|The Nissan Leaf is a pure electric car|
In Europe fossil fuel propulsion is expensive. In some nations incentives to purchase electric type vehicles have been put in place, as they are much more expensive to buy. So with that in mind, if alternatives such as electric struggle to gain favour then what hope do they have? Pure electric cars or hybrid (including range-extender) ones are the choice Europeans are offered, as hydrogen isn't an option.
The list below comes from data released by ACEA, for nations in Europe that supplied sales figures for 2013 and 2014 on PEVs and HEVs. PEVs are 100% electrically powered, while HEVs include PEVs but also covers hybrid and range extending cars*. Denmark, Ireland and Romania are left out of the HEV list as they only gave PEV sales figures. Greece is only on the HEV list as they don't separate the pure electric cars from the hybrids. We will look at each side of the chart.
|The BMW i3 is a range-extended electric car|
PEVs: They increased a creditable 73% from '13 to '14. Norway (+130%), UK (+173%), Denmark (+148%), Sweden (+187%) and Belgium (+133%) were major gains numerically for PEVs. France (+20%) and the Netherlands (+14%) were two of the smallest gains. All were up in number so all are coloured pale blue. Norway accounts for 31% of all European PEVs, and for a relatively small country that is amazing. Clearly government assistance is working.
HEVs: This includes all electrically assisted vehicles. The hybrid side here covers both range-extended and plug in hybrids. Norway (+141%), UK (+301%), Sweden (+202%), Poland (+109%) and Belgium (+148%) had large volume gains in HEVs. The Netherlands managed the only decrease with 43% less sales.
|The Mitsubishi Outlander is a hybrid vehicle (PHEV)|
Summary: While PEVs were up 73%, hybrid and range-extending cars were up just under 26%, giving a combined increase of 50%. So pure electric increased its share of the whole HEV market. I thought they may have been similar in growth but as government subsidies favour PEVs, I assume that is the reason. It is also just a year to year comparison so 2015 will show if that trend continues or not.
Either way they still make up a tiny percentage of sales, albeit a growing one. How will fossil fuel prices affect things? Will HEVs remain a limited part of the market? Does electric have a future or will something like hydrogen propulsion take over, leaving electric nothing more than a curiosity?
|Pure Electric (PEV)||Hybrid & Electrical (HEV)|
*Range-extenders have an internal combustion engine that drive an electric generator, which supplies the battery and electric motor with electricity to add range once the stored electricity is used up. Hybrid cars (PHEVs) have an internal combustion engine that takes over powering the car when the batteries have depleted.