Western Europe's electric-vehicle sales jumped 52 percent last year to more than 58,500 units, and accounted for about one in 200 new cars sold, about the same ratio as in the US, Forbes says, citing Europe's Automotive Industry Data (AID) newsletter. That's pretty much where the good news ends, though, because things don't look good for this year. With gas prices continuing to fall, there's little sign of a deeper electric-vehicle consumer base beyond those first adopters.
So while the Nissan Leaf accounted for almost a quarter of those Western Europe EV sales and while Tesla Motors sold about 8,700 Model S sedans on the continent, analysts say that neither those companies nor others such as Nissan sister company Renault (its Zoe EV moved about 11,000 units last year) and BMW are expected to chip further away at conventional vehicle sales.
Already, signs don't look good for EV sales in 2015, at least in the US. Last month, plug-in vehicle sales declined 4.8 percent from a year earlier to 4,218 vehicles. Notably, Nissan Leaf sales dropped 15 percent, down to just 1,070 vehicles.