More EVs on the way as CO2 targets cause a rush in development

06 August 2019

6 August 2019

The number of electric car models on sale in Europe is set to more than triple to more than 200 by 2021, according to a new report.

There will be 92 battery electric (BEV) and 118 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars on sale by 2021 with experts predicting that 22% of all vehicles produced by 2025 will be capable of zero-emission driving, according to a new report from Transport and Environment (T&E).

However, while production capacity may grow, it is still not clear whether demand from consumers will increase in response, especially given the lack of strong tax incentives for drivers and concerns over charging infrastructures.

CO2 targets

Despite this, manufacturers must push forward with their electric vehicle (EV) plans to meet strict EU emissions targets, with individual goals and an industry-wide mark of 95g/km on average, with fines for exceeding these limits.

For every 1g/km of CO2 that a manufacturer exceeds its average emissions target by, it will be fined €95 multiplied by its entire sales volume, meaning carmakers could face fines amounting to millions of euros.

Volkswagen Group (VW) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) could face the highest CO2-related fines in 2021 if they do not drastically reduce their average fleet emissions.

The German carmaker is facing a penalty of up to €1.8 billion and the US-Italian company will see fines of €746 million – although the latter does not take into account recent emissions credits bought by the company. The figures come from a new study by consulting firm AlixPartners.

Other fuels

Meanwhile, the production plans for other alternative drivetrains are almost non-existent: only 9,000 fuel cell cars in total are forecast to be produced by 2025 compared to 4 million electric cars. The production of compressed natural gas cars is even set to decrease, accounting for less than 1% of vehicles produced in Europe by the mid-2020s. 

Lucien Mathieu, transport and e-mobility analyst at T&E, said: ′Thanks to the EU car CO2 standards, Europe is about to see a wave of new, longer range, and more affordable electric cars hit the market. That is good news, but the job is not yet done. We need governments to help roll out EV charging at home and work, and we need changes to car taxation to make electric cars even more attractive than polluting diesels, petrols or poor plug-in hybrid vehicles.’

Building more

The production forecasts show electric car manufacturing steadily replacing diesel engine manufacturing across Europe, with the biggest production centres set to be in Western Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Slovakia is forecast to be making the highest number of EVs per capita by 2025. The Czech Republic and Hungary will also be significant production centres. The UK remains uncertain as the forecasted EV production growth could easily be reversed in the case of a ′no-deal’ Brexit, the report states.