Cost seen as barrier to electric cars

UNREALISTIC: Affordability must be addressed if targets are to be met

A NEW study by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) shows that the affordability of electric cars remains a strong deterrent for customers across the EU.

The analysis, which compares national data on the market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs) with GDP per capita, shows that the market share of ECVs is close to zero per cent in countries with a GDP below €18,000, while it is no more than 0.75 per cent in half of all EU member states.

As members of European Parliament committees get ready to vote on the European Commission’s proposal for post-2020 car CO2 targets shortly, ACEA cautions that the targets must be realistic, taking into account what people can actually afford to buy.

“The European Parliament mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the market is essentially driven by customers,” explained ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “A natural shift to electric vehicles will simply not happen without addressing consumer affordability.”

The Commission has proposed a ‘benchmark’ for the sales of full battery-electric cars at the level of 15 per cent by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030. To put this in context, battery-electric cars accounted for just 0.7 per cent of total EU car sales in 2017. “We are worried that some policymakers have completely unrealistic expectations regarding the pace of market development,” said Jonnaert.

“Already with the Commission’s current proposal for a benchmark, we would need to jump from less than 1 per cent of battery electric car sales today to 30 per cent in the space of less than 12 years. And the Parliament is proposing even more aggressive targets, going as far as 50 per cent.”

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