E-cars remain too expensive

Even after state subsidies, the purchase of an electric vehicle is still unaffordable for most

E-cars remain too expensive

Electric cars remain an unaffordable luxury for the majority of Greeks and Europeans in general, as in spite of state subsidies, which were also provided in Greece, the purchase cost is in some cases even double that of a conventional car.

Therefore, although in Europe more than one in five cars is now electric (purely electric or hybrid), in more than half of European Union member-states the corresponding market share is below 10%. Market shares are high only in Northern European countries, led by Sweden, where more than half of the cars sold in 2022 were electric. This is linked to a very large extent, as the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) points out, mainly to household incomes, but also to increased environmental concerns.

In Greece, the market share of electric cars was 7.9% in 2022, a percentage that would have been much lower if there had been no subsidies in the framework of the Move Electric program. The program in question, and in particular Move Electric 2, runs for the whole of 2023 until the budget is exhausted (it is set at 50 million euros), through which the purchase or lease of only a purely electric vehicle on the market is subsidized by 30% of the retail price before taxes and up to the amount of €8,000.

The above market share is one of the lowest in the EU and the smallest after Cyprus in Southern Europe. The exception is Portugal, which despite its relatively low per capita net income (14,897 euros in 2021) has a high market share of electric cars at 21.70%. The reason is that subsidies and tax incentives for the purchase of electric cars have applied in Portugal since 2017.

An inhibiting factor for the purchase of an electric car is the absence of a large network of charging stations. According to ACEA data, although electric car sales have increased 17-fold since 2016, the number of charging stations across Europe has increased only sixfold in the same period. In Greece last year there were 1,021 points, but they are increasing.

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