Electric Cars In Europe 2019 – A Status Quo

Promises Of Electric Cars

Electric Cars are a hype. Not just since the Dieselgate.

Certainly, a major contributor to the recent hype is Elon Musk. He frees the electric spirit with Tesla.

Without Musk and Dieselgate, major automobile manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Mercedes would never have entered into the costly game of electric cars anytime soon. Now, every single European car manufacturer is pushing into this field.

The promise of electric cars is clear: Mobility that neither pollutes our precious air nor further drives global warming. This is more relevant than ever, with European road transport accounting for 20% of CO2 emissions. And growing.

On the other hand, the reality always hits hard and each hype will enter the phase „Through of Disillusionment“.

Therefore, let us do a reality check and then see what the state of electric cars in Europe is in 2019.

Challenges For Electric Cars

In order to understand, why we do not see much more electric cars on our roads, we need to look at the main obstacles to the introduction of electric cars.

These are:

  • Loss of comfort for electric car owners
    • Longer charging times
    • Shorter range
    • Insufficient charging infrastructure requires effort in route planning
    • Cost intransparency at public charging stations
    • Long delivery times due to production shortfalls
  • Problematic supply chain involving child labour and environmental degradation
  • Nearly twice the CO2 emissions (8.8 tons CO2) than standard gasoline vehicles (5.6 tons) in manufacturing
  • The electricity mix in most European countries is not green today and therefore the electric cars will still pollute the air – indirectly

Nevertheless, the consumers show great confidence in electric cars and their future. The high demand reflects this. After opening the pre ordering, Volkswagen received more than 10,000 pre orders within 24 hours for its VW ID.3.

This motivates VW to spend over €250 million for 36.000 charging stations across Europe. Leading us to the point how ready Europe is already today for electric cars.

The State Of Electric Cars in Europe 2019

Norway.

When talking about electric cars in Europe the first country to be named certainly is Norway. Today over 60% of new car, registrations in Norway are PEVs (Plugi-in Electric Vehicles). However, even better, the Norwegian electricity mix is 98% green (hydro), which greatly reduces the CO2 emissions of the ever-growing electric car fleet.

Therefore, Norway is Europe‘s role model when it comes to electric cars.

New car registrations Norway
Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz, CC BY-SA 4.0, wikipedia.org

Nevertheless, what is the status quo of other European countries in terms of electric car readiness?

LeasePlan‘s annual Electric Vehicle Readiness Index provides a good overview. The index considers the national EV’s market maturity, EV infrastructure, government incentives and experiences.

According to LeasePlan’s Index, the best-prepared countries for EVs in Europe as of 2019 are:

LeasePlan Electric Vehicle Index 2019, Top 10
LeasePlan Electric Vehicle Index 2019, Top 10

Poland scores last (22.) with only nine total points. Everyone is always referring to Norway when it comes to EV success stories, but the Netherlands do not have to hide at all. In some figures they are even leading e.g. with 4.8 charging plugs per 1,000 inhabitants.

For the first time in the history of the Index, all countries listed improved, showing the will of governments, companies and consumers to go electric.

However especially some policymakers could do more. Important actions would include charging infrastructure, purchase subsidies, registration tax benefits, ownership tax benefits, company tax benefits and VAT benefits.

Nevertheless, in a worldwide comparison, European countries stand out in the per capita contemplation.

Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz, CC BY-SA 4.0, wikipedia.org

The rush towards electric cars in Europe goes hand in hand with the rise of ecological self-conception. Lastly seen in the European Elections with strong gains for green parties.

Surely electric cars alone won‘t save the world. However, they are another piece in the mosaic on the way to reducing global CO2 emissions.

Outlook

The course is set.

Many European citizens want electric cars and the automobile manufacturers will deliver.

However, you should not be mistaken. Standard gasoline or diesel vehicles will not die out. At least not within the next decades.

This becomes clear when one looks at the European role model. As of October 2018, only 10% of cars on Norwegian roads are plug-ins. It simply takes time. Furthermore, the future transition between the different car types, also technologically, will be smooth.

Electric cars will soon be available to the masses. At the same time, the „Energiewende“ shifts the electricity mix towards green.

As corporate organizations make up 50% of all vehicles on the road, tendency rising, it would be great to see them leading us to a greener transport system.

The time is now.


Header Image Source: Pixabay, Pixabay License