Friday, 13 March 2020 09:43

NEV sales in Europe rose in 2019, but from a low base

NEV sales in Europe rose in 2019, but from a low base Image by Marilyn Murphy from Pixabay

Despite a 52% rise in the sale of what are described as new energy vehicles (NEVs) in Europe in the final quarter of 2019, the number — 160,000 — means that NEVs only made up 4.4% of the 3.7 million cars that were sold in the quarter.

For the full-year 2019, about 520,000 NEVs were sold out of a total of 15.3 million cars delivered in Europe.

The analyst firm Canalys said NEVs included plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles, adding that the increase came off a low base.

"The industry needs a boost, and it should come, in part, from the new, more affordable, compact EVs launching in the first half of 2020 from mainstream brands such as Honda, Mini, Opel/Vauxhall, Peugeot and VW," said Canalys chief automotive analyst Chris Jones.

"Priced between €30,000 and €40,000 (US$34,000 and US$45,000), with improved ranges of between 200 and 500 kilometres (320 to 800 miles), early customer interest is encouraging. But there is much more to be done by car-makers, local authorities and governments to convince consumers to make the switch to a NEV."

nevs europe 2019

Jones described 2019 as being another challenging year for the European car market.

"While there was year-on-year sales growth for both Q4 and the full year, the growth is misleading due to the negative sales impact of the WLTP [World harmonised Light vehicle Testing Procedure] fuel economy and emissions test, introduced in 2018," he pointed out.

"Underlying demand for new cars in 2019 in most European countries was muted and the impact of the COVID-19 virus will prove an inhibitor to consumer sales well into 2020.

"The supply chain has been adversely affected, with shortages of key components affecting the whole global automotive industry, not just NEVs. Car manufacturers are also likely to prioritise supply for vehicles that are more profitable. [The} margins are low on NEVs, in some cases non-existent, so manufacturers will seek to protect profits."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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