The United Kingdom overtook France in the first quarter of this year as the second largest European market for electric cars. This is evident from a report provided by auto consultant Matthias Schmidt. Germany continues to be the European market leader by a particularly large margin.
The researcher found that 31 thousand electric cars were sold in the United Kingdom during the first quarter of this year. Sales of 30,500 copies were recorded in France.
“Electric vehicle sales have grown strongly since the start of last year,” says Matthias Schmidt. “This is due to increased consumer interest in sustainable mobility, but it should also be attributed to the new emissions regulations imposed by the authorities.
“These standards threaten car manufacturers to face heavy fines if the average carbon dioxide emissions of their models do not decrease.”
Despite the coronavirus outbreak, more than half a million electric cars were sold in Europe last year for the first time in history. Sales are expected to double to one million copies this year.
However, Schmidt simultaneously warns that within three years, electric cars will still make up barely a tenth of the total European car market.
In the European Union, Germany remained by far the largest market for electric cars in the first quarter of this year, with sales of 64,700 units. “This achievement was supported, in part, by the generous support of the German government,” Schmidt argues.
This support doubled in June of last year. The German government wanted to use these subsidies to increase sales to support the national auto sector, which is essential to the country’s economy.
In the UK, electric cars accounted for 7.5 percent of all car sales during the first three months of this year. Schmidt notes, however, that a number of other countries have already made relatively more progress than the British market in terms of switching to an electric fleet.
“Norway became the first country in the world to sell more electric cars than combustion engine cars last year,” the consultant said. “Here, too, there was a clear effect of generous subsidies.”