Electric vehicle sales surpass two million

Electric vehicle sales surpass two million
Longer battery life and increased support from world leaders have been credited with a huge sales surge in electric cars, with two million now on the road.

Globally, there was a 60% hike in uptake last year compared to 2015, as the industry started to enjoy some genuine momentum.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which compiled the data, attributes the rise to a number of factors which also include lower prices and the increased deployment of charging points.

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The IEA says 750,000 units were sold in 2016 – a far cry from 2005 when only a few hundred models existed worldwide. The million mark was smashed last year, and it hasn’t taken long to double on that landmark.

The Agency says the rise in popularity has been aided by supporting policies from increasingly-engaged governments, as well as greater accessibility to the market for potential buyers.

In a sure sign of the electric vehicle market’s prominence, last month Tesla announced it is to double its charge network ahead of the release of its Model 3 – its first mass-market electric car.

Expected to retail from a starting price of around £30,000, the new release should prove a breakthrough model – its first foray outside of the premium market.

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Chris Lilly, content manager at Next Green Car, points out that although the number of plug-in cars on the road is relatively small, growth has been “rapid”, and he expects things to continue at pace.

He also notes that the UK has become one of the most important markets for the progressive vehicles.

“The rate of progress in the EV market has been astonishing, and we are on the verge of a true second-generation of EVs due in the next year or so,” he added.

“Despite this, there has been regular and rapidly rolled-out powertrain development, with the likes of the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Renault Zoe, and VW e-Golf all seeing significant increases in range in the past year or so.”

Worldwide in 2016, there were thought to be 2.3 million electric charging points, with availability actually slightly ahead of electric car growth itself.

Public charging points were outnumbered by private ones, which suggests that more drivers are choosing to recharge their cars at home.

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