In 2017, plug-in sales surpassed 1.1 million and showed a 50% year-over-year increase. Q4 2017 was a big part of this growth, as the 388,000 combined PHEV and EV sales were the largest quarter globally to date. Despite a slow start, China was the largest market for plug-in vehicles in 2017, with total sales of 548,000 plug-ins sold which gave it 49% of the global market. Tesla’s 30,000 units delivered were a company record, as were BYD’s 40,000, but both fell significantly behind BAIC which say quarterly sales of 57,000 in Q4 2017. Tesla remains a leading consumer of batteries, using 2.5 GWh of cells in Q4 2017, while BAIC’s strong quarter saw it use a total of 1.3 GWh, with BYD’s 1.1 GWh make it the third company to use more than 1 GWh in the quarter. Panasonic’s relationship with Tesla retains its edge, with 26% market share in Q4 2017, but others are rapidly catching up. Strong plug-in sales have seen Korean manufacturers make gains, as LG Chem (General Motors, Hyundai) and Samsung SDI (BMW) have a combined 18% market share. NMC cathodes now make up 46% of total cathode usage in Li-ion batteries in Q4 2017, up from 26% in Q4 2016.
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