Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular in European countries. In 2017, EV sales increased by 39% with one in every 60 cars purchased being an EV. Forecasts for the next decade indicate that European take up of green cars will increase exponentially as more countries offer greater incentives for drivers of electric vehicles and work towards EV dominated roads. But which EVs are Europe’s favourites?
Our annual driver’s survey highlighted some interesting statistics with respect to which EVs are the most popular in Europe. Of the 8,545 drivers we spoke to – drawn from a wide range of countries, from Switzerland to the UK and France – 59.6% had opted for a battery operated EV. Another 28.3% of the drivers had purchased a hybrid model. Of all the cars mentioned in our survey, the Renault Zoe was by far the most popular in the list of electric cars, with a 12.93 % share of all our drivers. This reflects sales statistics in Europe as the Renault Zoe, equipped since late 2016 with a 41-kWh battery, surpassed every other EV by quite some distance in terms of sales in 2017. Other popular models among the respondents to our survey included the Tesla Model S (12.11%), the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (8.19%), the Nissan Leaf (6.57%) and the BMW i3 (6.5%).
NewMotion EV Driver Survey 2017
Now that there is more accessible and broader knowledge around consumers’ anxieties, such as vehicle range and “how electric cars work” these diminished concerns have influenced a rapid increase in the market of purchasers in Europe. Car manufacturers have seen the opportunity to attract customers by expanding the range of EV vehicles on offer. This, combined with an extension in availability of electric car charging points, including public infrastructure and private EV charging points, means that there is a lot more to talk about now on the topic of the EVs of Europe. But which countries favour which cars?
Norway: First in Europe when it comes to EV sales and second in the world behind China, the Norwegian market for electric vehicles is a vibrant and exciting one. Some Norwegian cities have started ordering electric buses and the EV import market is diversifying. Some of the most popular EV models in Norway include the VW eGolf, Renault Zoe and Hyundai Ioniq.
Sweden: The EV share of the car market in Sweden rose from 3.2% to 4.7% in 2017 and the Swedish have also been ordering electric buses – as well as working on electric ferries for future use. The local market in Sweden is dominated by PHEVs and the market leader here is Volvo.
Netherlands: Compared to 2016 the number of EVs sold in the Netherlands has doubled. Despite this, Dutch individuals still tend to buy petrol and diesel cars, according to the RAI (RAI Association represents the interests of enterprises in the area of mobility), this is because EVs are still seen as too expensive.It is also notable to state that 90% of electric cars purchased are for business use.
Germany: EV market share in Germany may only be at 1.5% but that represents a doubling of share on the figures for 2016, indicating a significant increase in enthusiasm for green cars. Of course Germany is also one of the biggest manufacturers of green cars too – last year, it bypassed the US to take the number two spot in the world for volume of sales. As you might expect, BMW is one of the favourites in the German market.
Ukraine: The Ukraine is fairly unique in that it’s an Eastern European country that is much less wealthy than many of the Western European nations that tend to lead the way when it comes to EVs. However, in 2017 the sales of EVs almost doubled on the figures for the year before in the Ukraine, demonstrating some serious local commitment to the green car. Interestingly, the most popular EVs in the Ukraine (and those that make up the majority of green cars on the road) are used Nissan Leafs which have been imported from the US.
France: EV sales in France had a 1.7% share of the market in 2017, an increase on 1.4% in 2016. It’s estimated that around half of EV sales in France are either the Renault Zoe or Renault’s electric Kangoo LCV, which dominate the local market and are by far the most popular models. Many people are still waiting for another big name in French auto - Peugeot-Citroen – to make its mark in the green cars market but, for now, it has yet to do so.
Belgium: Compared to other countries Belgium is lagging behind on the sales of EV and hybrids. In 2017 only 560 electric vehicles were sold, whereas elsewhere in the EU sales were taking off. The rest of the EU experienced a jump in sales of 60% for hybrid cars, but again Belgium was left behind with their growth being limited to 13.9%.
According to our survey, more than a quarter of drivers save upwards of 900€ a year by having a green car. The potential savings available are a huge ‘pro’ for electric cars – and could explain why so many more people are now choosing to go electric across Europe. The ease of use of an EV charger is another good reason – home chargers, office chargers and increasingly large networks of public chargers mean there is no sacrifice of convenience in becoming an EV owner.
These are just some of Europe’s favourite EVs – with the growth in the market across many European nations it’s likely that we’ll see many more options with longer range, more innovative features and more efficient design in the very near future.
All stats and facts from here