Europe speeds up move towards electric driving

The movement towards electric driving is gathering pace across Europe as sales of electric vehicles surpasses the one million mark.

A report published recently in the Guardian suggested that ‘between January and June around 195,000 plug-in cars were sold across the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.’

Sales rocketed in the first half of the year by more than 40% reflecting a strong surge in the appetite for electric. Whilst the UK remains fairly modest in terms of sales, Norway is racing ahead with 37% of new car sales being electric. A lack of options in terms of available ranges has been cited as a kay factor in the UK’s reluctance to go fully electric.

Robert Byrne, Managing Director of Franklin Energy explained: “Whilst hitting the one million mark is incredibly important in terms of milestones for the electric movement there are still several factors that are deterring drivers from making the switch. At the moment, there are only a handful of models available that include the entry level Nissan Life and BMW i3 for example – after this the leap is quite significant moving into Tesla territory with little in between. The launch of the Tesla 3 will help make this shift more attractive as will the launch of new models across ranges from all major manufactures in 2019 such as Audi, Mercedes and VW. ”

The report also highlighted a dip in UK sales of electric cars by 6% with an increase in hybrid by 50%. Rob added: “UK drivers are still sceptical of 100% electric vehicles – a combination of battery capability, vehicle performance and the wider charging infrastructure being the main concerns.

“Moving forward, electric vehicles will be becoming increasingly attractive with significantly greater miles per charge, lower Benefit in Kind tax with more infrastructure in place to charge. We are seeing upturn in demand from public and private operators for charging needs and are making moves into the domestic market. There are new government incentives and subsidies for work, leisure and home coupled with more choices of the type of charger that can be installed. Raising awareness of what is and what will be available is now really important and the industry must come together to communicate this to the UK driving population.”

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