Study finds policy changes can impact on the EV market

Written by Smaragda Chrysoulaki
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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has released a new study on fiscal incentives and electric vehicle sales, finding a high correlation of financial inducement and the purchase of an electric vehicle. Eight countries were included in the study: France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and the UK. The researchers performed a pairwise comparison of the total cost of ownership and electric car sales in the countries, allowing for cross-segment and cross-country comparison in the European countries. The findings show that, compared to their conventional equivalents, large electric vehicles have a lower total cost of ownership, higher sales, and seem to be less price responsive than small electric vehicles.

In Norway, incentives to purchase battery electric vehicles made up between 39 - 67 per cent of the net price – by far the largest of any country. It follows that Norway had the highest share of EVs in total new car registrations in 2014 at nearly 15%.

France, the UK, and the Netherlands followed with financial incentives covering between 10 and 40 per cent of the cost of a new electric car.

The researchers noted that the electric vehicle market is very susceptible to policy changes: a recently introduced German subsidy nearly doubled electric vehicle sales, while a reduction of incentives for plug-in hybrids in the Netherlands led to considerably fewer registrations of these vehicles.

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