The EV revolution and its limits: is an EV mass market feasible and desirable?

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2017)


The market for electric cars (EV) is certainly expanding relatively fast but it is still very small with one exception which is Norway. Several authoritative forecasts anticipate though that it will keep growing worldwide, and official targets suggest that a mass market will emerge in a very short lapse of time (5-10 years). In this presentation I would like to question these assumptions by looking at three different topics:
1) Why similar assumptions in 2009-2010 proved to be wrong for reasons that are still very much valid today;
2) Why the regulatory pressure and the VW dieselgate (in the European Union context) are pushing carmakers to significantly increase the number of EV in their sales as a short-term solution to achieve compliancy;
3) Why the shift from the current niche highly subsidized markets to a mass self-sustaining markets it is not politically and economically sustainable;
A special focus on China which has become the main world market for EVs in 2015 and 2016 will be used to illustrate the latter point.
The purpose of the presentation is to discuss whether it is politically desirable and feasible to push an artificial mass market for EVs or whether alternatives paths should not be pursued.

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Concéption Tommaso Pardi
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