Electric car sales still very low globally image

While governments give rather important tax breaks to buyers of electric car all over the world, the segment – heralded just a decade ago as the savior from global pollution – fails to make a breakthrough.

Motorists are still reluctant in most cases to choose a battery-operated vehicle over the classic combustion engine, with carmakers that invested billions in their development and heralded them as the long-term replacement for the old vehicles seeing the electric cars making up less than 1% of sales in developed markets – except for peculiar cases like Norway or the US state of California.

“In most markets . . . non-fiscal incentives might actually may show a larger impact than tax exemptions,” said Peter Mock, the author of a report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). “The success rate of electric vehicles in markets like California indeed suggests that there is more needed than “just” fiscal incentives, as comprehensive electric vehicle deployment package, including CO2 standards, charging infrastructure investments . . . seem more promising, especially in the long run, to pave the way for electric vehicles entering the mass market.”

The International Energy Agency has a target of seeing 20 million electric vehicles on the roads globally by 2020, but the target seems now far from reach – in 2013 worldwide electric car sales only topped 200,000 units.

Via Financial Times