Percentage-wise, 400,000 vehicles in the global fleet of cars is a small, small number. If 2011 estimates of a billion cars worldwide is accurate, 400,000 is basically a rounding error. Still, since those 400,000 are electric vehicles, it's a number worth celebrating.
The Zentrums für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (which roughly translates as the Center for Solar and Hydrogen Energy Research in Baden-Württemberg, known as ZSW) has put together some numbers for the state of the EV fleet as the end of 2013 and finds it to be over 400,000. ZSW lists the top three EV markets as the US (174,000 vehicles), Japan (68,000) and China (45,000). There are almost 30,000 EVs in Holland and 17,500 in Germany.
The top three EV markets are the US, Japan and China.
If we look at the company-specific totals (as seen in the graph above), the clear winner is Nissan (over 90,000 EVs sold, which sounds about right since the company trumpeted sales topping 100,000 in late January) followed by General Motors with over 60,000 Amperas and Volts sold and then Toyota with over 40,000 Prius Plug In Hybrids on the road. Tesla's in there with a little over 25,000. Standard hybrids, motorcycles and large vehicles (trucks and buses) were not counted.
While the companies compete amongst themselves, the overall number keeps on roughly doubling each year. ZSW says that there were around 100,000 EVs at the start of 2012, 200,000 when 2013 got going and now we have the 400,000 number. Who thinks this doubling trend will continue into 2015? ZSW doesn't quite think so but is predicting that the growth curve shows we'll have over a million EVs on the road at the start of 2016.