During 19th century, when electricity was among the most preferred methods for automobile propulsion, electric vehicles came in to existence. EVs also known as electric drive vehicle generally uses one or more electric motors for propulsion. Increasing air pollution and carbon emissions, along with shortage of energy are the reasons that are making electric vehicles more popular among people nowadays. The market for these vehicles has been growing across the world. Even many countries are making an aim to put many electric vehicles on road as early as possible which will be a key milestone towards dramatically reducing dependence on oil.
Countries are taking effective steps to increase demands of electric vehicles in order to reduce petroleum dependence, enhancing environmental awareness and promoting transportation sustainability. To promote the sale of electric vehicles, countries are giving perks to buyers of these vehicles. For instance, in France, electric vehicles are exempt from the company car tax. When it comes to EV market share, Norway is the king followed by Netherlands right behind. Here, we bring upon the top 10 countries with major demand for electric vehicles.
Norway is currently the largest electric vehicle market in the world. The roads of the country are filled with Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. Electric vehicle’s comfort and convenience makes them more popular among people. The country has around 3,500 electric charging posts and 100-fast charging stations, thus offers the good infrastructure to electric car owners. Along with this, citizens get other incentives too. It is allowed to park electric cars for free in city spaces. Also, they do not have to pay city congestion charges that other car owners have to pay. Even EV drivers are allowed to drive their vehicle in the bus lane. But the main reason is the tax structure. EVs in Norway aren’t subject to import taxes. The increasing cost of fuels also contributed towards the increase in the demand for electric vehicles in the nation. Norwegians hold a strong place for electric vehicles and it has been predicted that by 2020 there will be around 200,000 electric vehicles in the country.
Even though the Netherlands is geographically small, but the demand for EVs in the country is very high. Listing behind Norway, the Netherlands holds a major market for electric vehicles. To be particular, the country is the king of plug-in hybrids. In the year 2013, there were around 1.71 plug-in electric vehicles per 1000 people in the country. Around 5,749 all electric cars were registered in the country as of September 2014. Volvo V60 PHEV and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV were the two popular electric vehicle models in the year 2014.
There are many vehicles in the country. For every 2 person, there is almost one vehicle, excluding public transports. Thus, there is large potential to replace fuel combustion vehicles with electric vehicles in the country. In the Netherlands, electric vehicles are exempted from BPM, tax that is to be paid when registering a vehicle for the first time in the country and is based on vehicle’s CO2 emission. Along with this, EVs are also exempted from an annual motor vehicle tax (MRB). To fulfill its commitment of environmental stability, the government is planning to establish 200 recharging stations in the country by this year end.
Europe is one of the largest markets for electric vehicles. France offers a one-time bonus for purchasing EVs. On buying an electric car in France, the buyer gets €7,000 cash incentive (the amount of the incentive cannot exceed 30% of the vehicle purchase price including VAT, and battery cost). In France, electric vehicles are also exempt from the company car tax. Also, electricity prices in the country are a bit lower, thus results in high fuel cost savings when one switches to electric vehicles.
There are around 6,000 charging stations for electric vehicles in the country and it is planning to increase that to 8,000 by the end of the year. Under Paris’s “Autolib” program, the government puts over 2000 electric vehicles and 4000 charge points on the city’s street alone. Out of all electric vehicles, Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf are the popular electric vehicles in the country.
Iceland is an island country at the confluence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Electric cars make much more sense in Ireland as electricity is much cheaper in the country whereas gasoline cost much more. There are certain perks that electric vehicle drivers get such as access to free electricity at charging stations, free parking along with tax discounts on importation and sales tax discount. Thus, maintaining an electric car in the country is much more economical. To increase the purchase of electric vehicles in the country, the government has reduced VAT and import taxes. As Iceland does not have much population, thus charging the vehicle is not a big deal in the country.
- United States
In 2010, Nissan and Chevy introduced PEVs in the U.S. market by launching Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. As of September 2014, the total stock of PEVs (Plug-in electric vehicles) in the country was around 259,949. The U.S. market of electric vehicles is affected strongly by regulations such as California regulations and National greenhouse gas emissions standards. In 2014, the sales of EVs increased by 25% in comparison to the year before. The country provides a one-time federal bonus on the purchase of electric vehicles. Additional state bonus and incentives are also provided by some states such as California in order to encourage EV purchase.
Denmark is one of the most environmentally conscious nations. Nissan Leaf rules the country, followed by VW e-Up and Tesla Model S. In Denmark, registration tax for the vehicles is very high which is based on the vehicle’s value, however BEVs weighing less than 2000kg are exempted from registration tax. In Demark, incentives for private cars BEVs are higher than for company car BEVs. Overall tax compensation provided in the country is around 15,500 EUR for (private) and 3,300 EUR (company) for the BEV. And for PHEV, it is 22,800 EUR (private) and 3,400 EUR (company). Beside all incentives, there is lower acceptance of BEVs among private consumers rather than on the part of fleet owners.
Sweden is a good market for adopting new technologies as Swedes are easy adopters and are open for alternate vehicles. Even the prices of electricity are much lower in comparison with other European countries. Thus, driving electric vehicles in the country are not very expensive. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the most selling electric car in Sweden.
To promote sale of electric vehicles in the country, government provides concession to electric car buyers. The exemption is given to electric vehicles with energy consumption of 37kWh per 100 km or less from the annual circulation tax for a period of five years from first registration. The exemption is also given to electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Reduction in company car taxation is also given. Another bonus provided by the government is “Super green car premium” (Supermiljöbilspremie) of SEK 40,000 is given on the purchase of cars (both private and company) with CO2 emission of maximum 50 g/km.
- United Kingdom
The electric car market in UK is still small, but has strong vision for the coming years. Government is taking steps to increase the selling of electric cars in the country. Since 2011, on purchase of new electric car (BEV or PHEV emitting less than 75g CO2/km or a Fuel Cell Vehicle) receives a one-time grant of 25% of the car, up to a maximum of 5,000 EUR. Cars bought for both private and business purpose are eligible for this grant. Also, on the purchase of electric van, a 20% off of the cost is given on up to a maximum of 8,000 EUR. Electric vehicles are exempt from annual circulation tax. This is based on CO2 emissions and all vehicles with emission below 100g/km are exempt from it. According to December 2014 statistics; there were around 24,500 plug-in electric vehicles in the country. The most popular electric vehicle in the country is Nissan Leaf.
In Germany there are no direct purchase incentives for PEVs; however the country does provide several other incentives. For the first ten years since the first registration, electric vehicles are exempted from the annual circulation tax. Also, like the Netherlands, company cars are treated as taxable income. There are even some free charging stations in the country. Year-to-date sales of PEVs in 2014 (September) is at 9,270 vehicles, which represents about 0.46% of the new vehicle market. In 2009, the government adopted the National Electro mobility Development Plan with the goal to make Germany as the “world’s leading supplier and market for electric mobility by 2020.”
Estonia is a small Baltic country in the northeast of Europe. The country is one of the least populous states in the European Union. To increase the sale of more and more electric vehicles, the country’s government offers substantial incentives (up to 50%) on the purchase of electric vehicles, which are very pricey. Tesla Model S rules the road of this country. Estonia is the first country in the world to open a nationwide electric vehicle fast-charging network. The country has around 619 all electric cars, out of which around 500 are for public and 100 by private people and companies.
Buyers now have many choices than before when it comes to buying an electric vehicle. There are many EVs in different sizes from two-passenger to midsized to luxury car. It is quite difficult to tell where the future will take electric vehicles, but it is evident that they hold a potential of creating sustainable environment.