The UK sees strong – and accelerating – sales of electric vehicles but respectable growth elsewhere in Europe overall is latterly let down by a sharp decline in the Netherlands.
Also, Condor launches its brand new boat. Spanish police set up an English language ‘Driving in Spain’ website. A shocking number of drivers are falling foul of the new truck ban on the A40 Rhine Bridge near Duisburg. Three of Europe’s transport ministers fall foul of corruption probes.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES POWER AHEAD IN THE UK
Sales up 50% in Europe overall last year but final quarter skewed by sharp drop in the Netherlands.
Sales of electric vehicles rose by 50% overall in Europe in 2014 to almost 100,000 units according to new figures but a fifth of those registrations were in Norway alone.
Meanwhile, the final quarter of 2014 saw an overall fall of 7.7% though that figure was entirely skewed by the Netherlands, the only market to register a significant decrease.
Eighty percent fewer EVs were sold in the Netherlands in Q4 according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), down from 16,926 units in 2013 to 3,241 in 2014.
However, sales are absolutely powering ahead in the UK. Overall numbers reached 15,361 in 2014, a 300% increase on 2013. The final quarter meantime saw an 800% rise to 6,086 vehicles.
Growth was not quite so impressive in other major markets. Germany was up 70% for the year and 46% in Q4 while France grew by 30% in 2014 and 53% for Q4.
Electric vehicles are struggling to catch on in Italy, despite the country having among the most expensive fuel in Europe.
Total sales were just 1,473 in 2014 which might have been up 25% on 2013 but sales fell by one percent in Q4.
Pure electric vehicles accounted for 58,244 of total electric vehicle sales in 2014, up 73.2% year on year, compared to 39,547 range-extender and plug-in hybrids, up 25%.
In Q4 however, range extenders and plug-in hybrid sales were down by just under a third to 12,466, compared to a rise of 40% for pure EVs, to 17,599.
roundup: SPAIN. A new website written by traffic officers has been launched at N332.es. ‘The idea was to provide accurate information to foreign drivers as to both the rules of the road here in Spain, as well as changes to the law that they may not be aware of, a Guardia Civil officer told The Olive Press. The site is regularly updated with news stories and also includes FAQs and real time info on incidents and traffic jams. Users can also register for a weekly newsletter. GERMANY. Nearly 11,000 trucks, as of yesterday – 95% of the foreign registered – have been fined for breaking the truck ban on the A40 Neuenkamp Bridge near Duisburg reports DerWersten.de. The bridge closed to trucks last Monday indefinitely for urgent repairs. Trucks 3.5t+ who ignore (or don’t understand) the ban – which kicks in from J10 Rheinhausen – are fined €150 on the spot. Those exiting at J11 Homberg, the last junction before the bridge eastbound, are fined €75. TRANSPORT. It hasn’t been a great week for transport ministers. Italy’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi resigned today after his son accepted a €10,000 Rolex watch from a businessman arrested on Monday in a probe on public works contracts. Neither Lupi nor his son are under investigation says Ansa.it. Over in the Czech Republic, the country’s recently appointed transport minister Dan Tok – previously head of a construction company – has already been embroiled in an alleged corruption scandal reports Ceske Noviny. All parties protest their innocence says Prague Post. There’s certainly a whiff about this one, of what remains to be seen. Finally, anti-corruption prosecutors have requested the pre-trial detention of Romania’s former transport minister Dan Sova on three charges of ‘accessory to abuse of office’ reports Business-Review.eu.