As vehicle manufacturers and fuel coalition meet in Brussels to talk about consistency in defining alternative fuels that will drive the energy transition it’s a good moment to look back at 2019 and the advancements that were made in the EV industry.
Long-term energy transition goals depend on both alternative-fuel solutions that already reduce harmful emissions and developing new technologies. In the words of the coalition:
“It is imperative that all alternative fuels play a role in the energy transition […] While it is important to set long-term objectives, Europe should not dismiss solutions that are already available, cost-effective, commercially viable and that positively contribute to the energy transition.” (source)
At the moment, alternative-fuelled vehicles represent a small but an increasing percentage of cars in the EU (8.9%). While petrol cars still dominate the market at 60%, electrically chargeable vehicles are slowly growing at 2.8%
source: 2019 in the Automotive
Given the air quality crisis and speed in which climate change is the EU needs to take a practical approach, such as promoting cleaner-burning fuels that are already commercially viable and invest in the development of new technologies, battery improvements and EV infrastructure
Across the European Union there are 144,00 EV charging points available. Most of them (76%) can be found in four countries. The Netherlands take lead as over 26% (37,037) points are located there. Next is Germany with 19% (27,459), France with 17% (24,850) and the United Kingdom with 13% (19,076) points. It’s interesting to note that the same four countries only cover 27% of the EU’s total surface area.
This is strongly related to GDP.
Countries with an ECV market share lower than 1% have a GDP below $32,000, they’re mainly located in Central and Eastern Europe but also Greece, Spain and Italy.
By contrast, in countries with a GDP per capita of more than $46,000 the ECV market share is above 3.5%.
source: 2019 in the Automotive
The popularity of electric vehicles is still quite uneven across Europe. Countries such as Poland, Slovakia and Greece have the lowest share of EVs (0.3% or less), selling a few hundred ECVs in a year. Norway’s ECV share is an impressive 49.1%, which is an exceptional case in Europe. It’s followed by Sweden and the Netherlands (8 and 6.7% respectively) but these are the countries with relatively small car markets.
The biggest and most important European car markets, namely Germany, the UK and France, saw a considerably bigger share of fully electric cars, accounting for 2.0%, 2.5%, and 2.1% respectively. Last year, around 8 million electric vehicles were sold in these countries all together.
Prices of electric cars also differ across the globe and depending on the model. While an average electric vehicle in Europe costs $34,000, in China you can buy an EV for “only” $27,000.
It looks as though the EV market is going to continue to grow in size for the years to come. It has to, especially when you factor in consumer demand, rising fuel prices, the climate crisis and the subsidies that are on offer to encourage people to go electric.
About the author: Giles Kirkland is an environmentally conscious car expert with passion for electric vehicles and clean technologies. Apart from commenting on the latest automotive innovations, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and giving sustainable driving tips. You can find his articles on Twitter and at Oponeo.
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