Successfully Catching Up: New Ceresana Report on the European Market for Electric Cars  

Electric motor, hybrid, or hydrogen? A revolutionary transition stirs the world of transportation. Car manufacturers, suppliers and new challengers are competing for the electric, carbon-neutral, and fully interconnected mobility of the future. Established industrial locations with millions of workers now have to reinvent themselves. However, electrification is not only rapidly changing the automotive industry. Innovative technologies and new business models are transcending old industry boundaries: Telecom companies have become interested in car sharing, supermarkets are competing with gas stations by offering charging stations, cars as electricity storage units and vehicle-to-grid systems are promoting renewable energy, chemical companies are supporting lightweight construction, and major Internet companies are working on autonomous driving.

The market research company Ceresana has examined the rapidly growing European market for electrically powered passenger cars, i.e. battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV).

Market Study: Hybrid & Electric Cars (PHEV & BEV) - Europe

Electrification of the Automotive Industry

The transformation of the automotive industry has enormous economic effects. There are currently over 357 million passenger cars on the road in Europe, 37% of which are located in Eastern Europe including Russia and Turkey. Cars with gasoline or diesel engines (ICE) still predominate, however, electromobility is being massively promoted in many countries and thus breaks record after record.

Contrary to the general trend, electrically powered vehicles achieved a breakthrough last year: While the number of new registrations across Europe fell by almost 21% compared to 2019 in the wake of the Corona crisis, sales of electric cars increased massively. PHEVs and BEVs now already account for 12.4% of new registrations in Western Europe. The European car manufacturers Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, and Renault were able to catch up significantly with Tesla and Asian manufacturers such as BYD.

Almost all European countries promote the purchase of low-emission vehicles with financial and legal incentives. Even comparatively poor countries, such as Romania, Greece, or Slovakia, provide generous grants and loans for the purchase of environmentally friendly electric cars. At the same time, CO2 emissions from internal combustion engines are increasingly subject to levies in the form of vehicle taxes, tolls, parking fees, and insurance charges. The production of battery systems as well as the charging infrastructure is being massively expanded. The key drivers of electromobility are the stipulations of the European Union, which is constantly tightening the limits for greenhouse gas emissions as part of its "Green Deal".

CleanTech Conquers the Green Future

The analysts at Ceresana expect new registrations of electrically powered vehicles (PHEV & BEV) across Europe to increase to over 8.7 million p.a. by 2030. For BEVs, this means an average increase of 25% per year, while PHEVs are expected to grow by 11.7%. With increases of around 33.8% for BEVs and 29.2% for PHEVs, the Eastern European countries will achieve the highest growth rates - albeit starting from a comparatively low level.
Other drive technologies, i.e. primarily cars with conventional internal combustion engines, are expected to decline by a total of 3.4% p.a. across Europe. According to Ceresana's prediction, there will be nearly 34 million BEVs and 13.8 million PHEVs on European roads in 2030. In Western Europe, this will increase the share of electric cars in the total passenger car stock from around 1% in 2020 to an expected 20% in 2030.

Ceresana's latest study looks at changes in innovation and market cycles, technology and efficiency improvements in powertrains, as well as the specific situation in different countries: societal and economic trends such as income development, mileage, demographic change, and urbanization differ greatly across Europe. From compact to mid-range to luxury and sports cars, vehicle manufacturers need to adapt their product portfolio and production capacities to electric cars to meet the demands of the respective consumers. The awareness for environmental protection and sustainability as well as the interest in recycling and the circular economy are not developed to the same extent in all countries - and neither are government subsidies and support programs. The expansion of the charging infrastructure and the implementation of the political and legal requirements for climate protection are pursued with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the European market (Western and Eastern Europe) for passenger cars, including forecasts up to the year 2030. Clear tables and figures provide data on new registrations, stock, and production of passenger cars. In addition to the overall market, the figures for battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), and other passenger cars (aggregate of all other drive technologies) are also presented individually.

Chapter 2 examines the automotive markets of the various European countries in depth. The development of total passenger car sales is examined first, followed by individual new registrations of PHEVs and BEVs. The study analyzes 19 EU and EFTA member states as well as the United Kingdom in detail.

About Ceresana

As one of the world's leading market research institutes, Ceresana is specialized in the segments chemicals, plastics, packaging, and industrial goods with a focus on transportation / mobility. Companies have been benefiting from our high-quality industry analyses and forecasts since 2002. More than 200 market studies provide more than 10,000 customers around the world with the knowledge base for their sustainable success.

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