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Electric cars will triple market share in Europe in 2020

Electric cars will triple their market share in Europe this year as a result of EU car emissions targets, according to a new report released today from Transport & Environment (T&E), a European umbrella group for non-governmental organizations that work in transport and the environment, and promote sustainable transport in Europe.

T&E analyzed sales and carmakers’ compliance strategies in the first half of 2020. It found that despite the pandemic, EV sales have surged since January 1, just as the emissions standards kicked in, and will go from 3% to 10% this year and rise to 15% in 2021.

However, it may only rise to 20% four years later if the current CO2 regulation is not revised, the analysis shows. Norway shows how fast the EV market can grow: from 6% of sales in 2013 to almost 50% five years later, in 2018.

T&E reports:

PSA Group, Volvo, FCA-Tesla and BMW Group are already complying with the EU’s target for average emissions of new cars, based on their sales in the first half of 2020, T&E’s analysis shows. Renault, Nissan, the Toyota-Mazda pool, and Ford have a small gap to close of 2 grams of CO2 per km. The sales of the Zoe alone in 2020 will knock off 15g of CO2 to help ensure Renault complies. 

While further away, the Volkswagen Group (5g), Hyundai-Kia (7g-3g), Daimler (9g), and Jaguar-Land Rover (13g) should cross the line either through their compliance strategies of selling more plug-in vehicles, by pooling emissions with other companies, or both. Daimler is expected to close much of the gap by selling more of its plug-in hybrids, including the E-Class, C-Class, A-Class, and GLC — sales of which have grown rapidly this year.

Julia Poliscanova, senior director for clean vehicles at T&E, said:

Electric car sales are booming thanks to EU emissions standards. Next year, 1 in every 7 cars sold in Europe will be a plug-in. EU manufacturers are back in the EV race, but without more ambitious CO2 targets in 2025 and 2030 to spur them on, they’ll run out of steam as soon as 2022.

Worryingly, sales of ICE SUVs grew 39% in the first half of 2020 due to a loophole in the EU regulation that gives carmakers selling heavy vehicles laxer CO2 targets.

T&E says that the EU must set 2035, at the latest, as the end date for sales of ICE cars.

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.