The sale of electric cars has increased significantly thanks in part to an ever-growing demand from the Chinese market.
Between July and September 287,000 battery electric and plug-in hybrids were sold – a 63 per cent increase compared with the same period last year, and a 23 per cent increase over the previous quarter.
China accounted for more than half of those sales as efforts to reduce pollution levels are ramped up, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
The increase in Chinese demand was dramatic. After a drop in the final quarter of 2016, sales suddenly began to skyrocket, rising from around 45,000 to more than 150,000.
Currently, France and the UK are set to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. The Netherlands has set a date of 2030 and China is also considering such a ban, as is the US state of California.
Many manufacturers, including the Volkswagen Group, have stated they will bring electric versions of each model to market within the next few years.
Advanced transport analyst at BNEF Aleksandra O’Donovan told Bloomberg: “The Chinese government is very focused on pushing up EV sales.
“One reason for that is the local pollution levels in the cities, and a second is for China to build domestic heroes to compete internationally in this market.”
BNEF also believes that electric vehicle sales could reach a million by the end of the year – a first for this sector of the market.
Following behind China, Europe was the second biggest buyer of electric vehicles with North America trailing in third place.