EU Science Hub

Electric vehicles in the EU from 2010 to 2014 - is full scale commercialisation near?

Abstract: 
As a means of reducing the climate impact of transport as well as local air pollution, electrification of the road vehicle fleet is a much-discussed option. In the past years, many electric vehicle models have been introduced to the EU market. On the basis of the monitoring databases for the implementation of Regulation EC No 443/2009 and Regulation EU No 510/2011 we have analysed EV deployment in the EU in the past five years. We find that since 2010 the deployment of EV in the EU has gained momentum. The number of models offered as well as the size segment coverage of EV passenger cars has increased significantly from 2010 to 2014. The number of registrations and also the EV share, albeit still small compared to the total vehicle market, has increased steadily in the EU. This trend continued in the first half of 2015. The demand for EV has been fostered by various incentive schemes in different EU member states (MS). The numbers of EV registrations and market shares in the MS align well with the level of financial support for EV buyers. This seems to indicate that policies remain to be needed in order to overcome market barriers for the EV deployment at this moment in time. When comparing EV deployment in Europe to other regions of the world, we find that EV market shares in Europe are more or less on par with those in the US and Japan. From an industrial policy perspective, it is encouraging that the share of EV manufactured in the EU has increased from roughly 30% in 2011 to approximately 65% in 2014. 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 commercialisation. Nevertheless, the beginning market deployment is still dependent on support policies and vulnerable to changes in support. For the coming years it will be important to accompany the EV market deployment with carefully designed policy measures that should gradually be phased out when EV become a mainstream option.
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