Yah Boo Sucks, Mr Musk!

Denmark, a country that has prided itself for being at the forefront of renewable energy, is no longer in love with electric cars, and that is official. Data compiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) shows sales of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, has fallen by a whopping 60.5% for the first quarter of this year, a rate of free-fall that must have bought a tear or two to the eyes of Elon Musk.

I am not happy.

Europe-wide, the trend is still in favour of increased sales of EV’s, so what is different in Denmark, a country where 5,298 EV’s were purchased in 2015, a global leader in wind power, a country where bicycle power is everywhere…Well, here is the thing: the government took away the subsidies and all of a sudden, not everyone is so enthralled by the hour-long wait to recharge the darn things.

Denmark has no real indigenous car manufacturing industry and most cars are imported fully assembled. The government has historically slapped a 180 percent import tax on vehicles with combustion engines; EV’s were sparred that but now the tax regime has been equalised. It would appear that the previous sales figures for EV’s scaled the heights due to price concerns and not environmental ones.

Tesla, the global poster child for the electric car industry, is probably the hardest hit, with sales of its ‘S’ model collapsing. Musk had actually lobbied the Danish government against the move and he had actually travelled to Copenhagen to warn that sales of all EV’s, and not just his, would be hit by this move.

Undeterred, the Liberal government of Lars Lokke Rasmussen announced the move to increase the tax on EV’s, citing budget constraints and a desire to even the playing field. So, even in a traditionally green country like Denmark, EV’s are only attractive when they are cheaper, in fact, much cheaper, than a smog-generating, cancer-causing, global-warming creating, fossil-fuelled alternative.

Is there any hope for mankind?


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