3 reasons why you might not need to sell electric cars

The McKinsey EV index shows that sales of electric cars increased by 65% in 2018. But last year, dealers showed sales of electric cars rising by onl y 9% more year-on-year, and in the first quarter of this year, even before the coronavirus crisis, sales of electric cars fell by 25%. And it will get worse. What is happening with the electric car market and why do people suddenly not want them?

Sales built on government subsidies

One of the main reasons why electric cars are starting to lose their momentum is a decline in subsidies. A typical example is Norway, a country with a huge landmass, low population density, and enormous distances between cities.  The most electric cars are sold in Norway out of all of Europe.

Norway has been systematically promoting electromobility since 1990. During that time, it prepared a wide range of various incentives, which, however, made the purchase of an electric car economically beneficial the end consumer. In short, an electric car often has a lower TCO than a similar car with an internal combustion engine. The success of this strategy is also evidenced by the fact that in April 2020, 10% of vehicles on Norwegian roads were purely electric.

Tools to support EV sales included zero import duties, zero VAT on purchases and leasing, zero annual registration tax, zero tolls, zero or reduced ferry fees, free parking in cities, access to bus lanes, and reduced taxes for companies. However, some of these benefits have already been canceled or reduced by the Norwegians. In some cities, it has even become problematic to park a car with an internal combustion engines. And government support is changing even in other countries. An example is Hong Kong, a former exhibition of electromobility, where a significant reduction in  government support for EVs in 2017 literally killed all sales of electric cars, especially Tesla, which had an 80% market share.

Tesla is a seller of user experience, not electric cars

It was Tesla who became a symbol of electromobility, although it has still failed to reach the first place in EV sales. According to JATO Dynamics, it has long belonged to the strategic alliance of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. But Tesla does not owe its success to the chosen drivetrain. Its popularity is based on a completely different, and at the time, innovative user interface, on the user experience, when the car acquires new functions even after its purchase. And in recent years also on Autopilot. That is, on the relatively average set of assistance systems that are now offered by a number of other car manufacturers. Only Tesla can sell them much better. However, Tesla’s marketing also seems to have convinced a number of carmakers that the future must be electric. But sales numbers don’t show that, and in recent years there have been more and more pitfalls around EVs.

Where should I charge my electric car?

The main pitfall is already being shown to be charging. By this we do not mean the length of charging time, but rather the lack of charging points and the blocking of charging stations by cars with internal combustion engines or unruly EV drivers. The problem with charging stations is even more complex. The bottlneck is the electrical distribution network. Modern 350 kW and soon even 1200 kW charging stations need adequately dimensioned high-voltage distribution and, of course, energy sources.

Eco-EV myths

And this is where electric cars take a hit for a second time. It turns out that the illusion of zero CO2 emissions is really just an illusion. One after another, studies are showing that modern diesel or gasoline engines actually produce much less CO2 than EVs. The amount of CO2 / km produced naturally depends on the structure of energy sources. In India, EVs produce 370 g CO2 / km, in China 258 g CO2 / km and in the United States, 202 g CO2 / km. In France, where they have the highest share of nuclear power plants, their EVS produce “only” 93 g CO2 / km. Just a reminder – the limits set by the EU regulation EC 443/2009 for next year are 95 g CO2 / km. And when it comes to ecology, the issue of lithium, its mining and recycling cannot be avoided. And even that is now being addressed more and more. Does it matter thatWell, maybe in the next 10 years it won’t matter at all…










Photo by Ralph Hutter on Unsplash