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Europe's shift to electric vehicles picking up despite recession

2020-07-20    Author:   Views:255    

MercedesBenz Vision EQS electric car,Fastener Expo Shanghai, International Fastener Show China

MercedesBenz Vision EQS electric car attracts attention at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. [Photo provided to China Daily]

FRANKFURT-The coronavirus has cancelled business plans all over the world but Europe's push into electric cars isn't one of them. Sales of battery-powered and hybrid cars have held up better than the overall market amid a deeply painful recession, mainly thanks to the action of governments.

The 27-country European Union is moving ahead with a major shift in transportation as part of the bloc's efforts against climate change. Under regulatory pressure, carmakers are rolling out a slew of new electric models so they can meet tougher limits on greenhouse gases that come into full force in 2021.

Battery-only models are becoming more affordable, especially as sales are supported by substantial government subsidies. As sales of internal combustion cars have fallen, the demand for battery-only cars and hybrids that combine electric motors with conventional engines has been stable or even increased, recent statistics show. By contrast, electric car adoption is moving more slowly in the US due to regulatory uncertainty. The market share of battery and hybrid vehicles rose sharply across major European markets during the first half of 2020, even as the outbreak closed showrooms in March and April. Germany rose to 8.4 percent, from 3.4 percent in 2019, as overall sales of all cars slumped 35 percent. France saw the share of plug-in vehicles jump to 9 percent from 2.5 percent. Sweden saw a surge to 25 percent, from 10 percent.

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