A new market analysis acknowledges that the market share of electric vehicles in the seven leading automotive nations remains stubbornly low, and looks at some of the reasons for the sluggish growth. “The major growth impetus that would anchor e-mobility in the seven leading automotive nations long term is still nowhere to be seen,” the report states.
The E-Mobility Index for the third quarter of 2015 is published by two German organizations: the Roland Berger Automotive Competence Center and the fka research institute. The report finds that, while insufficient battery range is a part of the reason that average market share is stagnating at below 1%, the more important reason is a failure of marketing by the OEMs.
“There’s very little, if any, promotion of electric cars going on,” said Roland Berger Partner Thomas Schlick. “It’s no wonder potential customers are not getting interested in them.”
“The lack of coherent sales concepts is partly responsible for the weak sales figures,” reads the report. “OEMs are not doing enough to win customers over to BEVs and PHEVs. Strategies are lacking for creating lasting incentives for dealers to sell low-emission vehicles.”
Automakers are facing a dilemma: they must produce a certain number of electrified vehicles in order to comply with ever-tightening emission limits, but they are unable to pass on the full costs of the technology to customers. “OEMs are mostly responding to this challenge with a modular system that gives them the medium-term capability to offer electric and hybrid cars in all vehicle classifications.”
While sales are down in the two biggest markets (the US and Japan), in all other markets they have grown substantially from the previous period. The slump in the Japanese market reflects “the lower strategic importance of BEVs and PHEVs in Japanese OEM portfolios.”
Of the seven leading automotive nations (Germany, France, Italy, the US, Japan, China, South Korea), France is the only one where plug-in vehicles have won more than 1% of the market, putting it well ahead of a stagnating US.
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