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EV acceptance putters in low gear

Posted: 15 Feb 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Centre of Automotive Management  electromobility  EV  hybrid electric vehicle 

According to a recent study by the Centre of Automotive Management (CAM), the acceptance of electromobility is increasing at very low speed in most geographies. In fact, in relatively small countries such as Norway and the Netherlands, electric vehicles (EVs) have the highest market share while Germany, despite ambitious intentions, is less than spectacular.

Among the traditional automotive markets, France and Great Britain have the highest registration figures for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) in 2015, registration of such vehicle categories almost doubled to still meagre 1.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent of all new car registrations. Germany and the U.S. can be found in the middle field with EVs and BEVs accounting for some 0.7 per cent of all new vehicles. In the U.S., this figure was even declining (from 0.73 per cent in 2014 to 0.66 per cent in 2015). A similar trend has been observed in Japan where the market share was 0.6 per cent. In contrast, acceptance for electromobility is climbing in China where the market share has reached the one per cent threshold. Driven by strong incentives and amidst a still growing economy, the market share is expected to climb further, the study stated.

Rise in e-mobility acceptance

Another country that saw a remarkable increase of e-mobility acceptance were the Netherlands. Here, the admission figures for e-cars tripled to more than 43,000 units thanks to extensive incentive structures. With this number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads, the Netherlands rank third globally after China with 207,000 and the U.S. with 115,000 new admissions. Also in the top-five are Great Britain with 34,000 and Norway with 28,000 vehicles. According to CAM estimates, the global market for battery and hybrid electric vehicles grew by 75 per cent to 560,000 cars, mainly on the account of China. To achieve sustainable growth in electromobility, it takes a combination of technological innovation in the industry and an overall concept containing a regulatory framework and financial incentives, commented CAM director Stefan Bratzel. The much discussed buyers premium falls short of meeting these preconditions.

According to the study, three measures are necessary to increase market share of electromobility: First, vendors should put more emphasis on the competitiveness of electric vehicles in comparison with conventional ones. In addition, innovations should be fostered that bring about higher driving range and lower battery cost; all these measures aiming at making EVs more attractive at the markets. Second, the charging infrastructure needs strong improvements in quantity and quality. So far, there is a lack of solid business models for potential operators to justify the investment. Public incentives would make a lot of sense here, the authors of the study added.

Third, electromobility only makes sense if the charging energy comes from regenerative power sources a field where legal frameworks need to be created, the study concluded.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
  EE Times Europe

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