Electric cars are a dead end

The plan to promote the use of electric cars to reduce transport’s CO2 emissions has proved to be a complete failure in Europe. 

This is clearly shown by the statistics on the changes in the total number of cars and the number of pure electric vehicles – battery electric vehicles, BEVs – during the last decade or so. We count hybrid cars as internal combustion engine cars, since the former are usually not much better than the latter.

In 2010, there were 27,018,000 cars in Great Britain. By 2022, their number increased by 3,196,000 to 30,214,000. During the same period, the number of BEVs increased by a mere 619,000. 


In 2013, there were 221,694,000 cars in the European Union. By 2022, their number increased by 30,911,000 to 252,605,000. During the same period, the number of BEVs increased by a mere 3,056,000. This trend has continued in 2023: out of the 10.5 million new cars sold that year, only 1.5 million were BEVs – just 14.6 per cent. 

Norway is constantly being hailed as a frontrunner in the promotion of electric cars. It is true that there has been a real boom of BEV sales in the country – due to generous government subsidies. However, the overall picture is not so rosy – one might even consider it tragic. 

Namely, in 2010, there were 2,308,000 cars, while by 2022 this number jumped to 3,105,000 – in a country with a population of 5.4 million. During this period, the number of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars did not decrease at all. 

By now, Norwegians are complaining that the quality of life in their cities is being undermined by enormous car traffic and parked cars occupying public spaces all over the cities. 

Many of them think that it would have been more useful to invest more in public transport and encourage cycling and walking. Subsidies for electric cars have also increased social inequalities by primarily benefiting the wealthier individuals who usually bought one or more additional cars to the already existing one(s). 

Thus, the Norwegian government has spent the huge subsidies for electric cars not only in an environmentally but also socially misguided way. Unfortunately, the same mistake has been committed in other countries too, all over Europe. 


The fact that promoting electric cars has worsened instead of improving the situation proves that it is impossible to reduce ICE car use only with this measure. 


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