A new study by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) finds that the affordability of electric cars remains a strong deterrent for customers across the EU, along with lack of infrastructure and lack of investment in infrastructure.
The analysis, which compares national data on the market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs) with GDP per capita, shows that the market share of ECVs is close to 0% in countries with a GDP below €18,000 (~US$21,000), while it is no more than 0.75% in half of all EU member states.
The European Parliament’s Committees on industry (ITRE) and transport (TRAN) will vote on the European Commission’s proposal for future car and van CO2 targets on 10 July. ACEA cautions that the targets must be realistic, taking into account what people can actually afford to buy.
The European Parliament mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the market is essentially driven by customers. A natural shift to electric vehicles will simply not happen without addressing consumer affordability.
—Erik Jonnaert, ACEA Secretary General
Besides affordability, the report identified a balanced supply of charging and refueling infrastructure as a pre-requisite for stronger sales of alternatively-powered vehicles across the EU.
The study found that of the roughly 100,000 charging points available today, 76% are concentrated in just four countries (the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK). On the other end of the spectrum, a country such as Romania—roughly six times bigger than the Netherlands—only has 114 charging points.
The Commission has proposed a ‘benchmark’ for the sales of full battery-electric cars at the level of 15% by 2025, and 30% by 2030. To put this in context, pure battery-electric cars accounted for just 0.7% of total EU car sales in 2017.
Electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs)—battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—accounted for 1.5% of total car sales in the EU; the market share of ECVs grew by 0.9 percentage points between 2014 and 2017.
At the current pace of growth, the market share would be 3.9% by 2025 and 5.4% by 2030, ACEA said. . . .