BRUSSELS, Belgium: As European drivers await cheaper electric vehicle (EV) models that are two to three years further down the line, electric car sales in the continent have slowed after years of accelerating growth.
Tesla, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and other automakers said high interest rates and a subdued market put customers off buying EVs. Volkswagen's EV orders are only half last year's figures.
Thomas Niedermayer, head of a 45-year-old family-owned Bavarian car dealership, said, "The main problem is uncertainty. Many assume that the technology will improve and would rather wait three years for the next model than buy a vehicle now that will quickly lose value."
Car publication AutoTrader said in the United Kingdom, new EVs are still on average 33 percent more expensive than fossil-fuel models.
Most new EV models in the pipeline targeting entry-level consumers will not hit the European market before 2025, by which time they will be competing with an expanded Chinese line-up from BYD to Nio.
Critics have long warned that a lack of affordable EVs will eventually stifle the sales growth of European automakers, which early adopters and corporate fleets boosted.
A weaker performance in September, consumer sentiment surveys, and bleak commentary from carmakers and dealers indicate that a low-growth era may have arrived.
Felipe Munoz of JATO Dynamics said the slowdown in sales in Europe in September was due to demand remaining slow, as no cheaper EVs are available.