Electric Car Sales Are Suddenly Taking Off in Europe, Thanks To Renault

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Europe has been somewhat slow to jump on the EV bandwagon, but that appears to be somewhat changing as Bloomberg reports sales of electric vehicles rose nearly 38 percent in the first quarter of the year. That's versus 2.9 percent for all last year.

We need to note though that, in total numbers, sales of battery-powered cars at 32,627 units in the first quarter of the year (2016 Q1 23,703 units) represent only a tiny fraction of total deliveries in the EU that reached 1.89 million vehicles in the same time.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (EAMA) says all major EU markets saw increases in sales of alternative fuel vehicles with the largest gains coming from Spain (87.4%), Germany (67.5%), and the United Kingdom (29.9%). Electric vehicles in particular saw large increases in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

Bloomberg credits the Renault Zoe as one of the models that is winning over converts as it proved popular in Germany and Spain. However, BMW recently pointed out the i3 has a 22% percent share of the electric vehicle market in Germany and a 17% share across Europe.

The increase in electric vehicle sales in being credited on several different factors including government incentives, the expansion of a fast-charging network, and the fallout of Volkswagen's dieselgate scandal. Furthermore, consumers are finding new and updated electric vehicles with longer ranges which are helping to alleviate concerns about range anxiety.

Speaking of the latter, the new Zoe is priced at €23,600 ($25,950) and can travel up to 400 km (248 miles) on a single charge.

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