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Europe’s Electric Cars Fiasco: Sales fell for the fourth month in a row

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Sales of battery electric vehicles in Western Europe fell for the fourth month in a row, an analysis of a respected European industry publication says.

In August, a month in which the overall Western European new car market climbed 8%, sales of BEVs in the world’ second largest EV market behind China dropped 1.2% compared to August 2015, paid subscribers of the AID Newsletter were told. The harsh realities of EU registrations cast a shadow on the EV euphoria of the Paris motor show, once again raising the question on auto executives’ minds: “Who will buy all those EVs?” Matthias Schmidt, editor of the UK-based publication, thinks he may have the answer: Push comes to shove, OEMs might buy their own cars.

In spite of electric car incentives doled out by some EU governments, “West Europe’s electric car sales share remains stuck at last year’s low level,” says the report. Even more worrisome “is the sudden speed at which Norway’s previously highly enthusiastic car buying public appears to be turning away from BEVs.”

After lavish Norwegian incentives for EVs were dialed back a few notches, Tesla’s marquee market folded its tent while customers switch to plug-in hybrids. Overall, the “gravitational pull from PHEVs” significantly lowered the trajectories of BEVs in the first eight months of the year, AID says.

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