While carmakers complain about the lack of recharging points and government incentives, it is the poor choice of electric cars, the lack of availability in showrooms and the few euros spent on marketing them that are as much to blame, a new report by Transport & Environment (T&E) has found.
In November 2016 the Commission presented its new proposal for a Renewable Energy Directive in the 2021-2030 period. The main elements of the proposal on transport are to reduce the cap on food and feed-based biofuels to 3.8% in 2030 and to establish a mandate on fuel suppliers, requiring them to blend 6.8% of advanced fuels by 2030 (T&E’s position on biofuels in the RED can be found here).
After many false dawns the electric car is finally on a trajectory to replace the internal combustion engine.
Read Spanish and Italian versions.China has secured €21.7 billion of investment in the past year to manufacture electric vehicles (EV) while Europe secured only €3.2 billion, according to European carmakers’ public announcements compiled by Transport & Environment (T&E). China produces a third more cars than Europe does (23.5 million passenger cars manufactured in 2017 versus 17 million in Europe) and thus the market size can’t explain the huge disparity in investment. China’s ambitious mandate – requiring carmakers to manufacture electric vehicles in its territory – is a key driver of investment in EVs, one which Europe currently lacks.
Mobility is at a crossroads and in each of the key three revolutions, automation, sharing and electrification of cars, Europe is falling behind. China has secured seven times more investments in electric vehicle manufacturing than the EU has in the last year only. Based on public announcements, China has received over EUR 21.7 billion of investment to produce electric vehicles while the EU secured only EUR 3.2 billion, seven times less. Front runners the Volkswagen Group, Daimler AG and Nissan have provided the bulk of the investment in China, driven by the aggressive electric vehicle policy. This policy requires carmakers to obtain credits for the production of EVs that are equivalent to 10% of the overall passenger car market in 2019 and 12% in 2020.
An action plan to drive the production, reuse and recycling of lithium-ion batteries in the EU has been published by the European Commission. T&E has welcomed the strategy, but says parallel measures to ensure carmakers sell a minimum number of electric vehicles are needed if Europe is to make the most out of the economic potential of electric cars.
Carmakers are still failing to achieve their own sales targets for battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Europe because they have barely improved the marketing, choice and availability of zero emissions vehicles, a new report shows. While carmakers seek to blame a lack of recharging points and government incentives, market data obtained by T&E shows that for the second year running  they spent miniscule amounts trying to sell electric vehicles – especially in markets where motorists are already willing to consider buying them.
Carmakers are failing to achieve their own targets for sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid models as they do not increase the offer of these vehicles fast enough. While manufacturers complain about a lack of recharging infrastructure and incentives, this report by T&E makes it clear that they could have done significantly more to meet their own goals.
The number of electric vehicle chargers is not holding back EV sales but the limited availability of the vehicles is. That's according to a comprehensive analysis of member states’ plans for the deployment of EV charging infrastructure to support the EV fleet between now and 2020. More investment in public charging infrastructure will be needed after 2020 as EV sales increase, but it is not a problem for consumers yet.
Sufficient accessible charging infrastructure is a key enabler for the accelerated uptake of electric cars. This briefing analyses the current and planned future roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in European Member States, based governments’ plans (National Policy Frameworks) submitted to the Commission as part of the implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive.