The electric vehicle [EV] market, of course, has started small, last year just 0.7% of the market in Europe. For example, just over 5,600 EVs were sold in France last year, or 1 in 6,200 new vehicles. Just for comparison, here in the US the ratio is more like 1:20,000.
There are some tax incentives in place that is helping this market to grow, but the real issue is infrastructure. In order to get around reliably in an EV, there need to be charging stations faster than household slow chargers, and these need time to get installed, not to mention the expense.
However, the more these stations become commonplace, the easier it is for a consumer to see that driving an EV doesn’t have to be inconvenient. According to a recent study by Pike Research, the availability of this new infrastructure is going to bump sales up as high as 4% of the market by 2020.
Senior research analyst David Alexander said, “…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.”
As fuel prices continue to rise and emissions standards become more stringent, the adaptation of EVs is going to be the obvious choice. Infrastructure is getting into place more and more across Europe and as battery prices come down, it will be that much easier to make the switch. Sales numbers will naturally follow, over 800,000 annually by the end of the decade.