Carmakers are failing to deliver affordable electric cars, holding back EV adoption – analysis

(Transport and Environment, 19 Feb 2024) Disproportionate focus of manufacturers on large SUVs and premium models means we have too few mass-market cars.

  • Only 17% of electric cars sold are in the more affordable ‘B’ segment – compared to 37% of new combustion engines;
  • The offering of large and luxury electric models outnumbers smaller BEVs by 3 to 2;
  • Accelerating company car electrification could increase overall BEV market share from 15% to 22%.

Just 17% of electric cars sold in Europe are compact vehicles in the cheaper B segment, compared to 37% of new combustion engines, new analysis finds. Carmakers are slowing EV adoption by prioritising sales of larger, more expensive electric cars, according to Transport & Environment (T&E), which conducted the research. 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), according to the report.

In Europe 28% of electric sales are in the large car D segment, compared to just 13% of new combustion cars, according to T&E’s analysis of 2023 sales figures from Dataforce. 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% [1]. This is due to European manufacturers’ disproportionate focus on large cars and SUVs, which carry a price premium.

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Transport and Environment, 19 Feb 2024: Carmakers are failing to deliver affordable electric cars, holding back EV adoption – analysis