A huge sales increase in the first half of the year propelled the European market over the one-million-electric-vehicles mark, reports industry analyst EV-Volumes. This is the second market to pass the benchmark after China (which did so in 2017), which is a much larger market (so EVs have a small market share). The US is still lagging behind, but estimated to pass the one-million-mark later this year.
Roughly 195,000 new electric cars were sold in Europe during the first half of this year, EV-Volumes reports, representing a 42% increase from last year’s sales profile. The figure includes fully electric cars and vans, as well as plug-in hybrids, which can travel a short distance off a battery before switching to a conventional engine, sold in the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway.
Among all countries in Europe, Norway recorded the largest sales numbers of such vehicles with 36,500 sold EVs and 37% of new registrations. It’s also true that the country’s market does benefit from generous government incentives aimed at EVs. Germany, however, seems poised to overtake Norway by the end of the year for total sales.
The Netherlands and Denmark also saw good growth in sales of electric vehicles. The UK remained the runt of the litter, with 30,040 EV sales and seeing only “moderate” growth — sales of fully electric cars dipped by 6% but plug-in hybrids surged by 50%. EV-Volumes estimates this sluggishness was owed to a lack of compelling models from domestic manufacturers, Ford and Vauxhall.
The analyst further estimates that sales of EVs in Europe will reach 1.35 million by the end of the year.
“A stock of one million electric vehicles is an important milestone on the road to electrification and meeting emission targets but it is of course not enough,” said Viktor Irle, a market analyst at EV-Volumes.
Europe, however, seems determined to bet on EVs. Late last year, international energy company E.ON and Denmark-based e-mobility service provider CLEVER detailed plans to roll out 10,000 charging stations and an ‘electric highway’ across the continent. Sweden also unveiled the world’s first fully-electrified road, and several countries (including France, Norway, and Scotland) are poised to ban the sale of new fossil-fueled vehicles in the close to medium future.