There was a time in which EVs and combustion-engined cars fought for customers’ preferences. If you think that is now, you either forgot or do not know that EVs were among the first automobiles. As Sandy Munro said a while ago, what killed them back in the day was their range and the electric starter. With lithium-ion batteries and electronics, they were almost one in ten vehicles sold in Europe in November, according to Schmidt Automotive Research.

If you realized that it is less than 10 percent of the market, you are very right. In fact, it is 8.9 percent. Regardless of how little this seems, that’s the largest market share pure EVs have had in Europe in modern times. EVs may have had larger market shares in the Old Continent in the early days of the automotive industry, but we are not sure about that.

Renault ZOE (2020)

The graphic above shows the evolution in market share for EVs and the spike they have seen in 2020. The curve of market share gain was ascending discreetly from January 2018 until March 2020, when it started to pick up more aggressively.

By coincidence or not, that’s when the started hitting most European countries. Why that was the case is something analysts may try to investigate in the future – even if it is only a correlation.

Schmidt Automotive Research said that the CO2 emission fines in Europe were the main driver for that market share increase, aided by more generous government incentives to sell electrified cars. Perhaps these governments pushed incentives precisely when the car market was more depressed due to the pandemic.

Germany would lead the pack and would currently have a plug-in car fleet of more than 500,000 cars. The German government wants 1 million plug-in cars in the country by the end of 2021. The best selling EV in Europe is the Renault ZOE, as we have already told our readers, but the Volkswagen ID.3 may soon overtake the French contender.

If you consider all the European Union countries, battery electric vehicles sold 82,100 units in November, corresponding to the percentage of sales we mentioned above. Until the end of that month,  562,000 electric cars were sold in Europe. PHEVs also went well but had smaller numbers: 499,000 units.

Source: Schmidt Automotive Research

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