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Highlights

155,000 EV units sold in January

Price reduction rate slows

EU agrees quotas for clean buses

London — Global sales of light duty plug-in electric vehicles saw double-digit year-on-year growth in January, totalling 155,000 units, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a monthly report Monday.

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The January plug-in EV sales figure comprised 91,175 units sold in China, 28,736 sold in the EU and 16,899 sold in the US, with the remaining 18,520 units sold in other regions.

"China, despite a 16% year-on-year retraction in their auto market, still experienced 137% year-on-year sales growth in light duty EVs," said Platts EV Essentials -- an analytics unit which tracks the progression of global EV sales growth.

Europe saw 40% growth and the US 30%. In Europe, Norway led with 20,651 plug-in EVs sold, followed by Germany with 17,413, the UK with 15,064 and France with 14,510 units.

January's sales compares with a record 284,000 units sold in December, according to data from Platts EV Essentials.

As well as vehicle sales growth, EV Essentials tracks related trends, prices and impacts in key and emerging markets around the world.

The price of EVs continued to fall in January, but at a slower pace than seen in 2018 overall, it said.

"Year-on-year sales-weighted BEV purchase price reduction sunk to only 3% in January 2019 after an average year-on-year decline of 11% in 2018," said EV Essentials.

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"Price stabilization is likely short lived as more 'midrange' PEVs are expected to hit the US market throughout 2019-2020, including the launch of the $35,000 Tesla Model 3," it said.

In Europe, EU lawmakers struck a deal in early February mandating quotas for the procurement of clean buses by local transportation authorities, which could put 60,000-100,000 pure electric buses on EU roads by 2030, EV Essentials said.

France will invest $790 million in the production of battery cells for electric cars, concurrent with a similar battery manufacturing investment of $1.1 billion from Germany. The cumulative $1.9 billion investment comes as part of a planned Franco-German initiative to reduce dependence on Asian battery suppliers, EV Essentials said.

Over the long term, continued growth in EVs is expected to reduce demand for petroleum-based fuels and increase demand for electricity as Europe continues on a path to a low-carbon economy by mid-century.

-- Frank Watson, frank.watson@spglobal.com

-- Edited by James Burgess, newsdesk@spglobal.com