Will Europe become the global leader for electric cars?

As the COVID-19 threat continues to send shockwaves through society, it's difficult to ascertain the overall impact to the electric vehicle industry. Without a doubt, it will depress sales of EVs, but will it change where the lion's share of EVs are sold? Hard to say. That said, according to recent findings, it appears that the "center of gravity" for electric cars may be moving from China to Europe.

Above: Tesla's Model 3 (Flickr: Guillaume Vachey)

According to Christoph Hammerschmidt in eeNews Automotive, "An analysis by strategy consultants McKinsey shows that Europe is now in the fast lane when it comes to electromobility. While sales of e-vehicles are sluggish in China and even declining in the USA, sales figures in Europe are rising by leaps and bounds."

McKinsey found that in Europe, "Sales of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids rose by 44% year-on-year in 2019 to over 600,000 vehicles... [compared to China where] e-car sales rose by only 3% to 1.2 million units, while in the USA the market shrank by as much as 12% year-on-year to just over 300,000 cars. A total of 2.3 million e-cars were sold worldwide in 2019, 9% more than in 2018, enabling Europe to increase its global market share to over 25%; e-cars accounted for 2.8% of all new registrations in 2019."

Which countries in Europe are showing significant EV growth? "With over 110,000 e-cars sold in 2019, Germany is the third largest market worldwide and the largest in Europe in absolute figures. However, with a market share of 2.8% for e-cars, Germany is only in the European average — here, Norway with almost 45% market share, Iceland (22%) and the Netherlands (13%) are the world leaders," according to Mckinsey.

Above: McKinsey looks at challenges and opportunities ahead (including EVs) for Europe's car manufacturers (YouTube: ACEAeu)

Furthermore, "Norway, as the most mature e-car market in Europe, retains the lead not only in China but also in the McKinsey Electric Vehicle Index (EVI), which is used by management consultants McKinsey & Company to regularly measure the development of e-mobility in the 15 most important countries." 

According to Nicolai Müller, senior partner in McKinsey's Cologne office, "demand in Europe has risen sharply. Further momentum can be expected — namely from the increasing range of products with which manufacturers are aiming to meet the CO2 limits." To that end, Patrick Schaufuss, a junior partner at McKinsey and author of the analysis says, "By 2024, the industry has announced 600 new e-car models worldwide." 

So when it comes to e-cars, which automobile manufacturer is leading the way? According to McKinsey, "Tesla maintains pole position... [and] is extending its lead as the leading e-car manufacturer worldwide: in 2019, the company sold 368,000 vehicles — 300,000 of which alone were Model 3, by far the world's best-selling e-car." How does that compare with the two German brands in the top 10? BMW sold 133,000 e-cars and VW sold 85,000 e-cars. In fact, Model 3 is becoming so popular in Europe, it's starting to outsell comparable gas-powered sedans from competing luxury automakers.


Source: eeNews Automotive