Europe will see more than half a million electric vehicles on its roads by the end of 2016, says a report by Transport & Environment (T&E) .
In three years the EV fleet on European roads has risen from 100,000 to almost 200,000 by 2014, and almost doubled again last year and is on course to end the year at 600,000 at current rates of acquisition in the European Free Trade Area.
Pollution-hit China is the biggest market for EVs but Europe and Norway are next and well ahead of the US. Netherlands and Norway sell most but Britain is the third highest buyer of EVs and predominantly PHEVs.
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 pictured above, making it the most popular EV choice in Europe in 2015.
However, there are concerns the short electric range undermines its environmental benefits (1). 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.
Julia Hildermeier, electromobility officer of T&E, said, “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.”
Legislation requires car makers to average 95gkm in five years but even lower limits for 2025 and this level will be announced early 2017. PHEVs may also have to hit a tough electric-only range in future as well.