Global Electric Car Sales Surged 63% In Third Quarter 2017

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China's effort to rein in pollution led to a doubling of electric car sales, making up more than half of global sales.

According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report released last week, electric car and hybrid sales are up 63 percent over the same quarter last year and up 23 percent from the second quarter, with China comprising more than half of global sales.

“The Chinese government is very focused on pushing up EV sales,” said Aleksandra O’Donovan, advanced transport analyst at BNEF and one of the authors of the report. “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 anticipates that electric vehicle sales will surpass one million units this year, as driving ranges become longer and charging stations are more accessible.

Several governments have also announced targets for cleaner transport, some driven by the emissions-cheating scandal that engulfed Volkswagen AG. France and the U.K. said they will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel-burning cars by 2040, while the Netherlands is targeting that all new cars sold by 2030 will be emissions-free. China -- the world’s largest auto market -- is mulling its own ban, and even California is considering following suit.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Republicans are looking to end the Obama-era electric vehicle subsidy that helped get more electric cars on the road in America.

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