For the emerging electric car industry, doing business in Europe has
been anything but a joy ride.
Last month, Europe’s car buyers not only bought far fewer electric cars
than expected, but to the dismay of an outwardly upbeat electric car
industry, May sales of pure electric cars in Western Europe fell in ten
of the sixteen markets monitored by AID every month.
Excluding plug-ins (PHEVs), West Europe’s May’s electric car penetration
- curtailed by buyers’ fast-fading enthusiasm in Norway - eased back to
0.55 per cent from 0.63 per cent during the same month last year,
according to AID’s exclusive monthly analysis.
In France, the one chink of light, May’s electric car sales rose 71.4
per cent, resulting in a 1.04 per cent electric car sales share for the
Although Germany’s dip in May sales was expected, the same cannot be
said for a sudden shift into reverse in nine other West European
May’s poor turnout was particularly disappointing for the industry
because the month saw the fastest rise in overall car sales this year.
While none of that appears to have triggered any alarm bells at
autoindustry headquarters, the same certainly cannot be said for an
ominous looking change in consumer sentiment in Norway, long-seen as a
bellwether of underlying consumer interest in electric cars.
The sudden swing in fortunes in Norway, where May sales of
electric cars slumped by nearly a quarter, following a distinct
loss of momentum since the start of this year, is potentially deeply
worrying for the electric car industry.
And the reasons are all too easily identified
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