Electric car breakthrough could not come to Europe before the end of 2020

Posted by Christian Pfäffli on

Matthias Schmidt, an automotive analyst, predicts that the number of electric car registrations will double in 2020 compared to 2019. The CO2 limits for automobile manufacturers introduced in January are the decisive factor in this, he said. Schmidt expects the volume of electric cars in Europe to rise from 335,000 units in 2019 to over 700,000 this year, and to reach almost one million units per year by 2021 after the introduction phase has ended. But the growth spurt could come later than initially assumed.

Despite the fact that 2019 was the year of Tesla, there will probably be a shift in market share in 2020. Analysts assume that Tesla will be replaced by the VW Group at the top of the registered e-cars in Europe in 2020. Since this group is pushing strongly across several brands on the market. The question currently being asked is not whether this will happen, but when.

German manufacturers start the e-offensive with a delay
Volkswagen is "on the way to emission-free mobility for all". Even in times of climate change, the manufacturer wanted to "continue to enable many people to enjoy individual mobility". And this under a "clear commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement", which means "CO2-neutral mobility with clean cars from clean production". While some other manufacturers, such as Audi and Mercedes, had recently struggled with production problems due to limited availability of batteries, Volkswagen was "very well secured with supply contracts not only in the short but also in the medium term". And yet there still seem to challenge even for the first-ever battery - VW ID.3.

Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, only recently stated that "the ID.3 has to get on the road". Now it seems at least it is not getting on the road as quickly as originally planned. Up to now, the summer of 2020 has always been the target date for the introduction of the MEB electricity. According to various media reports, it will now be later. VW has denied this on Twitter, at least, with the indication that they will continue to adhere to the current schedule. "The timetable remains unchanged: The market launch is planned for summer 2020," a VW spokesman said. As we now know to interpret, this is the "First Edition". The same spokesman also indicated that the company intends to build around 100,000 electric cars at its plant in Zwickau this year.

Across all German car manufacturers, a delay in the e-offensive could also increase. This is because sales could be significantly affected by the effects of the coronavirus, based on a highly dependent Chinese battery supply chain. If the coronavirus becomes increasingly prevalent in Europe and the Chinese market continues to fail to regain momentum, it is also conceivable that OEMs might collectively ask the European Commission to be lenient in meeting the CO2 limit targets for 2020, given that China is such an important supplier of battery cell components. However, this is only likely if all manufacturers speak the same language. So far, however, there is no indication that this could happen.

Plug-in hybrids play an important role in meeting the CO2 fleet targets
Plug-in hybrids are likely to play an important role in meeting the average CO2 fleet targets for car manufacturers interested in remaining as profitable as possible. At the Capital Market Day in mid-November, Daimler announced that it will reach its CO2 targets for 2020 with 50,000 PHEVs. For 2021, it is even expected that unit sales will triple to 150,000 units. The foundation has already been laid with corresponding models. Electric cars from Mercedes-Benz are expected to reach "only" 50,000 units in the same year.

50,000 plug-in hybrids for 2020 was also the figure mentioned by Jürgen Stackman, Head of Marketing and Sales of the Volkswagen brand, to automotive analyst Matthias Schmidt. If you look at France, you can see that plug-in hybrids will play an even greater role. PSA forecasts that the total number of PHEV registrations in the 30 European markets will exceed electric car registrations by 2025, with 1.93 million (PHEV) and 1.57 million (electric car) units forecast.

Source: Matthias Schmidt - West European Electric Car Market Intelligence Monthly Report Edition 01.2020


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