Fact #937: August 8, 2016 Total Battery Capacity of all Plug-in Electric Vehicles Sold Increased from 2014 to 2015

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The number of battery packs sold for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) declined by 3.4% from 2014 to 2015. However, the total battery capacity for all PEVs sold between 2014 and 2015 increased by 22.6%. The rising battery capacities of PEV models have increased battery production even when sales of battery packs are down. Following the introduction of mass market PEVs in 2011, the total battery capacity sold increased nearly tenfold from 0.4 to 3.8 million kW-hrs by 2015.

The sales volume of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), and therefore HEV battery packs, is much higher than for PEVs but their battery capacities are much smaller. Battery capacities for 2011-2015 HEV models usually ranged from about 1 to 2 kW-hrs while PEV models for this same period had battery capacities as large as 90 kW-hrs for a single battery pack. As a result, the total battery capacity sold for PEVs is much higher than it is for HEVs despite lower PEV sales volumes.

Number of Vehicle Battery Packs and Capacity Sold, 2011-2015

Graphis showing HEV and PEV battery capacity sold and HEV and PEV battery packs sold.

Fact #937 Dataset

Supporting Information

Number of Vehicle Battery Packs Sold and Capacity Sold, 2013-2015
Calendar YearBattery Capacity Sold (Million Kilowatt-hours)Battery Packs Sold (Thousands)
HEVPEVHEVPEV
20110.340.426718
20120.561.043553
20130.642.8749697
20140.603.10452119
20150.503.80384115

Sources:
Data are estimated using hybrid and plug-in vehicle sales data along with information on battery suppliers. Vehicle sales data - Yan Zhou, Argonne National Laboratory, Battery suppliers – Compiled from public sources by John Thomas, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2016.

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