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European Countries Try Out Different Methods to Claim the Title of Electric Vehicle Superpower

European countries are testing out different strategies to boost their citizen’s adoption of clean transport technologies, states a new report by energy expert GlobalData.

The new report* cites that the race is on for the title of electric vehicle (EV) giant. The drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the 20/20/20 target is the key motivator for the deployment of EVs in Europe, but governments have to work hard to convince their citizens.

The UK government has developed a number of initiatives to promote the mass adoption of EVs and promote lower greenhouse gas emissions, with an ambition to deploy 1.2 million EVs and 350,000 plug-in hybrid EVs by 2020. A commitment of £250m ($409.3m) was pledged for the promotion of low-carbon transport over 2009-2014, with initiatives including the plug-in car grant scheme which grants £2,000 ($3,133) to £5,000 ($7,832) to customers buying an electric or plug-in hybrid car.

Despite this, the EV market in the UK experienced only 1,100 sales in 2011, as high prices and a lack of charging infrastructure makes government schemes insufficient to attract customers. As of 2010, just 400 charging stations were located in the UK, proving a need for government-backed expansion projects.

The German government plan to deploy one million EVs by 2020 and five million EVs by 2030, and have promised public funding of €20m ($26.9m) from the government to help achieve this. However, the high cost of an EV is restricting growth throughout Europe, and Germany is investigating the conversion of internal combustion engine vehicles into EVs as a possible solution to this. Hamburg entrepreneur Sirri Karabag has developed a way of converting a Fiat 500 ICE vehicle into the Karabag 500e, which runs on electricity and costs less than the pure EVs currently available. The country’s market development will focus on field tests, demonstrations and the mass production of batteries and vehicles until 2016.

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