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: Electric-vehicle sales have been a highlight in a year where the COVID-19 pandemic wrought havoc on car makers
Sales of electric vehicles by European car makers accelerated rapidly in 2020, amid a pedal-to-the-metal push to increase EV adoption by governments offering generous incentives to trade in gas guzzlers for cleaner alternatives.
The COVID-19 pandemic wrought havoc on car sales, with the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association reporting that passenger-car registrations fell 25.5% in the first 11 months of 2020 compared with 2019.
But electric vehicles have been a standout for automobile companies.
Volkswagen also said that its ID.3 model was the top-selling car in Sweden in December 2020 by absolute numbers, and that all-electric Volkswagen vehicles took the top spot in the Netherlands and Germany, with around a 23% share of each country’s battery-electric vehicle market.
Mercedes-Benz-owner Daimler DAI,
Electric vehicles increased drastically as a share of all cars sold by Mercedes-Benz, from 2% in 2019 to more than 7% in 2020.
In France, Renault RNO,
The company also reported that its total orders at the end of December 2020 were up by 14% compared with last year, which it put down to its new hybrid offerings.
Also read: Renault says it will create French venture with Plug Power
Meanwhile, electric-car maker Tesla TSLA,
Much of the global growth in electric-vehicle popularity comes from Europe itself. According to a report from consulting firm McKinsey in July 2020, Europe cushioned a broader, global fall in EV sales through the year.
According to McKinsey, EV sales remained constant in China in 2019, falling by 57% in the first quarter of 2020, while EV sales dropped by 12% in the U.S. in 2019, and a further 33% in Q1 2020. In Europe, electric-vehicle sales in 2019 rose by 44%, and by 25% in the beginning of last year.
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European governments have added generous incentives for consumers to purchase EVs, with both Germany and France offering lucrative subsidies for car buyers who choose electric.
In Germany, buyers can save up to €9,000 ($ 10,940) on purchases of new electric vehicles. France offered incentives of up to €7,000 in 2020, but will trim that down to €6,000 in 2021.
Beyond meeting consumer demand, European car makers are also being pushed to manufacture more electric vehicles by the threat of hundreds of millions of euros in fines from the European Union over binding emissions targets.
Phased in through 2020, and continuing into 2021, the fleetwide average emission target for new cars must be 95 grams carbon dioxide per kilometer, which is around 4.1 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers.
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, MarketWatch.com – Top Stories reports