Electric cars are gaining ground across much of Europe. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Benelux countries are among the 'locomotives' of the Old Continent in terms of zero-emission vehicle registrations, but not all markets are progressing at the same pace.

This is the case in Italy, where high purchase costs (compared with wages that have been stagnating for decades), reduced range and the limited availability of charging points are not encouraging motorists. But the situation is worse in other European countries, where electric car sales represent a very small share of the registered car market. According to a study by Vignettecroatia.com, these are the countries that are 'going electric' the least quickly.

The "black jersey" for electric cars

The study looks at data for 2022 provided by Eurostat and analyses the 10 countries where the number of electric cars sold is the lowest in relation to the number of cars on the road. Topping the list is Bosnia-Herzegovina, where out of more than a million cars in the whole country, only 138 electric cars have been registered, representing 0.01% of the total.

It's not much better in Northern Macedonia, where 190 battery-powered cars were sold in 2022 out of a total of 483,482 cars. The best figures in absolute terms come from Turkey, Poland and the Czech Republic, although the ratio to the total remains fairly low.

The researchers do not analyse the causes, but we can imagine that the main reasons remain high list prices and (probably) poor recharging infrastructure.

Italy is not to be outdone, with around 220,000 fully electric cars out of 40 million, or 0.55% (Unrae data updated to 31 December 2023). We'll have to wait and see, however, whether the inevitable drop in the average price of an electric car and government action on infrastructure (thanks to NRP funds) and purchase incentives will change the situation in the years to come.

In the meantime, here are the full rankings:

Position Country Car fleet in 2022 Electric cars sold in 2022 Electric cars as % of total
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1.006.142 138 0,01%
2 Northern Macedonia 483.482 190 0,04%
3 Turkey 14.269.352 14.552 0,10%
4 Cyprus 601.131 830 0,14%
5 Poland 21.458.101 30.841 0,14%
6 Albania 639.379 1.245 0,19%
7 Moldova 745.970 1.553 0,21%
8 Bulgaria 2.896.777 6.293 0,22%
9 Czech Republic 6.305.934 14.195 0,23%
10 Georgia 1.333.012 3.147 0,24%