Helped by new entries such as the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S, the market for electric cars in Europe will continue to grow as automakers extend the range of their battery-powered models and consumers begin to accept the technology.
Europe EV sales may rise to 150,000 with a "high scenario" of 250,000 by 2020 in a total global market forecast to be 19.3 million, analysts LMC Automotive predicts. LMC expects EV sales to be 53,000 this year, up from 31,615 in 2013. Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox said EV sales are increasing as ownership fears subside. Battery durability and worries about the robustness of electric drivetrain technology were among the early concerns that held back sales. “No one is talking about that anymore,” Willcox told reporters at the Paris auto show in October.
Electric cars “vary enormously” in their popularity across Europe, he said. Incentives and a good charging infrastructure are the key drivers that encourage consumers to buy EVs. “Norway has the magic formula. The Norwegian government introduced tax breaks and the market exploded.”
Norway offers EV buyers up to 11,500 euros in incentives if they buy an EV, according to the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment (T&E). Last year, EVs accounted for 6 percent of Norway’s new-car sales, the highest in Europe.