Almost 80% of European EV sales have been in the six wealthiest countries

The European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) has published an interactive map that illustrates the correlation between the adoption of plug-in vehicles (which the organization, apparently feeling that the industry needs yet more acronyms, refers to as “electrically-chargeable vehicles,” or ECVs) and per-capita GDP.

The ACEA reports that plug-in vehicles accounted for 3.0% of all new cars registered in the EU in 2019. The market has grown significantly this year—according to EV Volumes, in the first half of 2020, plug-in sales in Europe grew by 57%, while the overall vehicle market declined by 37%. EV Volumes expects to see monthly market shares of 7-10% for the rest of the year. (The ACEA’s figures include only the 27 EU member states and the UK—they do not include EV sales leader Norway, where plug-in vehicles accounted for 68% of new car sales in H1 2020, or number-two Iceland, which reached 49%.)

Unsurprisingly, the ACEA finds that the market uptake of plug-in vehicles has been directly correlated with each country’s GDP per capita, showing that “affordability is a major barrier to consumers.”

Almost 80% of EU plug-in sales in 2019 were concentrated in six Western European countries, which also had some of the highest GDPs in the economic bloc.

The plug-in shares in the five largest EU and UK auto markets were:

  • United Kingdom—3.1% (GDP of €37,780)
  • Germany—3.0% (GDP of €41,510)
  • France—2.8% (GDP of €35,960)
  • Spain—1.4% ECVs (GDP of €26,440)
  • Italy—0.9% (GDP of €29,610)

Eleven of the EU member states had a plug-in market share lower than 1%. All of these had a per-capita GDP below €30,000.

The least charged EU country was Estonia, which had a plug-in vehicle market share of only 0.3% (and GDP of €21,160) in 2019. Ironically, back in 2013, Estonia was one of the first countries to encourage EV adoption. As Charged reported, the Baltic nation installed a DC charging network that was by far the most extensive in Europe, and was rivaled in coverage only by Japan.

Source: ACEA via Green Car Congress