Europe’s automotive market is slowly getting charged. The drivers of electrification are European Union regulatory agencies, which are imposing ever-stricter limits on carbon and nitrogen oxide pollution. Meanwhile, the German auto industry is pulling in the other direction, using its immense political power to try to delay emissions regulations. The various European countries are caught in the middle – some are embracing the electric future, some are resisting it, and most are muddling through with no particular plan.
A recent article in Automotive News Europe examines the current state of play in the continent’s most important auto markets.
Norway has become the world’s EV capital, thanks to generous purchase subsidies and other incentives. EVs are exempt from acquisition tax and from the country’s 25 percent value-added tax. They also enjoy privileged status on the roads, with exemptions from tolls, free ferry rides and, in some cities, free parking. Last year, pure electric cars accounted for over 20 percent of new registrations. Tesla’s Model X is by far the top seller – the Nissan LEAF is in second, and Model S is third, according to EV Sales.