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More than 500k EVs on european roads by end of 2016

Europe will see more than half a million electric vehicles (EVs) on its roads by the end of 2016, a report by Transport & Environment (T&E) suggests.


Europe is the second largest market for purely electric cars in the world.

The Union doubled the sales of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in 2015 reaching 145,000 units sold, the biggest sales increase for any year to date. Including Norway (and other non-EU members) Europe is the second largest market for purely electric cars in the world.

Mitsubishi sold the largest amount of EVs in 2015 (28,175), accounting for 23% of all its sales in Europe. Mitsubishi sold 27,977 Outlanders, a plug-in hybrid car, making it the most popular EV choice in Europe in 2015.

The second best selling EV is the Renault ZOE, a battery electric model with 16,612 units. The Nissan Leaf (11,977 units sold) lost its third position to the new Golf GTE with almost 15,000 new registrations.

Julia Hildermeier, electromobility officer of T&E, commented: “The electromobility revolution is underway and Europe is well placed to take a leading position. To fully grab this chance, Europe needs four important boosts from regulators: ambitious European carbon dioxide limits for new cars in 2025 including a specific target for EV sales to stimulate competition amongst carmakers; to accelerate the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure across Europe; to ban dirty diesels from cities; and tax breaks for battery electric vehicles.”

The Netherlands tops the list of EV sales for the third year in a row, with a 8.8 % share of plug-in vehicles. Norway is second in terms of absolute sales but has a much higher market share, 18.7%. The Dutch market is mainly plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) models whilst those in Norway are mainly battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The UK sells the third highest level of EVs, although it is notable that PHEVs predominate in sales even though the purchase incentive offered is markedly less.

Sales of electric vans were found to be a fraction of those of cars, with very limited availability of models in the market. But cars and vans aren’t the most popular electric vehicles in Europe: T&E estimated that last year there were between five and eight million e-bikes and e-scooters on Europe’s roads.

The EU’s obligatory rules on carbon emissions require car manufacturers to limit their average car to a maximum of 95 grams of CO2  by 2021. The European Commission agreed to propose stricter CO2 limits for cars for 2025 early next year.

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Katie Beck

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