April 17, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

Why are electric car sales suddenly declining?  “Driving range barely plays a role.”

Why are electric car sales suddenly declining? “Driving range barely plays a role.”

Both Tesla and Chinese rival BYD sold far fewer electric vehicles than expected last quarter. Temporary decline or is there more?

BYD, the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, sold just over 300,000 vehicles in the first three months of this year. This is at least 150 thousand less than analysts expected. Similar exaggeration also occurred for Tesla. 386,810 Tesla cars were sold during the first quarter, more than 60,000 fewer than expected, and a 20 percent decrease compared to the last three months of 2023.

These reports coincide with other startling news about cars: contrary to all expectations, sales of hybrid cars are on the rise, a development at the expense of sales of fully electric cars.

Jochen De Smet, spokesman for the sector association EV Belgium, admits that electric car sales are disappointing this year. “But I think it's just a temporary dip.” We are in a kind of middle stage, with brands mainly producing large, more expensive electric cars. We now have to wait for smaller cars, such as the Renault 5 electric car, the Volkswagen ID2, and next year the small Tesla 2, all of which will be priced at around 25,000 euros. I expect that their arrival will provide a new boost in sales. There is no doubt that what also plays a role in this decline is the unstable political climate. In Germany and France, subsidies for electric cars have just ended.

What the future will bring is uncertain with the looming elections. This also causes buyers to hesitate. This is much lower than in our country, where cars of electric companies are taxed favorably. This reluctance, both in Europe and elsewhere in the world, and our favorable tax climate, explain why we have risen so quickly in the rankings of the most electric fleets. The 200,000th electric car has been registered in Belgium. That doesn't sound like a lot for six million registered cars, but it's going fast. We expect that 250,000 electric cars will be added every year in the coming years, or one million cars in four years.

See also  Volkswagen comes up with a bad idea of ​​steering wheel control

The Flemish individual also seems to be hesitant. The pot of support allocated by Transport Minister Lydia Peters (Open VLD) for electric car buyers has not yet run out.

De Smet: For the first few days, it seemed like a rush, but it actually was: Then it calmed down a bit. Even with a premium of €5,000, the price is still a barrier for many people.

Does this also apply to the driving range?

De Smet: I don't think that plays a big role anymore. Most cars now on the market have a range between 400 and 500 km. This is more than enough for the vast majority of Flemish people.

As an electric car owner, it is best to have your own charging station. Is this possible for people who share an apartment building with 50 other families?

De Smet: Technically, this is completely possible. But you need to connect to the medium voltage network for this. Such a connection, including infrastructure, easily costs several hundred thousand euros. This means that the 50 owners will have to reach an agreement at the level of the participating owners associations. You often see that a number of owners don't like it and that's why they don't communicate. The problem here lies much more than technical feasibility.

Europe is still sticking to a ban on new combustion engine cars from 2035. Do you think this ban will continue after the elections?

De Smet: I'm sure about that. To change course, you need the approval of all member states, Parliament and the Commission. The sector is no longer the party requesting this. Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault and president of the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA), calls for keeping everyone on the same page. The CEO of Stellantis (the aforementioned company includes, among others, Citroën, Peugeot, Opel and Fiat), who was once the most critical voice in the story, also stated that as far as he is concerned, the future is 100 percent electric. . These companies no longer need to suddenly change course, which makes sense. They have to make huge long-term investments. Above all, it requires consistent policy. So no, I don't think you can stop this development anymore, although there are still many obstacles to overcome.

See also  The Dutch VVD does not rule out cooperating with Geert Wilders' party | outside