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PHOTO CAPTION: Peugeot iON, based on Mitsubishi i-MiEV, among top selling electric cars in Europe in 2011.

Electric Car Growth in Europe Expected To Be Sluggish in 2012

Europe's economic woes continue to dampen sales where less than 12,000 electric cars were sold in 2011.

Published: 07-Feb-2012

2011 was to have been the Year of the Electric car in Europe, but sales were so slow as to be barely measurable. The combination of severe economic downturn and less than compelling prices and performance means that you can discount a sales surge in 2012.

European newsletter Automotive Industry Data (AID) said that despite meaty government subsidies, electric cars managed a market share of 0.09 per cent in Western Europe last year, with France leading the way with 2,630, Germany a close second with 2,154 and socialist Norway third with 2,038. Britain managed four figure sales with just over 1,000, while Greece in last place failed to trouble the scorers with zero.

AID figures show the total was 11,563 in Western Europe, with the biggest selling electric car the battery-only Mitsubishi MiEV, followed by the Peugeot iON and Citroen C-Zero, which are just rebadged versions of the same Mitsubishi. France gives a subsidy of $6,500 to electric car buyers, a little less than the U.S. one, and is spending money on nationwide charging points.

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