Electric car sales set to treble, but there’s a risk of growth fizzling without tougher targets

(Transport and Environment, 30 Oct 2020) The EU’s car CO2 standards are driving rapid growth of zero-emission vehicles sales. That is the conclusion of an analysis by T&E into the growth of electric vehicles in the first half of 2020, as Europe’s carmakers have just two more months to meet the 2021 emissions standards.

But T&E is warning that the progress made so far could fizzle out within two years unless the EU revises its emissions limits from 2025 onwards.

The campaign for mandatory emissions standards that took many years to bear fruit was based on the idea that carmakers would only invest in cleaner technology when they were forced to reduce emissions. With the deadline for meeting 2020-21 standards looming, the research shows electric cars will treble their market share in Europe this year as a result of EU car CO2 targets, accounting for 10% of car sales this year and 15% next year.

Four carmaking groups – PSA (Peugeot, Citroën and others), Volvo, FCA-Tesla and BMW – are already complying with the EU’s target for average emissions of new cars, based on their sales in the first half of 2020, while Renault, Nissan, the Toyota-Mazda pool and Ford are not far away. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the electric vehicle market has been surging and has grown much faster than was expected when the last set of CO2 limits was agreed in 2018.

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Transport and Environment, 30 Oct 2020: Electric car sales set to treble, but there’s a risk of growth fizzling without tougher targets