According the Guardian, 2020 is set to be the year that the electric car, or EV as they’re more commonly known, takes over the European car market.At a surface level observation, the EV offers countless advantages over its traditional petrol and diesel counterparts, but are the limitations which have held it back in the past finally done with?

There’s no doubt the EV is becoming a bigger part of daily life. For example, a Tesla driving down the road today garners much less attention than it did only a few years ago. Still, with the roads still dominated by the more familiar gas guzzling types we’ve always known, are the next 12 months the time where we truly see the tide turn?

The numbers

The Guardian article above offers some helpful numbers on the rise of the EV. According to data firm IHS Markit, the number of EV models available to the European market will jump from 100 to 175 come to the end of 2020. What’s more, EV market share in the UK is predicted to rise from 3.4% to 5.5% (in units, that’s 80,000 to 131,000). Similarly, Europe will see 2019 sales rise from319,000 to 540,000 in 2020.

Those are all considerable increases – roughly a 64% increase in the UK EV market share, a 69% increase in European EV market share and a 75% rise in the number of models available. It would appear the curve is undoubtedly trending upwards for 2020.

What’s on the way?

One of the driving factors behind the claim of 2020 being the year of the EV is likely the number of notable e-models arriving over the next 12 months. Buyers can expect to see some of the industry’s stalwarts manifest in electrical form for the very first time this year. Autocar produced a list of major names ready to hit the streets in 2020, and when in the year we can expect them. Just a few of the standout names:

  • Vauxhall Corsa-e
  • Fiat 500e
  • Kia Soul EV
  • Mini Electric
  • Peugeot e-208
  • Volkswagen e-UP!
  • Honda e
  • BMW iX3
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge
  • Audi Q4 e-tron

What you’ll notice in that list alone is the amount of flagship names on their way – the Corsa-e, e-208, 500e, Soul EV and Mini Electric are all electric rehashes of some of their respective manufacturers’ most influential designs. What’s more, you’ll also see a plethora of names you’d likely consider “budget” models, or at least models you’d consider “everyday”.

Both of these factors matter. For one, the fact manufacturers are moving to bring out their most recognisable names in EV form is a glowing endorsement of the importance of the electric market. Second, the move towards a range of more affordable EV options removes one of the consumer market’s biggest gripes about buying one – the upfront cost.

So, is this year the year?

It depends how you want to look at it. The sales increases mentioned above are impressive and indicative of a changing market, however when the dust has settled, nearly 95% of the UK’s 2020 car sales will remainwith traditional combustion engine vehicles. Likewise, to look at future numbers, IHS Markit suggests by 2025, over 330 EV models will be available to the European market – so does that not make 2025 more the year of the EV than 2020?

2020 is undoubtedly set to be more the year of the EV than any other gone by, as consumer preferences become progressively more shaped around eco-conscious decision making. However, with the standard used car market set to remain the primary source of sales in the UK for the foreseeable future, it’d take a truly transcendent – or should we say, electric – moment to signify 2020 as the true year of the EV.

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