THE LEADERS OF EV ADOPTION IN EUROPE
Electric vehicles (EVs) come as a key piece of the complex net-zero carbon future puzzle. Backed by governments, encouraged by all-time-high gas prices, and boosted by public awareness, the EV market is gaining up on speed at impressive rates each year.
The future belongs to electric vehicles, doesn't it? The figures also support this statement. Last year, EV sales worldwide surpassed 6,7 million units, 108 % more than in 2020.
Over the years, manufacturers of EVs have made an incredible leap in making these cars more efficient and affordable. Among the primary reasons for accelerating EV adoption:
- lower cost of vehicles,
- better efficiency thanks to increased battery life,
- better range of electric vehicles on the market,
- ambitious net-zero emissions goals,
- and, of course, governmental incentives for buying EVs.
Mainly this governmental support played a crucial role in expanding EV adoption in the EU, UK, and EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). As a result, for the first time in history, over a million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were sold in one year, more than the previous five years combined.
Speaking of the numbers, BEV sales last year hit a record of 1,218,360 units. As to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) - 1,045,022 cars. So, let’s see which European countries are at the frontline of EV adoption.
TOP-COUNTRIES ELECTRIFYING EUROPE
To say that EVs have taken the automotive market by storm is to say nothing. In 2021, the leading market for BEVs and PHEVs was Germany. The growth was 83.3 %, reaching 356,425 units. Talking about PHEVs, in Germany, there were 325,449 plug-in hybrids (a 62.3 % increase compared to 2020).
According to ACEA, the main driver behind the explosive EV market growth is governmental support. However, no less impact was made by local automakers, including Volkswagen and BWM. Pushing into the market new vehicles (and doing it even ahead of schedule), carmakers increase the choice range, while regulatory support boosts sales.
The UK was the second-largest battery-electric car market. In 2021, new BEV registrations were 76.3% higher, with 190,727 new electric cars sold. As to PHEVs, the UK took a sold third place by volume with 114,554 new plug-in hybrids registered.
In the UK, the interest in EVs is also mainly backed by cuts to both purchase incentives and grants for home chargers. However, insufficient public EV charging infrastructure in the country is one of the greatest pain points limiting faster EV adoption.
The third major BEV market player was France, with 162,167 new cars, representing a 45.9 % jump compared to 2020. Nevertheless, compared to the UK, France put on the roads more PHEVs. In 2021, new PHEV sales stood at 141,001 units (89 % growth).
However, if we skip the growth in 2021 and look at the bigger picture, we will see that the largest share of EV registrations among European countries is in Norway. It is the country where every second new car registered is a battery-electric vehicle!
PROPER EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE FIRST
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which should come first, EV chargers or EVs? The process of vehicle electrification highly correlates with the infrastructure for its charging.
Currently, Europe is one of the best-equipped regions to transition to EVs. However, the EV charging network must develop in line to continue the upward trend of EV market growth and meet net-zero targets. According to ACEA, in the region, we need up to 14,000 public charging points installed per week between 2021 and 2030 (compared to just 2,000 per week currently).
As of 2021, the Netherlands is the leading country for EV charging in Europe. The country is further followed by Germany, France, and the UK. Except for the Netherlands, the list is topped by the same countries holding the largest EV markets.
Referring to John Maxwell's wisdom, a leader knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. Right on the point. Europe has great example patterns to follow and together build an effective future-proof infrastructure for sustainable EV adoption in the region.