EV Company News For The Month Of January 2018

by: Matt Bohlsen

Global electric car sales - 2017 was a record-setting year in every respect, showing the EV boom is accelerating.

2017 total year sales ended at a record 1,223,000, up 58% on 2016, and reaching ~1.4% market share.

EV market news - UBS forecasts "that in 2025, a massive 16.5 million electric vehicles will be sold - equal to almost one in every six new cars sold."

EV company news - BMW to have 25 new electric models, and 25% of its sales to be plug-in electric vehicles by 2025. Toyota launches their e-Palette concept.

Welcome to the January 2018 edition of Electric Vehicle (EV) company news. This month we look back on 2017 which saw global electric car sales pass the 1 million mark for the first time. The sector continues its stellar growth with global electric car sales accelerating, up 58% on 2016.

Global electric car sales graph 2010 - 2017

Source: EV-Volumes

Global electric car sales as of end December 2017

Global electric car sales finished December 2017 with a new record of over 170,000 sales for the month, up 67% on December 2016. 2017 total year sales ended at a record 1,223,000, up 58% on 2016. My estimate puts the electric car market share at ~1.4% (1,233,000/~91,000,000). An exact figure should be available soon.

Of note, 66% of all global electric car sales in 2017 were pure electric.

China electric car sales were 102,000 in December 2017, up a staggering 130% on December 2016. 2017 sales were up a very impressive 71% on 2016. Electric car market share in China averaged 2.1% for 2017, with December recording 3.3% market share.

Current subsidies in China were reduced by 20% in 2017 and will be reduced by 40% in 2019 and 100% by 2021. China's Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) credit system was announced on September 28, 2017, and will begin in 2019 with 10% of credits (12% in 2020) required from new energy vehicles (NEVs). That translates to 4-5% of EV sales as market share for 2019. We are also expecting an announcement at some stage as to when China will ban ICE vehicles, noting BYD Chairman Wang thinks by 2030.

Europe electric car sales were 33,700 in December 2017, 11% higher than in December 2016. 2017 sales were up 38% on 2016. Europe electric car market share is currently at 2.0% in 2017 (it hit 3.0% in December). Norway still leads the world with an all time record 50% market share of electric cars sold in December, and 39% market share average over 2017.

US electric car sales were 26,000 for December 2017, 5% higher than December 2016, with 2017 sales up 26% on 2016. US electric car market share is currently at 1.2%.

Note: The above sales include light commercial vehicles. Additional to above around 200,000 commercial vehicles were sold in 2017, mostly in China, including 89,546 100% electric buses sold in China in 2017.

Note: An acknowledgement to Jose Pontes of EV Sales and EV Volumes for his excellent work compiling all the electric car sales quoted above and below.

China electric car sales are clearly growing very rapidly - up 71% in 2017

Source: EV Volumes

Global electric car sales by manufacturer for December 2017 and for full year 2017

Source: EVSales

Global electric car sales by model for December 2017 and for full year 2017

Source: EVSales

Annual global electric vehicle sales forecast to hit 24.4 million by 2030


The graph below highlights where various countries are as of late 2017 on the EV market share (adoption) S curve. Percentages continue to rise as we head into 2018.

Source: Tesla: Norway stuns by Value Analyst

EV market news for January 2018

On January 2 The New York Times reported, "China, moving to cut emissions, halts production of 500 car models. China is suspending the production of more than 500 car models and model versions that do not meet its fuel economy standards, several automakers confirmed Tuesday, the latest move by Beijing to reduce emissions in the world’s largest auto market and take the lead in battling climate change. The government-affiliated China Vehicle Technology Service Center said that the suspension, effective Jan. 1, would affect both domestic carmakers and foreign joint ventures."

On January 4 The SMH reported: "Miners in the fast lane on electric vehicle surge. In ever-growing numbers, motorists in the world’s biggest auto markets are getting behind the wheels of electric vehicles. Experts from UBS believe that worldwide sales of electric vehicles in 2017 will be about 1 million for the first time. And they predict that in 2025, a massive 16.5 million electric vehicles will be sold - equal to almost one in every six new cars sold. Glencore commissioned CRU to conduct research into what 30 million sales of EVs by 2030 would mean for metal demand. The report found that the metal required to support 30 million EV sales in 2030 was about 4.1 million tonnes of copper (equal to 18 per cent of 2016 supply), about 1.1 million tonnes of nickel (or 56 per cent of 2016 supply) and 314,000 tonnes of cobalt (about 314 per cent of 2016 supply). “As early as 2020, forecast EV related metal demand is becoming material, requiring an additional circa 390,000 tonnes of copper, circa 85,000 tonnes of nickel and 24,000 tonnes of cobalt,’’ Glencore’s investor presentation said."

On January 16 Seeking Alpha reported, "AutoNation CEO thinks mass EV adoption is coming. Jackson expects global mandates to drive EV sales over the next five years before profitability enters the picture. He anticipates that EVs will account for 20% of all vehicles sales by 2030." Currently my forecast is to reach 40% by 2030.

On January 18 Interesting Engineering reported, "China plans to install over 120,000 public EV charging piles by 2020. The network would service the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei-Shandong and Yangtze River Delta cities. It would also expand to major cities throughout other heavily populated regions in the country."

On January 30 Green Car Reports reported, "California needs 5 million zero-emission cars by 2030; will it reach 1.5 million by 2025? Last Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown said in his annual State of the State address that California would need 5 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2030 to meet its goals for reducing carbon emissions. An executive order on Friday laid out new state actions toward that goal, including a $2.5 billion initiative to bring a quarter of a million electric-car charging stations and 200 new hydrogen fueling stations to the state by 2025."

EV company news for January 2018


BYD finished 2017 ranked number 1 in China with 18% market share and ended 2017 as the number 1 globally, with 9% global market share.

On January 2 BYD announced, "Norway puts first two BYD articulated electric buses in Europe in service."

On January 30 BYD announced, "Ancient Egyptian city steps up BYD partnership with bulk E-bus purchase. BYD will deliver 15 units of K9 12-meter pure electric buses and 18 charging poles, to accelerate the transition of local public transportation electrification."

BYD 18m Articulated Ebus in Oslo


Beijing Automotive Group Co. (BAIC) (OTC:BCCMY, HK:1958), Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. [SAIC] (CH:600104)

BAIC finished 2017 as the number 2 selling electric car manufacturer in China with 17% market share, and the global number 2 with 8% market share.

The BAIC EC-Series was the global number 1 selling electric car in 2017 with 78,079 sales.

On January 22 Bloomberg reported, "China's biggest electric-car maker to list in $4.5 billion deal. BAIC’s unit BJEV to reverse-list in Shanghai’s stock market."

Recall from November 2017 - "BAIC Motor looks to phase out conventional fuel cars by 2025"

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Tesla ended 2017 as the number 1 electric car seller in the US with 25% market share, and the number 3 globally with 8% global market share.

On January 25 Extreme Tech reported, "Tesla: Semi spotted on California street. So far, Tesla has taken larger orders for its trucks from companies like Walmart and Pepsi. CEO Elon Musk claims the company will begin shipping vehicles in 2019. The base model will cost about $150,000, and the upgraded model will be $180,000. That’s not much more than the cost of a conventional semi truck, which usually sells for around $120,000."

On January 29 Teslarati reported, "Tesla is reportedly looking to invest in Chile’s largest lithium producer. Tesla is currently in talks with Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM), Chile’s largest lithium producer, as a possible partner in the development of a (lithium) processing plant in the South American country."


BMW ended 2017 as the number 4 global electric car manufacturer with 8% global market share. BMW is number 1 in Europe with 18% market share.

On January 23 Green Car Reports reported, "BMW will have a combined total of 25 different battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the market by 2025. Like its German luxury competitor Audi, BMW says it expects up to 25 percent of its sales to be plug-in electric vehicles by 2025."

2017 BMW i3 and 2017 BMW i8


General Motors/Chevrolet (NYSE:GM)

GM/Chevrolet ended 2017 as the number 2 ranked electric car seller in the US with 22% market share. They are currently the number 5 global electric car manufacturer with 4% market share.

On January 30 Green Car Reports reported, "GM suggests Congress fund EV charging, Toyota asks for hydrogen fueling support... GM's director of advanced vehicle commercialization policy, Britta Gross... focused on the 'two areas where your committee could help sustain continued growth: the first is consumer adoption and the second is aiding with charging infrastructure build-out.' ... The market requires 'continued partnership between electric utilities, station operators, vehicle manufacturers, and support by federal, state and municipal government to establish charging stations at the same scale as the 168,000+ gas stations across the country,' Gross said."

Renault (OTC:RNSDF) / Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) / Mitsubishi (OTCPK:MSBHY, OTCPK:MMTOF)

Nissan is currently ranked number 6 for global electric car sales with 4% market share, and Renault is ranked global number 11 with 3% market share. Renault is ranked number 3 in Europe with 11% market share. The Renault Zoe was Europe's number 1 selling electric car in 2017.

On January 27 Green Car Reports reported, "2018 Nissan Leaf electric car gets 151-mile EPA range rating."

2018 Nissan Leaf


Toyota (NYSE:TM)

Toyota ended 2017 ranked number 7 in the global electric car manufacturer's sales ranking, with 4% global market share.

On January 9 Newsroom reported, "Toyota launches new mobility ecosystem and concept vehicle at 2018 CES." Highlights include:

  • "e-Palette Alliance will leverage Toyota's Global Mobility Services Platform to develop advanced vehicle and related mobility services for business applications
  • e-Palette Concept Vehicle will be fully autonomous, battery-electric vehicle with open control interface to allow partner companies to install their own automated driving system
  • Alliance launch partners include Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber."

Toyota's e-Palette Concept

e-Palette Concept


Volkswagen Group (OTCPK:VLKAY) / Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) / Porsche (OTCPK:POAHF)

Volkswagen ended 2017 the number 9 top-selling global electric car manufacturer with 4% market share. In Europe Volkswagen is the number 2 electric car seller with a 12% market share.

Volkswagen ID and ID buzz concept electric vehicles

Volkswagen ID and ID Buzz concepts, 2017 Los Angeles auto show


Zhi Dou Electric Vehicle Corporation (private)

Zhi Dou ended 2017 the number 10 top-selling global electric car manufacturer with 3% market share.

The Zhidou D2 EV sold 43,342 electric cars in 2017 as was China's number 2 selling model. It is a micro car selling for just 49.800 yuan ($8018) after subsidies. You can watch a video on the D2 EV here.


Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (OTCPK:GELYY, HK:0175), Volvo Group (OTCPK:VOLVY), Kandi Technologies Group (NASDAQ:KNDI), Proton, Lotus

On January 19 Automotive News announced, "Geely raises 1 billion yuan for Cao Cao ride-hailing service."

On January 30 Automotive News announced, "Geely, Via Motors to design electric trucks. A unit of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group signed an agreement with Via Motors International Inc. to develop medium-duty electric trucks to be introduced in China, North America and South America in 2019. The trucks will be equipped with an extended-range hybrid electric powertrain that employs Via Motors’ software and systems control technology."

Ford (NYSE:F)

On January 14 Market Watch reported, "Ford teases all-electric ‘Mach 1’ SUV coming in 2020 — on Sunday as the automaker vowed to spend $11 billion on electric cars through 2022." That's up from a previous pledge of USD 4.5b.

Looks like Elon Musk promising a Tesla pick-up truck soon has stung Ford into action. On December 27 Market Watch wrote - "Elon Musk promises Tesla pickup that would challenge Ford F-150."

Groupe PSA (owner of Peugeot)

On January 18 CNBC reported, "Peugeot is aiming to have all vehicles electrified by 2025, CEO says... Peugeot SA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said on Wednesday that by 2025 'the PSA Group will be 100 percent electrified,' and said the French automaker will use the know-how of former Opel engineers acquired from General Motors to design vehicles for the U.S. market that would compete in GM's home market." Last year, Peugeot acquired GM's European Opel operation after GM decided to divest the money-losing operation.

WM Motor

On January 10 CNBC reported, "WM Motor wants to be the Ford of electric cars in China. WM Motor CFO Ran Zhang said the Chinese start-up aims to do for electric vehicles what Henry Ford did years ago for the mass production of automobiles."


On January 19 Automotive News reported: "Chinese EV startup Byton unveils first concept at CES. The Nanjing, China, company introduced its first vehicle concept at CES on Sunday, rolling out its connectivity-focused electric crossover."

Byton electric concept car


GreenPower Motor Company Inc. [TSXV:GPV] (OTCQX:GPVRF)

On January 16 GreenPower released an update titled, "GreenPower releases letter to shareholders." Highlights included:

  • "Last year, we launched the world’s first purpose-built, battery-electric School Bus, the SYNAPSE 72, and received 11 purchase commitments for this model.
  • The demonstration of our EV550 Double Decker that has been running in Victoria, BC, with CVS Tours. This initial one-bus, one-year demo lease has turned into a commitment for nine buses, representing 100% of CVS’s double decker fleet."

EV550 All-Electric Double Decker


Autonomous Driving/Car Play and IT connectivity

Currently, Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL) and Tesla are leaders in autonomous vehicles. Note that the new Model 3 will come as standard with WiFi. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is doing well with on-board entertainment Apple Play, as is Google with Android Auto. Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is a leader in supplying GPU chips for modern cars at various levels of autonomy and safety, and AMD (AMD) and Intel (INTC) are also involved in this area. Alibaba (BABA) has teamed up with SAIC to make an "internet car".

All the above should benefit from the switch to EVs and higher-tech vehicles.

On January 3 Bloomberg reported, "An open road for driverless cars. Sales of self-driving cars are set to soar once they start, sometime in the next couple of years."

On January 8 Auto Blog reported, "VW, Uber announce self-driving partnerships with Nvidia."

On January 8 Auto Blog reported, "Toyota unveils e-Palette self-driving concept for rides, deliveries." The video really gives a great concept view of the future of autonomous vehicles especially for ride sharing and parcel distribution (think Amazon (AMZN). I took a screenshot as you can see below.


Driverless cars forecast to boom by 2040

Source: Bloomberg/IHS Markit

Investors may like to read my article "Companies to benefit from the future smart car boom."

Other EV companies

Other EV companies I am following include Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. (private), Daimler-Mercedes (OTCPK:DDAIF, OTCPK:DDAIY) (Smart), Faraday Future, Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU), Fisker (private), Hyundai (OTC:HYMTF), Honda (HMC, OTCPK:HNDAF), Kia (OTC:KIMTF), Lamborghini, Lucid Motors (formerly Atieva) (private), Mahindra & Mahindra (OTC:MAHDY), Mazda (OTCPK:MZDAY), Nio (formerly NextEV), Subaru (OTCPK:FUJHY), Tata Motors (TTM) group (Jaguar Land Rover), and Xiaopeng Motors.

The list of countries and cities banning (or soon to ban) petrol and diesel vehicles include at least - UK (2040), China, Germany, France (2040), Netherlands (2030), London, Paris (2030), Stuttgart, Mexico City, Madrid, and Athens. Added to this are countries pushing hard to become 100% EV - Norway and India.

Investors may also like to read my article "The Electric Vehicle Boom Just Went Into Overdrive - What Stocks To Buy." For a great review of 2018 EV models you can view the video "Top 10 Electric Cars Will Challenge Tesla in 2018/2019." The video again confirms all the car companies are going electric in a big way.


December 2017 global electric car sales set a record month up 67% on December 2016.

2017 total global electric car sales ended at a record 1,223,000, up 58% on 2016, and reaching ~1.4% market share. This means the EV boom is accelerating from an already very impressive rate, given global electric car sales finished 2016 at 774,000 for the year, up 40% on 2015.

2017 electric car sales market share now exceeds 1% in all major regions with US (2017 average of 1.2%), China (2017 average of 2.1%, December - 3.3%), and Europe (2017 average of 2.0%, December 3.0%). What is noticeable is that the US is growing moderately (up 26% in 2017), Europe is growing strongly (up 38% in 2017), and China is booming (up 71% in 2017).

My highlights for the month were:

  • 2017 global electric car sales crossed the 1 million mark for the year, setting new records for December, for 2017, for growth rates (58%) and for market share (~1.4%).
  • The EV boom is accelerating up from 40% growth in 2016 to 58% growth in 2017, driven by China and Europe.
  • The global electric car rankings by manufacturer finished with BYD at number 1, BAIC at number 2, Tesla at number 3, and BMW at number 4. A clear gap to Chevrolet at number 5.
  • UBS forecasts "that in 2025, a massive 16.5 million electric vehicles will be sold - equal to almost one in every six new cars sold."
  • "BMW will have a combined total of 25 different battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the market by 2025. BMW says it expects up to 25 percent of its sales to be plug-in electric vehicles by 2025."
  • Toyota launches their fully autonomous, battery-electric, e-Palette concept vehicle.
  • Ford and Geely announce plans towards making electric trucks most likely in response to last year's Tesla semi reveal.

My forecast for 2017 was for global electric car sales penetration to reach 1.5% which we just missed at 1.4%. My model is currently forecasting that we will hit 2.5% in 2018 and reach 5-6% by 2020.

As usual, all comments are welcome.

Disclosure: I am/we are long BYD CO (HK:1211), ALPHABET GOOGLE (GOOG). I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.