Report

Like US goal, Germany's 1M EV target won't happen

Germany Had Hoped To Have 1 Million Electric Vehicles By 2020

2016 Chevrolet Volt front 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt front 3/4 view
  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt front 3/4 view
  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt rear 3/4 view
  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt front 3/4 view
  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt front view
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  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt front 3/4 view
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  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt media drive
A report from the German outpost of Bain & Company says that the German government's goal of having one million electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on the road by 2020 is not going to happen. As of the end of 2014, there were around 26,000 such vehicles registered; based on registrations through November Bain's estimated annualized number for 2015 only gets that to about 50,000. The government's target for this year, however, was 200,000.

We've experienced the same shortfall in the US. In 2011 President Obama declared the goal of having one million EVs and plug-ins on US roads by the end of 2015. Two years later he backed away from it. According to the most recent numbers we could find there have been 101,898 EVs and PHEVs sold through the end of November this year. The sales rate this year should easily get us beyond the 2014 full-year total of 118,682, but we're still well away from one million in total. The US Energy Information Administration said there were about 174,000 EVs and PHEVs on US roads in 2013, by the end of this year we're probably going to be just above 400,000.

In spite of the missed target in Germany, the Bain report says that the electric push is only getting stronger. Bain says the falling price of batteries - it will almost halve by 2018 - and the increasing cost of conventional vehicles for reasons like adapting to more stringent emissions regulations will bring parity between the two drivetrains by 2022. On top of that, municipal restrictions like EV-only city centers, better charging infrastructure, and proposed tax subsidies and incentives could all provide major momentum in the medium-term.

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