Incentives fail to stimulate European electric vehicle sales

New research from JATO Dynamics finds that despite a variety of subsidy programs, electric vehicle (EV) sales in Europe remain stubbornly unresponsive to financialincentives during the first six months of 2011.

Europe has a wide range of incentives in place, but they do not appear to correlate closely with sales of electric vehicles. For example, Spain (€6,500) and Great Britain (€6,400) have almost identical subsidies, but Great Britain registered almost five times the volume of EVs (599 versus 122) during the first half of 2011. Sweden registers an almost identical volume as Spain (111) but subsidizes each vehicle by only €470.

Denmark offers tax breaks that can potentially amount to €20,588 per vehicle, but there were only 283 registrations in the first half of 2011.

“The discrepancies highlight the apparent low influence of price on

purchase decisions across the region,” says Gareth Hession, vice-president for Research at JATO. “It’s reasonable to conclude that sales are more affected by other factors such as the degree of urban geography, market maturity and charging infrastructure than was previously thought.”

Total registrations were only 5,222 in the first half of 2011.

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