Western Europe saw electric car deliveries jumping last year because of early adopters and one particular country – Norway. Now, as ordinary consumers still eschew such pricey purchases and oil prices have collapsed, the alternative powered vehicles could quickly fall out of favor.
This won’t bode well for the early adopters among automakers (such as the French-japanese alliance of Renault and Nissan), which years ago bet big on the fact that today electric cars would command a large chunk of the auto market. European newsletter Automotive Industry Data (AID) has released figures for the electric car segment, showing western European sales jumped a surprising 51.7 percent last year to a total of 58,582 units – earmarking though a market share of just 0.49 percent. On the other side of the Atlantic ocean, the US market yielded a particularly identical market share of 0.5 percent after sales tallied 82,130 autos. “Effectively, you have no detectable, genuine underlying consumer demand from private individuals. To make things worse, the price of oil continues to hover around levels inconceivable a year ago,” comments AID editor Peter Schmidt.
The industry observer believes electric sales might have hit a peak in Europe and demand could vain for at least five or even more years. AID’s data not only includes data on pure electric vehicles – such as the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf Volkswagen E-Up and E-Golf- but also corroborates the sales of the i3 with the gasoline range-extender or the range-extended electrics made by GM (Opel Ampera and Chevrolet Volt). Aid’s data puts ahead of the pack the Nissan Leaf (14,354 units), followed by the Renault Zoe (10,885) and Tesla Model S (8,698). The top five of electric cars sold on the western European markets is rounded up by the BMW i3 with sales of 8,290 cars and VW E-Up and E-Golf jointly achieving 8,461 units.