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Over 500,000 EVs On Roads Of Europe By End Of Year, New Report Finds

There will be more than 500,000 electric vehicles on the roads of Europe by the end of the year (2016), according to a new report from Transport & Environment (T&E).

The report also notes that electric vehicle sales in the European Union — this includes both all-electrics (EVs) and also plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) — during 2015 hit the 145,000 units mark.


When electric vehicle sales in Norway (not a member of the EU) are factored in as well, the European market actually managed to achieve 2nd place as far as all-electric vehicle sales went.

T&E electro-mobility officer, Julia Hildermeier, commented: “The electromobility revolution is underway and Europe is well placed to take a leading position. To fully grab this chance, Europe needs four important boosts from regulators: ambitious European CO2 limits for new cars in 2025 including a specific target for EV sales to stimulate competition amongst carmakers; to accelerate the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure across Europe; to ban dirty diesels from cities; and tax breaks for battery electric vehicles.”


A press release on the matter provides more: “Mitsubishi sold the largest amount of EVs in 2015 (28,175), accounting for 23% of all its sales in Europe. Mitsubishi sold 27,977 Outlanders, a plug-in hybrid car, making it the most popular EV choice in Europe in 2015. However, there are concerns the short electric range undermines its environmental benefits. The second best selling EV is the Renault Zoe, a battery electric model with 16,612 units. The Nissan Leaf (11,977 units sold) lost its 3rd position to the new Golf GTE with almost 15,000 new registrations.”


Continuing: “The Netherlands tops the list of EV sales for the third year in a row, with a 8.8% share of plug-in vehicles. Norway is second in terms of absolute sales but has a much higher market share, 18.7%. The Dutch market is mainly plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) models whilst those in Norway are mainly battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The UK sells the third highest level of EVs, although it is notable that PHEVs predominate in sales even though the purchase incentive offered is markedly less. France has the second biggest share of BEVs, reflecting the relatively generous bonus under its CO₂-based bonus-malus car purchasing scheme. Germany has a very ambitious electromobility scheme that aims for one million EVs on its streets by 2020. However, it has only recently introduced any incentives that should increase demand in 2016, which helps explain the fact that only 0.7% of total vehicle sales in Germany were EVs.”

When taken altogether, what’s obvious is that despite decent growth in the market, electric vehicles still only comprise a very limited portion of the overall European auto market. If the continent’s carbon emissions are going to be curtailed to a substantial degree, then that will need to change.

The local e-bike and e-scooter market seems to be doing decently, though, according to T&E. Somewhere between 5 and 8 million of the vehicles now on the roads of Europe are electric bikes & scooters.


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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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