According to new industry figures, there are now more than one million electric vehicles (EV) in Europe after a surge in sales across the region.
Although Europe has reached this milestone goal nearly a year later than China, it is ahead of the United States. Due to the popularity of Tesla’s latest models, the United States is expected to reach the goal of selling more than 1 million electric vehicles later this year.
According to EV Volumes, sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles increased by 42% in the first half of 2018, compared to the same period of 2017. From January to June 2018, the sales amounts reached 195,000 electric vehicles across the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. With the rapid economic growth, it is expected that the cumulative total of electric vehicles will reach 1.35 million by the end of this year.
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Source: EV Volumes
Norway leads the rest of Europe with sales of 36,500 electric vehicles and a share of 37% of new registrations. The country has been far ahead in battery-driven vehicles, thanks to government’ s generous incentives. Buyers do not need to pay import taxes and VAT for plug-in vehicles, nor do they have to pay road tolls, ferry fees and city emission fees. In addition, they can park for free and bypass crowded traffic by driving on some bus lanes.
However, the rapid growth of the German market means that by the end of this year, the total sales of German electric vehicles will be expected to exceed Norway, or will become the largest automotive market in Europe. The sales are expected to hit 88,500 in 2018.
The Netherlands and Denmark have also achieved good growth, but the growth of UK electric vehicle sales is very mild. In the first half of 2018, the UK sold 30,040 plug-in hybrid vehicles and trucks. Sales of battery electric vehicles fell by 6%, but sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles increased by 50%. Pivot Power, which is an EV charging stations manufacturer, hopes to establish an electric vehicle rapid charging network system across the UK. The company said that the UK has sufficient conditions to catch up with its Nordic competitors in the development of electric vehicles.
In the first half of this year, the one million sale is a good start and a clear signal of EV prospects. However, how to obtain low-cost, well-positioned charging will be the key to capturing this momentum. There is still concern about the impact of electric vehicle charging networks and the speed of polluting vehicles, but the latest sales data and increasingly active policy environment further prove that electric traffic is rapidly approaching the mainstream.