Things are bound to change over time, but right now electric cars do come at a premium price. Most of us recognize the need to think green, but who can afford the premium price of a greener, healthier future for our planet?

New research by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reveals that national variations in EU sales of electric cars clearly correlate with a country’s standard of living. In other words: affordability is still a major factor behind electrification.

East-west and north-south divides

“There is a clear split in the affordability of electric cars between Central-Eastern Europe and Western Europe, as well as a pronounced North-South divide,” stated Eric-Mark Huitema, ACEA DirectorGeneral.

Countries with a total electric car market share of less than 3% have an average GDP of below €17,000. This is the case for instance in Central and Eastern European countries as well as in Greece. What is more, the five countries with the lowest market uptake of electric cars also have very few charging points – under 1% of the EU total each.

In Europe, nearly 75% of all electric car sales are concentrated in four relatively affluent north-western EU countries: Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark). And Norway, of course, not an EU member but the undisputed EV leader of the world. In contrast, the five EU countries with the lowest GDP are also found at the bottom of the European electrification race (at 0.5-1.9 percent).

Now battery prices are coming down, and in a near future electric cars are expected to cost the same or even less than gasoline and diesel cars. And the EU is actively supporting the building of the electric infrastructure in southern and eastern Europe. More about that in a later INSIGHT article

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