The market share of cars, mostly electric, will rise to 15% next year, according to the group, as carmakers on the continent rush to reduce their CO2 levels. Projections are based on sales data for the first half of the year, as well as expected increases as manufacturers scramble to comply with tighter restrictions in 2021.
“Electric car sales are booming thanks to EU emissions standards,” said Julia Poliscanova, director of clean vehicles. “Next year, one in seven cars sold in Europe will be a plug-in.”
Under the rules, automakers must reduce the average emissions of their vehicles to 95g CO2 per km or face fines of up to billions of euros.
In the first six months of the year, average emissions fell from 122g to 111g, the largest six-month drop in more than a decade.
While five percent of cars sold this year are excluded from the calculations, an EU dealership to help automakers get into the new regime, each vehicle counts towards next year’s total.
Environmental groups have criticized the concessions, as well as the fact that CO2 limits are not expected to tighten until 2030.
“European manufacturers are back in the race for electric vehicles, but without more ambitious CO2 targets in 2025 and 2030 to stimulate them, they will run out of steam by 2022,” said Poliscanova.
Several automakers are still behind on the new rules, according to T&E calculations, requiring a late surge in electricity sales, or buying credits from a competitor who has already exceeded the rules to avoid heavy fines.
The system allows those who have generated “credits” by selling pure electric cars or plug-in hybrids to sell them to competitors who are struggling to follow the rules. The value of credits decreases over time.
Earlier this month, Volvo Cars said it was open to selling its credits to competitors, after seeing a surge in demand for hybrids this year. Daimler, which is partly owned by Volvo’s parent company Geely, is the furthest behind on its targets and will likely need credits, according to T&E.
Some automakers have also been hampered by the pandemic, which has delayed the launch of key models and reduced demand. VW saw the launch of its electric offensive slowed down by the epidemic, and as a result is behind schedule. Hyundai and Kia are also lagging behind, with sales of electric models such as the Hyundai Kona and Kia e-Niro being delayed by the pandemic.
Toyota, which is pooled with Mazda, is close to achieving its goals due to its widespread use of traditional hybrids, which run an engine and a battery at the same time.
BMW, which relies on plug-in hybrids as well as its all-electric i3 model, has achieved the targets for this year, as has Renault, which sells the electric Zoe. Nissan, a partner of the Renault alliance, which sells the Leaf electric car, is also close to its objectives.
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