Dutch Electric Vehicle Market Enters Early Majority

Credit to Author: Maarten Vinkhuyzen| Date: Sat, 03 Oct 2020 01:32:53 +0000

Published on October 2nd, 2020 | by Maarten Vinkhuyzen

October 2nd, 2020 by  

Without getting in the way of my two colleagues, José Pontes and Maximilian Holland, who are providing you with monthly electric vehicle (EV) market updates, I’d like to share my excitement for my home market with you. Fully electric vehicle (BEV) sales are reaching early majority buyers.

What is known as the “Technology Life Cycle” describes how a new technology enters the market. The first group that starts buying the new products are called the “Innovators.” That is the first 2.5% of the market. If the technology gets accepted by this group and succeeds to gain more market share, like BEVs in Europe, China, and California have, they say the “Early Adopters” have entered the market. Early Adopters represent the next 13.5%. For many products/technologies, it is hard to cross the chasm between Early Adopters and Early Majority.

The Dutch market has now been above the 16% mark for four months on the trailing-12-months graph (see below) and regularly has months way above 16%. With the last quarter of the calendar year coming, which is traditionally the best quarter for BEV sales in the Netherlands, the market is solidly in the “Early Majority” phase. Early Majority and Late Majority are each counted as 34% of the market. Transitioning from Early to Late Majority is often just a matter of time. Those 68% are sometimes just called the majority. When you enter the majority market with a disruptive product like battery electric autos, it is like reaching third base. You should reach home plate soon, and that is what got me excited.

Norway is around 50% BEV market share, clearly on the way to phase out fossil fuel burners. The Dutchies are following the Norwegians’ lead at a distance.

We often say that reaching 10% plug-in share is a sure sign the market is accepting the electrification of road transport. We market watchers with a magnifying glass see the S-curve starting to climb. The Netherlands reached that in 2016 with over 90% of plug-in vehicles being plug-in hybrids (PHEV) — incentive grabbers, many of which never got plugged in. In a market controlled by incentives like the EV market, there is reason for caution. After Tesla Battery Day and EU regulations for corporate fleet average pollution, including strong penalties that threaten carmakers, it is probably safe to say that the trend line will be upward in coming years.

What market will be next? Where will we see BEV sales reach the Early Majority? Let us know in the comments. 


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Grumpy old man. The best thing I did with my life was raising two kids. Only finished primary education, but when you don’t go to school, you have lots of time to read. I switched from accounting to software development and ended my career as system integrator and architect. My 2007 boss got two electric Lotus Elise cars to show policymakers the future direction of energy and transportation. And I have been looking to replace my diesel cars with electric vehicles ever since. And putting my money where my mouth is, I have bought Tesla shares. Intend to keep them until I can trade them for a Tesla car.