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CEO Blog

EVs – A look at the Big Players and Timelines


October 17, 2017

Electric vehicles (EVs) are currently the primary growth driver of battery metal demand. That’s a good thing because global EV sales are climbing fast, with volumes more than tripling since 2013. According to the EV World Sales Database website, if last year’s growth rate of 42% continues, then 80% of new vehicles sales will be electric by 2030.

Personally, I think the EV adoption rate will accelerate, considering the strength of world-wide, government support for EVs. Did you know, for example, that Norway plans to ban all gas-powered cars by 2025, that the Dutch to ban sales of new gas-powered cars by 2030 and that many others, such as the UK and France are lining up to follow suit? China has already put aggressive EV sales quotas and subsidies in place and similar approaches are being taken by other countries.

Description: first Global Plug-in Vehicle Sales for 2017 H1 + July, August Update image

It’s clear that EVs are not just here to stay, they are here to supplant the gas-powered vehicles that we’ve been driving for decades. Importantly for those of us in the battery metals sector, this transition is happening far quicker than a lot of people realize and anticipated.

Who are the major players behind all these EV sales? When most people think EV’s, they think Tesla because, let’s face it, Tesla has a spectacular marketing machine and demand for its vehicles blew past expectations. In fact, early demand for Tesla cars was so great that the global automakers didn’t just sit up and take notice, they took action. A look at recent sales by make and model shows us who the major players are in the current EV market.

Make and Model 2017, Q2 2017, H1 Change YoY
Toyota Prius Prime PHEV 15,935 26,494 -
Zhi Dou D1/D2 EV 12,894 18,717 +445%
Tesla Model S 11,872 27,014 +21%
Nissan Leaf EV 11,484 26,785 -3%
BJEV EC180 10,810 17,939 -
Tesla Model X 9,915 21,759 +204%
BYD e5 EV 8,849 10,856 +189%
BMW i3 EV / EREV 8,033 15,862 +73%
Renault Zoe EV 7,981 17,180 +45%
JAC iEV6S EV 7,014 8,023 +332%
BYD Song PHEV 6,838 6,838 -
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 6,624 12,873 -17%
Chevrolet Volt EREV 6,501 13,018 +17%
Geely Emgrand EV 6,079 7,982 +110%
SAIC Roewe eRX5 PHEV 5,988 9,205 -
Chery eQ EV 5,485 6,605 +24%
Chevrolet Bolt EV 5,315 8,740 -
BYD Tang PHEV 4,696 7,502 -61%
Changan Benni EV 4,656 6,064 -
VW e-Golf EV 3,846 5,711 +6%
Zotye E200 EV 3,783 5,949 +158%
BMW 330e PHEV 3,779 7,240 +118%
Hyundai Ioniq Electric EV 3,564 6,057 +4196%
Mercedes GLC350e PHEV 3,467 5,997 +1521%
Audi A3 e-Tron PHEV 3,346 6,467 +18%
Others 84,721 150,137 -5%
TOTAL 263,565 457,014 +44%

Toyota, China’s Zhi Dou, Tesla, Nissan, BMW, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Volkswagon Mercedes… most of the big automakers have a place on the list and that’s critical because without them, global penetration wouldn’t be possible. 

It’s important to bear in mind that the EV market is notable for how fast it’s moving. For example, Volvo doesn’t make a showing on the top 25 table, however, this Summer the company announced that by beginning of 2019, all new Volvos would be electrified.  Considering that Volvo sells over half a million vehicles per year, that’s a lot of new EV’s soon to be on the road.

Then you have Ford, which sells over 6.7 million vehicles a year, spending $4.5 Billion to develop thirteen new EV models.  By 2020, Ford expects around 40% of it’s new vehicles will be electrified, including pick ups, sports cars, SUVs and sedans.

Even bigger than Ford is GM, which sells over 10 million vehicles a year and has clearly stated that it believes the future is “all electric”. To ensure its leading position as an automaker in the electric future, GM is planning 20 EV models by 2023.

While current global EV numbers are close to three million – a small percentage of the 1.5 Billion vehicles as a whole – most of these were sold during the last few years. Between government legislation, consumer demand and rapid action from automakers, there can be no doubt that EV dominance is purely a matter of time and that time is coming soon.

Anthony Milewski, CEO of Cobalt 27 

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