard Oil strategy).

        The return message should be to stop playing games or we stop defending your country. They think we now need them for stability in the region, but really, we no longer need the region. The Europeans should be in the Kingdom promising them protection and fair skinned sex slaves to keep producing, and they probably are. Unfortunately, they really can’t offer much protection.

        The Israelis will likely get burned over this whole thing, as usual.

        • 0 avatar

          Actually, I think you may be wrong that the Saudis are producing at less than full capacity. I think they are producing PRECISELY at full capacity. Today’s full capacity, that is.

          There were articles out a few years back that said that the Saudi oil fields have slowed down, which is normal behavior for traditional oil fields anyhow. They will decline in yield about 10% each year, and even though we “pump” oil out of the ground, it relies on gravity to get to the well in the first place.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s word play. They can triple production profitably with little effort. More if they try.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            ZoomZoom, it’s most likely technically possible to increase production from Saudi oil fields. If those huge oil fields were located in stable North America with multiple competing private companies, more investment to boost production would likely occur. Instead, Saudi oil fields are located in a bad neighborhood with one government oil company in charge of production. Nobody is really sure what Saudi Aramco can or will do.

        • 0 avatar

          Let them pump. We will burn their oil until it’s gone, then we will become the top oil producer as it becomes profitable to pump it again. Once they run out of oil, they are screwed, we at least have other natural resources.

          • 0 avatar

            How about we let some other foreigners manipulate your industry and mess up your job for a few years? No guarantee en the market comes back, if it does, that you get your job back by the way.

            And, enjoy your low oil prices while you can. The whole point of protecting their share is so they can stick it to you later.

            Maybe there is a place for principles?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @Landcrusher: Not so, not yet.

      Cheap oil is killing hybrids – not EVs – because hybrids still require fuel. People don’t buy EVs just to save on gas.

  • avatar

    And the most repulsive styled car of the year award goes to BMW! It’s not only there gameplay that needs more work.

  • avatar

    “while Sweden is still trying to figure out how to flat-pack a PEV for sale at IKEA, with an appropriate all-caps Viking name to match.”

    Ugh. That didn’t fit in this article at all.

    • 0 avatar

      I guess they all can’t be winners.

      • 0 avatar

        I liked it.
        Even though I’ve never been in an IKEA.

        • 0 avatar

          If nothing else, go to the one nearest you for the meatballs and mashed potatoes with gravy on top and lingonberry jam on the side! Pair it with lingonberry soda, too!

          Also: I’ve been to mine a few times, mainly to buy a bed, a nightstand, and a chair. All are holding up thus far!

          • 0 avatar

            Maybe I will, always nice to see new things.

            Though I will say, my mother buys so much high quality-handmade-antique furniture, and ends up giving to me or my siblings, that I have no need to ever buy any furniture other than maybe a couch.
            I ain’t complaining.

          • 0 avatar

            I have been to the one here in northern Cincinnati. It was so overwhelming and large. Not really my kind of furniture, but I was just browsing to see what’s what.

            I didn’t eat there though and it sounds like I should have. I believe I’ve had a cinnamon roll from there which was pretty good.

  • avatar

    I have seen three different i3’s around here lately within the last month. They’re pretty awful looking, but they certainly do stand out from the crowd. I wouldn’t own one in the Mid-west, with no charging points or other EV people to share the warm feelings with whilst driving.

  • avatar

    I still can’t figure out these cars. I was at a BMW /Mini dealer getting my Mini serviced and asked a salesman about the i3 there. It was $50k+ with the gas engine. I opined that I suppose you could just keep filling up the 1 gal. tank if you needed to go further than 120 miles at the time. The sales guy said , “oh no. That won’t work. Once you run to the limit and exhaust to sullemental engine’s 1 gal. you must stop and charge it up which could take 6 hrs if no supercharger was available. That did it for me… walked away. Rich person’s urban toy.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with supercharging on the i3 is that they went with the oddball SAE DC charging plug. Can’t use either Tesla or chademo chargers – so good luck getting a charge. SAE decided they had to invent their own and they are practically non-existent. The top reason I struck the i3 off of my list.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen one of these BMW E-Car thingies driving around a quaint suburb of St. Louis. It was all white. There may or may NOT have been doors on it.

    It was the most bizarre thing. I could almost hear my fellow Missourians gasping in horror. The passengers looked fairly uncomfortable riding in the monstrosity, too.

    It turned out to be some sort of a gimmick or something to draw in the crowds at one of the local dealers.

    In reality, I suppose Muffy could drive it down the mile long driveway down to the gate to get the mail. Otherwise, what the hell…??

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    It’s nonsensical to discuss EV volumes among markets whose size varies by 10 or 20 to 1.

    It only makes sense to discuss sales percentages. Norway leads on that score.

  • avatar

    When the first manufacturer presents a “Leaf-Priced” a PEV with a guaranteed 100-mile (worst case) range for sale, I think they’ll sell a boatload of them. Heck, if I’m still working, I’d consider one myself.

  • avatar

    I guess that my last “salient” comment is being masticated by the system.

    One thing that I haven’t seen is any (wild-ass) speculation on whether the US+European and Saudi govt’s are colluding on this to put the squeeze on Putin; though there is some worldwide financial “churn” as a result.

    • 0 avatar

      The last time the price of oil dropped so dramatically it took the ruble with it. The ruble lost about a third of its value from 1985 to 1988, leading to the collapse of the USSR. In the last six months the ruble lost almost half its value. The math says either Putin goes or Putin goes to war.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • Oberkanone: Is this 1.5L truly new or same as the 1.L TSI available in Europe?
  • Imagefont: Agreed. They should have resurrected “Pinto”. It could, you know, explode…. Actually I like it a lot...
  • spookiness: It looks like an Insight with a hatch, which is fine, since the Insight is better looking than the Civic...
  • Carlson Fan: “The Ridgeline has a 64 inch box and is just as wide as any full sized pickup.” Ya right....
  • Inside Looking Out: That’s how SUV craze evolves in the near future. Future mobility will be not sedans, nor...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber