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JRC report finds electric vehicles in Europe on the way to full-scale commercialization

The European Union appears to be undergoing a transition from the testing of and experimentation with electric vehicles to full-scale EV commercialization, according to a new report from the EU’s Joint Research Center (JRC). This report covers battery-electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), range extended electric vehicles (REV), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV).

The number of sold electric vehicles of all types rose from 760 in 2010 to more than 70,000 in 2014, with the trend continuing in the first half of 2015, according to the report. The choice of models went from 3 to nearly 30 in the same period. The share of electric vehicles produced in the EU has also expanded, increasing from 30% (of EV registered in the EU) in 2011 to 65% in 2014.

Jrc
Registrations of BEV and PHEV in the EU from 2010 to 2014. Each column segment corresponds to a specific model. The blue and grey part of the column corresponds to the group “mass production / imports”, while the red part corresponds to the group “small-series / imports and pre-production series”. Source: Thiel et al. Click to enlarge.

According to the team’s analysis, a total of 153,633 electric cars were registered in the EU from 2010 to 2014. Out of this 151,698 were mass-produced or mass-imported cars and 1,935 were small-series, small number imports and pre-production series cars. This breaks down to:

  • 86,230 BEV
  • 67,300 PHEV and REV
  • 103 FCEV

The PHEV/REV group breaks down to:

  • 50,869 gasoline PHEV
  • 12,613 diesel PHEV
  • 3,818 REV (specifically, the BMW i3)
Jrc2
Total BEV (blue column) and PHEV (red column) registrations per segment in the EU from 2010 to 2014. Each column segment corresponds to a specific model. Number corresponds to models offered per segment. Only models of the group “mass production / imports” are shown.

With the exception of the E-segment, every segment has at least one BEV or PHEV model, the authors noted. The smallest segments (A and B) only offer BEV, while some of the larger and heavier segments (F and J) only offer PHEV models. This indicates a specialization in terms of optimal powertrain configurations per segment, in line with textbook theory. Source: Thiel et al. Click to enlarge.

The report also emphasizes that market deployment is still dependent on support policies and vulnerable to changes in such support. According to the recommendations, support measures should be based on technology neutral criteria, such as CO2 and other pollutant emissions, or energy efficiency.

These support measures could be gradually reduced when further cost reduction for electric vehicles or other fuel saving technologies kick in and they become a regular choice option for the mainstream market.

The Netherlands and France have the highest number of electric vehicle registrations in the period 2010-2014, while the Netherlands and Estonia have the largest shares of registered EVs on the passenger car market – between 1% and 2%. This is due to strong financial incentives, which have led to registration peaks. Member States with low or no incentives display low numbers of registrations and EV shares on the market.

While plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are mostly present in the larger car size segment, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are usually smaller size cars. Also, most of the current plug-in hybrid electric vehicle models offered derive from conventional (internal combustion engine propelled) car models. The number of battery electric vehicles models, derived from conventional car models, is increasing. This is an indication for a beginning of their mass commercialisation in the EU, the report said. The number of models offered will continue to grow in the future.

Higher purchase costs for electric vehicles, mainly because of the significant cost of the traction battery, seem to remain an important barrier for a larger uptake. Nevertheless, recent studies indicate that battery costs may decline faster than originally anticipated in literature. This could help to further decrease the cost gap between electric and conventional cars and hence substantiate the further market increase.

As an overall conclusion we can state that indeed the EU seems to currently witness a transition from testing and experimenting with EV towards full scale EV commercialization. Nevertheless, the beginning market deployment is still dependent on support policies and vulnerable to changes in such support. For the coming years it will be important to accompany EV market deployment with carefully designed policy measures that provide certainty and are consistent and coherent across the EU. These can then be gradually reduced when further cost reduction for EV kicks in and EV become a regular choice option for the mainstream market. Support measures should be based on technology neutral criteria, such as CO2 and other pollutant emissions, or energy efficiency.

—Thiel et al.

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Comments

HarveyD

This is good news for all types of electrified vehicles.

Current arbitrary incentives could be reduced and/or eliminated if:

1) ICEVs users paid appropriate road usage fees plus adequate real pollution fees.

2) Electrified vehicles users paid appropriate road usage fees.

This way, transition from ICEVs to Electrified vehicles would have minimum effects on government revenues.

Brent Jatko

@HarveyD: Good comment. I think some states in the US may be transitioning from the current state/Federal taxes on fuel to a per-mile tax on _all_ vehicles to take care of roads.

I think California or Washington State will be the leaders in these efforts.

Mariordo

This study seems to exclude Norway, which is the leading European country, both in terms of market share, over 20% in 2015, and total registered PEV fleet, over 74,000 at the end of September 2015.

When all European countries are considered, the were over 230,000 plug-in at the end of 2014, and about 350,000 by the end of September 2015

TM

Norway is not a member of the EU, thus Norway is not included.
They have nearly 62,000 such vehicles according to the study below.
http://cleantechnica.com/2015/07/16/23-of-new-cars-in-norway-now-electric-cars/

Go Electric!

Lad

Europe will lead the U.S. in the transition to electric vehicles because fossil fuel is still very costly in Europe and that is an incentive to buy EVs; it is relatively low in the U.S. so that is an incentive here to keep buying ICEVs.

Mariordo

As per the comments above, the title should be corrected to state that this study is about the European Union, not Europe. Because Switzerland and Norway are excluded, the PEV stock count is missing some 80,000 plug-ins in European roads.

HarveyD

BJ...a per distance travelled or road usage tax would have to be modulated to account for GHG and pollution created and road construction and repairs?

If impossible to do, the liquid fuel taxes would have to be maintained and adjusted, at a fair rate, to cover the direct and indirect cost of GHG and pollution created.

mahonj

There is already a ton of taxes on fuel in the EU.
Up until September 18th the plan for Europe was diesel, but this has been exposed as based on sand.
This was caused by a focus on CO2 alone with NOX etc. seen as minor problems- so they cheated on the "Local pollutants".
It will be interesting to see what happens next.
I can see two ways: either diesel cleans up it's act or it gets overtaken by electric vehicles.
What may happen is that the larger cities will bring in their own extra pollution measures which will mitigate against diesel and the rural areas will stay diesel.
A problem with this is that a lot of people live in the countryside or outer suburbs and commute into the cities.

You would think France would push electrics as they have such a low CO2 supply, but I suppose they also have PSA and Renault who are diesel champions.

The EU could help by enforcing EU wide charger standards and mandating a given number of charge points per 100 kms on motorways.

HarveyD

A new e-taxis (only) operator (Taxelco) will start operation this November, in our city (Montreal), with 50 all electric taxis using 12 TESLA Model S, Leaf and Soul EVs. Twelve+ quick charging designated facilities have been installed for this small e-taxis fleet.

This new e-taxis fleet will use UBER like communication and management systems.

The same owner operates 500+ ICEV taxis under a separate fleet.

E-taxis rates may vary with type/size of e-vehicle and (like UBER) when more than one customer use the same e-vehicle.

HarveyD

TAXELCO has accumulated $75 CAN to expand its e-taxis fleet and become a major player during the next 12 to 24 months.

HarveyD

correction:

$75 CAN should read $75M CAN

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