More Than 2 Million Electric Cars Now Roam the Earth

More than 750,000 EVs were sold throughout 2016, according to a study. 

Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle on charge on a London street
Miles Willis—Getty Images for Go Ultra Low

There are now more than two million electric cars on Earth following a big boost in EV sales in the year 2016, according to a study conducted by the International Energy Agency.

Electric car sales grew 60 percent in 2016 globally, according to the study's data, as EVs became more affordable and more commonplace around the world. That translated to 750,000 new electric-powered vehicles being sold throughout the year. 

It's a huge jump in a very short time. In 2015, the automotive industry saw EVs bust through the 1 million sales mark, but now the electric car ball is rolling like never before. 

The mass majority of EV sale growth came from the United States, China, and Europe, with those massive markets making up more than 90 percent of the purchases. Out of all countries, China is the biggest market for EV adoption—not surprising, as the government there is pushing electric vehicles with vigor in part as a way to combat the air pollution that dogs many parts of the nation.

In 2016, approximately 160,000 electric cars were sold all across America. That said, a push from governments of Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland will likely push those numbers even further in 2017. By themselves, those four cities are working to buy more than 110,000 electric cars for government work this year.

That said, even those numbers pale in comparison to those for gas-powered cars. Even though EV growth rates are substantial, electric cars still only count for 0.2 percent of the world's passenger vehicles, according to the IEA.