After years of accelerating growth, Europe’s electric car sales appear to be entering a go-slow zone as drivers wait for better, cheaper models that are two to three years down the road.
Fully-electric sales in Europe were up 47% in the first nine months of 2023, but instead of celebrating, automakers including Tesla (TSLA.O), Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) sounded a sombre note.
High interest rates and a subdued market are putting customers off, they warned, with Volkswagen’s EV order intake half what it was last year.
Dealers in Germany and Italy as well as research by four global data analysis firms say there is more behind the slower uptake than economic uncertainty, with the consumers unconvinced that EVs meet their safety, range and price needs.
“The main problem is uncertainty,” said Thomas Niedermayer, head of a 45-year-old family-owned Bavarian car dealership.
“Many assume that the technology will improve and would rather wait three years for the next model than buy a vehicle now that will quickly lose value.”
Take Flavia Garcia and Tom Carvell in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Their 15-year-old hand-me-down Toyota Auris, nicknamed Martina, needs replacing. With a petrol and diesel car ban nearing, the couple would consider an EV, but are put off by a lack of charging infrastructure, battery life fears and price.
Source : Reuters