Monthly review - April - You can't write revolution without EV
EV sales are booming – or are they? It’s mainly the release of the Tesla Model 3 onto European shores that is causing e-registrations to spike. Still, there is no doubt that the momentum is building up in general. The next challenge is getting enough battery supply in Europe and sell sufficient EVs to hit the 95g target – something that can only be realised by providing incentives and sufficient charging infrastructure.
Don’t wait too long to order that EV
Carmakers mainly depend on Asian battery producers for their EVs, a situation that is not without supply risks. Audi can’t get enough cells from its supplier for the e-tron, while Tesla is reportedly not on the same page as Panasonic as to the expansion of the Gigafactory. Delivery times are therefore likely to increase. The good news is that Europe is finally responding – a German-French battery consortium involving PSA and Saft to complement Northvolt seems in the making.
How to get to 95 grams
OEMs are struggling to comply with the EU’s CO2 target of 95g/km. Only Toyota seems to be on track, while German premium car makers have seen their fleet average rise in 2018 due to the deadly SUV + petrol mix. Ford is investing heavily in electrification and hopes the all-new Kuga will turn things round. FCA on the other hand is in dire straits and sees only one solution to avoid monster fines: pooling their vehicles with Tesla.
Tesla drops a bomb
Without a doubt, the Tesla Model 3 is the car many employees and self-employed have been waiting for. Everywhere in Europe the highly anticipated newcomer is pushing the usual suspects aside, jumping to first position in both the EV segment in general and even the premium D saloon segment. Even in Germany the Model 3 is selling like hot cookies, whereas other EVs progress steadily and are outperforming hybrids. How will dealers respond to this new reality, if they earn less money both in sales and after sales?
Italy: the last diesel stronghold crumbles
The diesel market has long remained untouched by emission worries in Italy. That is now changing, unquestionably thanks to the new vehicle taxation rules and the announced diesel bans in large cities. At the same time the Italian government has installed a comprehensive EV bonus and old car scrappage scheme for cars that cost up to €50,000 excluding VAT. Studies show that such subsidies play an important role in EV adoption.
Wanted: more charging infrastructure
Research found that there is a correlation between charging infrastructure and EV uptake. Today, there are some 150,000 public charging points for electric cars in the EU. At least 2.8 million will be needed by 2030, according to conservative estimates by the European Commission. That translates to almost a 20-fold increase over the next 12 years. While Europe is playing catch-up, Norway’s capital is already installing wireless charging stations of its taxi fleet.
Image: Tesla Model 3 at the 2018 Paris Motor Show