The electric car is clearly increasing its presence on the global scene. In July, the EU market share of battery-electric cars rose to 13.6%, up from 9.8% the same month last year, while hybrid-electric cars maintained their position as the second choice among new car buyers, capturing over a quarter of the market, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). Cumulatively, battery-electric car sales recorded a 54.7% increase from January to July.
Scandinavian countries were the first to invest heavily on electric vehicles and they have been setting the pace in this regard on European territory. Currently, Norway is the country with the highest number of purely electric cars on the roads (84% of the total), followed by Iceland, Sweden and Denmark.
However, a study carried out in France by Monta, a Danish start-up specializing in EV charging stations, in collaboration with the multinational market analysis consultancy YouGov, reveals that many buyers of an electric car are not happy about their choice due to rising electricity prices, which, in Europe, have doubled in just three years.
According to the survey, conducted in March but whose results were released in August, 54% of owners of electric vehicles said they regretted their purchase because of the uptick in electricity costs. Other factors included a lack of transparency that often means that the customer only discovers the real price of charging once the process is completed. Respondents also cited difficulty finding out where the best rates are available, and the need to download various apps due to a fragmented market.
In France, EV penetration is similar to the European average (12%). The European Union wants at least 30 million electric cars on the roads by 2030. By the same date, the United States is aiming for half of passenger cars sold in the country to be electric, while China has set a target of 40%.
Despite the rising electricity prices, an electric car, though more expensive to purchase, is still much more profitable in terms of energy consumption than a conventional internal combustion one. However, the mass adoption of EVs still faces major obstacles. While the high cost of EVs, the lack of a charging infrastructure and the car’s limited autonomy are often cited as the biggest stumbling blocks, there are other challenges — stemming from how EVs are manufactured — that are also making it difficult for them to take over the roads.