On the surface the news that electric vehicle sales in Iceland topped 3% of new registrations in the month of August 2013 certainly looks promising. The impact of this news, against a historic Iceland EV market presence of just 1%, is perhaps a little reduced when you bear in mind that just 429 new passenger vehicles were sold in Iceland in the month of August. Indeed 16 electric vehicle sales do equate to 3.7% of new registrations but perhaps we need to await the long-term trend before becoming too excited?
It is interesting that Iceland and Norway have seen a relatively impressive uptake of electric vehicles with both countries in the 3% club. Perhaps when this figure approaches double digits we can then look at calling a sea change in the attitude of motorists in the region. Until then, there is certainly progress being made and it is very positive but the long-term trend will dictate the relative success of the industry going forward.
Are they doing something different in Scandinavia?
On the surface it does look as though there is significantly greater interest in electric vehicles across Scandinavia than perhaps Europe, North America and Asia. Whether or not the figures are influenced to a great extent by the relatively small number of new registrations in countries such as Iceland and Norway is a matter for debate but sceptics would be patting themselves on the back if these figures were nearer 0%?
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "There are some very interesting development in the world of EVs with rumors of new technology, more focus on charging stations and a promise of an affordable EV from Tesla within 4 years. With this in mind when do you expect to see full EV market penetration?"
There is no doubt that electric vehicles are currently a relative success across Scandinavia but it may be a little harsh to compare EV new registrations in Scandinavia with those in the U.S. We also need to appreciate that in order for electric vehicles to be deemed a success they will need to become more popular in the USA and, as we have seen with historic trends, this would undoubtedly translate itself right across Europe and the Far East.
Is momentum building up in the EV industry?
There are very few electric vehicle markets around the world which you could look at and, while not necessarily seen as being successful, not appreciate that progress is being made. One interesting factor which came to light just a couple of weeks is that Tesla Motors is looking towards Europe and the Far East and indeed plans are already afoot to open new manufacturing facilities outside of the USA. This is perhaps the trigger which will help to fire the gun which could herald a major development in the electric vehicle industry, i.e. progress outside of the USA.
We can only hope that this ongoing momentum continues for the foreseeable future, supported by financial initiatives around the world, although at some point EV enthusiast and motorists will need to take up the EV baton themselves. Whatever happens in the short, medium and longer term, we are certain of an interesting ride aboard the EV train!
Will you be boarding at some point in the near future?