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Financial Times – Europe eclipses China in electric vehicle investment

by Joe Miller

EU carmakers help close the gap as they race to comply with strict CO2 emissions targets

Europe has outpaced China in attracting investment for electric vehicles and battery development, securing a record €60bn last year largely as a result of Volkswagen’s push into emissions-free cars.

The figure, compiled by Brussels-based non-profit Transport and Environment, is almost 20 times higher than the last calculation, made two years ago.

In the 12 months to mid-2018, Europe had received just €3.2bn in private and public funds for electric transport, while China attracted almost €22bn. For 2019 the respective figures were €60bn and €17.1bn.

“A few years ago Europe was nowhere in the race for electric vehicle supremacy,” said Saul Lopez, who researches electric mobility at T&E. “But EU CO2 targets concentrated carmakers and governments’ minds.”

While the report did not provide specific figures for the US, it lags behind Europe and China in electric vehicle investment.

Carmakers operating in Europe have been forced to invest in zero-emission technologies to comply with rules phased in at the start of this year.

The EU directive mandates that manufacturers reduce their fleet-wide carbon footprint to an average of 95g per kilometre by 2021, or risk fines amounting to billions of euros.

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