EV revolution ‘is underway’

A ‘complete culture change’ has seen an explosion in electric vehicle (EV) sales in recent months, with experts saying the electric revolution is now finally underway.

Sales of EVs in Europe doubled last year, according to figures from Transport and Environment (T&E), which also says there could be more than two million EVs on the road by the end of 2016.

Sales of EVs in Europe reached 145,000 last year, the biggest sales increase for any year to date, making it the second largest market for purely electric cars in the world.

T&E’s Greg Archer said, ‘It is still very small, but what we have seen over the past few months is a complete culture change. It is very clear that EVs are going to be seriously competitive to conventional vehicles. The revolution is underway and Europe is well placed to take a leading position.’

The Netherlands tops the list of EV sales with an 8.8% share of plug-in vehicles while Norway is second in terms of absolute sales but has a much higher market share, 18.7%. The UK sells the third highest level of EVs, although it is notable that PHEVs predominate in sales even though the purchase incentive offered is markedly less.

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.’