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Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids in Europe’s top car markets rose by just 33 percent in the first half this year, compared to a 54-percent surge in the same period last year, as customers are still wary of limited driving ranges of the models and an insufficient charging network, according to estimates by consultancy EY.
Still strong demand in Europe’s biggest car market, Germany, was unable to offset the small growth in the second biggest market: United Kingdom.
According to EY data crunched by Bloomberg, battery EV sales in Germany jumped by 64 percent in the first half of 2018, compared to a 91-percent surge in the same period of 2017. In the UK, EV sales grew by 10 percent in H1 2018, but last year the growth was 43 percent. In Spain, EV sales increased by 45 percent, compared to an 89-percent jump last year. In Italy, sales rose 33 percent versus a 69-percent increase for H1 2017. The only major market of the top five European automotive markets where growth was higher than last year was France, with EV sales up 26 percent, compared to a 24-percent increase last year.
“Electric cars remain a niche product for now,” EY partner Peter Fuss said in a statement, carried by Bloomberg. “Charging infrastructure remains inadequate and the models currently available mostly don’t offer a good enough range,” according to Fuss.
Although EVs sales growth slowed down, demand for diesel cars slumped in all five major European markets in June 2018, by 18 percent on average, with diesel car sales in the UK marking the steepest decline—28 percent.
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Many legacy car makers in Europe, including BMW, Daimler, and even Volkswagen, plan to launch new electric vehicles in the next few years, as Tesla’s competition gains traction in the global automotive market.
According to EY’s Fuss, the ‘niche’ EV situation “will only change in the medium-term.”
“Starting in the luxury segment, electric powertrains will establish themselves as serious alternatives,” he said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Safehaven.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.