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Cars europe PHEV sales

Published on February 26th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

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Top European Countries For 100%-Electric Car Sales & Plug-In Hybrid Electric Car Sales (Charts)



 Originally published on EV Obsession.

I recently wrote a long piece on ABB Conversations regarding electrified vehicle sales in 17 European countries—with a chart for each one. It was a lot of fun and very interesting, but it also made me realize that I never did a ranking of European countries regarding 2013 electrified vehicle sales. So… below are five charts and a little commentary.

This first chart, perhaps a bit too packed, shows total electrified car sales, 100%-electric car sales, and plug-in hybrid car sales for these 17 countries:

Pulling out the bottom 5 countries helps a bit to see things better:

The next chart takes a look at 100% electric car sales only. As is usual, France took the #1 spot here, followed by rather small (population-wise) Norway and auto giant Germany.

And here’s a look at plug-in hybrid electric car sales:

Hmm, the Netherlands crushes it (“thanks” in part to an expiring government incentive for plug-in vehicles). So, let’s have a look at the chart minus the Netherlands:


My overall commentary is that electrified car sales across Europe were quite unbalanced in 2013. There’s a steep drop-off each step down from #1 to #6 in the overall and the 100% electric car sales charts. The plug-in hybrid car sales chart is of course completely whack with the Netherlands included, but it is a bit more balanced than any other chart with the Netherlands removed. Of course, none of this takes into account EV sales as a percentage of total car sales, EV sales per capita, or EV sales relative to anything else. If such a ranking were created, France, Germany, and the UK wouldn’t look as strong. Meanwhile, some of those leading Scandinavian countries as well as Switzerland would look even better than they do above. However, it would be interesting to actually see such charts… (so maybe I’ll get to creating such rankings another day).

It will also be interesting to see how things turn out in 2014. With Volkswagen and BMW bringing some competitive electric cars to market, things might get shifted around quite a bit. Plus, EV costs continue to drop and EV awareness continues to rise, all with rising sales. I’m looking forward to tracking the progress throughout the year and doing next year’s wrap-up pieces!

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Tim Kreukniet

    @johnbrianshannon:disqus high EV sales correlate in all these countries with high fiscal incentives. If you want to have a conversation on EU/NL EV policy please let me know.

    High level of Plug-in in the Netherlands is because Plug-in and EV received the same fiscal incentives up until 2014.

  • CarlosAFL

    Nice article. I recall a conversation with some Dutch colleagues in which they told me that the incentive program for PHEV was mainly earmarked for purchasing Opel Amperas (there are not too many options in that niche market), but they were rather pissed off because at the end of the day, Ampera owners chose to drive in “gas mode”.
    From my experience in Spain, the “chicken and egg” trade-off starts with the question of who is going to pay for the charging infrastructure and what is going to be the final standard (or standards) in those equipments. Of course, high prices for EVs are a deterrant for people buying them (don’t forget that the most common salary in Spain is 15,500 €/year).
    All the best from Madrid.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Ampera owners chose to drive in “gas mode”?

      With the price of gas in Europe drivers are bypassing electricity? That doesn’t smell right.

      • CarlosAFL

        Charging infrastructure, standardization…a lot of things are still more important than electricity price here.

  • tibi stibi

    nice to see my country (the Netherlands) at the number one spot for once (we are terrible at green electricity). and even better because we are only with 17 million much less than France, Germany or the UK. :D

    and i must say that i see electric chargers popping up a lot in Amsterdam!

  • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

    Great information, Zachary.

    I’m no European policy wonk, but I’ll bet that the countries with high electrified vehicle sales per capita — also have more progressive environmental policies.

    The cost of subsidy programmes in Europe for EV, PHEV, and Hybrid vehicle purchases and zoning changes/subsidy allocations for such things as SuperCharger locations, must be lower than the equivalent gasmobile vehicle + it’s carbon emissions + related health care costs + infrastructure costs due to acid rain + full life-cycle analysis CO2 emissions, per capita.

    Over 25 years, I’m saying that the gasmobile costs individuals, companies and governments (and infrastructure and health care costs too) significantly more than an equivalent EV or PHEV, per capita.

    Can I prove that? No, but I strongly suspect that is the case.

    Perhaps an article idea for you?

    Best regards, JBS
    http://jbsnews.com

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      I’m sure they do. Also curious to see what the policies are. I covered Norway’s at length: http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/05/expensive-gasmobiles-norway/

      I’m sure France has some decent incentives, but not sure what they are.

      PHEV sales in the NL skyrocketed due to an expiring or changing incentive.

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