(Bloomberg) — Sales of electric vehicles in Europe are growing at such a pace that the continent looks increasingly likely to outpace China in the near future.
That’s one of the findings of a report released Tuesday by London-based automotive research firm Jato Dynamics. However, it found that Europe and the U.S. still have a few things to learn from China, the world’s biggest EV market, including prioritizing affordability, centralizing planning, and using data to better understand consumers.
Demand for cleaner and smarter cars is rising globally, particularly in Europe where the market has been bolstered by tighter emissions regulations along with an increasing awareness of climate change. EV sales in Europe in the first half exceeded China for the first time since 2015.
Although the coronavirus pandemic hurt all car sales, including EVs, which fell 15% globally in the second quarter, the market for electric vehicles is forecast to expand about 7% this year, led by Europe, according to a September report from BloombergNEF.
“What governments in underdeveloped EV markets now need is a more centralized plan to catalyze growth and create an optimal environment to build consumer confidence by making adoptions as simple as possible,” Jato’s report said.
Besides heavily subsidizing EVs, the government in China has created an effective infrastructure and implementation strategy that’s crucial to supporting adoption, the report found. According to the International Energy Agency, the number of public slow- and fast-charging spots reached 862,118 worldwide, with China taking a 60% share.
Tesla Inc., the California-based company that’s currently the world’s biggest EV maker, earlier this month cut the price of its China-made Model 3 sedan to 249,900 yuan ($36,800), cheaper than anywhere else, aided by supply chain localization, especially batteries.
While subsidies in China are being dialed back, EVs are