Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Sales in Europe to Reach 827,000 Annually by 2020

solar_carAlthough government support for electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe is waning, the increasing availability of vehicle charging infrastructure that enables vehicles to charge at home, at the workplace, and in public places is facilitating market growth.  With electric and electrically assisted vehicles now available in the mainstream market, the fundamental question is no longer if there is a market; rather, the question is how fast that market will grow.  According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, EVs – including electrically assisted hybrids – will play an increasingly important role in European markets, growing from 0.7 percent of the market in 2012 to 4 percent in 2020. While that is still a small portion of the market, it represents more than 827,000 vehicles sold annually in the region.

“The European transportation market is significantly different from other world regions,” says senior research analyst David Alexander.  “Thanks to fuel prices that are significantly higher than in North America, small, efficient gasoline- and diesel-engine cars have led European sales figures for many years.  Today, the market is still testing electric drive technology, waiting for the price premium for EVs compared to conventional vehicles to narrow, and in some cases waiting for electric charging infrastructure to become established.”

Another difference between the European and North American automotive markets is the prevalence of diesel vehicles in Europe.  The popularity of diesel has prevented hybrids from achieving the success in Europe that they have had in North America, where the contrast with large V8 vehicles is important to consumers.  The biggest growth through 2020 is expected to come in battery electric vehicles, followed by plug-in hybrids, according to the report, while hybrid electric vehicle sales will lag behind in most European countries.

The report, “Electric Vehicles in Europe”, examines key market trends and drivers for the purchase of light duty electric drive vehicles in Europe.  The study includes an analysis of business models and demand factors, technology and standards issues, and government policies within the region. Profiles of 23 key automakers in the sector are included, and detailed market forecasts for vehicle sales and registrations are provided for 21 European countries, segmented by powertrain, through 2020.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.

Contact: Richard Martin

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