|Pike’s projected vehicle sales by electrified drivetrain, European markets: 2012–2020. Click to enlarge.|
Pike Research forecasts that electric vehicles—conventional hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electrics (BEVs)—will grow from 0.7% of the market in Europe in 2012 to 4% in 2020. While that is still a small portion of the market, it represents more than 827,000 vehicles per year, Pike notes. The biggest growth is expected in BEVs followed by PHEVs, with HEVs lagging behind.
Pike Research forecasts that by 2020 more than 1.8 million BEVs will be on Europe’s roadways, along with 1.2 million PHEVs and 1.7 million HEVs.
The top six European countries for BEVs on the road in 2020 will be Germany, France, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden, Pike projects, together representing more than 67% of the total market, with each having a volume in excess of six figures.
In contrast, only four countries are expected to exceed a volume of greater than 100,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles—Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom—representing 52% of the total.
The European transportation market is significantly different from other world regions. With fuel prices significantly higher than in North America for many years, small, efficient gasoline- and diesel-engine cars have led European sales figures. The popularity of diesel has resulted in hybrids not achieving the success in Europe that they have had in North America where the contrast with large V8 vehicles is important to consumers. Hybrid sales have also been strong in Asia Pacific where local buyers have always favored new technology.
In 2011, all-electric vehicles made up just less than 0.1% of the light duty market in Western Europe. France, Germany, and Norway were the sales leaders with more than 2,000 EVs sold in each country, and the United Kingdom was fourth with just over 1,000 units sold. Most sales were to utility companies, businesses, and government agencies despite the generous subsidies offered. The market is still testing the technology and in some cases waiting for the electric charging infrastructure to become established.—“Electric Vehicles in Europe”