Global number of newly-registered electric cars surpasses 1-mln mark: study

The global number of newly-registered electric cars has reached a new record high in 2017, according to a study published on Monday by the German branch of the strategy consultancy McKinsey.

According to the study, the number of new electric car registrations across the world rose to 1.2 million in 2017 and hereby broke the one-million vehicle mark for the first time in history.

More than 600,000 electric cars were newly-registered in China alone, marking a year-on-year increase of 72 percent from 2016.

Electric mobility also made inroads in the traditionally more diesel- and petroleum heavy German automotive market.

The number of electric registrations, including Plug-in-Hybrids, in Germany doubled to 58,000 in 2017. The new hybrid technology combines conventional petroleum-fuelled motors with a battery-powered electric motor which enables motorists to charge their vehicles with regular power outlets.

According to McKinsey, Asia still remains the dominant producer of electric vehicles with 41 percent of total cars manufactured in China and 19 percent manufactured in Japan. Germany only came third in the list with a global market share of 18 percent.

The study attributed China's technological lead to the prior enactment of a legally-binding national quota for New Energy Vehicles (NEVs), as well as more generous subsidies for consumers buying electric vehicles (40 percent of the sales price in China vs. 20 percent in Germany).

As a consequence, Chinese consumers could choose from a globally unparalleled array of almost 100 different types of NEVs.

"This includes many smaller vehicles and brands for urban mobility which are practically unknown outside of China," study author Nicolai Mueller explained.

Such market fragmentation was likely to persist into the near future due to an international diversity of government subsidies, technological infrastructure and regulations.