ACEA Finds Huge Correlation Between The Affordability Of EVs And Sales

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) recently highlighted a huge correlation between the affordability of electric cars (or rather GDP per capita, which translate into purchase power) and their market uptake in Europe.

The main conclusion from ACEA is that plug-in car sales are high only in countries with high GDP per capita (eventually supported by incentives) and it will be hard to sell more plug-ins (to achieve strict emission targets) without incentives in lower-income EU countries.

ACEA finds that:

  • all countries with plug-in car sales below 1% are also below €29,000 ($32,500) GDP per capita
  • all countries with plug-in car sales above 3.5% are also above €42,000 ($47,065) GDP per capita

"The new ACEA data shows that all countries with an ECV market share of less than 1% – that is half of all EU member states – have a GDP per capita below €29,000. This is the case in several southern countries – such as Spain, Italy and Greece – as well as in Central and Eastern European countries, like Lithuania, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

In Latvia, for instance, only 93 electric cars were sold last year. Poland has the lowest uptake of electric cars in the EU, with an ECV market share of just 0.2%. By contrast, an ECV share of above 3.5% only occurs in countries with a GDP of more than €42,000, like Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden."

Electric car sales not taking off in lower-income EU countries (Source: ACEA)

Here is the Interactive map: Correlation between uptake of electric cars and GDP in the EU.

Key observations for 2018

  • 2.0% of new cars registered in the EU in 2018 were electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs).
  • Yet, half of all EU member states have an ECV market share lower than 1%.
     
  • All countries with an ECV market share of less than 1% have a GDP below €29,000, including new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe but also Spain, Italy and Greece.
  • By contrast, an ECV market share of above 3.5% only occurs in countries with a GDP per capita of more than €42,000.
     
  • Many people take the Norwegian market as a benchmark. But just like its €73,200 GDP, more than twice the EU average (€30,600), Norway’s 49.1% ECV share is an exception in Europe.
  • The countries that come second and third, Sweden (8%) and the Netherlands (6.7%), have some of the highest GDPs in the EU but much lower ECV market shares.
     
  • On the other end of the spectrum, in Latvia only 93 electric cars were sold in 2018. And with an ECV market share of 0.2%, Poland has the lowest uptake of electric cars in the EU.
  • Not only do we see a clear split between Central-Eastern and Western Europe, but also a pronounced North-South divide (eg Greece 0.3% and Italy 0.5%).

Top 5 countries with lowest share of electric cars in the EU

  1. Poland – 0.2% with 1,324 ECVs sold in 2018 (GDP of €12,900)
  2. Slovakia – 0.3% with 293 ECVs sold in 2018 (GDP of €16,600)
  3. Greece – 0.3% with 315 ECVs sold in 2018 (GDP of €17,100)
  4. Czech Republic – 0.4% with 981 ECVs sold in 2018 (GDP of €20,500)
  5. Lithuania – 0.4% with 143 ECVs sold in 2018 (GDP of €15,900)

ECV market share of the 5 biggest EU car markets

  1. Germany – 67,658 ECVs, or 2.0% of the 3.4 million cars sold in 2018 (GDP of €41,000)
  2. United Kingdom – 59,947 ECVs, or 2.5% of the 2.4 million cars sold in 2018 (GDP of €37,600)
  3. France – 45,623 ECVs, or 2.1% of the 2.2 million cars sold in 2018 (GDP of €36,200)
  4. Italy – 9,731 ECVs, or 0.5% of the 1.9 million cars sold in 2018 (GDP of €29,000)
  5. Spain – 11,810 ECVs, or 0.9% of the 1.3 million cars sold in 2018 (GDP of €26,200)
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Electric car sales not taking off in lower-income EU countries, new data shows

Barcelona, 9 May 2019 – The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has published new data highlighting the correlation between the affordability of electric cars and their market uptake. This ACEA analysis compares national data on the sales of electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs) with GDP per capita in the EU member states for the full-year 2018.

The new ACEA data shows that all countries with an ECV market share of less than 1% – that is half of all EU member states – have a GDP per capita below €29,000. This is the case in several southern countries – such as Spain, Italy and Greece – as well as in Central and Eastern European countries, like Lithuania, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

In Latvia, for instance, only 93 electric cars were sold last year. Poland has the lowest uptake of electric cars in the EU, with an ECV market share of just 0.2%. By contrast, an ECV share of above 3.5% only occurs in countries with a GDP of more than €42,000, like Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The EU institutions recently approved the new CO2 regulation for passenger cars, setting reduction targets of -15% and -37.5% for the years 2025 and 2030 respectively. These targets will follow on from the target of 95g CO2/km for the year 2021, set in 2013.

Sales of electric and other alternatively-powered cars will have to pick up strongly if these CO2 targets are to be achieved. Unfortunately, however, in 2018 only 2% of all new passenger cars registered throughout the EU were electrically-chargeable.

“Besides investing in charging infrastructure, governments across the EU need to put in place meaningful and sustainable incentives in order to encourage more consumers to make the switch to electric,” explained ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert at a press conference in Barcelona.

“People throughout the EU should be able to consider purchasing an electric vehicle – no matter which country they live in – north or south, east or west. The affordability of the latest low- and zero-emission technologies needs to be addressed by governments as a matter of priority.”

Although fiscal measures to stimulate electric car sales are available in nearly all EU states, the nature and monetary value of these benefits varies widely. Indeed, while most countries grant simple tax reductions or exemptions for electric cars, only 12 EU member states offer premiums or bonus payments to buyers of these vehicles.