New ACEA data demonstrates that affordability concerns hamper market uptake for electric vehicles and that more incentives are needed to increase the uptake of EVs in the EU.

Despite EU legislative efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles, there is a notable lack of initiatives at both EU and national levels to accelerate the market uptake of electric cars. The latest ACEA data on electrically chargeable vehicles (ECVs) confirms that affordability remains a significant obstacle for European consumers, as many are forced to refrain from purchasing electric vehicles.

Electric cars represent a mere 9% or less of the market share in more than half of EU member states. These countries are mainly concentrated in Central and Eastern, and Southern Europe, where the average net income is €13,000. In contrast, the highest shares (30% and over) are found in just five Northern and Western European countries where net income exceeds €32,000.

These latest figures are a pertinent reminder that the lack of consumer incentives for purchasing cleaner and greener vehicles is hampering the vast potential of Europe’s electric car market. The lack of enabling conditions, including access to charging infrastructure, also exacerbates market share disparities across member states and regions in the EU.

The European auto industry has invested significantly in electric vehicle technology. Electrification is the most efficient way to minimise road transport’s carbon footprint, reduce pollutant emissions and improve air quality, but affordability issues are putting the brakes on this much-needed transition.

Decision makers must now act accordingly by establishing holistic enabling conditions. Fast-tracking the installation of electric vehicle charging points across the continent, especially in countries where the infrastructure is notably lacking, is just one of these measures. Moreover, purchase incentives, which help alleviate the affordability challenges faced by European consumers, can further stimulate Europe’s transition to a net-zer