Skip to main content
Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen Blog

2019: Electric vehicles in review

Posted by Giles Kirkland on 31 January 2020 at 12:17 pm

As vehicle manufacturers and fuel coalition meet in Brussels to talk about consistency in defining alternative fuels that will drive the energy transition it’s a good moment to look back at 2019 and the advancements that were made in the EV industry.

Long-term energy transition goals depend on both alternative-fuel solutions that already reduce harmful emissions and developing new technologies. In the words of the coalition:

 “It is imperative that all alternative fuels play a role in the energy transition [...] While it is important to set long-term objectives, Europe should not dismiss solutions that are already available, cost-effective, commercially viable and that positively contribute to the energy transition.” (source)

At the moment, alternative-fuelled vehicles represent a small but an increasing percentage of cars in the EU (8.9%). While petrol cars still dominate the market at 60%, electrically chargeable vehicles are slowly growing at 2.8%


source: 2019 in the Automotive

 

Given the air quality crisis and speed in which climate change is the EU needs to take a practical approach, such as promoting cleaner-burning fuels that are already commercially viable and invest in the development of new technologies, battery improvements and EV infrastructure

 

Across the European Union there are 144,00 EV charging points available. Most of them (76%) can be found in four countries. The Netherlands take lead as over 26% (37,037) points are located there. Next is Germany with 19% (27,459), France with 17% (24,850) and the United Kingdom with 13% (19,076) points. It’s interesting to note that the same four countries only cover 27% of the EU’s total surface area.

This is strongly related to GDP.

Countries with an ECV market share lower than 1% have a GDP below $32,000, they’re mainly located in Central and Eastern Europe but also Greece, Spain and Italy.

By contrast, in countries with a GDP per capita of more than $46,000 the ECV market share is above 3.5%.

source: 2019 in the Automotive

 

The popularity of electric vehicles is still quite uneven across Europe. Countries such as Poland, Slovakia and Greece have the lowest share of EVs (0.3% or less), selling a few hundred ECVs in a year. Norway’s ECV share is an impressive 49.1%, which is an exceptional case in Europe. It’s followed by Sweden and the Netherlands (8 and 6.7% respectively) but these are the countries with relatively small car markets.

The biggest and most important European car markets, namely Germany, the UK and France, saw a considerably bigger share of fully electric cars, accounting for 2.0%, 2.5%, and 2.1% respectively. Last year, around 8 million electric vehicles were sold in these countries all together.

Prices of electric cars also differ across the globe and depending on the model. While an average electric vehicle in Europe costs $34,000, in China you can buy an EV for “only” $27,000.

2019 in the Automotive

It looks as though the EV market is going to continue to grow in size for the years to come. It has to, especially when you factor in consumer demand, rising fuel prices, the climate crisis and the subsidies that are on offer to encourage people to go electric.

 

About the author: Giles Kirkland is an environmentally conscious car expert with passion for electric vehicles and clean technologies. Apart from commenting on the latest automotive innovations, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and giving sustainable driving tips. You can find his articles on Twitter and at Oponeo.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

Like this blog? Keep up to date with our free monthly newsletter

Comments

6 comments - read them below or add one

CharlesD

CharlesDComment left on: 10 April 2020 at 9:54 am

Should there be charging station on every streets like water hydrants perhaps? I know it sounds crazy but Solar Wind is right saying that there are no spots to either park or no power units available to charge the car. So how about planning and creating free charging stations? Too much to ask?

report abuse

maxy

maxyComment left on: 10 February 2020 at 10:51 am

First comments on the article. I know statistics can be hard to use a prone to interpretation but your map of europe is totally misleading. The fact that France has 5000 more charging points really doesn't make it better than the Uk as the land mass is much bigger. And how are you defining charging points publicly available or all points incl private ones? what about Tesla only ones or ones for hotel vistors, dealer forecourts?? None of this is defined. And the last graphic? Where are you getting your prices from? An e-golf is £33-36k not dollars. It may be dollars in the USA but not that price in Europe?? And what how did you come to your 'average' price anyway? t is not explained and seemingly very simplistic.

Secondly in answer to solar wind: My house has a 100amp supply I trickle charge overnight using just 13amp so 3Kw plug here and at my partners house and even at a hotel  frequently go to. Its never an issue, I also have a 14Kw airsource heat pump which I'm sure pulls way more than your night storage heaters, again no problem. Car are intelligently charged devices and will pull what is available. They aren't like a 3Kw bar fire and they wont just trip your system they will hold back until power is available. There are already on street/pavement chargers in London and they are being rolled out uk wide, as there is already power available in every  pavement in every city and town in the form of street lamps.

A little bit of thought and planning needs to go into a change like this, just as it did when we moved from horse to car and when some went from petrol to LPG. Its not difficult but it does mean we have to adapt.

report abuse

Susie

SusieComment left on: 9 February 2020 at 1:45 pm

According to a report in The Times The UK boiler industry here is keen that all new boilers should be "hydrogen ready" by 2025 but what progress is being made into having hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in the UK?

California has made great progress introducing "hydrogen fuel-cell" vehicles on their roads with impressive performance results.  Clearly, infrastructure costs are very high but the long-term benefits may well be significantly greater than for electric vehicles. Is this the way ahead for the UK? 

report abuse

ChrisRN

ChrisRNComment left on: 8 February 2020 at 10:49 am

Hi,

I see no mention of hydrogen fuel cfell technology, I believe this will be the long term savbiour and will be the real solution. There is no mention of this technology and how we can drive greater understanding and usage.

report abuse

neilwilliams

neilwilliamsComment left on: 7 February 2020 at 6:59 pm

In answer to your question, I don't think your mad but things are not as bleak as you suggest.

If you charge your car when the night heating is not working there won't be a clash. in any event very few homes still use storage heating.

A fast charge of 22kW is unrealistic for home supplies and not really necessary.

The biggest problem at the moment is too few chargers in public spaces, but I think that will have to accelerate rapidly from here on in.

As for using electricity to heat a home instead of gas, I advise on heat pump installations and a typical three bed house only uses about 1.5 kW on average during the winter to power a heat pump, rising to perhaps 2/2.5 kW in the most severe week of the year. Heat pumps can easily be accommodated by the Grid.

Incidentally, you say you use storage heating for your house, but a heat pump would be far cheaper to run. RHI can often pay the whole cost over seven years and many installers can arrange the up front finance backed by repayments from RHI.

I hope that seems more optimistic.

report abuse

Solar Wind

Solar WindComment left on: 7 February 2020 at 6:09 pm

Am I mad?

The majority of people living in this country can't park outside their own house, so how are they going to charge their cars?

I have off road parking, but I heat my house using night storage heaters, so no spare power for charging up my car or the misses, from our meagre 15kW (60A) mains feed?

Most properties have a 15kW or maybe 20kW house supply, so they maybe able to trickle charge either of their cars at 7kW. But if you want a fast charge 22kW, you are going to have to get the power upgraded to your house from single phase to three phase.

And what happens in 2025 when you can't heat your house any longer with gas. Will your electricity supply be able to heat your home and charge your cars? I don't think so.

I foresee more power cuts in the future as the Grid collapses under the strain.

 

report abuse

Leave a comment

You must log in to make a comment. If you haven't already registered, please sign up as a company or an individual, then come back and have your say.