New report says more smaller, cheaper electric cars needed to satisfy market

Mon 19 February 2024 View all news

A new study by Transport & Environnment (T&E) says that far fewer electric cars sold in Europe are in the cheaper, compact B segment compared with models with new combustion engines. The Brussels-based NGO says that a "disproportionate focus on large (electric) SUVs and premium models" is holding up mass market adoption of EVs.

The study found that only 17% of electric cars sold so far in Europe have been in the more affordable ‘B’ segment – compared to 37% of new combustion engines and that large and luxury electric models outnumber smaller BEVs by 3 to 2.

T&E says that car makers are slowing European EV adoption by prioritising sales of larger, more expensive electric cars. The research points to the fact that only 40 fully electric models were launched in the compact segments (A and B) between 2018 and 2023 compared to 66 large and luxury models (D and E).

The report says that the average price of a battery electric car in Europe has increased by 39% (+€18,000) since 2015 while in China it has fallen by 53%. T&E says that this is linked to European manufacturers’ disproportionate focus on large cars and SUVs, which carry a price premium.

Anna Krajinska, vehicle emissions manager at T&E, said: “European carmakers are holding back the mass market adoption of EVs by not bringing affordable models to consumers faster and at volume. ”

T&E's report points to the potential of the company car sector to accelerate EV adoption. It calls on the EU to come forward with regulations and incentives to encourage large leasing companies and car fleets to accelerate EV uptake.

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