Automobile. In Europe, sales of electric cars doubled in 2020

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Sales of electric vehicles in Europe doubled in 2020 and that of plug-in hybrids tripled. According to the Association of European Manufacturers (ACEA) on Thursday, a total of more than a million vehicles were sold.

Last year, 538,772 electric cars and 507,059 plug-in hybrids were sold, with a significant acceleration in the fourth quarter.

Sales of hybrids and eclectics in the fourth quarter even exceeded diesel sales

While the European market as a whole was cut by a quarter of its sales as a result of the health crisis, sales of hybrid (including non-rechargeable) and electric vehicles in the fourth quarter even exceeded diesel sales in Europe over 900,000 vehicles for the first time. In Germany, Italy and France, electricity sales in particular have exploded.

Electric cars have also undermined the gasoline market share: In the fourth quarter, sales of gasoline vehicles fell by 33.7{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} to 1.2 million units (40.6{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} market share) and diesel by 23{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} to 731,000 units (24.5{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118}) back.

At the same time, electric cars grew by 217{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} to 248,000 units, plug-in hybrids by 331{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} to 227,000 units and non-rechargeable hybrids by 105{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} to 435,000 units.

Subsidies

Across Europe, sales increased thanks to efforts for supply and demand. Governments have provided billions in subsidies for the purchase of clean vehicles, up to 9,000 euros in Germany and 12,000 euros in France.

Many motorists have also switched vehicles to continue driving in metropolitan areas that, like Copenhagen, Brussels, Rome and Paris, have or plan to exclude their centers from the most polluting vehicles.

Manufacturers have multiplied the introduction of new hybrid and electric vehicles, particularly in order to meet European standards: subject to heavy fines, they had to drop below 95 grams of CO2 / km. Volkswagen has already announced that the account is not there.

However, the German manufacturer should be one of the winners in this hectic electronics market.

The ID3, which was launched in September to realize its ambitions in the electric field, became the second best car in Europe in December. All engines were combined according to the Jato Dynamics company. It is expected to overtake the Renault Zoe and Tesla Model 3 in 2021, which dominated the European electrical market in 2020.

Falling price

'The Covid has accelerated things', analyzed Eric Esperance from the Roland Berger cabinet. 'Renault, PSA and Volkswagen had already planned to switch to their assembly lines. Once the lines are electric, they should sell as many vehicles as possible.'

According to the experts, the hybrid should remain 'an interim solution' until 2030, especially for drivers who have to drive kilometers.

Until then, electrics have to lower their prices in order to be even more convincing. More charging stations on the roadside should also convince drivers of their autonomy.

'There is a mass effect and prices are falling,' says Eric Esperance. 'From 2023 we will adapt to the user price of petrol models and no more bonuses will be needed.'

Several brands are planning to develop cheaper models for less than 25,000 euros. Top manufacturers are also developing their 100{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} electric range, such as Audi with the e-Tron series or BMW with the iX Sport SUV. With the advancement of electronic components and the multiplication of terminals, 'the question of their autonomy should also be clarified,' emphasizes the expert.

'This is just the beginning,' the Xerfi cabinet said in a statement. In France, sales of electric and plug-in hybrids are expected to increase by an average of 30{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} per year, representing a quarter of the total market in 2025, compared to around 10{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118} today. 'France will then be able to boast, alongside Great Britain and Germany, of being one of the most progressive countries in terms of electromobility,' Xerfi emphasizes.