The number of imported electric vehicles sold in Japan during fiscal 2022 rose 65.0 percent from a year earlier to a record 16,464 units, an industry organization said Thursday, underscoring the increasing popularity of the genre in a country still dominated by gasoline-powered cars.
The number of EVs represents 6.7 percent of the 246,196 imported cars sold in the year ended last month, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said.
Government subsidies prompted more drivers to turn to environment-friendly, all-electric vehicles, the association said. Models from Tesla Inc. of the United States sold particularly well.
Passenger EV sales in Japan, including those made by domestic carmakers, accounted for just 2 percent of total car sales in fiscal 2022, according to data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.
Of the 3.61 million passenger cars newly sold in Japan, about 77,000 were EVs, the organizations said. The higher EV percentage for imported cars may reflect the wider variety of products offered by foreign makers than their Japanese rivals.
Germany's Mercedes-Benz remained the best-selling import brand for the eighth straight year, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association
By model, the Mini from German automaker BMW ranked top for the seventh consecutive year.