How Electric Vehicles Have Sparked a Global Revolution

Aug, 24, 2017

Eco-Friendly Vehicles

Motor vehicles which offer greater fuel efficiency than their contemporaries or eliminate emissions altogether are classified as eco-friendly vehicles.

History

Contrary to popular opinion, electric vehicles aren’t some new technology which is set to revolutionize transportation. This technology is older than gasoline powered vehicles and the electric car is just making a comeback, in all its glory.

The first known electric car was developed way back in 1937, at a time when petroleum was a scarce resource and the world’s major oil fields were yet to be discovered. In 1884, the first production electric car was built and improvement and innovation continued throughout Europe and America till the early 1900’s.

Then, the discovery of large petroleum resources, improvement of road infrastructure and the mass production of the Ford Model-T, which collectively promoted the gasoline powered car. Also, by the 1920’s, electric cars had significantly less speed and range when compared to their gas-guzzling counterparts, which used the then cheaply and abundantly available petroleum based fuels. This resulted in a sharp decline in the electric vehicle industry because they weren’t economically viable anymore.

Present Day Scenario

Fast forward a hundred years to 2017, and electric vehicles are the rage again. Every other automobile manufacturer is investing in developing and producing electric vehicles which are not only affordable but also practically viable. Offering speeds of over 75 mph and a range of over 250 miles, they are now comparable to most gasoline powered cars in the market.

Battery technology 

The heart of the electric car is its battery and charging technology. Battery quality and storage capacity have evolved over the decades and are now capable of practically powering vehicles over long distances. The major types of batteries used in electric vehicles are lead-acid batteries and MiMH batteries.

Charging stations

The biggest problem faced by an electric car owner in any country is finding charging stations to juice up his car’s battery. It is no longer a problem in countries like the USA (>16,000 stations), China (>100,000 stations), and Japan (>40,000 stations) where abundant fast-charging stations have been installed. But in developing countries or in places where electric cars are not so much in demand, it is a challenge to find charging stations beyond city limits.

This problem can be partially circumvented by installing high capacity batteries in the cars itself which could give a range greater than 500 miles on a single charge while traveling between cities on a highway.

Best-selling electric cars

Some of the top automobile manufacturers are making electric cars and they are selling them in several countries all over the world. Let us examine the top selling electric vehicles all over the world’s major markets.

CHINA

Rank

Model

Sales in 2016(Units)

 

1.    

BYD Tang

31,405

2.    

BYD Qin

21,863

3.    

BYD e6

20,605

4.    

BAIC EV

18,814

5.    

BAIC EU

18,805

6.    

Geely Emgrand

17,181

7.    

Zotye Cloud

16,417

8.    

Chery eQ

16,017

9.    

BYD E5

15,639

10.                      

Roewe e550

15,145

 

 

 


EUROPE

Rank

Model

Sales in 2016(units)

 

 

 

1.    

Renault Zoe

21,337

2.    

Nissan Leaf

18,557

3.    

Tesla Model S

12,353

4.    

BMW i3

9,726

5.    

Volkswagen e-Golf

6,666

6.    

Kia Soul EV

4,433

7.    

Tesla Model X

3,688

8.    

Mercedes-Benz B250e

3,504

9.    

Volkswagen e-Up

2,565

10.                      

Peugeot iOn

1,893

USA

Rank

Model

Sales in 2016(Units)

 

 

 

1.    

Tesla Model S

25,700

2.    

Nissan Leaf

17,269

3.    

Chevrolet Volt

15,393

4.    

BMW i3

11,024

5.    

Ford Fusion Energi

9,750

6.    

Ford C-Max Energi

7,591

7.    

Fiat 500e

6,194

8.    

VW e-Golf

4,232

9.    

Toyota Prius PHV

4,191

10.                      

Chevrolet Spark EV

2,629

 

Biggest markets for electric vehicles

There are several countries where electric vehicles are being steadily adopted and the support infrastructure is popping up. The biggest markets in the world are

  1. China: This is the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, with 507,000 units sold in 2016. A Forbes report states that this is a 53% increase from the sales in 2015.
  2. Europe: With less than half the sales when compared to China, Europe takes the second spot with 222,200 electric vehicles sold in 2016. This is in fact just a 14% increase in sales when compared to 2015.
  3. USA: Surprisingly, the USA is the third largest market with 157,130 electric vehicles sold in 2015, a 36% increase from 2015.

Future of electric cars

Electric car sales in the existing major markets are set to grow, but in certain countries, the growth has nearly peaked and the sales are now constant. The brightest spot is the fact that smaller and developing countries are also adopting electric vehicles steadily, albeit slowly. As the sale of conventionally powered vehicles plunge, greener power plants will come up to support the massive pool of electric vehicles on the road.