Will 2019 finally be the year of the electric car?
In 2019 a whole bunch of new electric models will come on the market, but it’s still peanuts compared to the entire market. Not the great breakthrough yet…?
A few years ago, 2018 was promised to be the year the electric car would conquer the market. This year there were more electric cars sold, with impressive percentage gains, but in absolute figures it was still peanuts compared to the ‘real’ market.
Now it’s 2019 that’s going to be the year of the big turnaround. There are a lot of new electric models starting their career next year, especially in the second half, but compared to the boom of conventional new models, it’s still fairly discrete.
Electro-power is slowly coming
Believers say the market is finally ready for it. The bare figures tell us that maybe we’re on the verge of a breakthrough but most people are still hesitating, for the classic reasons: electric cars are still more expensive, there’s the range anxiety, and the charging infrastructure differs a lot between countries.
When you look at the market for 2019 quite a lot of new electric cars are finally coming, but most of them seem to be out of financial reach for the modal customer. We’re thinking about the Audi e-tron, the BMW iX3, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Mercedes EQC, the Polestar Two, the Porsche Taycan and even the ‘small’ Tesla 3, which will also cost 60.000 euro in launch trim in Europe.
More democratically priced cars
Fortunately, some more democratically priced cars are or will also be launched, like a the Hyundai Kona EV and Kia e-Noro and an electric Mini, a DS, a new Renault Zoë, a Volkswagen I.D. and a cute little Honda, called Urban EV (for the moment).
Nice trying, but it’s not (yet) the avalanche we were promised a few years ago and maybe it’s significant that the largest offer on the market today is Asian (mostly Japanese and Korean, but China is coming).
Chicken and egg again
The manufacturers are pointing at the authorities when asked about this slow start, indicating that infrastructure is lacking and incentives are coming and going. Authorities are pointing back and blaming the manufacturers that they are lagging behind, that they are afraid that a too quick breakthrough of the electric car would set the rest of their portfolio (still the moneymakers) in danger.
European market observers are also very often focusing on ‘electrically advanced’ markets, like the Scandinavian ones and Norway in particular or the Netherlands, but practically the entire rest of Europe is lagging far behind, in charging infrastructure as well as (consequently) in the numbers of electric cars sold.
Business as usual?
Meanwhile, there will never have been launched as many ‘conventional’ cars on the market as in 2019. Some 180 new models and derivatives will come on an already very crowded market, making it even harder for the customer to choose what is best for him.
Pretty remarkable is the fact that a lot of these cars will still have more power, more punch, bigger engines, and they will weigh and cost more, while an emerging ‘green consciousness’ is asking for the opposite.
However, it seems that manufacturers want to convince the consumer one more (last?) time that bigger, faster and more expensive is better, so that they can cash in on this and save/invest for the (electrical) future. In 2020… ?