The IHS Plug-in Electric Vehicle Index has been launched, identifying market leaders and new opportunities.
IHS Automotive perspective
IHS Automotive has launched the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Index, which ranks the electric vehicle (EV) market penetration in eight major markets, including Norway, the Netherlands, the United States, and China.
IHS research identifies market leaders and opportunities, and illustrates the impact of tax breaks and other incentives on EV sales.
Incentives and tax management still have a significant impact on EV sales, IHS analysis shows. Contributing to the strong results in Norway is the country's policy of no import taxes on EVs and its other incentives. These have made these vehicles a viable alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in that country. By comparison, Germany has a less-attractive incentive environment and is seeing a notably smaller volume of EV penetration.
In first quarter 2015, Norway was ranked first in the new IHS Automotive Plug-in Electric Vehicle Index, which ranks the market share of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) registrations in a given quarter for eight countries. With EV/PHEVs representing one-third of new vehicles registered in Norway during the first quarter, Norway leads the rankings with just over 8,000 units, and achieved a 41% increase in volume over the same period in 2014. The Volkswagen (VW) e-Golf was the dominant model among consumers in Norway during the first quarter, the analysis says. The Netherlands experienced the second largest growth in EV share in the first quarter, with more than 5,700 units registered, representing 5.7% of the market during the quarter.
On a volume basis, the US and China led all countries based on volumes of new EV/PHEVs registered during the quarter, with nearly 15,000 registrations in the US and nearly 13,000 registrations in China. Market share for EV/PHEVs in the US remains low, with these vehicles accounting for just 0.8% of the market during the quarter, according to IHS. Based on volume, the most popular EV/PHEV in the US is the Tesla Model S. Between the first quarter last year and the same period this year, the number of EV/PHEV registrations in China rose by nearly 750%. However, these vehicles continue to represent a very small percentage of the overall market in China – just 0.3%, indicating that further incentives may need to be considered to increase consumer acceptance. The most popular plug-in vehicle in the first quarter in China is the BYD Qin PHEV.
The United Kingdom also had impressive growth of 392% for plug-in vehicles between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. Although plug-in vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 98 percent between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, the increase comes from a small base. Many of the plug-in vehicles registered in Germany during the timeframe were electrified variants on traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) models. Popular vehicles include the Volkswagen Golf GTE PHEV and Audi A3 PHEV. Interestingly, France had similar growth to Germany over the same period, yet offers more incentives on plug-in electric vehicles. Lastly, Japan is the only country to have a negative year over year percentage change.
IHS Automotive Plug-in Vehicle Index
New EV/PHEVs registered
Share of total registrations, %
New EV/PHEVs registered
Share of total registrations
Y/Y % change
Source: IHS Automotive
Outlook and implications
Incentives and tax management still seem to have significant impact on EV sales, as illustrated by the results of the IHS analysis. Contributing to the strong results in Norway is the country's policy of no import taxes on EVs and its other incentives. These have made these vehicles a viable alternative to ICE vehicles in that country.
In the US, incentives change from state to state, and also impacts sales. "While the federal tax credit in the US of up to USD7,500 USD for plug-in electric vehicles is continuing to encourage sales across the country, the adoption of these vehicles has been uneven, as consumer consideration and choice has skewed in favor of states offering additional incentives, like the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project in California or Georgia's Zero Emission Vehicle Tax Credit," said Ben Scott, senior analyst, IHS Automotive. "In addition, low fuel pump prices are adversely influencing EV/PHEV purchases among US consumers." In China, another country with comparatively high EV volumes, government incentives available support EV and PHEV ownership.
Other countries do not offer the same advantages for consumers. As an example, in Germany, there are not many appealing incentives for consumers to make EV/PHEVs a compelling alternative to internal combustion vehicles. Germany is considering further incentives on plug-in electric vehicles to support future adoption. However, France offers more incentives on plug-in electric vehicles yet saw similar results as Germany - an example of incentives not having the desired effect to catalyse the uptake of these types of vehicle. Japan's results as well are likely due to some EV incentives ending between this period and Japanese consumer preference towards HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles without a plug) over PHEVs.
The IHS Automotive Plug-in Electric Vehicle Index is available as part of the IHS Automotive Hybrid-EV portal, designed to provide in-depth, real-time information on all facets of the e-mobility market. The portal contains global and regional forecasts for vehicle production, systems, components, and infrastructure; a specification database outlining the key features of electric vehicles (and who supplies them); a legislation/incentive database; and daily news service. The IHS Automotive Plug-in Electric Vehicle Index is a quarterly ranking of the top EV/PHEV countries and insights into market drivers of market share and quarterly changes in volume.