Electromobility: China remains lead market, Europe lags

Market news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

According to the study, global electromobility will continue to be determined by the lead market of China, which is experiencing high growth. The gap to the second largest market, the USA, has widened considerably. In the first nine months of the year, 398,000 electric cars were sold in China (New Energy Vehicles, including fuel cells, commercial vehicles, and buses). Sales of electric vehicles thus increased by 38 percent year-on-year. At the same time, the market share of e-vehicles rose to 2.0 percent of new registrations (comparable period of the previous year: 1.5%). In particular, the number of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has increased and, at 325,000 units (82%), remains far higher than that of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which stagnate at 73,000 units (18%).

In the USA, new registrations of electric cars rose by 29 percent this year. More than 140,000 electric vehicles were sold between January and September 2017, including 74,301 battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) (+25%). The market leader is Tesla with its models S and X, followed by Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf. Compared to the same period last year, the number of plug-in hybrids grew by 35 percent, mainly due to increases in the Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max Energi.

The increasing discussions about “Dieselgate” and imminent driving bans on diesel vehicles have been fueling a strong uptrend of e-car sales in Germany for the first time. From January to September, 36,849 electric vehicles (+116%) were sold, doubling the market share from 0.7 to 1.4%. Sales of plug-in hybrids, which grew to 20,416 (+117%), were significantly stronger, while sales of pure electric vehicles rose to 16,433 (+114%). According to the study, leading manufacturers of electric vehicles in Germany are BMW, Renault and VW.

During the same period, diesel-powered vehicles suffered a significant decline in unit sales; the diesel engine now only has a market share of 40.3 percent, compared with 46.5 percent in the same period last year.

The United Kingdom has also been able to increase its e-vehicle sales and sold more than 35,400 units, 21 percent more than in the same period last year. Plug-in hybrids account for 69 percent of sales, with 31 percent of sales being generated by electric vehicles alone. The latter grew by 37 percent to over 11,000 units. In France, new e-vehicle registrations are also increasing significantly to 26,545 (+23%). Unlike the UK, BEVs account for 71 percent of electric car sales, while plug-in hybrids account for 29 percent.

The study predicts that the next two to three years will see only moderate growth rates in electromobility in key automotive markets. However, the CAM anticipates a significant increase in market dynamics at the beginning of the 2020s. The decisive factors are the massive product efforts of the manufacturers and the expected regulatory environment in pivotal automotive countries. Therefore, the comparatively low market shares at present must not obscure the fact that a massive upheaval of drive technologies is imminent in the next 10-15 years. From around 2020 onwards, the product offensive of global manufacturers will generate massive growth in the e-mobility market. For 2025, the study estimates that up to 25 million new electric cars will be registered each year, and by 2030 this number could rise to 40 million vehicles. Electrically powered cars would then have a market share of 40% worldwide. According to the study, however, the prerequisite for this scenario is an appropriate density of charging infrastructures in the core markets of China, Europe and the USA.



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