JRC: e-vehicle market in Europe is slowly gaining momentum, but breakthrough is needed

03 December 2018

A new European Joint Research Center (JRC) analysis on the deployment of electric vehicles (EV) in Europe concludes that although the sector evolved significantly between 2010 and 2017, progress is still small to be characterized as full-scale commercialization.

In 2010, electric vehicles still represented a niche market. Since then, the brands offering EV models have increased, and European consumers now have a wide choice of electric vehicle models which cover all car types.

Evolution of M1 category registrations of BEV and PHEV in Europe between 2010 and 2017

Although still small compared to conventional passenger cars, the e-vehicle market share has increased steadily in Europe, with some countries witnessing impressive growth.

Market share of M1 EV in Europe between 2010 and 2017

In 2017, almost 300,000 electric passenger cars were registered in Europe, against around 1,400 in 2010. The highest numbers were registered in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the UK.

In Europe, the e-vehicle market is almost equally divided between battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars.

Place for improvement in the electric bus sector. Electric buses offer an environmentally friendly transport alternative, especially in cities. However, the urban bus sector in Europe has yet to experience a full transition to e-mobility.

A European Commission study from 2017 estimated the global electric bus stock to count 173,000 buses, with 98% of the global stock being situated in China.

Between 2010 and 2017, the highest numbers of electric buses in Europe were registered in the United Kingdom (~200), the Netherlands (~175), Belgium (~140), Germany (~90) and Austria (~75).

Recharging infrastructure improving unevenly in different parts of Europe. The availability and development of EV recharging infrastructure is another important factor contributing to the development of e-mobility.

In general terms, the recharging infrastructure has improved in Europe. More charging points are now available and technological advances have made the recharging faster.

However, the situation is very different from one Member State to another. The Netherlands, Germany, France and UK have the highest number of charging points, ranging from around 140,000 in the UK to around 325,000 in the Netherlands. All other European countries have less than 5,000 charging points.

Barriers to mass market uptake. Despite the increasing numbers in market penetration, barriers to mass market uptake of e-vehicles still seem to exist, the report says.

In some countries the lack of publicly accessible recharging points may have already led to lower consumer confidence in the viability of EVs. Consumers also tend to be worried about the cost of electric vehicles, issues linked to the driving range and high maintenance costs.

The JRC report points out that some barriers could be linked to consumers’ misconceptions about e-vehicles. One common misconception is that e-vehicles are slower or provide an inferior driving experience compared to traditional cars. The report also emphasizes that with the evolution of the market and technology, e-vehicles are becoming cheaper, better performing and even faster than expected.

Recommendations for a way forward. Support policies remain important to help the transition to low emission mobility, and incentives can play a catalytic role in EV deployment at this stage.

At the moment, support measures stimulating EV demand are not harmonized in the EU Member States. This has led to market fragmentation both in terms of the number of EVs on the road and the availability of publicly accessible recharging infrastructure.

The JRC report recommends that support measures are harmonized to promote the use of e-vehicles as well as the development of accessible recharging infrastructures.

Measures supporting interoperability and targeted infrastructure investments are also necessary.

Finally, policies targeting consumer behavior and raising awareness of low emission mobility can play a major role in the transition towards a near zero emission mobility.

The push to decarbonize the European economies offers a huge opportunity to France in particular.  As the country with the largest share of nuclear power, France is uniquely situated to electrify both its freight rail and its road vehicles.  The recent announcements from MB suggest a way forward:  inter-city freight switches from heavy trucks to inter-modal freight containers which ride on the low-speed (non-TGV) rail system.  At the destination city the containers are either stacked up to await delivery or auto-loaded onto electric vehicles for the "last mile".  This sort of buffer would allow the rail cars to move on with minimal delay.

The passenger rail system is likely used rather lightly outside of main commuting hours and especially overnight, so automated freight handling would allow improved utilization of the existing infrastructure.  Replacing petroleum-powered heavy trucks with electric rail and short-range delivery trucks (perhaps self-driving) would almost completely decarbonize that system at the point of use.  The last technical issue is the source of electricity, and nuclear does decarbonization better than anything else.

The political issue is the insane Green demand that France reduce its nuclear share of electric generation to 50% from the current 70+%.  This may actually be feasible in a mostly-electric France.  By using most "renewable" electricity to make storable energy, very large amounts of wind and PV generation could be used effectively without destabilizing the grid.  Most storable energy forms are not cost-effective vs. the same products made from fossil fuels, but there are un-tapped options out there.

This time, I have to agree with E-P that countries/States/Provinces with existing NPPs and developed Hydro are good candidates to add storable REs such as Wind and Solar to further clean e-energy supply and reduce pollution and GHGs.

Growing electrified vehicles fleet (PHEVs/BEVs/FCEVs) could recharge during solar/wind production hours at a reduced rate?

Re: electric city buses, our city is operating 44 new e-buses built by New Flyer (38), BYD (4) and Nova (4). Those 3 brands use 3 different incompatible charging systems.

It looks like PHEVs are selling in Europe.
Canceling Volt and Fusion Energi may not be such a good idea.
I think Equinox is a good hybrid candidate if people like CUVs.

Harvey... the entire problem with wind and solar is that they are NOT storable at any reasonable efficiency without lots of work and cost.

For an example of how not to do it, look at this study of biomass in Catalonia.  20.5 GJ per hectare per year comes to an average of about 6.5 milliwatts per square meter.

When clean energy from REs is in oversupply situation, (during higher wind/high sunshine hours), selling price has to (could) be reduced by up to 50+% to encourage/convince electrified vehicle owners to charge up. If -50% doesn't do it, why not try -66%?

Periods of Solar and Wind energy over supply can easily be forecasted and transmitted to all smart chargers.

As e-vehicles fleet grows, more and more clean lower cost (down to $0.03/kWh) REs can be installed. The cost of using (clean) e-vehicles could be further reduced to offset higher purchase cost. Harvey, you pathetic tool. When clean energy from REs is in oversupply situation, ... selling price has to (could) be reduced by up to 50+% to encourage/convince electrified vehicle owners to charge up. If -50% doesn't do it, why not try -66%? Some areas of the US have NEGATIVE wholesale prices when the wind and PV are cranking. This has not caused a sales boom of Nissan Leafs and Focus EVs. Know why? Because those periods are outweighed by the price of power when people need it and the ruinables are NOT producing, and the cost of the "environmental fees" slapped on to finance the whole mess adds insult to injury. Periods of Solar and Wind energy over supply can easily be forecasted and transmitted to all smart chargers. And woe be unto you if you have to go places when the forecast is poor. As e-vehicles fleet grows, more and more clean lower cost (down to$0.03/kWh) REs can be installed.

As the PEV fleet grows, RELIABILITY and PRICE STABILITY of electricity will be as important to the transport sector as it is to everything stationary.  The REs are UNRELIABLE, and your proposed steep discounts prove that even you believe that there can be no PRICE STABILITY in a "renewable" economy.

Wind and solar need storage to effectively replace fossil fuel generation. Although nuclear is expensive and gas is dirty, they have to be continued until RE can reliably keep the lights on. Some U.S. power providers, i.e., PG&E, are working toward using huge batteries to buffer the erratic output of RE farms. The downside of all this is PG&E has some of the nation's highest peak rates.

"pathetic tool"

I doubt whether free or discounted electricity* would affect the EV market that much as the high vehicle costs still seem to be the major obstacle. The difference 4000 kwh/year at 3 cents rather than 6 cents is only \$120. But hey, maybe the poet has been talking to the president of Finland.

* even if the energy is free there would still be delivery and admin charges; at least in my jurisdiction.

E-P just didn't catch it.

The general idea is to use current/future PHEVs/BEVs/Electrolysers/FCEVs, with SMART automated chargers and/or load regulators, to effectively store (use) surplus e-energy, during over supply periods.

In other words, the majority of electrified vehicles users would NOT recharge during peak periods or pay much more (5X to 10X) to do so. The majority of future electrified vehicles, with 50 to 150 kWh batteries, will recharge every 3 to 7 days, outside peak periods via automated chargers during REs over supply periods.

Energy storage is more an energy usage management, to match variable production. Future electrified vehicles and electrolysers could play a key role.

With all the hydro in Quebec I can't imagine there ever being much surplus wind and solar anyways as the different sources should be able to manage in an inter-changeable fashion.

E-P just didn't catch it.

I caught that you were an innumerate ideologue years ago.

The general idea is to use current/future PHEVs/BEVs/Electrolysers/FCEVs, with SMART automated chargers and/or load regulators, to effectively store (use) surplus e-energy, during over supply periods.

Exactly one thing on that list is capable of storing energy over the weeks and seasons required to manage the unreliable supply, and it's too expensive.

The majority of future electrified vehicles, with 50 to 150 kWh batteries, will recharge every 3 to 7 days

And when your renewables decide to take a 2-week vacation, what becomes of the people who have to recharge at least every 3 days?  Do you shut down your factories and offices until the weather cooperates?  Send all the hospital patients home... to homes without heat and sewage backing up in the basements because the lift pumps have no power?

Something you still haven't caught, despite me throwing it at you literally for years, is that wind and solar are unfit for purpose.  Nobody was able to build an industrial society on them because they cannot run one.  It doesn't matter how cheap "energy" is if you can't get it when you need it.  If you have an application that remains profitable despite having major periods of downtime due to the electric generators not generating, well, GREAT!  So far that "killer app" remains elusive.  If you truly have something to offer, work on THAT instead of prattling here.

Energy storage is more an energy usage management, to match variable production.

The purpose of energy production isn't to follow romantic delusions of "greenness".  It is to enable humans to live, work, produce and enjoy that production.  Wind and solar are unfit for purpose.

With all the hydro in Quebec I can't imagine there ever being much surplus wind and solar anyways as the different sources should be able to manage in an inter-changeable fashion.

When the hydro reservoirs are full in the spring and the turbines have to run full-steam to avoid dumping water over spillways and killing fish from the nitrogen bubbles, you won't be able to back them down just because the wind is blowing too.  When the hydro empties out toward the fall you won't be able to conjure up either rainfall or wind to bridge the gap.

Industrial society requires large stockpiles of energy.  Harvey is not capable of understanding this.  That the hydro reservoirs are inadequate to the task is an idea he cannot fathom.

ev are not selling nowhere in the free market and the only fews that are sold benefit of irregular subsidies.

Large batteries, installed in 2+ billion electrified vehicles, will progressively become the biggest energy storage media for the world to use and manage properly. Even E-P will eventually benefit and use that stored energy.

China will soon have more Solar/Wind REs installed than the rest of the world combined and they will not stop there. Energy from Wind/Sun/Water will be around as long as the Earth exist and it is free and abundant. We will learn how to capture and store Sun/Wind energy more efficiently and at much lower cost, as we did with Hydro/Water and with nuclear many decades ago.

Quebec Hydro is currently 95% Hydro and 5% Wind. Those two sources are clean and complementary. The large water reservoirs are used to store surplus energy during off peak periods and long seasonal periods. With minor adjustments, a 50%/50% ratio could be manageable. Wind energy can now be produced at a lower cost than energy from new Hydro projects and can be installed 3 to 5 times faster. That will justify more Wind and less Hydro for the next 10-20-30 years?

Large batteries, installed in 2+ billion electrified vehicles, will progressively become the biggest energy storage media for the world to use and manage properly. Even E-P will eventually benefit and use that stored energy.

You are innumerate, Harvey, which makes you incompetent in this arena (and so many others).

Let me demonstrate this to all who are able to grasp it.  2 billion EVs times a Tesla-class battery of 100 kWh each equals 200 TWh of storage.  Assuming world electric consumption of 3x the 2017 figure of roughly 22,000 TWh, total electric usage would be 66,000 TWh.  Total vehicular storage capacity would be 1/330 of annual consumption, or slightly over 1 day's worth.

Harvey the innumerate ideologue believes that this tiny amount of storage could not only drive vehicles across multi-day or -week slumps in "renewable" generation, but satisfy demand from non-vehicular uses as well.  This is plainly ridiculous.  It is physically impossible, and any society which insists that it can and must be done signs its own death warrant.  While I allow the right of people such as Harvey to sign their own personal death warrants, I deny that they have any right to do so for third parties.  That means they have no right to vote for policies which have that effect for their host societies.

We will learn how to capture and store Sun/Wind energy more efficiently and at much lower cost, as we did with Hydro/Water and with nuclear many decades ago.

Nuclear power is not stored by humans.  Nuclear energy was stored by some primordial supernova or merger of neutron stars.  Actinides ARE the energy storage; humans have learned to release this energy in a controllable fashion.  Uranium and thorium are literally stockpiles of energy, the very stockpiles our society needs to survive.  Trying to fake it with pinwheels and hypedrogen is hopeless.

I wish to stand to be counted among the Pathetic Innumerate Tools. We can't all be stable geniuses.

Then prepare to live in a collapsing civilization, because if you won't defer to the expertise required to keep it going and instead vote for whatever sounds good or suits your prejudices, it won't.

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