As the European Commission declares the launch of its Electromobility Initiative, Andy Heiron, head of electric Vehicles, Renault UK has forecast a significant growth in the number of units to be sold this decade, suggesting annual sales of around 100,000 electric vehicles in 2015, rising to 200,000 by 2020. With these projections based on current market supply and demand, Heiron predicts electric vehicles to have a 10% market share by 2020 and even this could be understated if the UK is to achieve the target of 1.7 million electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020, as suggested by the Committee on Climate Change.
Speaking at the Institution of Engineering and Technology's recent Clerk-Maxwell Lecture at IET London: Savoy Place, Heiron suggested the UK market is ready for electric vehicles and recommended the European community comes together to formulate a set of common standards that will overcome barriers challenging its progress, including infrastructure, networking and IT.
"While there are a lot of ambitious projections out there, Renault has made our forecasts based on current demands from the market and on what manufacturers can supply," said Heiron. "With more and more benefits of electric vehicles being realised, from environmental advantages to the vast number of jobs this industry can bring, we need to begin working together to ensure electric vehicles successfully move from an initiative to a reality."
Following the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 1999, the major European OEM is investing €4bn in its zero-emissions programme and a 2,000-strong team to work on its electric vehicle programmes.
Dr Tony Whitehead, head of policy at the IET said, "The Institution of Engineering and Technology is currently analysing the impact of electric vehicles on UK society, as we see such technology as a major contributor to a low carbon future in the transport sector. As such, we commend Renault and other manufacturers in pursuing affordable electric vehicles for consumers. Moving forward, the IET will be increasingly active in the electric vehicles arena by helping government and the public to understand the significance of this developing platform for transport."
At the recent IET Clerk-Maxwell Lecture, Heiron was invited to give his perspective on the marketplace and the reasons why Renault is championing the transition of electrical vehicles from a niche to mainstream product. The full lecture can be viewed here.