No electric car boom because of a Volks-electric-wagen

E-Auto beim Aufladen

When Volkswagen launched its major marketing campaign for the first newly developed all-electric model ID.3 in spring, this was probably intended to send a signal. Here we go… with electric mobility for everyone. The ID.3, which after the Beetle and Golf is supposed to symbolize something like Volkswagen 3.0, will not be delivered until mid-2020. At least those interested in the compact electric car were able to register for a pre-booking from May. At around the same time, the first hopefuls of Tesla’s electric mass motorisation, the Model 3, were already rolling on Europe’s roads. But did these two events also trigger a boom in electric cars?

Until 2018, at any rate, the enthusiasm for electric vehicles in Europe – with the exception of Norway – was very manageable. So what has happened to electromobilization since then? And what has happened to gasoline and diesel cars in the meantime? Did they have to give up market share? JATO Dynamics took a look at the 2019 registration figures for the five largest EU markets (Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain).

Diesel is the big Looser

First of all, the big loser is diesel. While its market share was 34.6 per cent in January with a brief interim high in February. By September it had fallen to 29.8 per cent. That is a minus of a whopping 13.9 percent. Was this still the answer to the diesel scandal or already the electric boom? In any case, it was the petrol engines that profited. Their sales rose by 2.5 percentage points in the same period. That is an increase of 4.4 percent.

The curve for electric vehicles was at a slightly different level. But: it is also pointing upwards. In January, the market share of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in the five largest EU markets was just under 1.2 percent. Hybrid models already had a good 4.4 percent and plug-in hybrids 0.7 percent. And all three categories have since increased. In September, the BEV achieved just under two percent, the HEV a good 5.5 percent and the PHEV 1.2 percent. Despite a market share increase of almost 38 percent across all three categories – the increase should be regarded as very moderate. In any case, a boom looks different.

But perhaps that will change with the start of deliveries of the ID.3 and the many other electric vehicles that will come onto the market in 2020. Later, probably also with the first European gigafactory that Tesla plans to build in Germany by 2021.