Report says incentives will aid uptake of electric cars

Free parking, exemption from congestion charges and access to bus lanes are some of the ways governments can aid the uptake of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) according to a report published this week (August 9).

The report, titled ‘Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) – Market Analysis, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2020’,  has been produced by energy consultants GlobalData, which claims that targets for the deployment of BEVs are under threat unless governments increase their support for the technology.

Vauxhall’s Ampera is one of a number of electric vehicles now on the market in the UK

Electric vehicles, which emit no exhaust fumes, are seen as a practical alternative to internal combustion engine vehicles, which produce pollutants that lead to declining air quality.

The report praises countries including the UK, US, China, France, Germany and Ireland which have introduced long term financial incentives including subsidies and tax rebates to help increase the up-take of BEVs.

Incentives

However, it argues that non-financial incentives are needed to stimulate the growth of demand in the vehicles, pointing to Norway where BEVs are allowed access to bus lanes, free and unlimited parking at public places and exemption from congestion charges to encourage drivers to use the technology.

Electric vehicles are currently exempt from having to pay the congestion charge in London, although no other non-financial incentives currently exist in the UK.

In its introduction to the report, GlobalData said: “The global BEV market is currently at an introductory stage, but is witnessing deployment in various countries such as the US, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, China and Japan. But growth is still slow. Therefore, proper government support in terms of both financial and non-financial incentives is very much needed to achieve targeted numbers by 2020.”

Trends

The report provides an in-depth analysis of BEVs at global and national levels, as well as information on deployment trends, with a forecast of how these markets may grow across the globe.

According to the group, markets are failing to meet targets for the number of vehicles being deployed onto the road as a result of a lack of infrastructure, a lack of consumer awareness of the benefits of the technology and delays in the delivery of equipment.

The report identifies a number of challenges for the developers of the technology to overcome, including reducing charging times for vehicles and increase the number of charging stations available to ease ‘range anxiety’ among drivers.

The cost of BEVs compared to internal combustion engine vehicles is ‘prohibitive’ according to the report, with the average price of a BEV at around £25,000 due to the high cost of the battery. However, GlobalData does forecast that the price of batteries for BEVs could fall by as much as 50% over the next five years.