Top 18 Countries That Use Electric Cars

18 Countries with Most Electric Vehicles

Let's go back 8-10 years, electric cars were a luxury for most people. Buying just one kilowatt hour battery pack would cost you $800 - $1,000 USD, and most countries had absolutely no charging infrastructure despite a few electric cars being offered for sale to the masses.

Fast-forward to 2019 and it's a completely different story. One kilowatt hour battery pack costs just over $100 USD and there's many places where charging stations are created for not only SHORT, but also LONG distance drives. 

Electric cars are the future, period.

Which country embraces that idea you might ask?

Top 18 Countries from Least to Highest

Below I listed the 18 countries with the highest percentage of electric vehicles sold as of 2018 year statistics. 

Japan 1.10%

#18 Japan 1.10%

Japan introduced the Mitsubishi iMIEV in 2009 to the entire world, making it a groundbreaking automobile for many city dwellers. In 2011 they improved on that with their groundbreaking Nissan Leaf, letting people FAST-CHARGE to 80% in 30 minutes. A few years down the road, they brought to the market the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV which let people drive a few miles on electric only before switching over to gasoline engine.

In 2016 the market share declined from 0.68% to 0.59% due to the government switching over to promoting hydrogen fuel cell vehicles instead.

In 2017 the sales recovered with almost 56,000 plug-in cars sold and the segment market share reaching 1.10%.

Germany 1.90%

#17 Germany 1.90%

Who can forget Germany as a BIG player in the world of electric vehicles. Their BMW i3, VW eGolf, Audi A3 e-tron and now the Audi e-tron SUV are now in position to become leaders in this industry.

Germany as a country is embracing electric vehicles quite well. In 2017, the market share for electric vehicles has risen to 1.58%. While not the most EV Friendly country in Europe, it has improved drastically since their introduction of the i3 in 2014.

In 2018, their market share grew by .32% from 1.58% to 1.90%. Top selling models were the Audi A3 e-tron, Renault Zoe, and BMW i3.

Denmark 2.00%

#16 Denmark 2.00%

Denmark, the country with one of the highest income taxes... but also one of the highest standards of living. In December 2015, approximately 4,000 electric vehicles were sold in Denmark. They are ranked as the second largest EU market for light-duty, plug-in commercial vehicles or utility vans.

Unfortunately this countries government did not keep the incentives for too long, making the sales drop to about 1,300 all electric cars sold in 2016. In 2017, those numbers were cut nearly in half to around 700 all electric vehicles.

During that same year, the Danish government announced a partial resumption of the incentives, adding an additional fund towards fuel cell vehicles. Overall their market share as of last update, at around 2.00%.

United States 2.10%

#15 United States 2.10%

You gotta give this country some credit for how many people they have, 2.10% market share as of 2018 is quite impressive. Now that number comes from a handful of states that are strictly adopting zero-emission laws and the government giving people tax incentives for purchasing electric vehicles (or at least plug-in hybrid vehicles).

This is the nation where the most luxurious electric car manufacturer was conceived, Telsa. They have thoroughly placed their supercharger network across most states, giving Tesla owners the ability to drive across country if they feel its necessary.

Below I'll be mentioning an honorable mention, it's not a country. It's a state in the USA that has the MOST electric car chargers, most electric cars on the roads, and most adaptability with its population.

 France 2.11%

#14 France 2.11%

France could do better with the amount of market share they have, at 2.11%. Yet you still gotta give them credit for being one of the countries that have the most charging stations. As of December 2017, they recorded a total of 149,797 light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered since 2010. That number consisted of an impressive 92,256 all-electric passenger cars, 25,269 all-electric utility vans and 32,272 plug-in hybrids.

France's local brand Renault, had their all-electric Zoe ahead of the pack in terms of popularity for five years (2013-2017).

As of September 2016, France has granted bonus incentives for anyone who scrapped their diesel-powered automobile that was made before 2001. They have granted this incentive to more than 10,000 purchases. 

Canada 2.16%

#13 Canada 2.16%

In 2017, Canada accounted a total of 45,950 plug-in electric passenger cars. This translates to 23,620 all-electric cars and around 22,330 plug-in hybrid cars. This translated to a total 2.16% market share as of 2017.

While the infrastructures needs more development due to their spread-out cities, when you are located near a metropolitan area it becomes much easier to drive an electric car on a daily basis.

As one would imagine, their top selling pure electric automobile is the Tesla Model S with approximately 6,731 units sold as of December 2017. As for plug-in hybrids, the award goes to the Chevrolet Volt.

The places where there are the GREATEST concentration of electric vehicle owners and charging stations are Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Pretty much, all major cities.

Belgium 2.50%

#12 Belgium 2.50%

Belgium is a small country, but its home to just over 11 million people. Unlike some of its surrounding countries that are adopting electric vehicles in greater numbers, Belgium is behind. Statistics have shown that the government ended its incentives in 2012, resulting in absolutely no financial incentives to buy these electric cars. Electric car numbers on the road has steadily increased since 2009.

In 2016 there were approximately 4,368 electric cars on the road. In 2017 the number increased to 6,552 and further to 9,244 since 2018.

According to data collected, about 2.50% of the worldwide market share.

United Kingdom 2.53%

#11 United Kingdom 2.53%

Since early 2010's, there has been an increasing rise of electric vehicles on roads throughout the United Kingdom. Up until December 2018, there has been 212,000 light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered (10,000 of them being plug-in commercial vans).

As of Jan 2018, the UK had 19,108 public charging points at over 6K locations. Approximately 4,391 were rapid charging points in just over 1K locations.

To give you an idea of just how fast the market share has grown since 2013, in that year the market share was 0.16%. A year later in 2014, it became 0.59%. Fast-forward to 2018 and they have an impressive 2.60% market share.

The all-time popular plug-in hybrid car is the Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV (as of September 2018) with 37,000 units registered, followed by the Nissan Leaf with nearly 24,000 units registered.

Switzerland 2.55%

#10 Switzerland 2.55%

Switzerland... its neutral, beautiful, has high standards of living, is rather expensive to live in... and is actually a somewhat serious player in the electric car market. While it can't stack up to countries like Norway or Sweden, it has a growing number of electric type vehicles each year.

As of April 2016, there has been over 12,000 electric vehicles registered since 2012. This country does not seem to be offering any kind of financial incentives for buying new electric cars, instead there are possible discounts on annual taxes on certain cars for their overall efficiency (depending on the cantons).

Austria 2.60%

#9 Austria 2.60%

Austria is much like Switzerland, beautiful in every way. With history for hundreds and hundreds of years deep. When you decide to go through this country, you will not regret it.

Since the adoption of electric vehicles has began, this country has slowly but steadily increased its adoption of using this type of transportation on a regular basis, with more people ditching petrol and diesel powered automobiles.

As of the end of 2018, plug-in electric vehicle sales were up 22% to 8,848 units. The recorded market share went to 2.6% to close off that year compared to the 2.1% in 2017.

The best selling electric vehicle was the Volkswagen e-Golf with 1,836 units sold brand new. Second place was for the Renault Zoe with a Nissan Leaf not far behind.

China 4.2%

#7 China 4.2%

China, a country with over a billion people in it. For the longest time it has been known for some serious pollution in cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing and others. The CCP has been pressing hard on converting their nations transportation to pure electricity in a few decades from now.

One of the biggest markets for electric automobiles is China, in fact it manages to have a total of 4.20% market share worldwide. The countries stock for all categories of electric vehicles is (as of 2018) 2,243,772.

By population, China is the largest electric car market in the world. It would be no surprise to see their market share grow exponentially over a decade or two.

 Finland 4.2%

#8 Finland 4.2%

It looks like Finland has some high hopes for an electrified future by 2030. The Finish government has set an aim to have 250,000 plug-in cars and 50,000 biogas cars on the road by 2030. While that may be 11 years from now, let's look at the current numbers for registered electric vehicles.

In October of 2016, there was a recorded 2,250 EV's registered. Sales reached 854 electric vehicles sold in the first three quarters of 2016. You may be thinking that's not that many sales based on the size of the country... but actually, it's respectable.

With a population of 5.5 million people, there's not that many people if you see it in a grand scheme of things. Those numbers are on par with Norway at 5.2 million people, but nowhere near as much as Sweden with almost 10 million. 

Portugal 5.6%

#6 Portugal 5.6%

Portugal had early ambitions to get the whole country electrified. In 2009, Portugal worked with Renault and Nissan to create a nationwide charging network. In addition to that, one year later it started to offer people financial incentives for the first 5,000 electric vehicles purchased.

Steadily until about 2015, there were a total of 1,305 electric vehicles sold in the country. In 2014, the estimated number of vehicles sold were a measly 283.

Last year in 2018, Portugal sold 1 plugged in car for every 20 cars sold nationwide. Their market share surged to 5.6% compared to just 3.6% in 2015.

Andorra 5.6%

#5 Andorra 5.6%


  • Financial aid in purchasing the electric vehicles
  • Authorizing to travel in bus lanes
  • Free passage through the Tunnel d-Envalira
  • Discounted charging
As of 2017, their market share has reached 5.6%. For such a small country, that means they are really buying electric cars like there's no tomorrow. Also based on the incentives, one would assume that's the case.
Netherlands 6.5%

#4 Netherlands 6.5%

Netherlands or Holland, is a rather small country consisting of mostly flat plains and windmills. Okay I am oversimplifying this place, but it is a nice place to visit if you ever have a chance. What we are here to discuss is how big of a market share is today, vs a few years ago.

First of all, the country had a very strong market share in 2015 with 9.9%. It then fell to 6.7% in 2016, then a rapid fall to 2.6% in 2017 and just last year in 2018, the total was back to 6.5%.

So it seems like the country got it back on track and may be past the 7% range in 2019. As of December 2018, there were 121,542 highway legal light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands. A whopping 98,217 were range-extended and plug-in hybrids, 2,210 were all-electric light utility vans, and 21,115 pure electric.

It's not out of the question to see this country compete in the top 3 within a few years from now.
Sweden 8.2%

#3 Sweden 8.2%

Being close to the #1 most EV friendly country (Norway) has its perks and benefits, Sweden has a strong foundation for creating a truly useable infrastructure for use of electric vehicles.

As of December 2017, there was a total of 50,304 light-duty plug-in vehicles registered since 2011. Those numbers consisted of 36,405 plug-in hybrids, 12,223 all-electric cars, and 1,676 all-electric vans.

Their market is actually dominated by plug-in hybrid vehicles, representing a whopping 74.9% of plug-in cars registered in 2017 alone.

The countries market share in the electric car market has been growing steadily year over year, with 3.5% in 2016, 5.2% in 2017, and 8.2% in 2018.
Iceland 19%

#2 Iceland 19%

Who would-of thought as Iceland being the NUMBER TWO top electric car market share country with an impressive 19.00%. For a country with less than a half million people, the country has a HUGE hunger for electric cars. Per capita, the country had an impressive number of electric vehicles registered in 2017 (2,990 units in total), up 157% from previous year.

Their top selling plug-in hybrid vehicle was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and a Nissan Leaf.

The government is one of the biggest reasons. As one would assume when a place offers tax incentives, you take advantage of them especially when the alternative is MUCH more expensive.
Norway 49.1%

#1 Norway 49.1%

Most people before they even read this would probably assume Norway would be the number one country with the MOST friendly attitudes towards electric cars, most electric cars sold per all cars sold annually, have the best incentives to buy them, and is the country with a clear path to PURE electric power in less than a decade from now.

At this rate, they are going to reach that path in no time at all.

Norway is cold a big part of the year, so a big portion of their electricity comes from hydro power.

Actual coal and nuclear power is almost non-existent, however they do sell oil to other countries and reinvest the proceeds into their own country to built-up their infrastructure.

If you were to move to Norway, you can use an electric car almost anywhere like a petrol or diesel powered automobile.

Their market share is 49.1% as of 2018, an improvement by almost 10% compared to 2017.

#0 Honorable Mention: State of California 7.1%

Ohhhh California...the birthplace of Tesla Motors, it's a refreshing feeling knowing that Tesla is an American brand (coming from a proud American). If you have been in the states for any period of time and have tried at least a few, California is immediately seen as a progressive state with environment issues becoming top priorities.

There's some strict emission standards that ban modified vehicles of all types, but reward electric vehicle owners.

In addition to federal tax incentives, the state also offers credits for anyone looking to buy an electric vehicle. According to apps like PlugShare, there's hundreds upon hundreds of chargers located in the state alone.

Just from this state, their market share is a whopping 7.1%. Given the economy is the size of France, it's almost like its own country in many ways (culture and policies mostly).

References

During my research for this list, I found few resource that gave me information. Here's the list: