JATO Dynamics, a UK-based supplier of "automotive intelligence," reports that government subsidies and other monetary incentives have not significantly boosted plug-in vehicle sales in Europe.

JATO's research suggests that price has only a minute impact on the decision to buy a plug-in vehicle and points to Germany, Europe's leading plug-in nation, as a prime example this. According to JATO, sales of plug-in vehicles hit 1,020 units in Germany in the first half of 2011. That number of units sold puts Germany in first place in Europe, even though the country offers one of the region's lowest electric vehicle subsidies – a mere 380 euros ($516 U.S. at today's exchange rate).

On the flip side is Denmark, a nation that offers tax incentives of up to 20,588 euros ($27,956 U.S.) for the purchase of electric vehicles. However, electric vehicle sales in Denmark rang in at only 283 units in the first half of 2011. The number of people in each country plays a role here, but you would think 20,000 euros would move more units.

Gareth Hession, JATO's head of research, states:
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. Local factors include the ability to use bus lanes and free city-center parking in Oslo and exemption from London's congestion charge, both of which appear to be more influential than point-of-purchase incentives.
A full rundown of electric vehicle sales in Europe in the first half of 2011, including subsidies offered by individual countries, is pasted after the jump.
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European EV sales (first half 2011)

Subsidies in brackets in euros*

1. Germany - 1,020 (380)
2. France - 953 (5,000)
3. Norway - 850 (17,524)
4. UK - 599 (6,400)
5. Austria - 347 (2,571)
6. Denmark - 283 (20,588)
7. Netherlands - 269 (4,936)
8. Spain - 122 (6,500)
9. Sweden - 111 (470)
10. Italy - 103 (1,200)
11. Portugal - 93 (9,442)
12. Belgium - 85 (10,907)
13. Czech - 43 (271)
14. Ireland - 36 (5,000)
15. Romania - 2 (3,700)

Total - 5,222

*Subsidies are maximum allowed in each market. Company car sales are excluded.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      uncle_sam
      • 3 Years Ago
      [quote]JATO Dynamics, a UK-based supplier of "automotive intelligence"...[/quote] They should file for bancrupcy or deliver their intelligence elsewhere. also autoblog fails. [quote]The number of people in each country plays a role here, but you would think 20,000 euros would move more units.[/quote] Denmark hat 5,5 million ppl and Germany has 81,4 million ppl. DO THE MATH! damn it. in Denmark there are more ev drivers based on the population than in Germany
      Smith Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd like to see a study that determines the number of articles published on ABG that are written specificcally to stir up controversy and prompt people like me to make comments.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unless you are desperate to buy an electric car, for the price they are going to sell them at you would have to be nuts not to hang on for the Renault's. Come back in 18 months time and it will be possible to say something sensible about demand for electric cars in Europe and how it correlates with subsidy.
      NIC123
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ok hold on a sec. Math: Germany: 1020 units sold in a country of about 82 million people Denmark: 283 units sold in a country of about 5.5 million people 1020 / 82m = 12.4 units / million people in Germany 283 / 5.5m = 51.4 units / million people in Denmark Denmark is buying approximately 4 times more plug-ins per capita than Germany. What in the world is JATO talking about?
      • 3 Years Ago
      The subsidy levels presented could be misleading. Starting price for the Mitsubishi i-Miev at current exchange rates: Denmark: $50,366 Germany: $47,540 Norway: $41,640 Both Denmark and Norway have extremely high taxes on new conventional cars. EVs have no taxes in Norway and "only" 25 percent VAT in Denmark. The high taxes on ICE cars make the EVs relatively affordable. Here are the sales figures per car model in Norway for the first half in 2011: Mitsubishi i-Miev: 545 Think City: 111 Citroën C-Zero: 100 Peugeot iOn: 76 Tesla Roadster: 18
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      "JATO's research suggests that price has only a minute impact on the decision to buy a plug-in vehicle" they are doing it wrong. and isn't it just the iMiev and the Tesla Roadster that's for sale in Europe yet? maybe some token Leaf's in UK but the Leaf is not generally available in Europe. and the iMiev is quite overpriced. which is the real reason noone is buying. I don't know sales numbers for Denmark in H1 2011 but 283 sounds high. I wouldn't be surprised if that was wrong too. they are certainly wrong on tax incentives in Denmark. we don't have a tax refund like USA. normal gas cars have up to 205% sales tax in DK. EVs are exempt from that except for the normal 25% VAT. so there is big advantage for EVs but not a fixed value discount. however for cheap more efficient cars like Citroen C1 there is actually very little tax so the iMiev is at a severe disadvantage against a car about the same size. the iMiev costs 272.000kr, the C1 costs 85.000kr the upcoming better place Renault Fluence will have a price that matches a comparable gas car in Denmark or maybe even a bit cheaper. so that may generate significant sales. there is potential for pushing many EVs in Denmark but current offerings are not favorable. the Leaf will be priced closer to competitive than the iMiev but still on the nasty side. despite a factor 2½ tax advantage. once EVs are reasonably priced things will really start to happen. but then of course they change the tax model. fortunately we did just get a left wing gov so maybe they'll let us have some before they change the taxes too much.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 3 Years Ago
      Germany is the last country that I would have thought would lead in EV sales. What's up with Europe? They pay up the rear for gas, must be the citizens are taking austerity seriously over there.
      • 3 Years Ago
      EV sales in Europe increased to 5,222 in the 15 EU markets JA Dynamics surveyed in the first half (of 2011), compared with sales of 507 in the same period the previous year (2010) Year on year sales increased 10 fold or ten X times what they were in 2010, from 507 to 5222.. Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110926/ANE/110929927/1193#ixzz1ZBdoEtpD
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        And following that growth rate, there will be 500,000 EVs sold in 2012. :-) (That is how brain dead this JATO Dynamics report is.)
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's unlikely that the UK will see a tipping point in electric vehicle sales until the Leaf is more like £14k, regardless of the savings they will make from it's significantly lower running costs.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        LOL. No. They'll catch on faster than that. At £14k for a Leaf then everyone would buy them because they would essentially be free. The amount of money you would save in fuel costs in just a few years would be larger than the cost of the Leaf!
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Okay Dave, try France on for style. There electric rates are similar to ours here in Oregon in the USA. at about 10 cents per kw. Their gas remains as high as Germany's most likely. More like seven years now subtract the maintenance of a ICE vehicle and the increase in the price of oil during those seven years. Coming much closer to Spec's calculation. Subtract less hurricane damage, less health care, less wars for valuable resources.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          My figure of £14k is the tipping point in the UK for the masses to start buying them in droves in preference to petrol and diesel vehicles, not the point at which they become economically advantageous. Of course many people will buy them at higher prices, but there is a lot of prejudice and fear of any new technology, especially one so ingrained in modern societies.
          Dave
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          "The amount of money you would save in fuel costs in just a few years would be larger than the cost of the Leaf!" In germany for example: Electricity price 30.66 cents per kwh - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_pricing Leaf EPA rating 34kwh per 100 miles - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf thats 10.4 cents per mile German gasoline price $8.21 per gallon - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_and_diesel_usage_and_pricing Versa 1.6Litre manula trans - 29 mpg combined (I got 39 mpg in a Fiesta 1.4 so this is poor) Thats 28.3 cents per mile Savings per year at 12000 miles per year = $2,149 Impressive savings but its gonna take more than a "few years" to save more than the cost of the Leaf. 1 euro = 1.3648 US dollars, so $19,107/$2,149 = 8.8 years.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @ Dave OK . . . so the car wouldn't be complete free unless you made it 8.8 years. That hardly destroys the point though. You don't think people would be interested in a brand new car for $5K? @Stuart Wheeler I think your guess is very wrong. People would do the math, see the value, and start buying the cars in large numbers long before they got to that £14k price. And that is good because they'll never get down to that £14k price.
          Dave
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          "Nissan stated the battery has a "lifespan of 5–10 years under normal use" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf#Battery So it may not make it 8.8 years.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      But have reasonably priced EVs even been available in these countries? People can't buy something that is not available to them. Duh. Wait until the Leaf and Volt have been available for a couple years and then maybe you can draw some conclusions.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Yup.. Hybrids had a slow take rate in the early 2000's here in the USA too. Even with crazy subsidies and benefits. Remember the backlash? how dare you drive a fuel efficient vehicle you hippie!! how snobbish! lol
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Yes EZEE, but you did not say you were pure evil. : )
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Well, in Europe, remember that with Diesel, hybrids don't have the same advantage they do here. Even being a right wing extremist, I wonder about any backlash (plug in your vehicle, divorce rates soar). If 2 wheel wants to ride his electric bike, well, why not? Especially seeing as he built it. I had an Escape Hybrid for a bit - sneaking up on people (in electric mode) and honking the horn was great fun (I did say I was an evil right winger....).
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        What a silly study. These numbers are so small that the sample size is meaningless. And there are other factors such as the fact that Germany massively subsidizes residential-based solar so that people have an incentive to buy an EV due to their big solar subsidy that pays for cheap electricity to fuel their EV.
      amtoro
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you consider that what has been available in europe so far (semi-mass production at least) are Think!, Buddys, GWizes, iMiEVs and other similar vehicles, this is not nearly enough to be a reasonable study about acceptance of plug-in vehicles as a proper category.
      fairfireman21
      • 3 Years Ago
      $7500 is still not enough to make me want a limited range vehicle. If they could get it to 300 mile range maybe then I would not laugh about it.
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