Electric vehicles – including hybrid cars, plug-in hybrid cars and battery electric cars – have been little more than a niche sector to date, accounting for just 0.7 per cent of automotive sales in Europe during 2012. However, their popularity is about to expand rapidly.
That’s the verdict of Pike Research which is forecasting that the number will leap to a four per cent share of the market in 2020: and while that still represents a small portion, it will mean sales of more than 827,000 vehicles a year.
According to Pike’s research, the biggest spike in sales will be of electric cars themselves, with more than 1.8million electric cars on the road (such as the new Ford Focus Electric, pictured) by 2020. Meanwhile, there will be 1.7million hybrid cars on the road and 1.2million plug-in hybrid electric cars.
Germany, France, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden are set to lead the way for electric car sales on the continent – accounting for 67 per cent of the total market and each accounting for a volume exceeding six figures. Only four countries however, will sell more than 100,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles: Germany, France, Italy and the UK.
Pike suggests that the European transportation market is vastly different to other regions due to higher fuel prices and more efficient, smaller petrol and diesel engine cars. It suggests that the popularity of diesels has held back the take-off of hybrid cars.
It also highlights that in 2011, battery electric cars accounted for just 0.1 per cent of the market – with France, Germany and Norway selling just over 2,000 electric cars and the UK in fourth place with just over 1,000 electric cars sold. Most of these sales were to government agencies and utility companies: an indication that the market is still testing the technology and highlighting the need for electric car charging infrastructure to become more widely available.
Paul is a freelance writer with a background in everything from motoring to finance; and holidays to women's undergarments he just writes about them, honestly! He has now sadly crept into his early 30s and seems to have forgotten everything learned at school Still, he's a green car fanatic and isn't that what counts?
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