Saturday, April 30, 2016

Markets Roundup - March 2016

One of the questions frequently asked regarding EV's is "Where is the tipping point?", when do sales reach a point of no return and numbers start to grow like a snowball?

I believe that it is not one, but several increasingly important tipping points, the first one is the 0.1-0.2% market share barrier, which is more psychological than anything else, leaving enthusiasts happy for starting to watch another EV every other week. Or month.

Then, the 1% EV Share. You can see EV's fairly regularly, becoming a relatively common thing in some communities, and even someone (Probably new tech-related) you know has one or is thinking in getting one.

Now, 3%. The innovators have embraced the new technology and EV's are ready to take on the more forward-thinking-mainstream, those that like new stuff, but only if it makes sense in their lives and isn't heavy on the wallet.

Finally, somewhere 6 to 10% share, the forward-thinking majority accepts the new technology and it becomes something of a new trend, where people buy them because it's the way of the future and, like in so many cases in the past, the average consumer is drawn to the new technology, even if they don't understand it really well, simply because don't want to look outdated in among their peers. 

Currently, the only market reaching this last, and most important tipping point, is Norway.

Market Share Tiers

To know how the remaining markets are at this point, i have divided them in three Tiers, 1, 2 and 3, where the first is for markets around 3%, the second is for the 1% and the last for the smallest 0.1-0.2%

Tier 1

Hong Kong (5%), Iceland (3%), Sweden (2.6%), Netherlands (2.2%) and Switzerland (2%). 

The Netherlands and Hong Kong are the most likely to follow Norway and reach the last tipping point, but Switzerland is the most important market to study, because it got here without  significant incentive aids.

Tier 2

France (1.8%), Belgium (1.7%), Austria (1.6%), UK (1.2%), Finland (1.2%), China (0.9%), Portugal (0.8%), Germany (0.7%), Japan (0.7), USA (0.7) and Canada (0.7%).

France, Belgium and Austria are all growing fast, but the really interesting stories in this Tier are China, by the sheer volumes, and also Germany, which in the past didn't had significant incentives for EV's, but will have them in May now, it will interesting to follow the evolution of this market in the following months, as incentives kick in. I believe 1% will be a given, but will 3% by year end be too much to ask? EV Sales will follow this closely.

Tier 3

Ireland (0.4%), Estonia (0.4%), Denmark (0.3%), Spain (0.3%), Italy (0.2%), Slovenia (0.2%), New Zealand (0.2%) and Czech Republic (0,1%).

This last tier has two special cases, Estonia and Denmark had in the past much higher market shares (2.4% for the first, 2.3% for the second), but because fiscal incentives were withdrawn, they have seen their share dwindle, which brings attention to the fact that the EV market is still very incentive-sensitive, something that it is expected to be less so, when the next generation of EV's (Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf II, Tesla Model 3...) arrive.

Off-topic: Two notes on markets not usually present in the spotlight:

Only this year, the Ukraine has registered 700 EV's, increasing the total EV fleet there to around 1.500 units;

Little Andorra at the moment has a stock of 25 EV's, but the goal is to reach 500 in 2019, with generous incentives being given for that purpose: 9.000€ grants, free use of bus lanes, personalized number plates, free annual road tax, free tolls and a free wallbox per new car bought. Did Andorra just copied Norway's EV incentives book? No matter, EV Sales wishes them all the best!


  1. Thanks for the summary. Hopefully Germany gets to tier 3 too in May with the new incentives, what do you think?

    1. It is possible, although not probable. It will depend a lot on the support of (German) manufacturers to the idea.

  2. Switzerland might be unique in the way Teslas are priced compared to other cars. The importers add an excessive premium on top of all cars except for Teslas, since Tesla imports by themselves. This makes Teslas comparably cheaper, thus increasing sales.

    Example Switzerland/Germany (base price for car):
    BMW 7 series: CHF vs. 82.6oo €
    Audi A8: 98.35o CHF vs. 82.800 €
    Merc. S-Class: 97.6oo CHF vs. 82.229 €
    Tesla S90D: 97.3oo CHF vs. 102.1oo €
    Tesla S70D: 83.8oo CHF vs. 88.2oo €

    This looks the same for practically all brands and cars. Note that prices may differ slightly due to equipment installed with the base model.

  3. José, can you give more details about Ukraine market this year? Thanks.

    1. Sorry, i don't have much more info, if you need to know more, please contact EVUA, the Ukranian EV Association.